Monday, March 30, 2009
Interview with Wendy Soliman
Today Joyce Moore is interviewing Wendy Soliman, originally from the UK, who writes Regency romances for Robert Hale and Samhain.
Joyce: Hi Wendy. Pour a tea and settle in. I've got some questions to ask so our readers can get to know you. Start by telling us a little about yourself. What is your typical day like?
Hi Joyce, thanks for inviting me along. I'm English and married to Andre. We have no kids but share our home with Jake, a rescued dog of indeterminate pedigree. I named him after the hero in a book of mine on the basis that they're both desirable hunks with independent spirits and naughty streaks!
Andre sold his jewellery business in England about three years ago and since then Andorra - a small principality in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain - has been home. We also spend a lot of time on the Costa Blance in Spain, which is where I am right now.
For me there's no such thing as a typical day. What we do depends largely upon where we happen to be but I get cross if we're invited to do too many things that keep me away from my computer! But yes, in spite of that, we do still have some friends left! All I want to do is write and if I can't actually do so then I'm constantly thinking about it, plotting and planning inside my head. (Dog walking is a great way to work out the kinks in plots and so is riding pillion on the back of a Harley, where no one can talk to you, phones can't ring... well, you get the idea!).
How did you break into publishing?
I joined the Romantic Novelists' Association - the British equivalent of the RWA - and a more supportive group of individuals it would be difficult to imagine. I still wonder at their generosity and willingness to share. Anyway, at one of their conferences I was told about this small independent publisher in London, Robert Hale. There is still a Mr Hale at the helm. He reads all the submissions himself, has no board to pitch his choices to and, basically, if he likes what he reads then he buys it. Fortunately for me he liked my first one and bought four more after that. The large print rights to all five have been sold to Thorpe.
What genre do you write and why?
All of my published books are historical romances, set in the wonderfully rich English Regency period which offers great scope for any writer. Inspired by Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, I have always loved that rich period in our history. Gentleman in tight breeches being courteous to ladies in public but treating them very differently in private...what can I say? It just fills me with passion, even though I know only too well that the reality of the times was far less romantic. Still, that's the great thing about being a writer, you can make your characters do more or less anything you want them to. It's a powerful feeling to have such control over the lives of fictional people that become real to you over the months it takes to complete a book. All of my books are mysteries with a strong romantic thread and the women most definitely don't sit back and let a strong man fight their battles for them! I wrote my first regency romance more years ago than I'm prepared to admit to, threw it in a cupboard and found it again about five years ago. That got me writing again and now there's no stopping me!
I am trying to get my first contemporary romance published. It's entitled Stepping on Broken Glass and features an overweight heroine who, in spite of her size, feels invisible in a room full of people because no one seems to be able to see beyond her bulk. When she loses weight it's revenge time! I've taken on a highly topical and sensitive issue, which will strike a chord with many readers for a variety of reasons, so if there are any open-minded agents out there willing to take a punt...
What do you like most about writing? Least?
As I've previously mentioned, I'm in danger of losing all my freinds because I get twitchy if I can't write for a day or two. The best way to describe it, I suppose, is to say that writing consumes me. It's like a drug and equally as addictive. I lose myself in it and find dictating the paths of my characters' lives to be empowering. If only real life was so simple!
I recently gave a talk to a local writers' group here in Spain. They wanted to know if I could inspire them to sit down at their computers everyday and I told them, no! I pointed out that the publishing world is tough and if you're not one hundred per cent committed to making a go of it you might as well find something else to do. Harsh but true!
My least favourite aspect of writing is self-promotion. It's not that I don't enjoy it but - yes, you've guessed it! - it takes me away from that precious writing time.
Tell us about your newest book.
I'm very excited to be breaking into the world of e-books, which I think is the way ahead. My latest Regency, A Reason to Rebel, is being published by Samhain as an e-book on April 21. It's about Estelle Travis, recently widowed, whose father wishes to push her into another marriage of convenience as soon as she's out of mourning. Estelle rebels and runs away to look for her missing sister. When Alex, Viscount Crawley, encounters her, what choice does a gentleman of honour have other than to offer his assistance? Little does he realise that he's leaving himself exposed to dangers that have little to do with Estelle's sister's plight...
To read and extract from A Reason to Rebel, and for an opportunity to enter a competition to win a copy of the book, please visit my website: http://www.wendysoliman.com/
A Reason to Rebel - Wendy Soliman
Samhain e-book - April 21 2009
ISBN 978-1-605504-496-5 Price $5.50
Buy through http://www.mybookstoreandmore.com
I've enjoyed talking to you, Joyce, and thanks for having me here.