Simon Wood

Posts Tagged: we all fall down

Today is a special and important day for me as this is book launch day and it’s no ordinary book launch. This is because I don’t have one book out today, but six! Thomas and Mercer have come out with revised and updated versions of some of my earlier titles: ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN, PAYING THE PIPER, WE ALL FALL DOWN, TERMINATED, ASKING FOR TROUBLE and DRAGGED INTO DARKNESS. The books are not only out in paperback, but they’re also available as audio books (thanks to Brilliance Audio). Thomas and Mercer has put some serious weight behind these books which is great for me. 🙂

Thomas and Mercer will be launching the first in a new series of crime novels next year. Expect NO SHOW in June. In the meantime, this is what is on bookshelves today.


Crime reporter Scott Fleetwood’s children have been abducted, and he’ll pay any amount of money to get them back. The problem is, the kidnapper doesn’t want money — he wants blood.


Low marks on a performance evaluation drive a disgruntled employee berserk, igniting a campaign of terror against his female supervisor.


Josh Michaels has a price on his head and someone is looking to cash in. To find out why, Josh will have to confront his past…and expose an insidious plot to cancel his future.


Hayden Duke thinks good luck has struck when he lands a design job for a top-secret client and reconnects with an old college friend, but things go horribly awry when coworkers start dropping like flies.


In this darkly entertaining collection of crime stories, the path to ruin begins with a single — sometimes well-intentioned, sometimes ill-informed — wrong decision.


In the tradition of The Twilight Zone, these eleven eerie short stories explore the inescapable pull of darker, deadlier realities on the lives of ordinary people.

You can pick up any and all of these books at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Brilliance Audio, Audible and other bookstores. I do have a favor to ask. If you’ve read these books or are going to read these books, post a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. Word of mouth is gold, but also as new editions, these books are starting over from scratch when it comes to reader reviews.

I’d also really appreciate it you’d help get the word out because I’d like to go big and not go home. So please retweet this or post this on Facebook or whatever you cool kids do with the social media. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a copy or two for friends, enemies and casual acquaintances. It is the holiday season. 🙂

Categories: shelf life

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I have good news to announce. I’ve signed an eight book contract with Thomas and Mercer. They will be republishing my Dorchester thrillers and two of my short story collections and two new novels. And for all those people that have been asking, this deal includes an audio deal with Brilliance and This has been a deal long in the making, so I’m glad that everything has been squared away. Anyway, here’s the official announcement:

Anthony Award winner and author of more than a dozen books and over one hundred short stories, Simon Wood’s new titles, INFIDELITY LIMITED, about a violent Ponzi scheme a twice-widowed woman falls prey to, and THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, in which a young woman must choose whether to save herself or save her friend when the two are abducted, and the terrifying consequences of her decision, as well as six backlist titles, ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN, PAYING THE PIPER, WE ALL FALL DOWN, TERMINATED, ASKING FOR TROUBLE, and DRAGGED INTO DARKNESS, to Andrew Bartlett at Thomas & Mercer, by Amy Rennert at the Amy Rennert Agency.

The books will start appearing in November.

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Read more compiles a weekly list of independently published ebooks and WE ALL FALL DOWN has made the Top 10 for the second week in a row. Well done to the little fella.

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This is the cover of the Turkish edition of WE ALL FALL DOWN which they renamed DEATH SONG. It’s quite a handsome looking fellow. If you have any Turkish friends, tell them it’s in bookstores now. 🙂

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I’m going to go off course this week when it comes to all things We All Fall Down. Instead discussing the story’s background, I’m going with a “Behind the Music” kind of tale relating to the making of what is the most troubled book I ever wrote. Except, I’m not sure where to start. The beginning would be a good place, but this tale has so many beginnings and even more bad endings. I suppose the problem is that there are so many themes going on here—stick-with-it-ness, bad luck, determination, dealing with setbacks, and never accepting no as an answer just to name a few. I think there may even be an ancient code left behind by a renaissance painter, but I could be wrong. Anyhoo, there’s a lot going on here, so sit back and prepare to be dazzled.

