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Q&A: Thriller writer Will Thomas on his Cyrus Barker series

Holmesian Musings and Ripping Yarns


We recently chatted with Will Thomas -- author of the Cyrus Barker series. The book contain the adventures detective/explorer/martial artist Cyrus Barker and his sidekick Thomas Llewlyn, who work the mean streets of Victorian London. Thomas discussed his latest book in the series, which is due out in November.

Q: What is the premise to the new book?

A; Private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker is injured in an explosion in his offices, giving assistant Thomas Llewelyn his first case. It's a corker. Thomas must track down everyone who held a grudge against Barker, and there are many. Just when he gets started, Barker's long-lost brother, Caleb, a Pinkerton agent, arrives to give aid. Or does he have an old grudge against his little brother?

Q: How do Llewelyn and Barker evolve in this story?

A: Thomas is on the verge of marriage in Blood is Blood and also handling his first case. Meanwhile, Cyrus Barker must admit he is not invulnerable in order to let Thomas take over the investigation. The nuptials unnerve the Guv. If on member of the agency marries, can the other be far behind?

Q: What does the future hold for these characters?

A: My books are not meant to be static and neither are the characters. They get older, hopefully wiser, and as private enquiry agents, they lose friends to violence. Thomas will mature as an agent and a husband, but Barker must deal with age and his future, whatever that will be. The only certainty is that Llewelyn will be at his side, as well as the colorful cast that circles around his orbit.

Q: Do you have any advice for writers that are considering a Victorian setting for their stories?

A: To write Victorian fiction one must read broadly, and search through obscure books for that one nugget nobody has written about before. Study dialect, clothing of the era, famous crimes, books on manners, etc. Trust your instinct to take you to that one plot you were born to write, and then write it. It may seem like a needle in a haystack, but enough work and study shall lead you to it.

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