Simon Wood

Posts Tagged: audio book

My first thriller ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN has come of age.  It was first published 18 years ago this month!  This book is very special to me because we’ve been on a quite a journey over that time.  It’s been responsible for a lot of firsts in my writing career:

  • First book I wrote.
  • First published book.
  • First mass paperback release.
  • First book to be translated.
  • First book to sell a 100,000 copies.

When I look over my writing career, this book has been the one that kept me career moving on to the stage. Although first published by a small publishing house, it picked up a lot of good trade reviews which gave me some legitimacy as a writer. That resulted in the book picking up a contract with a New York publisher. When the NY publisher folded during the credit crunch, it was the book to reboot my career I relaunched it as an ebook. The sales success of the ebook resulted in an 8-book deal with a new publisher and a new edition. And if it weren’t for that 8-book deal, I wouldn’t have the success with other books. Wherever I examine my writing career, invariably it all stems back to ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN.

This book about obscure facet of the insurance industry changed my life.  I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for it.  I will forever be in this book’s debt.

If you’d like to learn more about the book, you can learn more here.

Categories: Uncategorized

Read more

My book of the week is my supernatural thriller ROAD RASH. It’s 99c/99p at Amazon in the US and the UK for this week only!!

It’s the story of James Straley, a bank robber 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 by taking 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.

I have a real soft spot for this book.  It was inspired by a trip to Guatemala and a run-in I had with Santeria.  You can read all about my adventure here.

There’s also a great audio edition read by Ed Hunter.  I love Ed’s voice and it’s probably my favorite reading that anyone has done of my books.

It’s available from iTunes, Kobo, B&N, Audible as well as Amazon.  You can find all the links here.

Anyway, I hope you’ll snap up a copy.  I think you’ll enjoy it.

Categories: Uncategorized

Read more

FallGuy audio2I’m happy and pleased to announce the release of the audio edition of THE FALL GUY.  It’s available from the Audible and Apple stores worldwide.  The storyline is:

“Todd Collins has failed in every job he’s ever undertaken, but that all changes when he backs his jalopy in a shiny, new Porsche belonging to a drug dealer. When the police stop the drug dealer for a broken taillight that Todd has caused and discover a cocaine shipment, a West Coast kingpin holds Todd responsible. On the run from organized crime, Todd discovers his true calling when he fights back.”

The audio book is narrated by the wonderful Ed Hunter who read ROAD RASH and LOWLIFES.  Ed does a great job bringing hapless Todd to life.  I hope you’ll give it a listen.

Audible (US)
Audible (UK)
Audible (Australia)

iTunes (US)
iTunes (UK)
iTunes (Canada)
iTunes (Australia)

I hope you enjoy this second title from Dark Wood Books.

Categories: new book

Read more


A little while ago, I had a nice little surprise recently while watching Top Gear. They examined what to do if you crashed your car in a body of water. My ears pricked up at the mention of this because I used that exact situation in my first novel, ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN. In the opening chapter, the lead character is forced off the road and into a river and he has to work out his escape from a rapidly sinking car.

I was interested to see what they discovered to see if I’d guessed right. Whereas Top Gear has the budget to drop a car in pool with a camera crew, I don’t. For the book, I relied on my engineering background for what would happen. I knew there’d external and internal pressures as a car sank and you’d have to be Arnold Schwarzenegger to force open the doors. I also considered that power windows, etc. wouldn’t work either. My solution for escape was a play off what I was taught in flying school. If you ditch in the sea or something, I was told to open the door before impact, because you won’t be able to open them with the water pressing against them. In the book, my character breaks out through the windows before the car has a chance to submerge. This goes against conventional advice of sticking with the car while it sinks, let the car fill up with water and when the pressure has equalized, let yourself out. If this proved right, there was a rewrite on the books.

Well, my escape theory proved right and conventional advice didn’t work. I was very proud of myself. Yay me!!!

The practice test proved that it took a long time for the pressure to equalize and you would most likely run out of breath before then.

If you’d like to see how it all went, please watch the video clips.

Consider this blog entry a Public Service Announcement. My advice is to have something in the car to break the windows should you ever end up in the water. You want to get out as soon as possible. 🙂

Categories: book of the month shelf life

Read more

I suppose I’m a little different to most writers when it comes to experiencing their own work. While most, I’m sure, want to see their book in print, I want to hear it. I prefer to listen to a book being read than reading it myself. This is in part because I’m dyslexic and I’m a shocking reader with a terrible comprehension levels. My comprehension level ranks in the second percentile for adults. Essentially my eyes are quick to deceive, but ears aren’t. I take in far more listening to people than reading, so the rise in audio book production especially in the last twenty-five years has been a godsend. Nothing makes me happier than picturing a fictional world as I listen to a book.

