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Where Did Steampunk Holmes Come From?

Since I launched our Kickstarter campaign to finance the Steampunk Holmes project, I've been asked by several people what inspired the entire project.  Not just the mashup of Steampunk and Sherlock Holmes, but the entire approach to this unique and large undertaking.

Looking back on my past blog posts it all started in December of 2009 when Guy Ritchie's moving, Sherlock Holmes was released to theaters.  I had never really kept up with Sherlock Holmes, but that movie rekindled my interest and I started reading Arthur Conan Doyle's stories again. I think a lot of people did.   I discovered in my adult years something I think I missed as a kid: how well structured the stories are.  I became a big fan and kept reading.

In February of 2010, specializing in the design of multi-touch applications, I was engaged by a company to create an interactive eBook reader for the iPad. What was interesting about this was that the iPad had not even been released when I was hired on. I was in Costa Rica on vacation, but when the iPad was announced I started working with it immediately and never looked back.  I found a blog post from that February where I talk about why the iPad was going to be revolutionary.  The work I was doing on that project never came to fruition because of the budget problems the client had, but by the time I had become steeped in the design of interactive books for tablets. To be honest, I had become somewhat obsessed with the idea. I kept designing and researching and blogging about it.

By June 24th of 2010 I had decided to marry my two passions, Interactive books and Sherlock Holmes, in a project I dubbed, Sherlock Holmes HD.  This was the first iteration of what is now Steampunk Holmes, but there was no steampunk in my vision at that time. It was just going to be a straight adaption with lots of cool features. That project never got past the design stages but the idea of an interactive book with Sherlock Holmes stuck.

I ended up getting involved in a company focused on interactive book app creation for children.  We created three interactive books - including Treasure Island which was featured by Apple as one of the Book Apps of the week for an unprecedented two weeks.  That project taught me a lot about how to manage a book app project, which is really more like a movie than a book. Treasure Island, for example, had audio narrative (7 Hours worth), artwork, software development and more.  I went on to develop two more interactive iPad books for that company before I left in February of 2011 to start my own company, Noble Beast.

By this time I had designed and developed a general ebook reader and three iPad children stories.  Although I love kids (I have 4 of them) I was more interested in speculative fiction for adults and Young Adults than I was children stories.  I had also recently re-read The Difference Engine, which I believe is the quintessential Steampunk book.  After that, adding Steampunk to my other passions, iPad book apps and Sherlock Holmes, came naturally.

In June of 2011 I announced on my blog that I was going to create Steampunk Holmes.  I talked about hiring artists and writers and other things all of which came true.  Today, what you see on Kickstarter and this web site, is the culmination of all those events and influences.  I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best talent in the industry including Daniel Cortes, the artist, P.C. Martin, the writer, several voice actors including Gerald Price and Shash Hira, and many other talents. The outcome is fantastic; a level of quality that people see immediately.

The end of this journey is the development of Steampunk Holmes in a variety of formats including a Web book, iPad app book, audiobook, eBook and print edition.  It may have started as an iPad book but it has become much bigger than that.  To finally realize this vision I needed help and the only place to get that help is Kickstarter.

Steampunk Holmes has been two years  in the making and the past 10 months have been very intense.  I'm so excited to see people contributing to our Kickstarter campaign. I'm also very grateful to every one of the contributers. We have a lot to accomplish before May 3rd when the kickstarter campaign ends (8 days away!), so I hope you will help out by pledging what you can to make Steampunk Holmes a reality.

Please support our project, Steampunk Holmes, at

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