Thereís something stimulating about being married to an intelligent man who never takes anything at face value, sees what other people miss and questions just about everything. The down side is that he sometimes makes me feelÖwell, inadequate. Make that most of the time! He says that having an inquiring mind is a torment. Iíll have to take his word for that.
What has this to do with writing? Well, unlike my cerebrally blessed spouse, Iíve never been good at anything much, accept writing stories and riding horses. I grew up on the Isle of Wight in Southern England, literally five minutesí walk from Queen Victoriaís Island retreat, a few miles from Carisbrooke Castle, where Charles 1st was held prisoner until being taking to London to have his head chopped off. Ouch! We have so many castles, stately homes and ancient ruins dotted all over our small island that I just took them for granted.
I guess thatís how I absorbed my love of history, kind of like osmosis. It crept up on me without my permission and now Iím stuck with it. Damn! My first serious attempt at a novel, many years back when I was only about twenty, was set in the rich English Regency period, a time of change, war and the thirst for excitement, fronted up by a king-in-waiting who had too much time on his hands. Well, we all know where that led and I guess us writers should be grateful to the portly prince. His antics supplied us with endless inspiration.
Life got in the way and although I continued to read voraciously, I didnít seriously put pen to paper again until about eight years ago. Yep, youíve guessed it, I produced another regency. I joined the British Romantic Novelistsí Association and with their help was fortunate enough to get that novel accepted by a long-standing London publisher. That first book moment is a unique experience for any writeróone that stays with her foreveróbut for me it was especially sweet. Flash back to my clever husband. At last Iíd done something that heíd never achieved and it was his turn to be proud of me. It worked wonders for my confidence which receives an additional boost each time another book gets accepted. Iím now up to number nineteen.
Four more regencies followed in quick succession, by which time I was bursting with ideas and ready to try another genre. Romance still but modern day this time. After all, my five regencies had been snapped up. I could do anything I wanted to, couldnít I?
ErÖwell no, actually I couldnít. I soon found out just how crowded the contemporary market is and I guess I didnít make the transition as smoothly as my fledgling confidence led me to think. Regency-speak was in my blood by then and my modern words sounded stilted, I can quite see that now. I rewrote and rewrote again until eventually, embracing e-publishing, I managed to find homes for all six of them.
Okay, time to reinvent myself. Again. Write about what you know, thatís my mantra. Saves on all that time-consuming research. Weíve owned boats for years and I know more about the wretched things than I ever wanted to. Plus, all those detective programmes about cold cases. Maybe I could combine the two?
Thatís how the Hunter Files, my marine crime mysteries featuring youngish retired detective Charlie Hunter living aboard his motor yacht and getting dragged back into his cold cases came into existence. Unfinished Business was published by Carina Press last year. Risky Business will put in an appearance in June and Lethal Business hits the digital bookshelves in January. This time though Iím writing in the first person from a male perspective. Donít know much about being an alpha male myself but I sure as hell know a man who does!
Iím still loyal to my first love and continue to write regencies, now published by Carina Press. The Perfect Impostor will be released on April 2nd. Iím delighted with the cover. Carina artists do awesome work and I havenít had a cover yet that doesnít beautifully encapsulate the mood of the entire book. If readers do actually judge a book by its cover then I have high hopes for my impostor.
What do you think?
Katrina Sinclair, recently widowed, is struggling to make a name for herself as a modiste. Her childhood friend, now a marchioness, could well make that happen when she asked Katrina to design her wardrobe for an upcoming society house party. One small snag, though, Julia wants Katrina to swap places with her for the duration of that party. They did it often enough as children. No one could tell them apart then and canít now.
Against her better judgement, Katrina agrees. What harm can come of it? Plenty, as it happens. For starters, Juliaís husband, equerry to the prince regent, puts in a surprise appearance, expecting to spend the night with his wife. Katrina will do much to protect Julia, but sleeping with her husband is several steps above and beyond the call of friendship. How will she get out of that one?
Worse, Lord Leo Kincade turns up as well, supposedly on his way home from France. In actual fact, heís been assigned to look into jewel thefts that are occurring at society gatherings such as the one Katrinaís attending. The proceeds from those thefts turn up in Napoleonís coffers so the lady behind the scheme is a traitor to her country and Julia is a prime suspect.
Leo was once engaged to Julia but knows almost at once that the woman he meets at Lady Marshallís isnít Julia Dupont. But who is she? Why is she pretending to be Julia? Why is he drawn to her in a way that he never was to Julia? And what does she have to do with the thefts?
To add to Katrinaís woes, her late husbandís brother tracks her down to the house party too. He blames her for his brotherís death and is set on revengeÖ
The Perfect Impostor by Wendy Soliman available from Carina Press and all good ebook stores from April 2nd 2012.
Check out my books on my websites: http://www.wendysoliman.com and http://www.wsoliman.com
Iím on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wendy.soliman.author
Or follow me on twitter @wendyswriter
Thanks for having me here. Itís been a blast.
*Edited by Teresa Crumpton*