Simon Wood's Blog
I had a nice blast from the past last week in the mail from THE FIRST LINE. It’s a magazine that published several of my first stories. The editor and publisher published my short story collection, WORKING STIFFS. I will always be in their debt because they are one of the people that got me to where I am today.
The package I received in the mail is their latest issue, which is a “Best Of” issue because they’re celebrating their 20yr of publication. The magazine has a unique theme. Each issue has a set “first line” and every story has to begin with that line. After that, wherever the story goes is free game. I forgot that I came up with one of their first lines for a past issue & one of the stories that used my line made their best of issue. David, the editor, wrote a great introduction to the story which I’ve posted below.
I really encourage you to support the magazine. They did me a great turn on multiple occasions and I know they’ve done it for others. So please up a copy.
My book of the week is my supernatural thriller ROAD RASH. It’s 99c/99p at Amazon in the US and the UK for this week only!!
It’s the story of James Straley, a bank robber on the run with the proceeds of a botched bank robbery. It’s all he has. His crew is dead and his getaway car just died on him. He’s on foot with the cash when he comes across a two-car pileup. There’s no saving the drivers, but he can save himself by taking one of the wrecked cars. But he boosts the wrong set of wheels. Within an hour of driving off, he develops a rash that eats away at his flesh. No doctor can help him–only the car’s original owner. If Straley wants his skin back, he must journey on the road to redemption.
I have a real soft spot for this book. It was inspired by a trip to Guatemala and a run-in I had with Santeria. You can read all about my adventure here.
There’s also a great audio edition read by Ed Hunter. I love Ed’s voice and it’s probably my favorite reading that anyone has done of my books.
It’s available from iTunes, Kobo, B&N, Audible as well as Amazon. You can find all the links here.
Anyway, I hope you’ll snap up a copy. I think you’ll enjoy it.
The company my wife works for folded. She’s out of a job with no severance. We’d love it if you bought one of my books today. Please check out the website, there’s plenty of books for you to choose from.
Thanks in advance for your support. I really appreciate it.
I’m very happy to announce a brand new anthology that I am a contributor to. DIE BEHIND THE WHEEL is an anthology of crime stories inspired by the music of Steely Dan. The book features stories by David Corbett, Nick Feldman, Bill Fitzhugh, RT Lawton, Cornelia Read, Stacy Robinson, David B. Schlosser, Sam Wiebe & James Ziskin. My contribution is based on the song “Haitian Divorce” and features a criminal couple looking to end their relationship…permanently. A big thanks to Brian Thornton & Eric Campbell of Down & Out Books for including me in the book.
The book is available from all usual places, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, etc. For all the bookstore links, pls go here!
I had a lot of fun turning this song into a story and I hope you enjoy it too. If you need a reminder of the song and some insight into my story, you can give it a listen here.
I’m happy to announce the upcoming publication of the Italian edition of PAYING THE PIPER which will be published as OTTO ANNI PRIMA (which translates as EIGHT YEARS AGO). This is my second book with Italian publisher Newton Compton and I hope this book will do as well as first book with them as I’d like them to publish SAVING GRACE next. If you’d like to work on your Italian, this is what the back jacket says:
Quando il giornalista Scott Fleetwood riceve una chiamata anonima che gli offre un’intervista esclusiva con il pericoloso Pifferaio, il criminale che rapisce i bambini a San Francisco, non può credere alle sue orecchie. È un’occasione per aiutare concretamente le autorità a incastrarlo. Per anni, infatti, il Pifferaio ha terrorizzato le più influenti famiglie della città, costringendo i genitori a pagare un riscatto altissimo pur di riavere i loro figli. Ma gli sforzi di Scott per trasmettere le informazioni all’FBI si rivelano presto controproducenti: l’uomo che sta intervistando non è il vero Pifferaio, e la situazione precipita. Il bambino sequestrato viene ucciso. Per otto lunghi anni Scott ha convissuto con il senso di colpa. La sua leggerezza ha causato la morte di un innocente. Ma l’incubo non è ancora finito. Quando il Pifferaio torna a farsi vivo, non vuole un riscatto. Questa volta la posta in gioco è molto più alta. E in ballo c’è la vita del figlio di Scott.
The book comes out in hardback and ebook at the end of August. I will do a cover reveal when final cover art is complete but in the meantime, you can learn more on the OTTO ANNI PRIMA book page!
From time to time, I’m made interesting offers. A little while ago, the San Jose Mercury News wanted to see how mystery writers would do at solving a mystery instead of inventing one. That was a challenge I couldn’t refuse. So the paper put Penny Warner (and her hubby), Margaret Dumas, Ann Parker, Janet Finsilver, Carole Price & myself in The Edison Escape Room at Palace Escape. We escaped. It was a hoot. Very clever. It was like playing the Crystal Maze. A big thanks to Penny for including me. You can read all about our adventure in their feature piece here.
The Aidy Westlake mystery series is very personal to me because it’s based on my experiences as a racecar driver. It’s a period of my life I am very proud of…and that’s includes the good, the bad and the ugly. Motor racing shaped me as a person and I’ve infused that into the character of Aidy. The storylines inspired by incidents I came across during that time.
With that said, I have a deal for you. For one week only, you can pick up all three books for $5/£5 on Amazon, although you don’t have to buy all three to get the price break.
The books are available elsewhere in all e-formats, print and audio. You can find all the links here.
I hope you’ll pick up the books because they are very special to me, but also because I am working on books #4, #5 & #6. 🙂
I’ve just finished reading the late Brian Garfield’s short story collection, SUSPENDED SENTENCES. In the introduction, he thanks Ed Gorman for helping him with the book, which I found touching, because I also owe Ed Gorman a debt of gratitude. When my first thriller, ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN, came out, it was with a small publisher with a small print run of a few thousand copies. In that situation, getting any kind of promotional and industry support was tough. I wrote to Mystery Scene magazine which Ed owned at the time. He liked what he saw and assigned the book to one of his reviewers which resulted in my first trade review. Seven years later, Ed and I ended up being stable mates at the same publisher. He wrote to our editor to say how much he loved my books and to recommend that he keep on publishing my books. The editor forwarded his email to me saying I had a fan. We asked Ed if he would turn his praise into a blurb for my upcoming book at the time, TERMINATED, which he did, saying:
“Simon Wood packs his books with suspense, surprises and superb storytelling.”
— Ed Gorman, author of The Midnight Room
Of all the blurbs I’ve received for my books, this is one of the most cherished.
Here’s the astounding detail about this—we never met. We kept in touch over the years until his death in 2016, but it would’ve been nice to have thanked him in person. This public thank you will have to suffice in its place.
It’s my birthday today…but I have a gift for you with the release of my short story collection, FAST CRIMES.
I made my professional bones writing short fiction, and fairly short crime fiction at that. When I started out, there were plenty of markets looking for stories only a few pages long. The stories featured in this collection saw publication in Woman’s World, the side of a coffee can and in a Vegas soft porn magazine, just to name a few.
The jacket copy goes like this:
“Crime happens in a moment and so do the stories in the Fast Crimes collection. These short mysteries start in the moment and build to a climax in a snap. Murders are plotted and carried out. Heists are planned and foiled. Investigators hunt and apprehend criminals. And it all happens in a handful of pages. It’s a smash and grab experience…so strap in.”
The book is available on Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Barnes & Noble. Links are here.
So if you’re looking to get me a birthday gift, then I’d love it if you picked up a copy. I hope you enjoy the stories. They’re something you can fit in with a cup of coffee.