Simon Wood

Posts Tagged: thriller

More conference news!

On May 14th, I’m going to be a presenter at the Killer Workshop presented by Capital Crimes & Palmetto Sisters in Crime chapters. This is a 1-day virtual & in-person conference. Yes, I will be there in person. After two years of being shut in from the world, I am emerging where I get to see real life people. I think I’ve forgotten what that feels like.

My workshop will be on short stories. If you’d like more details, go here.

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2022 is turning into the year of the conference speaker for me. I, along with Leslie Budewitz and Jessica Brody, will the presenters at a virtual conference on fiction writing on May 14, 2022! It’s put on by the Northwest chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. I will be discussing point-of-view writing. Check out “MWA-NW MAY 2022 MINI CONFERENCE ON CRAFT” and signup here!

I hope to see you there.

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No, SinC-Up! isn’t an NSYNC tribute act. It’s a video series put out by Sisters in Crime. Each week a writer gives a 2-minute writing tip and I am this week’s tipper (or is it tipster)! Anyway, please enjoy this video and the others in the series.

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It’s that time of year, so if you’re looking to give a book for Christmas and you’re going to make it one of mine, bless your heart. If you want to get a book autographed or personalized to that special someone (even if that special someone is you) go to my bookshop. Used the code HOLIDAY10 to get a 10% discount.

Alternatively, I can mail out a bookplate or sign ebooks via Authorgraph.com. Just email me with your requests and I’ll do my best to make it happen. All the details are on the bookshop.

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I’m having a Spring Book Sale.  If you’re looking for an autographed book for yourself or as a gift, I have you covered.  Use code SPRING10 and you’ll get 10% off your order.  Just go to https://simonwood.net/bookshop/ and if there’s an out-of-print title/hardback or any audiobook you’re looking for, drop me a note, as I may have one hidden away.  For the more adventurous among you, you might be interested in one of my famous Mystery Book Boxes.  Whatever you want, just let me know.

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I’m the current guest on the podcast WISH I’D KNOWN THEN… with Jami Albright and Sara Rosett.  Some of the things we discussed included my writing successes, failures and the things I wished I could get a do overs for.  You can listen to the episode below.  I hope you enjoy it

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It’s with a heavy heart that I have to report the movie adaptation of THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY is over. The film company that had been developing it for the last few years pulled the plug last month. The uncertainty COVID-19 has had on the entertainment industry meant it wasn’t financially viable for them to continue under the current circumstances.  It’s a shame as they’d developed a working script after several screenwriters.

I’m disappointed but not surprised. The producer has said she hopes to return to it when the industry turns itself around. Hopefully, someone else will step into the fray.

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THE SCRUBS is another of my supernatural crime stories.  This is also a title of mine which has fallen between the cracks with readers and I hope you will take the time to check it out. I think you’ll find it worth your time.

The Scrubs is what people commonly call Wormwood Scrubs prison, located in west London. It’s an unusual name for a prison, but not as unusual as some in Britain. In Manchester, you’ll find Strangeways prison (although, it has been renamed in recent years because of its bad image). I do like how British prisons have weird names whereas American prisons sound like vacation getaways. Pelican Bay. San Quentin. Soledad. It seems like cruel and unusual punishment to be incarcerated in a place that sounds so idyllic, but I digress.

Wormwood Scrubs was built in the Victorian era and is a typical piece of neo-gothic architecture. The prison strongly resembles a fortress in some ways, except it keeps people in and not out. It’s not very big as prisons go. Less than fifteen hundred people call it home. If you ever take a trip on a Central Line train of the London Underground system, you’ll see the prison as you ride through Acton. If anyone has watched the original version of The Italian Job with Michael Caine, the prison he’s released from is Wormwood Scrubs. But any relationship between the real life prison and the one contained within these pages are purely fictional. I took the prison’s name and its location and ignored everything else.

Anyway, I stopped thinking about Wormwood Scrubs in terms of a name of a prison and started thinking about what the words meant. This is a habit with me. I think about words we all take for granted and break them down. Too often we take words at face value and forget their meanings. Places were named for a reason, not by chance. So I forgot the prison identity and just wondered about Wormwood scrubs. Wormwood is an herbaceous plant. It’s a key ingredient of absinthe. Wormwood oil is poisonous, considered psychoactive and possibly addictive. Wow, what a herb! The word scrubs bolts on nicely onto wormwood. A scrub area or scrubland is an area of stunted vegetation. I wondered whether Wormwood Scrubs the prison had been built on an area of scrubland covered with wormwood.

I liked the concept of a prison built on top of an area covered in a poisonous, psychotropic and addictive plant. It’s just asking for trouble. All we need is a psychotic prisoner with special powers and we’ve got ourselves a story!

I have to admit that THE SCRUBS is a guilty pleasure. It started out as a short story but kept getting bigger as I got caught up in creating this alternate universe for this prison and its inmates. And it’s not going to stop here. They’ll be two more installments—SCRUBBERS and SCRUBLAND. There’s just too much fun to be had playing with THE SCRUBS. Besides, someone has to stop Jeter. I hope you agree and you’ll come back for more.

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