Simon Wood

Posts Tagged: new book

My new book is the anthology TROUBLE & STRIFE, a collection of crime stories inspired cockney rhyming slang.  The book’s release is next month so I thought I’d clue you in on what to expect.

If you don’t know what cockney rhyming slang is, here’s a little bit of background. It’s a coded language where you create/use an expression that rhymes with the word you want to use then use the expression instead of the word. For example “butcher’s hook” is used to mean “look” and “plates of meat” is used to mean “feet” and “skyrocket” is used to mean “pocket” and so on… Invariably, the rhyming portion of the expression is dropped and the non rhyming element will take over. So someone will say, “Give us a butcher’s at that?” and “My plates ain’t half hurt today” and “Here’s a tenner to put in your sky” and so on. I hope that all makes sense.  Rhyming slang is rumored to have been created by criminals to deceive undercover police officers during the Victorian era.  What I love about rhyming slang is the phrases and expressions paint such colorful images…usually unrelated to their meanings. Such as a Gypsy’s Kiss, Smash & Grab, Lamb to the Slaughter, Kick & Prance, to name a few. These phrases have the spark to ignite stories and that was the challenge I gave my writers.  What phrases spoke to them.  Here’s what I got from them.

Steve Brewer’s story is BABBLING BROOK which is slang for crook.
Angel Luis Colón’s story is BUNSEN BURNER which is slang for earner, as in making money.
Johnny Shaw’s story is DICKY DIRT which is slang for shirt.
Paul Finch’s story is MR. KIPPER which is slang for Jack the Ripper.
Jay Stringer’s story is HALF INCH which is slang for pinch as in to steal.
Catriona McPherson’s story is BARNET FAIR which is slang for hair.
Susanna Calkins’ story is TEA LEAF which is slang for thief.
Travis Richardson’s story is LEE MARVIN which is slang for starving.
Colin Campbell’s story is TROUBLE & STRIFE which is slang for wife.
Sam Wiebe’s story is A LADY FROM BRISTOL which is slang for pistol.
Robert Dugoni’s story is PLEASURE & PAIN which is slang for rain.

I hope the stories’ titles and their rhyming slang meanings give you an inklings of what to expect in the book.  🙂

The book will be out in paperback and ebook and is available on preorder.  For links to stores go here.

 

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Hooray!!  I have a new book, but it’s a little different.  I’ve crossed the aisle from writer to editor.  I’ve curated a group of stories for an anthology called TROUBLE & STRIFE.  It’s a Cockney Rhyming Slang themed collection of stories.  What is Cockney Rhyming Slang you ask?

Well, I’ll tell you.

It’s a coded language where you create/use an expression that rhymes with the word you want to use then use the expression instead of the word. For example “butcher’s hook” is used to mean “look” and “plates of meat” is used to mean “feet” and “skyrocket” is used to mean “pocket” and so on…  Invariably, the rhyming portion of the expression is dropped and the non rhyming element will take over.  So someone will say, “Give us a butcher’s at that?” and “My plates ain’t half hurt today” and “Here’s a tenner to put in your sky” and so on.  I hope that all makes sense.

Rhyming slang is rumored to have been created by criminals to deceive undercover police officers during the Victorian era.

What I love about rhyming slang is the phrases and expressions paint such colorful images…usually unrelated to their meanings.  Such as a Gypsy’s Kiss, Smash & Grab, Lamb to the Slaughter, Kick & Prance, to name a few.  These phrases have the spark to ignite stories.  So I invited writers from the US, Canada as well as the UK to come up with a story inspired by a particular phrase.  What can you expect from the book, well this…

Babbling Brook is a talkative inmate at the state penitentiary.
Mr. Kipper is fishier than he sounds.
Half Inch is a small distance that can lead to a much longer stretch.
A hairdresser has to pay his dues for a crime that took place at Barnet Fair.
Pleasure and Pain takes on a brand new meaning in the German countryside.
And you never want to meet a Lady from Bristol.

