Interview with Ari Scott-Zechlin
Sherlock Holmes Flash Fiction Competition Winner
8th July 2012 [Read Ari’s story ‘The Problem of the Overtired Undergrad’]
I’m from Seattle, Washington. We have a reputation for both rainy days and vampires, yet one of these is decidedly more accurate than the other. Right at this moment, I’m eating homemade grapefruit popsicles and marathoning Dan Harmon’s Community with my housemates and our pet dog. I’ve been writing for about four years. I usually write YA fiction, sometimes with fantasy thrown in. I’m about to start my senior year at college, which means my big fictional work in progress is my thesis project – a Gothic fantasy novella exploring how much of our identity relies on other people. However, I’m also in the middle of co-writing a Jim Moriarty fanfic for BBC’s Sherlock with a friend. In the future, I would love to write stories for the older end of the YA spectrum (17 to early 20s), since I think it’s a group that’s often overlooked, as well as stories set in the Pacific Northwest, a region which I absolutely adore.
I read and watch a range of crime fiction: some favorites are Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot (and the David Suchet adaptations), Jeff Eastin’s White Collar, and Stieg Larsson’s Millenium series. My favorite Sherlock Holmes mystery is “The Speckled Band,” as it was my very first introduction to Sherlock Holmes. When I was in 4th grade, my mom showed me the Granada adaptation with Jeremy Brett and I absolutely loved it. She started reading the original stories to me that very night before bed, starting with the one I’d just seen on our television.
I was inspired to write ‘The Problem Of The Overtired Undergrad’ while spending my semester abroad in northern England this spring. My two somewhat codependent flatmates across the hall woke me up every single morning by spending half an hour yelling at each other to get out of the bathroom. Of course, I figured that my own daily hell was nothing compared to what Mrs. Hudson would have suffered at the hands of Holmes and Watson, and so thought it only right to tell Mrs. Hudson’s side of the story for a change.
I was very excited to find out I’d won the Sherlock Holmes Flash Fiction Competition! It was quite a surprise to be chosen – especially amongst so many other great entries. (I particularly enjoyed “A Study in Iron,” given my own ongoing Marvel kick.) But the best part was definitely getting to tell my mom that her daughter had won a contest for the very same Sherlock Holmes pastiches she loves reading.