Today on Writers Who Kill, I have the pleasure of talking with Simon Wood about his newest book, No Show.
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.
Thanks for visiting us today at WWK, Simon!
1) You've mentioned before that many of your stories come from actual experiences you've had, and in this story, the protagonist leaves England to come live in SF with his new wife, only she's gone missing. Did you truly have a similar experience when you married your wife and moved to the States?
Yes. My wife and I did meet abroad and we took a chance on love as it were and I came to the US to marry her. I arrived with my world in a couple of bags and she wasn’t at the airport to meet me. I waited and waited. While I was waiting I realized how little thought I’d put into the situation. I didn’t know Julie’s address or how to get in touch with her. Eventually, she arrived about an hour late because of traffic, but it did make me wonder what I would have done if she hadn’t. As much as I thought I knew about the States, I was pretty naïve, so how would I have coped if I had been left at the airport with no friends or social network to help me. From there, No Show was born.
2) Your website says you write thriller and horror. How often do you combine the two in your work?
I must admit I don’t usually combine the two genres. I tend to keep them separate and the reason I write horror under the name Simon Janus nowadays. But Road Rash and The Scrubs are two stories when I combined genres.
3) Walk us through your writing process: Do you have a certain day or time of day that you write? Do you have a separate room in your house dedicated to you and your writing?
I write full time, so I treat writing like a full time job and write 9 to 5. I set myself a daily target and I write until I complete it.
4) What is your writing style? Do you plot extensively, or do you just sit down and see what comes out of the combination of fingers to keyboard?
No, I’m a heavy plotter. I like to outline a story so that I understand the issues and characters I’m trying to write about. I think it makes sense to outline when it comes to thrillers and mysteries. I am trying to get away with a crime, so it takes a little planning. J
5) What do you like most about writing mysteries?
The adventure. I’m living this story with the characters. Some days I’m just as haggard as these poor people.
6) Do you foresee No Show becoming another series for you?
Yes, No Show is the preamble to a new series. In the subsequent books, Terry Sheffield will be a county sheriff's deputy and he’ll be investigating crimes seen through the eyes of an outsider. The outsider perspective will be an interesting one for the series.
Thanks again for visiting with us here, Simon. We wish you continued success with your books!
Simon Wood is the author of over 170 stories and articles, including Working Stiffs, Accidents Waiting to Happen, and Paying the Piper. He's won an Anthony Award, a CWA Dagger Award nomination, and several readers’ choice awards, and he's a frequent contributor to Writer’s Digest. You can check out his many books at http://www.simonwood.net.