A bit of both. In the third book in the Forsters series, I wanted to have an exotic foreigner for Lord Robert to fall in love with. Since Rob is a master chess player, the heroine obviously needed to be as well. I looked up some famous chess moves and found, ‘The Sicilian Defence’. Needless to the say the heroine in Finessing the Contessa, is Sicilian.
I researched the history of Sicily during the time period of my story and discovered lots of interesting facts. Poor little Sicily, because of its important strategic position, has been occupied time without number over the centuries, including during the Napoleonic wars when the British used the island as a Mediterranean base for its fleet. That information provided with lots of possibilities, and I was away.
If you could invite any five authors to dinner, who would you choose?
I hope they don’t have to be alive! Assuming not then I’m going to be terribly predictable and say Georgette Heyer, whose books have given me endless hours of pleasure, and whose light, witty style I greatly admire. I also respect Daphne duMaurier’s ability to write historical and contemporary novels, so she’s definitely on the list. So, too, is Judith McNaught, for the same reason. And for romantic suspense, Sandra Brown is tough to better. I love Carl Hiaasen’s wit and dry humour, so he’s coming to dinner as well.
Heck, I’d best start cooking!
Can you tell us a little about your newest release, Compromising the Marquess, that isn’t in the blurb? Which character is your favourite?
Carina Press has contracted all four of the initial books in the series. Each one is a stand-alone love story featuring one of the four Forster siblings. Whichever one I’m writing about is my favourite at the time because I get deeply involved with my characters, and live their lives vicariously while they tell me what they’re up to. Even so, Hal, the marquess and head of the family, is probably my overall favourite.
I put Hal Forster’s house on the coast in an area I know well, even if the actual village is fictional. I also made him into a boat owner because I know a lot about boats, (although perhaps not too much about the boats used during his time). Still, the principles of wind and tide haven’t changed and I find it easier to imagine how it must have been for mariners of yesteryear thanks to my knowledge about the south coast of England.
Which fictional characters from another book would your main characters choose as a bet friend and why?
I think my marquess, Hal Forster, would get on extremely well with Stephanie Lauren’s hero ‘Devil’ in her Cystner series. Why? Well, the clue’s in the name!
If you could only describe a single scene to encourage someone to read your debut novel, which scene would you describe?
In Compromising the Marquess, my heroine Leah tries to persuade Hal to…well, to take her virginity. As a gentleman of honour he can’t possibly do that, much as he’d like to, but there’s a lot they can do together to further her erotic education. They re-enact scenes from the famous novel Fanny Hill and Hal, being thorough, even arranges for Leah to be a voyeur!
What are you reading right now and what’s the last book you read that you loved and would recommend to my readers?
I’ve just finished JK Rowling’s first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, which I found depressing and disappointing. I loved Harry Potter so had great expectation of this book, which weren’t satisfied.
I’ve recently discovered Linwood Barclay’s books and really enjoyed The Accident. It’s a thriller rather than a romance, but still has strong romantic elements. Just imagine how Glen must have felt when his wife was killed in an accident that took the lives of three people and she’s deemed to have been under the influence. Left with a daughter to raise, Glen is ostracised. He knows his wife would never drink and drive, but the evidence is irrefutable.
It kept me on the edge of my seat for the whole time. A really compelling story of love, tragedy and the overriding need for answers. I was rooting for Glen the entire time, and the end was very clever.
What makes a romance novel a great love story and how would you define “romance”?
When the alchemy between the hero and heroine is electrifying and the author has enough skill to make you care.
Romance for me is when eyes lock across a crowded room and the rest of the people in it cease to exist. Corny, I know, but true for all that.
Wendy Soliman was brought up on the Isle of Wight in Southern England but now divides her time between Andorra and West Florida. She lives with her husband Andre and a rescued dog of indeterminate pedigree named Jake Bentley.
The Isle of Wight is full of historic buildings, which is where she acquired her love of history, absorbing it like osmosis. She is the author of nine single-title Regency romances and is excited about her up-coming series charting the fortunes of the Forster dynasty.
When not writing she enjoys reading other people’s books, walking miles with her dog whilst plotting her next scene, and is on a one-woman mission to save the wine industry from the economic slump. Well, some- one’s got to do it!
Facebook: Wendy Soliman – Author
December 10th 2012 by Carina Press
Leah Elliot sells secrets to survive. Donning boy’s clothes, she uncovers society scandals for a London gossip rag to support herself and her sister, who were left destitute after their father’s death. When she meets the dashing—and perhaps dangerous—Hal Forster, the Marquess of Denby, she learns he may be involved in treason. The rumor is too valuable not to sell, despite her attraction to him…
Hal does have a secret, but he’s no traitor: he’s a spy embroiled in a mystery, seeking the man who killed his contact in France. He sees the alluring woman behind Leah’s disguise at once but is intrigued enough to play along…until he realizes that she’s the source of the rumors interfering with his investigation and forcing him into an unwanted betrothal.
Now, Hal and Leah must work together to draw out the culprit and undo the damage caused by Leah’s gossip. Or will their passion only cause more scandal?
INT- Ends Dec 14th
One randomly drawn commenter here at Reading Romance will win one digital copy of COMPROMISING THEMARQUESS. The giveaway is open internationally and the winner will be notified via email after the close of the tour.