A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

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Friday, May 3, 2013


I’ve done something terrible. No, I haven’t murdered my husband (yet!). I didn’t wear black shoes with white pants, or eat a double serving of death by chocolate. It’s way more serious than that.

I feel really bad admitting this, but the brutal fact of the matter is that I submitted a manuscript with too many characters in it.

There I’ve said it!

In my own defence, it was the third in a four-book series and some of the characters I brought into it were family members from the previous two. I don’t know about you, but if I read a series, I do like to know what’s going on in the lives of the characters I’ve already met. My editor argued that it would be too confusing for people who might not have read the previous two books. Worse, none of these characters drove the story forward.

She’s right, as always. Even so, as I reader I do like to get the full…well, story. Since we’re talking about my series of Regencies, The Forsters, let’s take a moment to think about arguably the best-known Regency romance in the world, Pride and Prejudice. I really would like to have known more about Caroline Bingley’s reaction when Lizzie and Darcy got hitched. I’d give an awful lot to know how Wickham felt at the time, too. Yes, I know, there are trillions of books out there written by modern authors who tell me all of that, but I’d like to have heard it from Jane’s own pen.

Anyway, there were no such problems with the second book in the series, Beguiling the Barrister, released by Carina in June. This is a Regency courtroom drama, set against the backdrop of the famous Old Bailey Courthouse.

England 1814. Flick- more properly known as Lady Felicity Forster - was twelve when she decided she was going to marry her handsome neighbour, Darius Grantley. Now, embarking on her second season, she's no nearer to achieving that ambition. Drastic action is called for if she's to make Darius fall in love with her.

Darius adores the lovely, high-spirited sister of the Marquess of Denby, but he's aware that Flick is far above him socially and he can't afford to keep her in the style to which she's accustomed. Winning the high-profile Cuthbert case being heard at the Old Bailey will earn him a promised appointment to King's Counsel and just enough income to prove a home for his well-born lady.

But the cards are stacked against Darius. Not only do the newspapers trumpet his clients' guilt, but a powerful peer bribes the witnesses and threatens Flick unless Darius sabotages his own case...

The Forsters Book 2 – Beguiling the Barrister by Wendy Soliman – Available from Carina Press and all etailors from June 25th.



Anne Marie Becker said...

The book sounds wonderful, Wendy - congrats on the new release!

As for too many characters - sigh - I'm guilty too. For my series (which will be six books when all is said and done, I think), I wanted to introduce my whole team of Mindhunters at the first meeting. My editor nipped that in the bud. LOL So hard to focus on just a few when I know they rely on a team...but the others get their time in the spotlight in other books. Still, it's hard. :)

Maureen A. Miller said...

Black shoes with white pants. I gasp at the mere thought. :)

I love your covers so much. (that sounds way too personal). But seriously, I get addicted to your Regency novels. Congratulations, Wendy.

Toni Anderson said...

Oh--this is me in WIP. I know I have too many characters, but but but...the story needs them :) Hard to have suspense when there's only a couple of people to choose from :)
Your book sounds wonderful. Love the idea, so fresh and original :)

jean harrington said...

Too many characters, Wendy? How many is too many? I'll never forget reading Agatha Christy's Ten Little Indians. She introduces 11 character (including the boatman) in the first few chapters. And none of them is a secondary type, either. All major players--read victims--aIndians is arguably the most popular mystery novel in history. Anyway, that said, I too was told to cut some of the character names in my recent submission, Rooms To Die For. As usual, Wendy, my editor was also correct. So as writers, where do we go from here?

Shelley Munro said...

Oy, I sympathise. It's hard to cut beloved characters. I love the sound of your book - something a bit different.

Wendy Soliman said...

Thanks, ladies. Glad I'm not the only one with this problem.

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