Simon Wood

Posts Tagged: books

Longtime followers know that I donate to/fundraise for various charities each year and I usually drag you all in too.  I want to do something for the relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey and Irma.  The worst of the storms may have passed but the devastation hasn’t.

Here’s where you come in.  If you buy a book from my website bookstore, I’ll donate the value of your order to charity–dollar for dollar.  Not only will you be giving to charity but you’ll be getting a book out of it.  So don’t miss your chance to run me up.

Not everything is listed on the bookstore so if you’re looking for translated titles, out of print titles, hardbacks of the Aidy Westlake series and audiobook editions, let me know.  I can do a few MYSTERY BOXES.  If you’re ordering out of the USA, please contact me first so I can quote shipping costs.  Thanks.

I hope you’ll pick up a book or two for you, a friend or even an enemy.  And even if you don’t get a book, please share this post.  Thanks.

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Longtime followers know that I donate to/fundraise for various charities each year and I usually drag you all in too. If you buy a book from my website bookstore, I’ll donate the value of your order to charity–dollar for dollar. So don’t miss your chance to run me up. I can do a few MYSTERY BOXES. I’m thinking of donating to MEALS ON WHEELS this year.

Not everything is listed on the bookstore so if you’re looking for translated titles, out of print titles, hardbacks of the Aidy Westlake series and audiobook editions, let me know.  If you’re ordering out of the USA, please contact me first so I can quote shipping costs.  Thanks.

I hope you’ll pick up a book or two for you, a friend or even an enemy. And even if you don’t get a book, please share this post. Thanks.

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one-million

I crossed a very special milestone last week.  I’ve sold 1,000,000 books since 2011!!  Nothing quiet feels like selling your first million copies.

Actually I crossed this milestone about a year ago, but that number included a sales promotion.  I wanted this milestone to be indisputable.  To ensure that I’ve crossed the million mark, I haven’t included the promotional sales and sales where I don’t have the royalty statements or the royalty statements were a bit fuzzy.  Excluding sales from all these books is quite a tidy figure so I can categorically say without a shadow of a doubt I have sold one million books.

I am proud and a humbled by this achievement.  It seems crazy to be able to say this.  So if you are partly responsible for this having bought a book of mine, I am forever in your debt.  Thank you.

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canadian-flagBeing an author used to mean living in the dark times.  It could take almost a year before I saw a sales statement for a particular book.  But thanks to improved technology, I know how many books I’m selling in real time (not quite but pretty close) and more importantly, I know WHO is buying my books (drone technology…don’t be afraid).  And that’s where I got a little shock.  Canadians don’t really buy my books.  I sell more books in Germany than I have in Canada and I don’t get that.  We have so much in common!  We aren’t afraid to use the letter U in words like colour, valour, etc.  We both celebrate Boxing Day.  I know that Saskatchewan is a province and not a sound Canadians make when they sneeze.  Frankly, we are pretty much family.  So what’s going on, Canada?

Rather than turn my back on my Canadian family, I want to do something about the situation.  I know there are some Canadians out there who read my ramblings on a regular basis, so I turn to you, my friends to the north, for help and advice.  Simply put, what should I do to change the situation?  How do I become more enticing to Canadians? Who should be reviewing my books?  Who should I be blackmailing?  Let me know.

14jJPXpXI know I have Canadian readers out there, so I do have a task for you.  I want you to go up to a fellow Canadian—it can be a friend or family member or even a complete stranger—and say, “Have you read Simon Wood?  No, well you should.  I suggest you read (insert favourite title here).”

Now this may sound a little culty, but that’s okay.  Cults aren’t all bad…I don’t think.  Let’s not worry about that for now and focus on the important part—and that’s finding a Canadian readership.  Look, I have faith in my Canadians and together we can do it.  You don’t want the Germans to beat you on this score, do you?

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In recent years I’ve been really lucky.  Several of my books have been embraced my readers and really taken off.  And that’s been fantastic.  However, not every book has done as equally as well.  A few remain undiscovered.  So this is a little tough to accept as every one of them is a beloved child…even if it’s a redheaded stepchild.  Now I know not every book will do as well as others.  Any number of reasons can hold a book back from storyline to style.  So I get it.  It’s not personal.  That said I think people are missing out on some of my books, so I’d like to shine a light on four of my books that I think are worth your time and consideration.

WeAllFallDown400WE ALL FALL DOWN: Hayden Duke is a young man on the fast track.  He’s just signed on with Marin Design Engineering to work on a very high-level project.  But before Hayden started, one of MDE’s employee’s committed suicide.  And he’s not the only one.  Is it the pressure?  Or is there some other connection?  Has Hayden Duke just put himself on the fast track to an early death?

e-scrubs2xTHE SCRUBS: Jeter, the notorious serial killer with a sixth sense, holds court inside London’s Wormwood Scrubs Prison. He’s the focus of the “North Wing Project.”  Under the influence of a hallucinogen, Jeter can create an alternative world known as “The Rift” containing the souls of his victims.

