Monday, July 26, 2010

Introducing Simon Wood

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Simon Wood is an ex-racecar driver, a licensed pilot and an occasional private investigator. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie. A longhaired dachshund and five cats dominate their lives. He’s had over 150 stories and articles published. His short fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines anthologies, such as Seattle Noir, Thriller 2 and Woman’s World. He’s a frequent contributor to Writer’s Digest. He’s the Anthony Award winning author of DRAGGED INTO DARKNESS, WORKING STIFFS, ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN, PAYING THE PIPER and WE ALL FALL DOWN. As Simon Janus, he’s the author of THE SCRUBS and ROAD RASH. His latest works are TERMINATED and ASKING FOR TROUBLE. Curious people can learn more at

By Simon Wood

I recently learned that someone is convinced that something in one of my books is real and I did it. This isn’t the first time this has happened. A few years ago, a woman at a book club who had read WORKING STIFFS asked me in all seriousness how many times I’d cheated on my wife because the book partially dealt with infidelity. Others have pushed me for answers about different aspects of my stories and my culpability. It can be a little disconcerting when someone asks you, “Did you ever get caught stealing cars?” At the same time, I can understand why people will read something and put two and two together and come up with five. It might be fiction, but for any slice of fiction to be believable, the element of realism has to be strong. It has to get the reader to suspend their disbelief and buy into what they're reading.

A writer’s storytelling style plays into this problem too. While any writer can proclaim that their writing is a reflection of the world around them, a book says more about the writer’s world view than anybody else’s. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I show more than a little thigh from time to time in my stories. It’s impossible for my sensibilities and insensibilities not to show.

By the same token, when someone rushes up to me and demands to know how many times I’ve cheated on my wife, it reveals a lot more about their life and sensitivities than it does about mine. That’s the bugger about any story. Once it’s out there in the open, it’s a mirror and we all see something different when we gaze into it.

When it comes to the crimes I may or may not have committed, I have to fall back on Sharon Stone’s defense in BASIC INSTINCT. If I’d committed a crime, do you think I’d be daft enough to admit it in writing? I’m dumb, but not that dumb. :-)

I will admit that while none of my stories are reenactments of things that have happened to me, there are flickers of personal experiences contained within the pages. While it would be nice to regurgitate life stories in my books, it doesn’t work that way. They just don’t fit well within the confines of a novel.

That said, I do occasionally insert a few inside jokes in my stories for my amusement and the amusement of friends, coworkers and family. Perhaps, an old boss’ name is used for a character who comes to a grizzly end. Sometimes I do things for my enjoyment only and the eye rolls of others. I used Julie’s name for a character whose husband was cheating on her and I killed my mother-in-law in another. Don’t worry, I haven’t done these things but I know I’m going to get a groan out of them when they read the story.

Of all the things I’ve been accused of doing in real life no one has accused me of killing anyone. I guess I should be flattered by the fact that some people think I’m an adulterer, a thief, or a blackmailer, but not a murderer.

It’ll be interesting to see the kind of remarks I get for my latest releases. ASKING FOR TROUBLE has people committing a variety of infractions from murder for hire to embezzlement. And TERMINATED features a bitter and twisted man who victimizes his female boss as a way of striking back at a world he views as unfair. There's even cruelty to the elderly, so heaven knows what people will say about that.

I suppose my only advice to you, my readers, is not to wonder about the things I write about, but the things I don’t write about. :-)

Yours innocently,
Simon Wood

4 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Nancy said...

Oh wow. If your books are written anything like this post, I'm gonna love them! Too funny that people think you've actually committed these crimes. :)

...Have any of your old bosses contacted you after coming to a "grizzly end" and complained ;)

Nancy said...

bought the book!

Nancy said...


Simon said...

Hi Sarah: Thanks for letting me step into your shoes. They pinch only a little.

Nancy: Yes, people think I've done a lot naughty things. One of my friends was told not hang out anymore after her sister read a book.

None of my bosses have complained. I think they're in hiding. :-/

Enjoy the book and remember it's all fiction. :-)

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