Catriona writes: it's my extreme pleasure to welcome back to Femmes Fatales today an old friend on a return visit. Simon Wood comes trailing clouds of glory this time, having just sold his . . . wait for it . . . millionth book. (Millionth copy, I mean; not millionth title.) And Simon is blogging about a topic on which he's something of an expert. He's dyslexic so he writes novels; he's afraid of heights so he learns to fly; he's a self-confessed easy mark for anything scary so he delves into horror. Weird, huh?
And now, here's Simon:
I’m drawn to weird—weird things, weird people, weird situations, etc. Some people (let’s call them normal folks) steer clear of it. Me, I’m fascinated. The mundane and the ordinary don’t do it for me. I’ll take the improbable any day, and that is always at the weird end of the spectrum. That's where I find answers to my two favorite questions—what-if and why!
So what do I mean by weird? Well, I have a couple of examples.
First, there’s Marilyn Hartman. She’s the serial stowaway from the Bay Area who has been trying to sneak onto planes around the country and in a number of cases, she’s managed it. Psychologists have evaluated her and her statements have changed so often that I feel she’s telling them whatever she thinks they want to hear. When she’s interviewed on TV, there’s a sparkle in her eye that makes me think she’s yanking everyone’s chain. So why is she doing it? God knows, but boy, would I love to interview her. There’s a reason behind her behavior—and I’m not sure even she knows it—but I’d love to find out.
Second, there’s Malachi Love-Robinson. He’s the teenager who’s been arrested for practicing medicine without a license in Florida. What has me fascinated about this guy isn’t the crime itself but his persona (for the want of a better word). I can’t make out if this guy is a hustler or simply deluded. There’s something about him that feels like it’s a performance which doesn’t clarify the situation either way.
For my latest book DECEPTIVE PRACTICES, I was drawn to a different kind of weird--and one of my own making. I misread the TV
Guide when I saw an entry for a TV movie about a wife who hired someone to hurt her cheating husband. I thought that was right up my street and watched it. It had nothing to do with it. I reread the Guide and found it didn’t say anything of the sort about. I didn’t know if my misreading was wishful thinking or divine intervention. Either way, I had an idea for a book! And the following was born:
Do you have a cheating spouse? Has counseling failed? Want to get even with them? Then hire Infidelity Limited to teach them a lesson…
Olivia Shaw grew up poor on the wrong side of the tracks, but with her thriving real estate practice and a solid marriage, her life finally feels stable . . . until she discovers her husband is cheating. Enraged, her sister offers her a solution: Infidelity Limited, a firm that promises to rough up her husband and scare him straight.
Overnight, Olivia’s life is upended as she, like all of Infidelity Limited’s clients, is drawn into a dark web of blackmail and murder. Now, Olivia is emerging as a prime suspect in her husband’s death. As a dogged detective closes in, she has only one option—take down Infidelity Limited before it’s too late.
God bless my dyslexia and my love of the weirder side of things because I think DECEPTIVE PRACTICES is a doozy.... Do you have weird news stories and true life happenings that grab you and don't let go? I'd love to hear them.
Catriona writes: Me too! Tell us in the comments section (we all agree not to nab them for plots, right?)
Bio:Simon Wood is a California transplant from England. He's a former competitive racecar driver, a licensed pilot, an endurance cyclist, an animal rescuer and an occasional PI. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie. Their lives are dominated by a longhaired dachshund, six cats and three chickens. He's the Anthony Award winning author of Working Stiffs, Accidents Waiting to Happen, Paying the Piper, Terminated, Asking For Trouble, We All Fall Down and the Aidy Westlake series. His last thriller THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY has been optioned for a movie adaptation. He also writes horror under the pen name of Simon Janus. Curious people can learn more at http://www.simonwood.net.