Simon Wood

Posts Tagged: THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

I’m very topic driven when it comes to my books. I latch onto an issue, it becomes the basis of a conflict and a book is born from there. With THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, survivor guilt was the driving force behind the story. It was a subject that had been in my head for awhile. I had the beginning of the story—two women are abducted and one of the women is given an unenviable decision—attempt a futile rescue or leave her friend in order to escape. My heroine in this case, Zoë Sutton, weighs up the odds and runs, but her life is forever tarnished by that selfish, yet logical decision.

That was the crux of the story, but I had to decide where to go from there. I knew little about the topic of survivor guilt, but at the time I was under the care of a neuropsychologist for a head injury and subsequent memory loss after crashing on my bike. I mentioned that I wanted to talk to someone about survivor guilt.

“Go to the VA.”

“But the book isn’t about soldiers.”

“Doesn’t matter. If you want to learn about post traumatic stress disorder, then go to the VA.”

I was introduced to a psychologist who counseled veterans of various conflicts going all the way back to Vietnam. I outlined the basic premise of the book and opened with a question that outlined my basic ignorance and sat back and listened. The great beauty about in-person interviews is that I don’t have any idea where they’ll go, other than nowhere where I thought.

I thought I had an idea of what survivor guilt and PTSD were but it was a good example of an outsider’s perspective. Our long and lengthy discussions got into the meat of the subject. Some of the common afflictions affecting people include sobriety, impulse behavior, isolationism, arrogance, and contempt to name a few. I’ve attempted to incorporate these behaviors into Zoë’s character which also helped drive the plot.

As I tried to absorb this information, I couldn’t help but marvel at this condition where people feel shame for surviving. You fight for your life and win, but your mind discounts the win and obsesses on the loss. The survivor takes on the emotional weight and responsibility for those who didn’t make it and it’s just too big a burden for him/her to bear. The result is that the survivor drives themselves to destruction either directly by throwing themselves into similar conflicts or indirectly through substance abuse and depression. This has to be the most paradoxical illness on the books.

But it’s this paradoxical thinking is what drew me to write about the topic. Ten years ago I was undergoing first responder disaster training. One of the modules dealt with the psychological effects of rescuing the dead and dying; making life and death decisions for total strangers. Then they told us the suicide rate for first responders and it was quite scary. A friend of mine who is both an author and veteran recently posted a stat about returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Almost four times as many veterans have taken their lives since coming home than those who died in battle. There’s not a lot I can say to that other than we’re strange and complex creatures who don’t always make sense.

I hope with THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY I’ve made an entertaining read but at the same time, I’ve shined a light on a subject that most of us aren’t really cognizant of. If you read the book, I encourage you to let me know what you think.

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There’s a 2nd edition of La Ragazza Senza Passato (The Italian version of THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY) from Newton Compton with a slightly tweaked cover.

Hopefully, they’ll remember to send me a copy.

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With the release of my latest SAVING GRACE, Amazon is doing a number of promotions to support the book.  You can pick up a bunch of my titles on the cheap so why not take advantage.  This is what is on the docket:

PAYING THE PIPER: In the forerunner to SAVING GRACE, The Piper is the infamous child kidnapper. When the Piper selected crime reporter, Scott Fleetwood, to chronicle his latest kidnapping, Scott thought he had the world in his grasp, but he held nothing. Now, eight years later, the Piper’s back, with very specific targets in mind—Scott’s children. He can have them back as long as he can pay the ransom, but it’s a ransom not measured in dollars, but in blood.

Just £1.00 at Amazon UK

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: Zoë and Holli’s Vegas road trip goes wrong when they’re abducted. Zoë escapes leaving Holli behind. A year later and still tortured with guilt, Zoë latches on to a murder that eerily resembles her abduction. Her attempts to find justice for Holli brings her to the attention of the “Tally Man.” For him, she is not a survivor but simply the one that got away.

Just $1.99 at Amazon

DECEPTIVE PRACTICES: Do you have a cheating spouse? Has counseling failed? Want to get even? Then hire Infidelity Limited to teach them a lesson. That’s the pitch Olivia Shaw bought into. When her husband is killed, she discovers that Infidelity Limited is far more dangerous than she ever believed. Now the prime suspect in her husband’s slaying, she has only one option—take down Infidelity Limited.

Just $1.99 at Amazon

NO SHOW: 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… When Terry reports his wife as missing, 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 before the killer does, Terry must explore the dark recesses of his new homeland and rely on the help of some new friends. But as his search brings him closer to finding Sarah, Terry realizes she’s very different from the woman he thought he married.

Just $0.99 at Amazon

If you’ve not tried any of my books before this might be the place to start.  For my long time readers, I hope you’ll continue to support my books and me.  Please as always share this post and share often.  Thanks for reading.

