Friday, May 15, 2009
Another guest hunk, Simon Wood
He's an ex-racecar driver, a licensed pilot and an occasional private investigator. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie. Their lives are dominated by a longhaired dachshund and five cats. He's had over 150 stories and articles published. His stories have been included in "Best of" anthologies and he's a frequent contributor to . He's the winning author of Working Stiffs, Accidents Waiting to Happen, Paying the Piper and . As Simon Janus, he's the author of The Scrubs and the forthcoming, Road Rash. His latest book is a self-help called, Will Marry for Food, Sex and Laundry, written under the pen name, Simon Oaks. We asked him if he could try to explain the zigzags his path has taken and he agreed! Take it away Simon...
Simon: My latest book is WILL MARRY FOR FOOD, SEX AND LAUNDRY. It’s a love and relationship book which makes it a departure from my usual fare as a thriller and horror writer. Seeing as relationships can be a thrill ride and more than a little scary, it may not be that big a departure.
When it comes to writing, I’m quite gregarious (wrong word). I don’t write what I know. I write what I love and because of that, my writing taste is all over the place. I love writing mysteries, thrillers, horror, supernatural, humor and essays. It was my essays that led to me writing FOOD, SEX AND LAUNDRY. An editor Adam’s Media had been reading my weekly columns over at Murderati.com and contacted me. They'd been looking for someone to write a relationship book but they wanted a different perspective. They wanted someone with a quirky and down to earth viewpoint. I think these traits were supposed to be complementary. Together, we thrashed out an outline for the book and it was off to the races.
The book was a little daunting to write because unlike fiction, I couldn’t make stuff up. But I’m a very empirical person. I blame my engineering background. I needed to collect raw data to make an opinion, so I held a couple of parties for friends and interviewed them on their relationship experiences on various topics. One thing people have no problem discussing is their dating train wrecks. I also looked up a number of studies and surveys on various issues. This gave me everything I needed for the book. Naturally, the book gave me the opportunity to inject my brand of humor into it, something I don’t get to do in my fiction.
I wrote the book under the pen name Simon Oaks, because it doesn’t have a correlation to my novel career or my current readers. This isn’t the first time I’ve written under a pen name. My thrillers and mysteries have been written under my name Simon Wood and I now write horror and fantasy as Simon Janus. The reason for the pen names my writing taste is so far and wide, my readers tend to fall into distinct pockets where there isn’t much in the way of crossover. I don’t make a secret of my identities, but it’s very clear that if someone picks up a Simon Wood book or a Simon Oaks book, they know exactly what they're getting.
Because I love to write and love exploring different types of genres, I wouldn’t be surprised if I pick up a couple other identities along the way. My big hope is that FOOD, SEX AND LAUNDRY will be the platform that will allow me to write some quirky romantic comedies that have been bouncing around in my head.
Yours ever changing, Simon Wood/Janus/Oaks (delete where applicable)
Jungle Red: Thank you Simon! And since all three of you are here:), we now welcome all kinds of questions--questions about writing mysteries or horror, and of course, marrying for laundry!