I completed a book called We All Fall Down in early 2000. It was a suspense thriller based on a couple of news items that I smooshed them together. I didn’t have a track record at the time in publishing, so I went from agents and editors collecting rejection letters with some aplomb. Then I struck gold in October 2001 when a small press publisher picked up the book. Yahoo, I was going to get published. Small presses are delicate creatures and vulnerable. Things looked fine at the beginning, but I’d arrived to the party late. Cash flow was drying up. Delays ensued. The book slipped from a 2003 release date to 2004 and that wasn’t certain. The release was dependent on a number of factors outside of my control. I could feel my story going cold on the shelf. In late 2003, I made a decision that left me sick to my stomach. I asked to be released from my contract. The publisher hadn’t published a book in a year and mine was still pending. It was the right thing to do, but it felt like suicide. I had a book contract and I killed it. What an idiot!?!

The decision hurt and to be quite honest, it left me depressed. It was my fault. My mess. A waste of two years of my life and the book’s life. My funk was reinforced when I tried to resell the book. I came up against a wall. Suddenly, after 9/11, the book was in bad taste. I wrote how easy it would be to launch a major terrorist attack if someone had the audacity. Then one happened. It looked as if I was trying to follow a trend, instead of foreseeing one.

I don’t like the idea of practice books—manuscripts the writer has no intention of selling. Every book is a practice book. I learn from every word I write. But I was coming to the conclusion that We All Fall Down would become a practice book and I would have to consign it to trunk status. But then a miracle happened. I met another small press in the spring of 2003. I approached them on a whim at the beginning of 2004. They loved We All Fall Down and paid me an advance. Lots of good things were happening with them that gave me confidence that this was a winner. I felt like a winner. My confidence returned. My decision to walk away from my original publisher was validated.

Cover art was commissioned. Editing began. A schedule for release was outlined. Then progress slipped. The timeline took on a Daliesque quality. The May release became September, then ’05. All the signs were there that this publisher was going through a familiar crash and burn. It got to the stage where I had to ask point-blank, “is this book ever going to be published?” After some squirming I received an honest answer. No, the book wouldn’t be coming out.

I couldn’t believe it. It was now 2005 and the book was dead in the water again almost six years after I had begun the first draft. My familiar funk returned. I kept on writing other things, of course, but We All Fall Down kept dragging me down. It was a damn albatross driving me onto the rocks. I’d pretty much given up hope on the book, but things were changing. Luck was being kind to me. I’d sold Working Stiffs, so I dusted off We All Fall Down and sent it out to yet another small press publisher who’d expressed an interest in reading something. Around Christmas 2005, they asked to publish it. Finally, the book was going to be coming out, but before the contract could even be signed a scandal hit the publisher. Accusations flew around. The publisher’s rep was toast and the publisher’s elastic publishing schedule was going to stretch even more. The writing was on the wall yet again. The book was dead. Even if they published the book, it would be tarnished by their bad rep.

It’s easy to say, I was pissed off with the whole affair. It’s bloody hard to sell a book these days and to sell it three times and never have it see the light of day is cruel and unusual punishment of the most twisted kind. The publishing gods were just being mean at this point.

But I’ve been riding a wave of good fortune to make up for a number of disappointments over the last few years. Getting picked up by Dorchester has opened a number of doors for me. I feel some real traction at the moment. I’m moving forward towards my goals. If I’m moving forward why can’t We All Fall Down come with me? I dusted the manuscript off and looked at it. It’s now seven years old and it looks it. The prose was a little flaky at the corners. The plot was sun bleached. There’s something stuck to one of the characters and it had gone green. If I put it on the high seas, it’d sink. But underneath the dirt and grime, there’s a good story underneath. It was going to take a lot of work to get it looking new, fast and sleek, but it was doable. I rewrote the thing from top to bottom, ditched the 9/11 aspects of the story (because it seemed in bad taste). I talked to my then, Dorchester, about it and they said yes. We All Fall Down appeared in mass paperback in 2007. Sadly, Dorchester hit the financial skids a year ago and the book disappeared from bookshelves. A friend remarked that this book was my doomsday book because every publisher who has touched is no more. That’s phooey…I hope.

This story is a testament to many things—belief being the prime one. I never stopped believing in the story. I can be flippant, but my stories mean a lot to me. I had a man down and I wasn’t leaving my soldier behind. Also this story may be cursed to those who publish it, just not those who read it. Go on, read it, I promise nothing will happen to you.