However, dyslexia isn’t solely to blame for my love of audio books. A few others have their influence. My parents for one. They read bedtime stories to me as toddler. My primary school teacher, Miss Pepper, for another. She read a chapter from a book every afternoon. I’ll be forever in her debt for introducing my classmates and me to The Hobbit, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Stig of the Dump, Nanny McPhee, and Danny, Champion of the World. Finally, BBC Radio 4 is responsible for turning me into a spoken word junkie with their original plays and unabridged readings. It’s still my ambition to have something play on Radio 4. I really need someone to make that happen. Someone, get on that.

So it’s somewhat ironic (or bloody annoying) that my own books have taken so long to find their way onto CD and etc. I’ve had a few of my short stories produced in the past, but never my books—until now that is. I have a glut of audio titles coming out now. Brilliance has just put out six of my titles on CD. Audible is currently producing DID NOT FINISH and HOT SEAT. And ROAD RASH is in the process of being recorded. I have to say it’s pretty cool hearing someone bring my stories to life. Finally, the voices in my head have an actual voice now.

So the big question for you is that I’m listening to me, but are you listening to me? 🙂

Categories: shelf life

Read more

baby TOTGAI witnessed the birth of my sixteenth child a week last Sunday.  Although it’s my sixteenth baby, I’m just excited to see it as the first one.  THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY weighed in at 10oz and 8 inches long from head to toe.  Not a bad size and weight all things considered.  For an author, I don’t think there’s a smell like it.  It’s a combination of fresh paper and glue that hasn’t had the chance to breathe in the air.

Although I joke, bringing a book into the world isn’t much different from bringing a child into the world, although I won’t have to send it to college or pay for its wedding.  There’s the conception—that first spark of passion when the idea for the book is born.  The excitement builds as the story grows from an idea into a story and the page count swells.  It’s not long before it actually possesses a shape resembling the embryo manuscript.  The editing process refines its shape and it starts to resemble the story I wanted to make.  Then before I know it, it’s reached the end of its first trimester.

Then my baby enters a tricky stage as I search for a publisher and/or agent to assist with the birth.  This can be a long and treacherous route filled with disappointment and setbacks, but I always have faith regardless of the passage of time.  I know it has to happen.  It’s happened before.  And it does.  Someone shares my love for my book and offers a contract that carries my baby through to its final trimester.

TOTGAThis is the most nervous of times.  Everything looks sound enough, but I’ve experienced things going wrong.  Publishers can change their mind.  Circumstances can change.  And I have to keep a careful eye on developments.  But with little one, there were no such troubles.  Compared to some of my children (I’m looking at you WE ALL FALL DOWN), this book went to term with few problems.  It arrived on the day they told me.

Now that THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY is born—and did I mention it’s a fine looking kid—I still have a lot of work to do.  Like any proud father, I have to show this baby off.  Anyone and everyone who stops for more than two seconds is going to hear about how wonderful my baby is.  I know it may bore some, but I can’t help it.  I really love this one.  This isn’t to say that I like this one any better than the others.  Well, that’s what I tell my other books.

And what kind of father would I be if I didn’t break out the baby pictures?  So here’s a picture of baby THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY.

So it’s cigars all round and I hope you’ll enjoy the bambino as much as I do.

Categories: book of the month shelf life

Read more


TOTGAI am a proud father all over again in that I am happy to announce the official release of my new thriller, THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY.  The back jacket blurb goes a little like this.

“Graduate students Zoë and Holli only mean to blow off some steam on their road trip to Las Vegas. But something goes terribly wrong on their way home, and the last time Zoë sees her, Holli is in the clutches of a sadistic killer. Zoë flees with her life, changed forever.

A year later and still tortured with guilt, Zoë latches on to a police investigation where the crime eerily resembles her abduction. Along with a zealous detective, she retraces the steps of that fateful night in the desert, hoping that her memory will return and help them find justice for Holli. Her abductor—labeled the “Tally Man” by a fascinated media—lies in wait for Zoë. For him, she is not a survivor but simply the one that got away.”

