Friend and Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Selena’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we reach number twelve in our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

I am pleased to post the interview with the hardest-working woman I know: Beth Gallego.  As ‘SelenaButtons’, she keeps the JHWS going strong; I am very grateful for her inspiring leadership.



  1. Name and bull pup moniker

Beth Gallego, “Selena” (“Selena Buttons” until there is a new “Boy in Buttons”)

2. Current (city, state, country) location

Los Angeles, California, USA

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

Just about 4 years. I was not one who fell in love with the Canon as a kid, sad to say. I was much more into fantasy – especially the Wizard of Oz books – around age 10 or so. But after watching the first 6 episodes of the BBC Sherlock, and waiting for the third season to air, I was got obsessed with all things Holmesian and very quickly found my way to the Canon and a great many lovely people who were also excited to talk about Holmes and Watson endlessly.

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

I love the Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton – I even wrote an essay on why it’s the *best* story for _About Sixty_. But I also have a soft spot for the Illustrious Client, the Red-Headed League, and the Lion’s Mane.

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“I am an omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles.” [LION] I have a bracelet with that quote on it.

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Irene Adler. I want to know more about her life, because I think it would be fascinating. We get so very little of her side of the story, too.

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, or film?

I deeply love the first two seasons (6 episodes) of the BBC Sherlock. It is what brought me into this world, and they are brilliant television in their own right. I enjoyed seasons 3 and 4, but not quite as much. I also really like the Abominable Bride episode, but I don’t really even think of that as an adaptation of Canon so much as an adaptation of an adaptation of Canon, which is a different sort of animal.

I also adore Lyndsay Faye’s short stories just published as a collection called The Whole Art of Detection. Her love of Dr Watson, especially, shines in her writing.

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

My local scions are the Curious Collectors of Baker Street and the Sherlock Breakfast Club. Los Angeles is large and sprawling, so my work schedule combined with transportation times makes it difficult for me to attend as many events as I’d like, but I try.

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

I went to 221B Con in Atlanta for the third year this April. It was the first time I wasn’t on any panels, so I was able to take time to hang out with people I only ever get to see at Con! We had an in-person JHWS meet-up (a “consultation”) in the bar on the Saturday night, which I hope will be an annual tradition. For the future, I’m working on a few essay ideas. Oh, and I do a little work on this website you might have heard of…

  1. If you had a magic wand, allowing you to add, subtract, change one thing in your Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

I’d really like to see more curiosity about (not just acceptance or tolerance of) different points of view and ideas in discussions. I think people are too quick to criticize and dismiss ideas that don’t align with their own. (Obviously, a problem not just in our smaller world of fandom!) There are so many interesting possibilities to think about and discuss rather than retreading the same ground. I’d love to see more people embrace the idea that it’s possible to dislike something without insulting the people who do like it.

Also, I would like a transporter, so I can attend *all* the Sherlockian events, please and thank you!