Susan Grossey

Endless possibilities

A little bit of background: “Fatal Forgery” (the first Sam Plank novel) was based largely on the real case of a thieving banker.  I fictionalised and embellished at will, but knowing the true facts gave me a structure and limits.  When it came to “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat” (Plank 2), I decided to complicate things a bit and weave together four cases – this time basing them more loosely on real crimes, but not real people.  At times during that process my mind went a bit wobbly, but Sam worked stoically on pulling it all together for me.  So now my thoughts are turning to (well, let’s be honest, my thoughts are rarely far from) “Plank 3”.

I think it will be more like “Canary”, in that I’m envisaging several plot lines with a connection.  At the moment I know the connection – which is the opposite to “Canary”, where the stories came first and I had to wait for the connection to become apparent (bit of a worry, that, when it took a while to show up).  So I have the body of the spider, so to speak, and now need to run down each leg in turn to see where it leads.  How many legs?  Well, as I say, “Canary” had four (now we’re all confused: I’m beginning to regret the spider analogy, as they have eight legs, and of course canaries actually have two…), and I rather like that number.  More might be difficult for the reader to follow, and fewer seems a bit lazy.  And I’ve already settled on two “leg” stories. So I’m thinking of choosing two or three more, and then that’s the big decisions made.  With such a terrific subject – Regency crime with a financial bent to it – my difficulty is not finding ideas, but whittling them down.  Thank goodness I’ve already decided on that series of seven books – I can just save the others for later.


  1. Graham Avatar

    Dear Susan

    Based on your spider analogy, my vote would be for a two or three legged version as it did take me a little while to understand the connections in “Canary”. But, on the other hand, giving the brain some exercise can be a fun part of the reading experience.

    A little internet research tells me that there are no naturally occurring three-legged animals so at least you won’t need to weave that into your title, unless you go for something fictional, such as a triffid …. but that probably doesn’t have a natural link to your Regency setting !!

    Best Wishes


  2. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

    “Plank and the Triffids” – now there’s an idea! I will give it some thought. It depends on how complex each individual “leg” is, so I’ll see what I can do…

    Best wishes from Susan

  3. Roy McCarthy Avatar
    Roy McCarthy

    Love your enthusiasm to crack on with Project Plank Susan. I think I’m with Graham – I’ve been guilty of assuming every reader will follow my convoluted thought processes. (I immediately thought ‘sloth’ but that’s three toes not legs 🙂 )

  4. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

    I’m quite taken with the sloth analogy, Roy….! But yes, perhaps three is the ideal number – I’ll make my decision this weekend when I finalise the very broad outline of “Plank 3”.
    Best wishes from Susan

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