You don’t have to understand rhyming slang to enjoy this book. You just have to enjoy a damn good story. To see what the authors have come up with you’ll have to turn the page and take a butcher’s.

Stories featured are by Robert Dugoni, Catriona McPherson, Johnny Shaw, Steve Brewer, Paul Finch, Susanna Calkins, Sam Wiebe, Jay Stringer, Angel Luis Colón, Travis Richardson & Colin Campbell.

The book splashes down on December 9th (just in time for Christmas) so I hope you’ll snap up a copy!!

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I’m happy to announce the release 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 is available in paperback and ebook. You can learn more on the OTTO ANNI PRIMA book page!

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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.

 

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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!

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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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I’ve got something fast and dirty for you in the guise of a short story collection, FAST CRIMES.

I made my professional bones writing short fiction, and fairly short 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 comes out on April 14th…my birthday. You can preorder it here.

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My frustrated DJ self emerges yet again for a playlist for my the latest Aidy Westlake book, HALF-INCHED. The playlist reflects the various themes and plotlines from the book series. If you’ve read the books, these songs will make a lot of sense and if you haven’t, it should give you an inkling as to what to expect. Either way, the songs should result in a shake of the head…or a groan.

So here’s what’s on the playlist:

“The Distance.” – Cake

“Fast Car.” – Tracy Chapman

“Jerry Was Racecar Driver” – Primus

“The Road To Hell” – Chris Rea

“Shut Up And Drive” – Rhianna

“Cars” – Gary Newman

“Road To Nowhere” – Talking Heads

“Keep The Car Running” – Arcade Fire

“Everyday Is A Winding Road” – Sheryl Crow

“One Headlight” – The Wallflowers

“Passenger Seat” – Death Cab For Cutie

“Drive” – The Cars

“Passenger Side” – Wilco

“Granddad” – Clive Dunn

If you have any musical suggestions, leave them in the comments and I’ll add them to the playlist.  Now just hit play to listen. Enjoy!!

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I thought I’d share some fast facts about my latest Aidy Westlake adventure, HALF-INCHED.

1. “Half-Inched” is cockney rhyming slang for pinched as in to steal.

2. Aidy Westlake is named after former Watford Football Club’s had coach Aidy Boothroyd and the late, great writer Donald Westlake.

3. HALF-INCHED was inspired by a British journalist who was discussing high value car thefts in Europe where the vehicles ended up in Moldova.  The police in Moldova rarely investigated the thefts as they didn’t occur in their country…but the police would turn a blind eye if the owners chose to steal their property back. As soon as I heard that I knew I had a book!   🙂

4. Readers, Mary-Frances Lascuola & Barb Kreisel, provided the title for the book when I was struggling to come up with one.  They won my contest to see who could come up with a better title than me!

If you’ve read the book, I hope these tidbits have given you some additional insight into the story.  And if you haven’t read the book, I hope you’ll give it a go.

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Merry Christmas, everyone!!  Aidy Westlake is your Xmas gift!! Aidy and the boys are back.  The full-time racecar driver and part-time investigator returns in HALF-INCHED. Again, Aidy and his crew are up to their necks in trouble. The storyline is as follows.

“Christmas has gone sideways for racecar driver, Aidy Westlake. Aidy’s grandfather, Steve, was just putting the finishing touches on a classic Ford GT40 he was restoring for a British millionaire when it was stolen from his workshop. They quickly establish that the supercar was stolen to order and is in now in Moldova in the hands of the notorious gangster, Lupul. There’s a wrinkle. The police in Moldova don’t care. The theft of a rich man’s toy doesn’t rank high on their priorities. The client’s ultimatum is simple—cover his one million pound loss or recover the car by Christmas Day. With the threat of financial ruin hanging over his grandfather’s head, Aidy’s crew has only one option—steal the car back.”

This story takes place between the novels DID NOT FINISH and HOT SEAT.

The book is here.  You can order it from Amazon and Amazon UK. I hope you enjoy it.

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