The Sherlockian Graham Moore
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter Seth Grahame-Smith
The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series James A. Owen
Nothing Like the Sun: A Story of Shakespeare’s Love Life Anthony Burgess
Jane Austen Mysteries series Stephanie Barron
It’s one thing for an author to create a fictional character, but another thing entirely for an author to become a fictional character. So take a minute and appreciate some novels and series that pull authors away from there historically accurate past and add a little fictional flair to their story.
Author Character: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker
Everywhere you turn there’s another twist in The Sherlockian’s plot. It’s almost as if you would need a brilliant detective to solve it. Unfortunately, Sherlock Holmes’ is not available. In his stead there is Harold White, a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, and Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Both men have a case to solve as The Sherlockian crosscuts between Harold in the present and Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1900’s. And since Sherlock is nothing without his Watson, Moore throws a relatively unknown writer named Bram Stoker in to accompany Doyle.
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
Author Character: Edgar Allan Poe
Poe wasn’t interested in learning about vampires to better hunt them—he wanted to know about the experience of living in darkness, of moving beyond death, so that he could better write about it.
Sure the 16th president is without a doubt the star role of this novel, but Grahame-Smith’s addition of Poe and the information he provides to Lincoln adds a richness to the novel. Sure anyone could have found out about the vampires and their purpose, but can’t you just see Poe doing it? While the idea of Abraham Lincoln being a vampire hunter might be historically inaccurate and a bit ridiculous, what surely fits right into place is having Edgar Allan Poe be intrigued by the bloodsucking creatures of the night.
The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series
James A. Owen
Author Character: H.G. Wells, James Barrie, notable others
The three main characters of James A. Owen’s series, John, Charles, and Jack, receive The Imaginarium Geographica, an atlas which records mythical and fictional locations. With the help of a mysterious guide Bert, the trio travels into the Archipelago of Dream and get caught up in a fight that threatens the destiny of both their world and the world inside the Imaginarium Geographica. When you have a world built on fiction and myth, of course some familiar characters pop into the story, but Owen also manages to include a good amount of authors and historical characters as well. The three main characters happen to be authors as well. However, their identities are revealed at the end of Here, There be Dragons. No spoilers.
Nothing Like the Sun: A Story of Shakespeare’s Love Life
Author Character: William Shakespeare
Yes the Anthony Burgess that brought us a lovable bunch of Droogs, created a wonderfully speculative account of Shakespeare’s life and loves. Burgess manages to take facts we have about the life of Shakespeare and spins them into an engaging and imaginative story. Plus fans of Shakespearian sonnets will enjoy finding some familiar lines dotted throughout the books and the subtle nod to Shakespeare’s sonnet 130 in the title.
Jane Austen Mysteries series
Author Character: Jane Austen
We don’t know for sure if Jane Austen was 18th century England’s equivalent to Nancy Drew, but Stephanie Barron’s series of novels has the author acting as an amateur sleuth. Barron presents the books as entries in Austen’s journal and captures the voice of Jane within her cozy mystery. The first book of the series, Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor features a twenty something Jane Austen trying to solve the mysterious death of her friend’s husband, the Earl of Scargrave. Mystery and intrigue all with a distinct Austen twist.