Simon Wood

Posts Tagged: new series

NO SHOW’s Terry Sheffield is a bit of a hopeless romantic.  I mean the man crossed an ocean for love.  So naturally, he’s the kind of guy who’d make a mix tape (am I dating myself?) for that special girl in his life.  So based on his experiences, here’s what I expect to find on his NO SHOW playlist:

1.       Breakfast in America” – Supertramp
2.       Sara(h)” – Fleetwood Mac
3.       Ain’t No Sunshine (When She’s Gone)” – Bill Withers
4.       Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd
5.       Lies” – The Black Keys
6.       She’s Not There” – The Zombies
7.       Revenge” – Sparklehorse
8.       Hold Your Tongue” – Jump Little Children
9.       Cold As Ice” – Foreigner
10.   Rescue Me” – Fontella Bass
11.   American Woman” – Guess Who
12.   I Will Follow You Into The Dark” – Death Cab for Cutie
13.   Trouble” – Ray LaMontagne 
14.   Psycho Killer” – Talking Heads
15.   Oscar Mayer Bologna” – Daniel Bedingfield

Readers of the book should recognize the significance of these songs and song titles, so if you have suggestions for Terry, call them out.  I’m sure Terry will appreciate it.  🙂

Categories: shelf life

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I’m rounding out my features on NO SHOW today, I’m sure you’ve heard enough about the book, so I thought I’d make it a fun one.  I guess we think of ourselves as worldly—and why not.  The world is at our fingertips.  Things happen instantly.  Communication with anyone on the planet is just a dial up away.  Our cultures have merged.  We live in the global village.  But sometimes we’re reminded that we’re not as worldly as we like to think we are.  Some people’s misconceptions about Britain I find amusing and I incorporated some of these into Terry Sheffield’s life for NO SHOW—something that annoyed a reader as being improbable.  Oh, I beg to differ.  I’ve been asked some odd things over the years, so here are a few things that have been said to me in all sincerity over the years.  Enjoy!

“Do you have Christmas in your country?” (A coworker asked me this).

“Let me get this right—you’re English and she’s American and you’re married—is that legal?” (A waitress in a Sizzler quizzed Julie and me on this).

“Why don’t you people have the same holidays as us?” (A former boss annoyed that Easter is a four-day holiday in Britain).

“You are officially our ‘metric’ guy?” (Said by a former supervisor).

“Do you celebrate the 4th of July in your country?” (A friend of Julie’s at a party).

“So you’re telling me that England, Britain and the United Kingdom aren’t the same thing?” (A lot people are confused by the subtle nuisances on this subject).

“Are you Australian?”  (This is the most asked question I get.  Sorry Australians.  I swear I’m not doing it on purpose).

I hope you’ve enjoyed at the various insights into what made NO SHOW and that it’s enticed you into picking up a copy. But if need a little more arm twisting, here are some reviews and the first four chapters:


Publishers Weekly
OmniMystery News
Over My Dead Body
Book reviewer,
Elizabeth A White


Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four

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The inspiration for No Show began with a real life incident that happened fifteen years ago today.  When I came to the US, it was for love (yes, awww…).  I had met an American girl in Costa Rica and we hit it off.  We carried things on after Costa Rica.  Every few months we would meet up in a different country. After a couple of years of this, we decided to take things to the next stage and settle in the same country as husband and wife.  I was the one with the fewest attachments, so I made the decision to leave England for America.  I left my job, sold my house, reduced my possessions down to what I could pack into a couple of bags and jumped on a plane.

I arrived at San Francisco International airport very excited at the prospect of a new life in a new country.  I entered the arrivals lounge expecting to see Julie with a ‘Welcome to America’ sign or some such thing.  Instead I saw a sea of strangers’ faces.  Julie wasn’t there.  I was disappointed not to see her, but I knew Bay Area traffic could be rough and guessed she was stuck in it.  The smart thing was to wait in arrivals because she’d be there in a minute.

Then the minutes piled up and my imagination began to churn.  There was late and there was late.  Had she gotten cold feet and changed her mind?  It was possible.  We were taking a huge leap of faith.  Had she had an accident?  If she had, I had no way of finding out.  And regardless of the outcome, what was I going to do now?

And this was where things got a little tricky.  I hadn’t concerned myself with the minutia of such details as bringing her address or her phone number.  I didn’t need to worry about such things, as Julie was my guide in the US the same way I was her guide in the UK. 

Just as panic was sinking its teeth into me, Julie arrived an hour or so late and full of apologies for the hideous traffic.  I’d arrived on a day when three events were taking place at the same time in the city.

Crisis over.  Disaster averted.  OverdramaNoShow2tic imagination quelled.

Well, not quite.  Our missed connection taught me a valuable lesson—have a Plan B, because I hadn’t realized until that moment how carried away I was with the romance of what I was doing.  I suddenly became aware of how little homework I’d done for myself.  I didn’t know how America worked. 

The bigger question my overactive imagination kicked up was—what would I have done if Julie hadn’t turned up.  Got the next flight home?  Looked for her?  As these thoughts piled up on each other, I saw how unprepared I was for my new life.  I’d put all my faith in Julie and if something had happened to her, I was a lost.  Was this naïve of me?  Yes, but we take our eye off the ball sometimes.

When it comes to my books, I like to put characters in difficult circumstances.  Naturally, my thoughts came back to my first day in the US.  No Show gave me the chance to play with my neurosis and the paranoia of that day and explore the worst possible outcome—my wife going missing.

As for real life, Julie and I will have been married fifteen years at the end of this year and she’s yet to go missing on me.

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Mini-golf plays a part in NO SHOW.  It’s not something you expect to see in a mystery novel, but if I’m anything, it’s unconventional.

I have no interest in traditional golf, but I do love mini-golf!  It’s where Indiana Jones meets the game, making it a far superior game than ordinary golf.  Any idiot with a club can bang a ball 200 yards across an open field, but it takes real skill to get a ball in the hole after getting it through a windmill or around a castle.
Mini-golf was something I played as a wee one and stopped playing once my voice broke.  That changed when I moved to the US, where I found mini-golf is a staple of every kiddie arcade I came across.  One of the things about living away from home is nostalgia kicks in because you’ve yet to develop any touchstones in your new country, so you turn to the familiar and the comforting.  For me, my nostalgic touchstone was mini-golf.  
Since rediscovering my love of mini-golf, I’ve become somewhat of a connoisseur of mini-golf courses and Julie and I make a point of playing it wherever we travel.  Some of the standouts for us have been a “glow in the dark” course in Hawaii, a course on the edge of a graveyard in New Zealand and probably my favorite, a technically challenging course with actual water features in Seattle. 

The one course that really struck a chord with me was a gold-mine themed course outside of Sacramento which was partially subterranean for several holes.  Sadly, it closed down a few years ago and I don’t know if it even still stands.  I hope so, because it formed the basis of The Gold Rush, which is the fictional course that’s featured in NO SHOW and I’d love to get some photos of it for my records.

Some authors have book signings at stores.  I’m thinking I should have them at a mini-golf course.  If I did, would you want to play a round with me?  🙂

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Well, the day has arrived. My new book NO SHOW is released today!  It’s the first book in what I hope will become a long running series featuring Terry Sheffield.  What that series will be about, you’ll have to read the book.  But here’s what NO SHOW is all about:

 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.

The book is available in paperback, as an eBook and on audio.  You can find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Audible and all the usual suspects.  I hope you’ll pick up a copy and spread the word.

Over the next month, I’ll share stories about the book’s storylines, characters and inspirations.

Categories: Uncategorized

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