Pardons are on offer to inmates who’ll enter The Rift.  Michael Keeler has nothing to lose and little to live for.  He’s sent into The Rift to learn the identity of Jeter’s last victim.

Road-Rash-500ROAD RASH: James Straley might think his life is cursed, but it doesn’t compare to what lies ahead of him on life’s highway. He’s 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 and steals 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, which ends in the heart of Central America.

work-2BstiffsWORKING STIFFS: In this collection of short stories, the workplace is a dangerous place. The unscrupulous are primed and ready to take advantage of the innocent and naïve. A slight indiscretion can cost the employee everything. A new position can turn a person into someone they are not. Those at the top can be toppled and those at the bottom can be crushed.

Until now, Vincent’s father has kept one side of the business a secret from his son. Vincent is about to learn the family business. On the most important day of his career, Sam’s world will unravel when he helps a woman in distress. Todd has failed in every job he’s undertaken, but that changes when he backs into a drug dealer’s car. Now he’s in hock with organized crime and can only get himself out from under if he works for them to pay off his debt. Kenneth Casper is ailing and so is his business empire. His shareholders circle like vultures. Casper pins all his hopes on a Peruvian shaman with a miracle cure.

I hope you’ll check out these books.  You won’t be disappointed.

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royston (2)As keener followers will know, I lost my longhaired dachshund and sidekick, Royston, two weeks ago.  It’s been a hard loss to take.  He was one in a million.  I want to mark his passing by doing something special.    In his last weeks, he needed a lot of treatment.  Luckily, we’ve been able to afford to keep up with the bills but not everyone can.  I couldn’t save Royston but I can save someone else.  So, in Royston’s honor, anyone who buys a book or download from my Bookshop this week, I will donate 100% of the proceeds to Best Friends Animals Sanctuary.  If there’s an out of print title/hardback or any audio book you’re looking, drop me a note, as I may have one hidden away.  For the more adventurous among you, you might be interested in one of my famous Mystery Book Boxes.  Whatever you want, just let me know.  My goal is to raise $500.  Whatever the shortfall, I will make up the difference.  If I exceed the goal, then I will match whatever is raised dollar for dollar.

BF Primary Logo_Orange ProcessWhether you’re a first time reader of mine or you’re looking for a gift for a friend, I hope you’ll take part and help me support a great charity.

Feel to share this post this post online.  I’d really like to send Royston off in style.  Thanks.

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ratsI discovered quite a treat at the weekend—a 40th anniversary edition of James Herbert’s THE RATS. It was his breakout novel about oversized rats eating their way across London and the Home Counties.

THE RATS was also the first book of his I read although some years after it came out. I bought it on a Boy Scouts trip. Something about a lurid cover featuring a blood splattered rat with yellow teeth jumping out at me appealed to my preteen self for some reason. I tore through this book which made me an instant fan. A few weeks later, I started high school and my English teacher let us read anything we liked as long as we could comment on its merits. This was my opportunity to go through his entire back catalogue. God knew what my teacher thought of me at the time, but she always gave me good grades.

I think the reason the book was successful was that James Herbert struck upon something that hit the public consciousness. Giant rats in England were a problem in the mid-70’s when the book came out. Not as quite as big as those mentioned in the book, I remember as a six-year-old (when the book same year out) there being all these rats as big as small cats invading our neighborhood from the wood that backed onto our home. They ate through large sections of our back fence and I wasn’t allowed to play in the garden when they appeared. My mum and I (with mouth agape) one Saturday watched from the back window of the house as these big grey blobs squeezed through the holes they made in the fence and roamed our garden in search of food. No wonder I discovered my love of horror movies shortly after and that Herbert’s book was a bestseller in Britain throughout the 70’s and 80’s.

Needless to say James Herbert is one of my favorite writers. Sadly he died long before his time and I regret never having the chance to tell him how much his books met to me. He was and remains a huge influence on me as writer, even if I haven’t written a horror novel…yet. His clear concise storytelling and plotting became part my storytelling credo. I’ve even adopted some of his other traits such the importance of cover art and layout. I can’t blame him for this trait as I think it has more to my engineering design background that I want to be involved with cover designs, but I am more than happy to follow in his footsteps there. It’s just that I am my literary father’s son (and probably a little bit of a pain in the arse to my publishers because of it 🙂 ).

