A Post-Thanksgiving Catch-Up with an Old Friend

Happy Black Friday! I am so excited to have our dear friend Simon Wood here today! We miss his wit and wisdom. Without further ado…


So Simon, what have you been up to since you left Murderati?


Working harder than ever, I think.  I left Murderati to concentrate on writing and leave a little room for myself.  The free time I thought I’d have on my hands has gotten overwhelmed with projects long and short.  It seems if I give myself an inch, I’ll fill it with words.  A number of opportunities have come my way and I’m a girl who can’t say no… 


I’ve done very well over the last year with anthologies.  I’ve gotten into over half a dozen of those and I’ve been developing my pen name, Simon Janus.  I’ve had two releases, The Scrubs and Road Rash, released under that name.


I’m standing for election at the moment.  I’m running for president of the NorCal Chapter of the MWA.  I’m not sure how I got talked into that…


I’ve gotten into my cycling.  I’ve always been a pedaler.  I love the freedom of cycling.  It’s the only mode of transport that isn’t regulated.  I can ride as fast as I like and where I like.  I find it therapeutic.  It lets me relax and I get to think stories through on my rides.  Stephen King walks.  I cycle.  I’ve taken my cycling to another level recently by competing in local events. 

What kind of research have you been doing?


The kind of research that gets me into trouble.  At the moment, I’m making my Google search history even worse adding how someone can cheat a polygraph.  I’ve speaking to some cops recently about investigation techniques and the subject of polygraphing witnesses came up and it’s become an interesting plot point.  A friend of mine is a military interrogator and he’s been giving me some tips on interviewing tactics and strategies.  The next step is put practice into action and take a polygraph myself.   The idea spooks me a little.


I’m also looking to be hypnotized at the moment.  Another project I’m working on deals with the issue of memory loss.  I lost six months of memories after being hit by a car and the whole issue of recovered memories came up.  Do I actually remember or do I remember because people keep telling me what happened…


I had a nice time at on a weapons handling class.  It was supposed to be a sixty minute class that turned into 6hrs and we still weren’t finished.  I feel I’m getting my feet under me gun-wise but the engineer in me wants to be left alone in a fully stocked gun store with a range and a set of tools so I can experiment.  I’m very hands on when it comes to research.  I like to know what I’m talking about.  I think that kinda shows, doesn’t it.  :-/


What’s on your docket at the moment?


A couple of things.  With some of my titles going out of print lately, I’ve been resurrecting my backlist as eBooks.  The works still stands up and the reader demand is there, so I’ve brought back Dragged into Darkness and Working Stiffs as well as a number of my out of print articles from Writer’s Digest.  All of these are available from the Kindle Store and Smashwords.com.  I’m interested to see how my eBook experiment works out and this may be an interesting outlet for less marketable works such as novellas and novelettes.


I also have a story exclusive to audio called, Tenths of a Second.  It’s about a struggling young racecar driver who is given the chance to get an edge on the competition.  Because of the style of story and the audio format, I had to do a fun little rewrite.  The story can be checked out at http://www.sniplits.com/storiesforauthor.jsp?a=83

Have you gotten yourself into any trouble lately?


I was taking part in the Tour of Woodside cycle race this summer and I missed a turn marker and ended up going twenty miles off course before the mistake was realized.  I found my way back, but I was a little dehydrated by the end.   I hadn’t bargained for the extra distance liquids-wise.


I also lost Julie’s wedding ring.  This is the second one we lost, but the first I lost.  She found a temporary one, but I now have to find a new one.

Are you still writing copious amounts of helpful non-fiction?


I’m still doing bits for Writer’s Digest.  This year marked the release of my first nonfiction book—which was different.  I thought I could approach promotion for a nonfiction book the same way as I could with a novel.  I couldn’t.  Dealing with the media is a lot different and the readers themselves are a lot different.  I felt like I was learning all over again. 


I have a couple of nonfiction projects on the boil.  The closest to my heart is a memoir on being dyslexic.  It’s something that came up and it’s been interesting writing about it.  I hope I land a contract for it soon.

What’s next for you?


My next thriller, Terminated, comes out in paperback next June.  It focuses on workplace violence.  The story came about after I learned that some high profile companies are combating workplace violence with the use of private security firms.  I saw how that situation only works if everyone plays ball.  In Terminated, the system set in place falls down.  🙂


I’ve also completed a novel called Did Not Finish.  It’s a mystery set in the motor racing world.  I’m mining my own experiences in the sport.  I hope to do for motorsport what Dick Francis did for horse racing.  Did Not Finish is the first in a series of stories and is a fictionalized account of a driver that I knew who was murdered.


Visit Simon at SimonWood.net. Ask him about those earrings while you’re at it. Also, Simon’s previous Murderati posts can be found here.


Wine of the Week: In the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s have some (really, truly, fantastic) 2006 Louis Latour Beaujolais-Villages Chameroy.  We also had a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau, the traditional wine for the third week of November. Read why here.


9 thoughts on “A Post-Thanksgiving Catch-Up with an Old Friend

  1. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Simon and welcome back!

    Sounds like you’ve been busy. Sleep is very overrated, right?

    And how did you manage to lose TWO wedding rings? I mean, one is unfortunate, as the saying goes, but two looks like carelessness … ;-]

  2. JD Rhoades

    Great to hear form you, Simon!

    I’ve lost two wedding rings as well, Z. One was stolen when I laid it down for a few moments at the gym, the other slid off in deep water during my highly comical introduction to ocean kayaking.

  3. Simon Wood

    Thanks peeps.

    For the record, Julie lost the 1st ring in the garden while she was digging. I lost her 2nd one when I took it from her when I told her she was being naughty and didn’t deserve to be my wife and she could have it back when she’d behaved. The ring fell off my finger at some point in between.

    Terri, I’ll be back in Scottsdale next June.

  4. Louise Ure

    Hi Simon! Nice to see your smiling face here on post-thanksgiving Friday. And boy am I ready to hand over the reins of Norcal MWA Presidency! I couldn’t ask for a better successor.


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