Monday, June 14, 2010

Twisted, Moi?

Hi, I'm Simon Wood and I'm hijacking this blog for the next seven days. As a courtesy to my hostages here, I will be answering to any question they ask. A little about me: I’m an ex-racecar driver, a licensed pilot, an occasional private investigator and a full time storyteller. I’ve had over 100 stories and articles published. My short fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines anthologies, such as Seattle Noir, Thriller 2 and Woman’s World. I’m a frequent contributor to Writer's Digest. I’m the Anthony Award winning author of Working Stiffs, Accidents Waiting to Happen, Paying the Piper and We All Fall Down. As Simon Janus, I’m the author of The Scrubs and Road Rash. I’ve just been nominated for a CWA Dagger Award in the UK. My latest thriller, Terminated, came out this month in mass paperback. Curious people can learn more at

Jeannie asks: As someone who has been called "sick" as well as "twisted" and who has her own furry overlords, do you enjoy being labeled as "twisted"? Do you think your twisted tendencies are related to your former life as a racecar driver or are your cats controlling your mind?

Who called me twisted? If I find out who said that I’ll be around to their house to cut their brake lines on their car and laugh at them when it smashes through the barrier at dead man’s curve. Twisted indeed. Cheeky sod.

Hmm, I don’t know if I think of myself being labeled as twisted. Probably, I don’t think that I’m that twisted, which I’m sure some people will find quite troubling. I suppose it depends on the emphasis. I must admit I do get a kick out of it if a reader feels like they’ve been put through the wringer along with my characters. When that happens, I claim the title with pride. If it’s going to hinder me from getting a mortgage approval, then I renounce my twistedness.

I can safely say that my twisted nature has nothing to do with my racing past or my cats. I think I got my twisted mindset from my engineering background. Now I bet you weren’t expecting that for an answer.

Engineering taught me about cause and effect, and the safety aspect of engineering is preoccupied with “If this were to go wrong, how could it be stopped?” So, my mind now has a kink in it. When I look at a fictional scenario, I look at the characters’ weaknesses and fragility of the predicaments they’ve gotten themselves into and instead of leaving well enough alone, I’ll think to myself—how can I make this situation worse? How can I turn up the heat? What could happen to these characters to the push them to the brink of surrendering? What can I do make the reader’s jaw drop? This is great for crime fiction, especially when it comes to plotting and character decisions. I can create devious plans for my villains and teeth grating dilemmas for my heroes.

Oh, I am quite devious. I never realized. No wonder people call me twisted. Just shows you, don’t mess with an engineer. They're more twisted than cats. Maybe that should be my bumper sticker.

Yours destardly,
Simon Wood

PS: For anyone who leaves a comment, your name will go into a draw to win a copy of my latest book, Terminated. At the end of the week, I'll draw two names and send them a book.


Stacia Kane said...

*waves* Hi Simon! So that's what you look like. :-)

Don't enter me in the contest*, I'll buy a copy. But I wanted to say hello!

(*originally I just wrote "don't enter me, I'll buy a copy," and just before I clicked "Publish" I realized how that sounded. So I fixed it, but thought it was amusing enough to share.)

Meredith Cole said...

Welcome to Criminal Minds, Simon! I still remember some of the hilarious stories you told me at B'con a couple of years ago (but won't repeat them, just in case they've got a place in a future book). Looking forward to seeing you here all week...

Gabi said...

Glad I didn't mention the "twisted" thing while you were signing my copy of Terminated. Then again, I thought you knew...

Elizabeth said...

Welcome! Terminated sounds very interesting. Look forward to your posts this week.

Simon Wood said...


Thanks for letting me hold you hostage for the week.

I'm on the road at the moment. I'm in sunny San Diego today before I move on to Phx.

Hi Stacia! I hope you enjoy Terminated.

Meredith, I'm glad I'm memorable.

Gabi, thanks for being such a sweetheart on Saturday.

Hi Elizabeth. I hope you get to know me over the week.

L.J. Sellers said...

After meeting you in person, I didn't think "scary." But I'm starting to. It was interesting to learn how you develop stories. Thanks for sharing.

L.J. Sellers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Wiley said...

Welcome, Simon -- It's great to be hijacked for a week when the hijacker knows how to drive fast and well.

Now, I'm intrigued by the possibility of twisted plot twists.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Simon, thanks for stopping by! San Diego and Phoenix? Let me guess: Mysterious Galaxy and Poisoned Pen?

Umm, I hate to disagree with our grandmaster and all, but you do sound just a tad twisted. But in a good way. A very "please don't tamper with my car" good way.

Simon Wood said...

Rebecca: Yes, Myst Galaxy yesterday, which went very well. Tomorrow is Poisoned Pen night. I guess twistedness is in the mind of the beholder, so don't test me. :-)

LJ: Fear me.

Mike: Let me take you for a ride.

Kelli Stanley said...

Thanks for taking us all hostage this week, Your Deviousness! ;)

I'm looking forward to a Speed Racer trip through twists, turns, cat stories and secrets behind TERMINATED (the opening scene is amazing!!) :)

Have fun in sunny Arizona--you'll be happy to note that the fog is back in.


Jeannie Holmes said...

Welcome, Simon! Thanks for taking us all hostage this week, and answering my question so eloquently.

I hadn't thought of engineers being more twisted than cats, but it would definitely explain a lot of things, like pickle jars and why they can never be opened by the person who actually wants the pickles. Truly the mark of an evil mind...

And considering how many others have thanked you for taking us hostage, I'm beginning to think there are more twisted people around here than I originally thought. *looks suspiciously at Becky*

Bill Cameron said...

I've hardly ever referred to you as twisted. Today. No comment on any time previously however. That said, I only ever say you're twisted in reference to acts of yoga which you may or may not have committed. Or. Sorry, I've lost track of my thoughts as I fight off the image of you committing an act of yoga.

Simon Wood said...

Thanks for the question, Jeannie.

Bill: You know I'd bend over backwards for you. Now remove that image from your mind :-)

Bill Cameron said...

Oh, the humanity.

simon said...

Bill: you've won a copy of TERMINATED in my draw.

email me your details at