So discovering the anniversary edition on the shelves last week brought a smile and lot of memories, but giant killer rats will do that to a lad. :mrgreen:

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This is last call for readers in the UK to pick up a couple of my books at a low price.  Two of my titles have been part of a December promotion.  For a couple of quid you can get a couple of my books and still have change.  Not a bad Christmas gift.  
December Specials: 

PAYING THE PIPER is only 99p (in eBook form) this month over at Amazon UK.

“For years, the serial kidnapper known as the Piper got rich by abducting children from San Francisco’s wealthiest families. When crime reporter Scott Fleetwood gets a call from a man identifying himself as the Piper and offers an exclusive interview, Fleetwood jumps at the chance. But the caller turns out to be a fake, and the rash decision costs the life of the real Piper’s latest victim.For eight long years, Fleetwood has lived with unbearable guilt—and the enduring disdain of the entire Bay area. Now he hears from the real Piper—and it’s not for an interview. The kidnapper has the reporter’s son. But he doesn’t want money…he wants blood. And he’s going to use Fleetwood to get it.”
And for a penny more, you can pick up the first of the Terry Sheffield mysteries, NO SHOW, for only 100 new pence at Amazon UK.
“Englishman Terry Sheffield has just arrived in San Francisco to start his new life with Sarah, the investigative journalist he married after a transatlantic love affair. But Sarah never shows up at the airport… The police chalk it up to a new bride with cold feet. Then one murdered woman after another turns up, all with something in common: they had exposed scandals just before their deaths…and their names appear on a list that Sarah composed. As a journalist, Sarah’s exposed her share of scandals, and Terry realizes that she’s not missing—she’s on the run. To find her, Terry realizes she’s very different from the woman he thought he married.”

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Last year, I received an interesting request from a reader.  The person sent me a check and asked me to send them a box of autographed books, didn’t matter which ones.  The person wanted to be surprised.

I thought this was cool if unorthodox idea so I created the MYSTERY BOOK BOX.  So what is in a mystery box? A minimum of six books of mine plus books by other authors (usually hard to find advanced reading copies). The mystery is you don’t get to choose which titles. If you’d like your own mystery box, they cost $50 including shipping. I will ship internationally but I’ll have to check on rates. If you’re interested email me, as you have to say an oath before any books are shipped.

 Are you up for a literary adventure???  🙂

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In my writerly life, I get a queasy feeling from time to time.  Different things can trigger it—a book signing, an autograph, a compliment, an advert, etc.  Usually, something nice anyway.  This time it was the cover art for the German version of PAYING THE PIPER.  A woozy feeling washed over me.  It’s a lovely cover but there was one thing wrong with it.  It had my name on it.
 
Oh, I wrote the book and there’s no mistake about that but it does feel weird to see my name on a book cover.  It somehow seems fraudulent.  We are talking about me being a writer.  This was never the plan.  I read books.  Someone like me doesn’t write them!
 
Maybe it’s the dyslexia talking.  It’s made me self conscious and given me a sense of unworthiness.  What could be more ludicrous than a dyslexic author? 
 
Yes, I know some of you will berate me for saying that but it’s the way I feel.
 
Naturally, being the paradoxical person that I am, I am also immensely proud of my books and stories.  I hope that I’ll keep writing for the rest of my life.  It’s what I want to do with my life.  See!  Paradoxical.  I never said this would make any sense.
 
I have a bookcase in my office filled with just my books and magazines featuring articles and stories I’ve written.  I look at it all and think, wow, I’m responsible for all that.  I also look at it and think, wow, I’m responsible for all that.  I think there’s been a terrible mistake.  Is there someone I can speak to about this? 
 
I suppose I’m a still a fanboy when it comes to books and I get excited by books and authors I admire, but when it comes to my books, I don’t believe I’m in their league.  It’s no different when I’ve seen my books in the bookstore. I see them on the shelf or display and I smile, but it’s quickly followed by a blush of embarrassment.
 
I suppose I’m too close to my work. I can’t view it the same rarefied air as I can with other people’s books. More than likely, most authors feel that way. I guess it’s because a book is like a house. I built it from the dirt up and while the rest of the world sees a house, I see all the difficulties I went through in its construction.
 
Objectivity is a bitch that way.
 
I’m not sure I’m making much sense with this admission. Mainly because I can’t quite put a finger the emotion, probably because I’m experiencing two of them at once—glee and embarrassment which are held in check by stupity. I blame being English. Boasting is an outfit that never quite fits. I don’t think my people have the shoulders for it.
 
I not sure there’s a cure for this aliment.  Dramamine isn’t going to cut it.  I know I’ve tried.  Time heals all wounds so it might be the cure I need—but for that I will have to keep on writing.  J
 

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