Simon Wood

Posts Tagged: mysteries

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.


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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.

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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.

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