Plano author pens new novel of mystery and romance
edited: Saturday, April 28, 2001
By William Manchee
Posted: Saturday, April 28, 2001
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William Manchee pens a new romantic thriller, Death Pact, his fourth novel, and has several more already completed.
By John Hillman / Special Contributor to the Arlington Morning News
John Grisham's book, The Firm started the trend.
Since the bestseller's debut in 1991, the legal thriller has remained a staple of American fiction. Metroplex readers seeking a local legal favor in their summertime escapism can follow fictional Dallas lawyer Richard Coleman's exploits in Plano author William Marchee's newest novel, Death Pact.
Mr. Marchee, a 1969 graduate of UCLA, has scheduled two Arlington promotional appearances on Saturday, July 24, to promote his latest creation. At 1 p.m., the ex-Marine signs at the Barnes and Noble at 3909 S. Cooper St., and he pulls a second tour of duty at 6 p.m. at Waldenbooks in Six Flags Mall.
"Mr. Manchee is a very engaging person," says Dennis Nowlin, Barnes and Noble community relations manager. "If he is as capable a lawyer as he is an author and book salesman, his clients should be very satisfied."
Death Pact's plot centers on Coleman's relationship with Franklin Fox, a divorced Dallas playboy who has squandered a $4 million family inheritance, and Fox's 17-year-old daughter, Erica. In the opening chapter, the high roller surprisingly selects the recently widowed attorney to serve as trustee for his daughter's financial affairs in the event of his death. From this innocent beginning, strange and mysterious circumstances soon befall the young estate tax lawyer and his "minor" responsibility.
Mr. Manchee's latest novel marks a shift from the his previous two works, Undaunted and Brash Endeavor, that featured Dallas lawyer Stan Turner as the central character. "The plot for Death Pact didn' t fit well into the Stan Turner mold" the 51-year-old writer says. "I plan to continue the series and have two unpublished Stan Turner works in hand, a young adult book featuring a teenage Turner and one entitled, Second Chair."
The Ventura, Calif., native published his first book, Twice Tempted, in 1997. The story relates the adventures of UCLA college student and part-time bank messenger Fred Fuller. Mr. Fuller considers himself an honest and moral individual, but his Eagle Scout upbringing can' t resist the seduction of a luscious bank teller named Candy and an open vault with $6.7 million for the taking. A screenplay adaptation of Twice Tempted awaits production into a feature film.
"We have everything in place but the funding," the Plano attorney says. "Walid Khaldi, formerly the SMU film archivist, will produce it. The Texas Film Commission has expressed some interest in helping us because much of the action occurs in Texas, and of course, the writer is a Texan."
Mr. Manchee, a 1976 SMU Law School graduate, opened his North Dallas law practice in 1977 and still performs legal services despite branching out into the book world nearly five years ago.
"Like most people, I considered writing for a long time but never tried it," the four-time novelist says. "One day, I skipped work and sneaked in a matinee of Stephen King's The Shawshank Redemption, and that was the beginning. I started putting ideas on paper and quickly became hooked."
Fueled by the writing bug, Mr. Manchee joined Mystery Writers of America and serves on the Board of Directors and Publicity Chairman for the Southwest Chapter.
"Bill has a great ear for story and characters," says Chris Rogers, president of the Southwest Chapter and author of Bitch Factor and Rage Factor. "In his duties, he's hardworking and meticulous. As an individual, he's honorable, thoughtful, and a darn good man to know."
Erratic experiences with publishers encouraged the creator of Fred Fuller, Sam Turner, and Richard Coleman to find investors and establish his own publishing house, Top Publications. In addition to Mr. Manchee, the company contracts L. C. Hayden, an El Paso school teacher, and Lynnette Baughman, a New Mexico free-lance newspaper writer. Ms. Hayden authored the mysteries, Who's Susan and When Collette Died, and Ms. Baughman penned a yet-to-be-released spy novel set in the atomic energy industry titled, A Spy Within.
Mr. Manchee foresees a strong future for books despite the struggles of independent bookstores and major publishing houses and competition from video and the Internet.
"Book sales are actually higher than ever," he says. "Although the trend has been for large houses to consolidate and sign big names to big contracts, I believe in the long-term, publishing will see a lot of new small presses specializing in niche marketing."
The Dallas Observer newspaper labeled Mr. Manchee as "Dallas' answer to John Grisham," but attorney-turned-novelist chuckles at the comparison. "I think of myself as a cross between Sidney Sheldon and John Grisham." he says.
© 1999 The Dallas Morning News All Rights Reserved
John Hillman / Special Contributor to the Arlington Morning News, Plano author pens new novel of mystery and romance., 07-23-1999, pp 3C.
Web Site: William Manchee's Webstite
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|Reviewed by m j hollingshead
|Filled with the same good writing, eye to detail and awareness of the not always pretty human condition we have come to know and enjoy so well in his previous works, Undaunted, Second Chair and Brash Endeavor author Manchee makes a bit of departure in Death Pact. Language is a little grittier and sex scenes are a little sexier than found in the Stan Turner series. True to his well developed professional writing style Manchee does not rely on glitz or sensational to carry the tale; rather he draws the reader into the narrative from the outset and holds interest tight with a good narrative, well developed characters and believable dialogue.
Not for everyone; some graphic language and some graphic sex.
Enjoyed the read. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by: molly martin http://www.angelfire.com/ok4/mollymartin
Criterion use for review:
__good_____ Original Story Idea?
___+____ Does the first sentence, paragraph, page hook your attention immediately?
___+____ Is there a plot? a subplot? Do they tie in to make the story complete?
___good____ Are transitions handled so the flow of reading isn't interrupted?
____+___ Do the main characters seem real?
___+____ Does the dialogue between characters seem natural?
____Yes___ Conflict Present? Was the conflict believable? Was it able to sustain the book?
___Yes____ Was motivation logical? Believable? Could you see yourself reacting that way in that situation?
___+____ Was the climax believable? Could you envision this really happening?
___+____ Did the conclusion seem a natural outcome?
|Reviewed by Duane Simolke
|Hello from Lubbock, Texas! It's good to hear about a Texan having such good fortune by writing about Texas and its people.
I am looking for original, unpublished stories that relate to Texas and/or acorns. This will be a good chance for exposure, and for helping people.
Please visit The Acorn Gathering:
Writers Uniting Against Cancer