Simon Wood

Posts Tagged: noir

Hey, it must be my birthday!  Well, actually it is in a couple weeks, but that’s not important right now.  The important thing is that Amazon has named ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN & DRAGGED INTO DARKNESS in their 100 Hundred Books for April.  It’s an interesting pairing as ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN was my first book & DRAGGED INTO DARKNESS was my first short story collection. So it’s quite nostalgic to see these books back in the limelight.  Anyway, to the meat of the subject.  Both books have promotion pricing, but ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN ebook is only 99cents this month. Hopefully that’s whetted your appetite.

Josh Michaels isn’t wanted dead or alive—just dead. That fact becomes shockingly clear when a stranger runs his car off the road. Instead of a helping hand, the man gives Josh a “thumbs down” and abandons him to what is almost certainly a watery grave. Luckily, Josh cheats death…this time. But when more harrowing “accidents” threaten his life, it’s clear he’s a marked man.

Are his past mistakes coming back to bite him? Or is something more sinister afoot? And how can he convince his family, friends, and especially the cops that he’s in danger? The harder Josh fights to stay alive, the more determined his unknown enemy is to see him dead. And the deeper he digs for answers, the more chilling the truth becomes. As his time and luck rapidly run out, he must unmask an insidious conspiracy bent on making a killing—in more ways than one.

Nerve-jangling noir doesn’t get much blacker than Simon Wood’s top speed trip into cold-blooded murder and hot-blooded vengeance.

People spend their entire lives staving off the dark—but no matter the measures taken, black paths and shadowy pits lurk in the unlikeliest of places, waiting to pull the unwary into the depths of despair.

These eleven tales offer a morbid sampling of the many forms and fashions of terror—from the subtle prickling of neck hairs at the kiss of a ghostly breeze to the raw-throated screams and feverish clawing of a desperate fight for survival.

Witness eleven people torn from their ordinary lives and cast into twisted realities that test their sanity, faith, and very will to live…

A pilot must land a crippled aircraft on an impossible runway…

A doctor feels far too much sympathy for his deformed patients…

A schoolgirl’s secret contract could cost her mother’s soul…

A woman whose pack-rat obsessions hide the obscene…

For these and seven others, the darkness comes from within and without, subtle, deadly…and relentless.

I hope you’ll check these books.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  🙂

Categories: book of the month

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My first novel, ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN, came out ten years ago today. Obviously, this book holds a special place in my life as it was the book that got my writing career going. It seems apt that Thomas and Mercer are releasing a new version (the 3rd in its lifespan) later this year. For those who don’t know what the book is about, here’s the plotline:

Josh Michaels is worth more dead than alive. He just doesn’t know it yet. He has no idea why someone would try to kill him, clearly that’s exactly what happened. When an SUV forced Josh’s car off the road and into a river, it might have been an accident. But when Josh looked up at the road, expecting to see the SUV’s driver rushing to help him, all he saw was the driver watching him calmly…then giving him a “thumbs down” sign. That was merely the first attempt on Josh’s life, all of them designed to look like accidents, and all of them very nearly fatal. With his time—and maybe his luck—running out and no one willing to believe him, Josh had better figure out who wants him dead and why…before it’s too late.

I find it a little spooky that if I hadn’t caught a five minute news piece on the TV about viatical settlements fourteen years ago would have not only led to a book, but that over 100,000 people would buy it. But serendipity is like that. It throws you an opportunity that will have a life of its own.

I think what even odder for this book is how it has grown over the years. First, it was picked up by small press publisher who printed a few thousand copies. The attention it gained at the time helped it land a mass paperback release. That led to a German language translation. Then the eBook success last year caught Thomas & Mercer’s attention and they bought the print and audio rights. Success has been slow, I guess, but it has been sustained. It’ll be interesting to what happens to the book when comes out at the end of the year, because I don’t things have plateaued. I still think there are more things in this book’s future. It seems to have the ability to run and run for some reason.

The book has been revised and updated for this new release. It’s been interesting revisiting the book again. I don’t there’s any such thing as a final draft and I reinforced that belief with this go around. I see how my writing style has changed (and hopefully improved). I revised it when it came out in paperback five years ago and I thought it was set in stone, but yet again, the editors and I made tweaks. I’m a little older and it’s funny to see how I disagree with my younger self. I may be actually becoming a wiser person…or possibly schizophrenic. Only time and a straight jacket will tell.

Anyway I hope more people will discover this book and its longevity continues. In the meantime, please enjoy the changing faces of ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN.

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Some nice press for WORKING STIFFS resulted in a nice sales book and yesterday the book became the bestselling anthology on Amazon.

I’m really pleased for the sudden success. WORKING STIFFS was a break out book for me, so it’s good to see it doing well.

In other news, TERMINATED picked up a really nice review from the nice people over at Juniper Grove. This maintains the string of good reviews for this book. 🙂

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I’m happy to announce the release of a new title: LOWLIFES.

LOWLIFES centers on Larry Hayes, a San Francisco Detective. He thinks his life has already hit rock bottom. He’s lost his family to divorce and he’s clinging to his career by a thread. All this stems from a painkiller addiction he can’t kick that he picked up from an on-the-job injury. But there’s another level for Hayes to fall as he finds out when he wakes up in an alley after a bad trip with no memory of the last four hours. He thinks this is the wakeup call he needs to turn his life around, his problems intensify when he receives a call from a homicide inspector. Hayes’ informant, a homeless man named Noble Jon, lies dead two blocks away, beaten and stabbed. The eerie pang of guilt seeps into Hayes. During his lost four hours, he’s been in a fight. His knuckles are bruised and there’s blood under his fingernails. Is he Jon’s killer? The mounting evidence says so. To add insult to injury, his wife has employed a PI to dig up dirt on him to ensure she gets sole custody of their daughter. Hayes mounts an off-the-books investigation and disappears amongst the city’s homeless community to stay one step ahead of a murder charge.

LOWLIFES is a collaboration between filmmaker, Robert Pratten, and me. LOWLIFES isn’t just a book, it’s also short movie and a blog telling a different facet of the story from different character points of view using various media. The book tells the story from point of view of the protagonist, a San Francisco Police Inspector. The short film gives the viewpoint of a PI investigating the cop. The fictional blog catalogs the thoughts and feelings of the cop’s estranged wife. You don’t have to read/watch all three to understand the story. You can quite simply read the book and not watch the movie and it’ll all make sense—and vice versa.

“Simon Wood, juggling all the media balls here, has created a terrific pulp-fiction piece that reminds us just how easy it is to fall off life’s tightrope.” — SJ Rozan, Edgar Award-winning author

LOWLIFES will play out as a serial. Every day for the next two weeks either a new chapter, movie episode or blog entry will play on the LOWLIFES website. Go to and sign up to receive downloads and reminders.

Thanks and I hope you’ll enjoy the story in all its guises.

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