Categories: book of the month

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I saw my author-friend, Tony Broadbent, not too long ago. We hail from the same hometown back in the old country. We got to chatting and he gave me a pat on the head and told me, “You’re like the Gary Oldman of the mystery world.”

Gary Oldman is one of my favorite actors, but I wasn’t sure of the correlation and asked, “Is that a good thing?”

“Yes,” he exclaimed. “There’s a lot of anarchy in your writing.”

How subversive, I thought. I’m a rebel without an agenda. Mother will be delighted.

Well, the little exchange got me thinking about my writing. I don’t think people hit the keyboards with an agenda or a theme tucked under their arm—or if they do, it sort of sticks out. Agendas and themes develop on a subconscious level. Well, they do for me. I don’t go out of my way to put a slant on my stories. I just try to entertain, but inadvertently, I show a little leg now and again. So, I looked for the anarchy. And I think I saw it in the shape of conflict.

Stories require conflict. It’s a driving force that characters and stories thrive on, especially in mysteries and thrillers. The nature of the genre means there are going to be casualties and collateral damage. So, I like to inject my stories with a lot of conflict. The problem is that I’m quite a literal person and I think about things in very pure terms. Blame my engineering background. When I think conflict, I think about it in its most basic of meanings—total annihilation. Everything my lead character holds dear is under attack. I create this person so that I can destroy them. I place them and their world in an ivory tower, then go about stacking as much C4 explosive around the foundation as possible to blast it all apart. It only seems fair, doesn’t it? Conflict by its nature is salt to a wound. Character assassination is key for me. Only by putting everything in a protagonist’s world at extreme risk can the character grow. There can’t be a comfort zone or a safe haven for this person. Wouldn’t you want to read about a character in a situation like that?

I flicked through some of my stories to see what I did to my characters and the annihilation is always there. Characters are put through the wringer and their lives will never be the same. The theme is there in We All fall Down. The story’s protagonist, Hayden , has every facet of his life attacked. His career is destroyed. Friends will die. Others will die if he doesn’t act. The authorities will see him as the bad guy. His life will never be the same and there will have to be a lot of rebuilding by the end, but he’ll be a stronger and more courageous person for it. And what was the flashpoint for all this carnage? Taking a job with the wrong people at the wrong time.

So I guess I do have anarchistic bent. Sorry. It wasn’t intentional. It’s just the way I tell ‘em.

Yours destructively,

Categories: book of the month

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It’s a new month and that means a new book. The month of May will be dedicated to my thriller, We All Fall Down. It’s the story of being in the wrong place at the wrong. Here’s a little preview of the book.

Hayden Duke is a young man on the fast track. He’s just signed on with Marin Design Engineering to work on a very high-level project. But before Hayden started, one of MDE’s employee’s committed suicide. And he’s not the only one. Is it the pressure? Or is there some other connection? Has Hayden Duke just put himself on the fast track to an early death?

What They Are Saying About We All Fall Down:

“Action packed and intelligent, We All Fall Down, is Simon Wood’s best book yet. This is what they mean when they say a book is a thriller.”

— Crimespree Magazine

“Simon Wood has talent to spare, and in We All Fall Down he’s crafted an entertaining and suspenseful novel that once opened simply won’t close until the last nail-biting page. A terrific premise executed to perfection by a supremely gifted writer.”

— Jason Pinter, author of The Mark

“Simon Wood never disappoints. From the shocking introduction to the rewarding completion, Wood’s storytelling is tremendous.”

— Fresh Fiction

“Simon Wood provides a dynamite suspense story.”

— The Midwest Book Review

We All Fall Down continues Wood’s sharp eye for a thrilling ride that doesn’t rely on cheap outs, but creative storytelling.”

— Bookgasm

“I would love this book to be made into a movie.”


“The action becomes fast and furious and one just has to hang on for the ride.”

— Spinetingler Magazine

In next week’s post, I’ll talk about the series of suicides that caught my attention and inspired me to write the book. In the meantime, you can read an excerpt from the book here.

Categories: book of the month

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Seeing as I now own the rights to ex-Dorchester titles, I’ve now converted them to eBooks. Accidents Waiting to Happen, Paying the Piper, We All Fall Down & Terminated are currently available for Kindle in the US & UK and on They’ll be available for the Nook, Sony, Kobo and iPad in the next few weeks. I’m especially happy as Accidents Waiting to Happen has never been available as an eBook before.

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