Since I grew up in Cowes on the Isle of Wight – the sailing capital of England – surrounded by what us locals
(aka corkheads!) referred to not so fondly as grotty-yachties, I suppose it was inevitable that I’d eventually get involved with boats in
some way. Not that I ever did as a kid. I saw the realities behind the glamorous façade and was never tempted. Being frozen to the
bone and/or soaked to the skin was never my idea of fun. Plus—I’ll let you into a secret here—I’m not a strong swimmer and have a
healthy respect for the power of the sea. I saw more capsizes than enough, to say nothing of the collisions and arguments over
mooring buoys. It’s true that royalty turned up every year in the now defunct Royal Yacht Britannia to compete in the races during
Cowes Week but I wasn’t impressed. All I wanted was to be left alone to ride horses and dream up fanciful stores.
Years later my husband suggested getting involved in sailing but I wasn’t having it. We compromised by getting into motor yachts and I now know more about the wretched things than any woman ever wanted to. I’ve spent hours at sea, watching…well, the empty sea. Still dreaming up stories. That’s how my series of marine crime novels, The Hunter Files, was born. Well, they do say you should write about what you know! They feature Charlie Hunter, a retired policeman who just wants to be left alone to live aboard his trawler yacht in Brighton marina. But his past won’t let him go and his old, unsolved cases develop an annoying habit of catching up with him, drawing him back towards that which he desperately wants to leave behind.
The first in the series, Unfinished Business, will be available from Carina Press in October. It’s also being released as an audio book. Click here to read the first chapter and then go to the contest page, answer an easy question and you stand a chance of winning a copy of the book. Good luck.
W. Soliman has other interests besides boats and horses. I was once the chairman of a tennis club and know all about the goings-on in such institutions. Thus Topspin, my gritty novel about the workings of an up-market tennis club on—you guessed it!—the Isle of Wight, came into being. Not that I personally know anyone who conducts themselves quite as badly as my characters, I hasten to add, but then it wouldn’t be much of a book if they all behaved well.
My other persona, Wendy Soliman, writes contemporary and historical romance. Do click on the button at the top right hand side of this screen and check out what she’s up to.
Whichever line you decide to read, I hope you enjoy them. Do let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Oh, and why not follow me on twitter or check out my Facebook author page?