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I am happy to announce the release of the mass paperback edition L’évadée from French publisher City Editions. How to describe the book? I’ll let the publisher do that…

Récemment diplômées, les étudiantes Zoé et Holli prennent la route pour Las Vegas afin de décompresser et de profiter de la vie. Mais les choses tournent mal. Les deux jeunes femmes sont enlevées par un psychopathe que la presse surnomme « le Numéroteur ». In extremis, Zoé parvient à s’évader. Mais pour elle la vie a changé et rien ne sera plus comme avant. Tourmentée par les remords d’avoir laissé son amie entre les mains du tueur, Zoé tente de retrouver des pans effacés de sa mémoire et d’obtenir que justice soit faite pour Holli. Quand elle apprend qu’un crime qui ressemble à son propre enlèvement vient d’être commis, elle décide de se lancher sur les traces de son bourreau. Mais « le Numéroteur » est lui aussi à l’affût de Zoé. Pour lui, ce n’est pas une survivante, mais simplement celle qui s’est échappée… pour un temps.

Terrifiant et machiavélique : un thriller insoutenable.

I do like the tagline they’ve given the book. So if you’re French or know someone, I hope you’ll check it out.

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November has quite a few bargain books for you to enjoy for my American, British, Australian & German friends.  Here they all are!!

PAYING THE PIPER: The Piper is the infamous child kidnapper. When the Piper selected crime reporter, Scott Fleetwood, to chronicle his latest kidnapping, Scott thought he had the world in his grasp, but he held nothing.  Now, eight years later, the Piper’s back, with very specific targets in mind—Scott’s children. He can have them back as long as he can pay the ransom, but it’s a ransom not measured in dollars, but in blood.

Just $1.99 at Amazon.com

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: Zoë and Holli’s Vegas road trip goes wrong when they’re abducted. Zoë escapes leaving Holli behind. A year later and still tortured with guilt, Zoë latches on to a murder that eerily resembles her abduction. Her attempts to find justice for Holli brings her to the attention of the “Tally Man.” For him, she is not a survivor but simply the one that got away.

Just 99p at Amazon UK & $1.49 at Amazon Australia

RACHE IST BITTER: The Piper is the infamous child kidnapper. When the Piper selected crime reporter, Scott Fleetwood, to chronicle his latest kidnapping, Scott thought he had the world in his grasp, but he held nothing.  Now, eight years later, the Piper’s back, with very specific targets in mind—Scott’s children. He can have them back as long as he can pay the ransom, but it’s a ransom not measured in dollars, but in blood.

Just 2,99 Eur at Amazon DE

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I’ve got some good news on the translation front.  Newton Compton has bought the Italian rights to PAYING THE PIPER for a hardback release.  This is my second book with them.  And Limos has bought the Turkish rights to THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY.   This is my first book with them, although my second Turkish book, so I hope this is the start of something good with Limos.

I love that my books get translated across the world.  It’s amazing to think people around the world get to discover my stories.  There are some countries that I still hope will pick up my books.  I’m looking at you Japan and Sweden.  🙂

Here’s hoping…

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THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY has racked up another milestone in its amazing history.  My publisher Thomas & Mercer informed me that Zoe Sutton’s first thriller has crossed 400,000 copies sold mark.  This book’s juggernaut progress has been stunning.  Thanks to everyone who bought the book and if haven’t read it, this might be the time to start.

T&M have said they are sending me something to mark the occasion.  I’m hoping it’s a dollar for every book sold…

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June has quite a few bargain books for you to enjoy.  Here they all are!!

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: Zoë and Holli’s Vegas road trip goes wrong when they’re abducted. Zoë escapes leaving Holli behind. A year later and still tortured with guilt, Zoë latches on to a murder that eerily resembles her abduction. Her attempts to find justice for Holli brings her to the attention of the “Tally Man.” For him, she is not a survivor but simply the one that got away.

Just $2.00 at Amazon

NO SHOW: Englishman Terry Sheffield has just arrived in San Francisco to start his new life with Sarah, a journalist he married after a transatlantic love affair. When she never shows up at the airport, Terry discovers she’s on the run from a killer with a grudge. To find her before the killer does, Terry realizes she’s very different from the woman he thought he married.  FUN FACT: The day I arrived in the US inspired this book.

Just $1.49 at Amazon

ASKING FOR TROUBLE: The road to crime begins with a single decision—the wrong one.  Not every decision belongs to the criminally minded.  Some belong to the ill-informed, the weak and the plain unlucky.  In these tales, trouble isn’t an indiscriminate force of nature.  It’s a manmade occurrence that comes when called upon.

Just $1.49 at Amazon

I sincerely hope you’re tempted to pick these up.  I don’t think you’ll be sorry. Enjoy!!

Categories: shelf life

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