My guest today is Wendy Soliman. Wendy is a British author, now dividing her time between
and the west coast of Andorra . She writes historical
and contemporary romance, as well as a series of marine crime mysteries. Under
a pen name, she’s also ventured into the world of erotica. Florida
When not writing Wendy enjoys walking miles with her dog, keeping fit and is on a one-woman mission to keep the wine business one step ahead of the recession.
Anne – Welcome to my little corner of cyberspace, Wendy. When did you first realise you were destined to become a writer.
Wendy - I don’t think it was a light bulb moment, more a case of something that came naturally and was always just…well, in me. I guess I’ve always had an over-active imagination. I wrote my first book when I was fifteen, my second when I was in my early twenties. I didn’t do any more writing until years and years later but the plot for that second novel finished up in a published work. Moral of the story – never throw anything away!
Anne - Tell us something about your most recent release.
Wendy - When my husband got tired of trying to kill himself in racing cars, light aircraft and helicopters, he suggested that we try boating. We were in
, up to our ears in snow and the heating was on the blink,
so pretty pictures of sleek motor cruisers cutting through the calm, crystal clear
waters seemed rather appealing. And safe. We fell for the hype and before we
knew it, we were the owners of an ancient boat in need of a considerable amount
of tlc. Andorra
For Andre, that was the start of an on-going love affair with the sea. For me it was more a hate-love-hate situation. On the rare occasions when the sea is actually calm then boating is a dream. But most of the time you’re tossed about like a loose coin in a washing machine, feeling sick and wondering what the hell you’re doing.
Still, one good thing to come out of hours of staring at endless expanses of sea was The Hunter Files, my series of marine crime mysteries featuring British detective, Charlie Hunter. He just wants to live a quiet life on his boat but seems to get dragged back into one old case after another, still searching for clues that will make sense of his mother’s murder twenty years previously.
The first in the series, Unfinished Business, was released by Carina Press last October, written under my other persona,
W. Soliman. The second, Risky Business, is hot off the press.
Anne - Would you share an excerpt with us?
Wendy – You have to ask?!
“Ought to give up those cancer sticks, Reg.” I nodded toward his half-smoked fag. “They’ll kill you in the end.”
“Gotta die of something.”
“True enough but that won’t be a pleasant way to go.” I paused for a sup of beer. “Come on then, tell me about
“And I’d do that because—”
“Because I’m asking you nicely,” I said, steel in my voice. “Because you know me well enough not to want to make an enemy of me. Oh, and because I’ll make it worth your while.”
The offer of financial gain secured his attention but he wasn’t about to give anything up easily. “It was a long time ago,” he said.
“And you’ve got the memory of an elephant.”
He ground his cigarette out on the floor and sighed. “Look, it was a scam, all right?”
“What sort of scam?”
“Dog fixing. I was just a gofer and never knew who was behind it all.” That had to be a lie but I let it pass. “Mike Kendall was higher up the food chain but still a small cog.”
I nodded. “Go on.”
“It was money for old rope, weren’t it. Thousands of letters were sent out to known gamblers telling them that the person sending it had a score to settle with a particular bookie and was going to break him by betting big time on a specific race.” Reg paused to scratch vigorously at his scalp. I moved out of range to avoid the ensuing shower of flakes. “Dead simple it was, but then the best dodges usually are.”
“Don’t tell me. The recipient of the letter had to ring the number quoted and was given the name of the winning dog for free.”
“Got it in one, Mr. H.” Reg sniffed his contempt. “Course, three dogs were picked, with three different numbers to ring and one of them was almost sure to win the race. Well, put it this way, one of them always did win the race but don’t ask me how that could possibly have been arranged, dog racing being the upstanding, whiter-than-white sport what it’s always been. Anyway, out of the thousands of chancers who rang the numbers, a lot of ’em hit on the winner. Greed almost guaranteed that they’d phone again and this time pay for another tip.”
I nodded, having heard of such schemes before. “Simple and undetectable.”
“Yeah, pretty much, until that wanker Spelling went and got himself offed and spoiled it all.”
“He was the bookie who coordinated it?”
“Yeah, he supplied the names of the punters who were targeted but as far as I know, once he was killed and Mike went down for it, the scam was wound up.” He shrugged. “My services became surplus to requirements anyway and I never heard of it starting up again at another track.”
Anne – How long does it take you to write a book?
Wendy - I’m prolific! I easily turn out four full length novels in a year. I really do need to get a life!
Anne – Wow, four books per year. I am impressed! Describe your office as it looks now.
Wendy - Ha! We’re gipsies, spending half the year in
and the rest of the time in Florida Europe. Right now I’m sitting in a rented flat in with my laptop on the dining table and a few
precious files on my left. How I yearn for my research books, neatly lined up
on shelves, right within arm’s length, back in Spain . Not that I need them so much nowadays,
what with the internet and all. I guess they’re more a comfort blanket. Florida
Anne - Do you belong to a writing organisation, critique group or depend on beta partners?
Wendy - The first thing I did when I started to write seriously was to join the Romantic Novelists’ Association in
, something I’ve never had cause to regret.
I don’t get to many meetings because of my lifestyle but I forged friendships
there that endure over the cyber waves. I do attend RWA chapter meetings in England when I’m in Tampa , which has produced valuable writing
opportunities, but I’ve never had a critique partner of any sort. Florida
Thanks for having me here, Anne. It’s been great.
Anne – It’s been my pleasure, Wendy. I wish you every success with Risky Business. I’m also rather envious of your nomadic lifestyle. Dividing the year between two places is my ultimate dream!
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