SIMON WOOD: AN ISSUE OR SITUATION INSPIRES ME TO WRITE A BOOK
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Simon Wood’s next book The One That Got Away was select among Kindle First Choice by Amazon. The novel was send straight to the top ranks and the readers loved the editor’s selection. So far the book was described by reviewers as “Page Turner”, “Soooo Good” and “Excellent Thriller”. The average rating is 4.6 from 19 reviews. The official release of the book is set for March 1, but we’ve got a chance to speak with Simon in advance about the novel, his other stories and himself.
– Simon, How did you decide to write The One That Got Away?
– Usually an issue or situation inspires me to write a book. THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY is no different. I was interested in the subject of survivor guilt. There’s something paradoxical about the guilt someone feels after surviving a trauma, especially when others don’t.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– The biggest challenge researching the topic of survivor guilt or post traumatic stress disorder as we tend to call it now. The book features a woman who escapes her abductor. I like to do first hand interviews, so I wanted to talk to women who’d been victims of violence t, but unfortunately, pretty much all the groups the groups I approached refused to talk to me. Luckily, I was directed to the Veteran’s Administration by a psychologist where we discussed the issues of PTSD with regard to returning soldiers. This led to a number of lengthy and fascinating discussions that helped form the lead character Zoë.
– Tell us something more about your main character Zoë? Is she close to someone from your real life?
– Zoë Sutton is a post graduate student with her life ahead of her until she’s abducted by the Tally Man. She escapes leaving her friend behind. From that moment her life is changed. She ditches her hopes and dreams. Now, she’s a mall cop, she parties hard with strangers, she’s friendless, she has impulse and temper issues which results in arrests. She’s a sad and unhappy woman in search of a cause in life—and she finds it. Zoë is a character that was created from someone suffering from survivor guilt.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– I moved house during the writing of this book, so it took a little longer than normal, around eighteen months.
– Paying the Piper is your biggest hit until now. Did you expect such a good feedback?
– I hope it’s good, but it isn’t guaranteed. Books are so subjective. I put my best into every book and the editing team at Thomas & Mercer helped shape and we can all agree we’ve put together a good book, but ultimately the readers decide whether it’s as good as we think it is.
– What the readers will find in your other top books Accidents Waiting to Happen, Terminated and No Show?
– A theme I believe—ordinary people put into extraordinary circumstances. A reader dubbed my subgenre as ‘novice hero.’ I’m inspired by Hitchcock and it shows. My books illustrate that the world can be crazy and for my characters, they get to discover how crazy it can get.
– What are your writing habits?
– I write full time so I treat writing as a full time job. I sit around 9-9:30 in the morning and I set myself a daily target to write so many words or a chapter and I don’t leave the computer I’ve done that. If I’m good, I’ll be done by mid afternoon. If I’m not so good, I could still be there at dinner time.
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– I like to be personable and available. That means I speak to book and social clubs and I use a lot of social media to help connect with my readers.
– When we will see your next novel?
– I don’t know. I’m finishing up a new book now but I don’t have a release date right now.
– Why you decide to write under the pen name of Simon Janus your horror books?
– I use a pen name for clarity. Writing in two different genres tended to confuse readers. Mystery readers thought of me as a horror writer and horror readers thought of me as a mystery writer and it was hurting sales. Splitting myself in two seemed to remedy the problem.
– You’ve been a race driver. They said that the adrenalin of being pilot never dries. Why did you stop and do you feel often a rush to sit once again in the cockpit?
– The reason I stopped racing was simple—money! I burned through a lot of my money and of my sponsors. I reached a stage where if I continued I was looking at a lifetime of debt and probable bankruptcy. I’d seen too many other drivers go down that road and it never ended pretty. As much as I wanted to continue, I decided to stop. The urge to race never goes away. I’d get back behind the wheel if someone put a car in front of me.
– One of your jobs was to catch gambling cheaters. Did you have some Hollywood movies’ professionals to deal with?
– No, nothing like that. My wife and I were hired to go into different casinos to expose misdoings, usually to do with staff. Over eighty percent of casino theft is internal. There are very few Danny Oceans. We had to teach ourselves all the games so that we could carry ourselves off as realistic punters. It was fun yet stressful work.