You don’t have to take my word for it, the books picked up some nice blurbs:

“Simon Wood’s THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY turns the serial killer convention upside down in a genuinely suspenseful novel.”
—Charlaine Harris, author of THE DAY SHIFT

“Wrenchingly intense–the talented Simon Wood goes psychologically dark and deeply disturbing.  For those who like their thrillers twisty, shocking, and relentless.”  
—Hank Phillippi Ryan, author of TRUTH BE TOLD

“Zoe Sutton is one of the most compelling, interesting, and complex heroine’s I’ve read in a long time.”
—Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of NOTORIOUS

“Marvelously nerve-wracking, The One That Got Away is a wicked roller-coaster of suspense that paints a realistic picture of a serial murderer and Zoë Sutton, the one prey that got away.”
—Gayle Lynds, New York Times best-selling author of THE BOOK OF SPIES

We’ve picked up some early online reviews:

Quiet Fury
Will Kill For A Story
Carol Taylor Reviews

It’s available in paperback, as an eBook, on CD and as an audio download.  I hope you like it and please, please, spread the word by sharing this post and annoying family, friends and strangers.  Word of mouth is everything.

Thanks for listening.

Categories: book of the month hump day post

Read more

A couple of years, an audio book company bought the rights to a couple of original stories of mine.  Sadly, the company went bust a little while ago, but I bought the recordings before deletion.  The stories are quite different.  TENTHS OF A SECOND is a Twilight Zone-style story whil FATHER FIGURE is a Hitchcock Presents style story. Which is a good thing as these shows formed my storytelling sensibilities.  🙂

TENTHS OF A SECOND: Martin Warwick is a down on his luck racecar driver. His only accolade is to make the other drivers look good with his mediocre performances.  It’s not that Martin is a bad driver. He’s just not had the breaks.  He needs a better sponsor which would get him a better car and a little luck to put him ahead of the pack.  The break comes in the form of the mysterious Mallory.  He doesn’t have money or connections.  He has a device to make Martin and any car he drives better.

When your hopes and dreams are just outside of your grasp, you’re willing to do anything, regardless of the consequences.  Martin is about to find out what the price of fame really costs—and he’s willing to pay it gladly.

FATHER FIGURE: Childs is a son of a bitch and a bastard—literally as well as figuratively—but what he really is, is a small time con man.  He’s about to upgrade to the big time and go after the score of his life by bilking the software mogul, Charles Reston, out of every penny he can get. He’s going to do it by convincing Reston that he’s his illegitimate son, which shouldn’t be too hard as the billionaire is his father. However, the problem with the long con is that you get a little too close to your mark…especially when you’re looking for a father figure.

Neither of the stories have appeared in any other format, so if you’d like to listen to them, they are available to download here.  I hope you’ll give them a listen.  They’re fun stories and are nicely read.



Categories: Uncategorized

Read more

GOOD NEWS!! I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, but I am happy to announce that StoryHouse will be publishing two of my short storiesTHE FRAME MAKER and PATHFINDERas a special two-story ebook and audiobook.
THE FRAME MAKER was an Anthony Award Finalist in 2012 and PATHFINDER is a brand new tale.
It’ll be a fun showcase of my story it was discussed with the editor: THE FRAME MAKER is an Alfred Hitchcock Presents story and PATHFINDER could have been a Twilight Zone episode.
The book should be out at the end of spring.

Categories: Uncategorized

Read more

I’m very happy to announce that the German language rights to my crime caper, THE FALL GUY, have been picked up for print, electronic and audio editions. It’s the story of Todd Collins. He’s failed in every job he’s ever undertaken, but that all changes when he backs his jalopy in a shiny, new Porsche belonging to a drug dealer. When the police stop the drug dealer for a broken taillight that Todd has caused and discover a cocaine shipment, a West Coast kingpin holds Todd responsible. On the run from organized crime, Todd discovers his true calling.

This story has gone from strength to strength in recent years.  It first started off life as a short story called FENDER BENDER.  A publisher liked the story so much that we build the concept for my short story collection around it for WORKING STIFFS.  The editor gave me one instruction: develop FENDER BENDER into a much larger story—and THE FALL GUY was born as a short novel. Author, Scott Nicholson, urged me to release it as a standalone piece and I’m in his debt because it took off an eBook and Comet Press picked it for a paperback release. So I’m especially pleased to see it get secure its first translation contract.

I don’t have a release date for the German edition, but I’m hoping it will be before the end of the year.  At the moment, translators are being auditioned for the job.  This is always interesting to see how a translator will bring the story to life in their native tongue.  I wish I was fluent in German to see how the story will be finessed from English to German.  One thing I’m pretty sure of is that the title will change.  All my translated books have come out with totally different titles.  ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN became ABGEZOCKT(aka Scorched or Burned in English) and the Turkish edition of WE ALL FALL DOWNcame out as DEATH SONG.  So I’m intrigued to know what THE FALL GUY becomes.  J

I don’t know what the future hold for this story, but I hope it keeps on growing.  I think Todd is owed that much.

Categories: Uncategorized

Read more