Narrelle M Harris on Jason Franks
The Only One in the World: “Sharaku Homura and the Heart of Iron” by Jason Franks
When Jason Franks submitted his story, “Sharaku Homura and the Heart of Iron”, to The Only One in the World, I knew we had a great book on our hands. He was one of the first writers I spoke to about the project, and from the start he understood what I wanted to achieve with it. His story absolutely nailed it – a Holmes and Watson shaped through the specific circumstances of the cultures in which they grew up, yet the line from Conan Doyle’s Holmes and Watson to Franks’ Homura and Wiznitz can be clearly seen.
It was clear, too, that his story reflected his personal experiences of both the South African and Japanese cultures that influence these characters, ensuring they were nuanced and whole and not, as he mentions in his Clan Destine Press interview, the Western stereotypes of those nationalities.
I love the respect his Homura and Wiznitz have for each other, and more than that, I love that in his story, their brief alliance allows them to learn from each other. We get to learn a few things too, as readers. “Sharaku Homura and the Heart of Iron” is a mystery, but while entertaining us, it also touches on ideas of privilege and responsibility in apartheid South Africa.
If you’re intrigued, take a look at Jason’s interview about his story on Clan Destine Press, where he answers three questions about writing his story – the most unexpected thing he learned while writing it, his favourite thing about writing it, and what is quintessentially Japanese/South African about his Holmes and Watson.
You can order The Only One in the World at Clan Destine Press right now.
More about Jason
Jason has written many books I’ve loved, including the fantastic rock and roll fantasy/horror, Bloody Waters and horror-comedy (not for the faint hearted) Faerie Apocalypse, as well as the Sixsmiths graphic novel series. His books have been shortlisted for various awards, including Aurealis, Ledger and Ditmar awards. Learn more at his website: www.jasonfranks.com