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Character Spotlight | Kim Krisco on Tessa Wiggins

In ‘The Celtic Phoenix’ Kim Krisco introduces us to Tessa Wiggins, a character he’s fallen in love with… I am very much intrigued – let’s find out more in this special Character Spotlight!

The Celtic Phoenix

An enigmatic jewelry case, holding human remains, arrives at the cottage of Sherlock Holmes, enticing him from his retirement refuge in the Sussex Downs. Holmes sets out on the trail of the murderer taunting him, joining forces with one of his former Baker Street irregulars, Tessa Wiggins. The two find themselves battling forces arising from a time before England was a country—when the Celts were fighting for survival.

What Readers Say

“If you are interested in Celtic history, legends, etc you will also enjoy the book as it is laced with many of these items. The story centres around a legendary cult of women warriors, and those women that still follow them. When a few of these women get confused in their path and choose revenge rather than a more spiritual path the mystical leader appears to straighten them out and get the women back on track. It is Tessa and Sherlock that must prevent any more killings. Tessa is quite the detective impressing even Sherlock Holmes!”
J. Walker

A fun read, getting into the action right from the start. The tale itself is vibrant and fresh with a strong, if occasionally unsettling, plot.” 
G.J. Schear

An utterly thrilling tale combined with age-old characters including, of course, Holmes’s nemesis Moriarty plus strong female characters make for a compelling read.”
What Do I Read Now

A gripping story. The author has brilliantly written a tale which has the feel of Arthur Conan Doyle but with a new exciting twist to the plot.”
MoMo Book Diary

Book Info

The Celtic Phoenix’ is available at Amazon:

Pages350 pages
PublisherMX Publishing (4 December 2018)
ISBN (paperback)9781787053816

Falling in Love with Another Woman

by Kim Krisco

Don’t tell my wife, but I’ve fallen in love with Tessa Wiggins. My confession may not be that startling when you learn that Tessa is not a living person — she’s the protagonist in my latest novel: The Celtic Phoenix, that launched December 4.

I met Tessa in my second novel: Irregular Lives: The Untold Story of Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars. She was introduced as the little sister of Rory Wiggins, the backstreet leader of Holmes’s band of street urchins he employed from time to time in his adventures.

Authors falling in love with some of their characters is not a new phenomenon, I’ve learned that it’s quit common. How and why does this happen?

One might suppose that I created Tessa as some ideal for me. But that is not the case. While not unhandsome, Tessa is not beautiful, and she’s not perfect — far from it. She was a thief and, at one point in her early life, became responsible for a man’s murder. Nonetheless, she overcame her past to become what most would agree, a good person. I witnessed this kind of transformation in my own life but never delved into it until I began to write.

For like Tessa, I grew up in a rough neighbourhood in Chicago, not unlike London’s east side from whence Tessa hailed. I witnessed some of my friends follow a life of crime –robbery, burglary, and some getting mixed up in gangs. At the same time, I observed others, including myself thankfully, finding my way to, as Tessa puts it, “cleaner pavement.” Why do some make it and some not? This was the essential question I had to answer if I hoped to make Tessa Wiggins a worthy friend and confederate of Sherlock Holmes.

The easy answer might have been to say it was her family that made the difference. But in Spitalfields, where Tessa and her brother Rory were born, orphans were as common as rats. Indeed, that was true for many of my childhood friends who came from broken homes — many raising themselves. No, there had to be another answer.

I contacted an old friend in Chicago in the hopes of finding an answer. I’ll simply call him Joe. Joe and I were close, and at age fourteen, both headed in the wrong direction. But something intervened — actually not something, but someone. I’ll call him Mr. Grey. He was a counselor at our high school.

Joe and I got into trouble one evening. The police were called. I got away before they came, but Joe was caught. I’m certain he would have been in big trouble today, but back then, the police and criminal justice system were easier on teens. Joe was given probation, and required to go to counseling at our high school.

I felt guilty for letting Joe take the rap, and so I hung around after school while he was in his counselling session. As we went home together,he would share what happened in his thirty-minute session with Mr. Grey. I could see that these sessions, and the young counsellor, were having an impact on Joe. Joe was tackling life’s big questions and he had me doing likewise. For the first time we were asking ourselves, what do I want from life, and what do I need to do to get it?

One evening, we sat on Joe’s front porch and shared our dreams. It felt good for a while, but as our list of wishes and dreams grew longer, and seemingly more grand, we stopped. There was a long silence. “Pretty ridiculous,” Joe said. I nodded. That might have been the end of it if it were not for Mr. Grey.

The young counsellor took Joe’s dreams and, over several sessions, made them seem real and possible. Joe summed it up best: “Grey gave me hopethat I can have my dreams . . . some of them anyway.”

So, there it was, the seemingly magical ingredient that can transform the heart of a tough, lost little boy: hope. And, it did the same for little Tessa Wiggins.

When Tessa met Mr Holmes she was a frightened little girl, worried about her brother. To get her to share her fears, he gave her a penny– a lot for a poor little girl. From that day forward, whenever Holmes and Tessa met, he would give her a penny.

At the end of Irregular Lives, Tessa is a grown woman who is looking after poor and unfortunate women in London. As is their custom, he offers her a penny for her thoughts. She accepts it and says: “It wasn’t the pennies, Mr Holmes. It was what they represented … hope.” Tessa touched Holmes’s heart and I believe she will touch yours as well.

In ‘The Celtic Phoenix’, Tessa begins to follow the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes, demonstrating a rare analytic and deductive ability. However, if decided to take up sleuthing, it will be in her own unique way, blending intuition and emotion with intellect. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

About the Author

Kim Krisco Author Image

His lifelong fascination for master storyteller, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and hiscreation Sherlock Holmes, is what inspires Kim Krisco to write his new SherlockHolmes mysteries.

As a reader, Kim always wished he’d learn more about Holmes’ inner life. Where Doyle was not able to do that in short stories, Kim could allow for more detail and in-depth character development in his novels and novellas.

Kim endeavours to capture the authentic feel of the Sherlock Holmes novels, placing them in historical settings, oftentimes interacting with real historical characters. This is what makes Kim’s Sherlock Holmes books unique historical mysteries.

Aside from writing, Kim and his wife Sara followed their dream to experience more profoundly the beauty of nature by surroundingthemselves by it. Abandoning most of their material possessions, they feelhappier than ever in their cabin deep in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

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