Saturday, July 27, 2013

Guest Author Simon Wood

Simon Wood is a California transplant from England who’s been a competitive race car driver, is a licensed pilot, and an occasional PI. He shares his world with his wife, Julie, and their longhaired dachshund and five cats. His short fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines anthologies, such as Seattle Noir, Thriller 2 and Woman’s World. He’s a frequent contributor to Writer’s Digest. He’s the Anthony Award winning author of Working Stiffs, Accidents Waiting to Happen, Paying the Piper and We All Fall Down. As Simon Janus, he’s the author of The Scrubs and Road Rash. His latest novel, No Show, is out now. To learn more about Simon, visit his website.

Too Small To Be Big
By Simon Wood
I’ll never be a bestselling author. It was never my intention. Seriously, it wasn’t. I just wanted to be published and published well (and hopefully earn a few shekels along the way to keep me stocked in Walnut Whips). But I can dream. One day it would be cool to think that my name will be a household word and to have sycophants hang on my every utterance—but that won’t happen, because I’ll never reach bestsellerdom. And it has nothing to do with talent or lucky breaks. It’s because I’m just not big enough to be a bestseller. Physically, I’m mean. At 5’ 4” (actually I’m 5’ 4 1/2”, but my wife, Julie, laughs because I toss in the 1/2”), I’m not a tall guy and short guys don’t make it to the NY Times bestseller list.
Simon...and his snowblower
You’re probably laughing at me (that’s if you can see me down here amongst the grass blades), but you can’t ignore the facts. Stephen King floats around six-three. Harlan Coben is in that realm, as is Steve Hamilton. Two of the biggest selling authors are two of the biggest people in publishing. Michael Crichton is six-seven or something and they have to divert air traffic around John Grisham wherever he goes. That’s why you don’t see him out promoting his books too much these days. The FAA hates when he leaves a fixed position.

Having attended a number of mystery conventions, I’ve gotten to see these literary and physical giants wandering around the convention halls banging into ceiling lights with their heads while I had to have someone lift me up to reach the elevator button. I used to cast a glance their way and think, wouldn’t it great to be like them. Then I realized, I can’t. I’m not a member of the big guy club. I’m just not big enough to get on their ride. No wonder I’m in the small press. It’s for little people only.

Personally, I think it’s a conspiracy of big people. First they get their own “big and tall” stores, now they all want to be bestselling authors. How long will it be before agents start asking for previous publishing credits and height details? Not long, my short-legged friends.

Personally, I think it has to stop. A short guy needs to make it to the NY Times bestseller list to bust open this discrimination—and I think that short guy should be me. What I need you all to do is buy at least five copies of each of my brand new book, NO SHOW and tell friends and family to do the same. It’s available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all good independent bookstores. Together, we can make a short guy stand on the shoulders of giants.

Just in case you’re wondering if this is a shallow attempt to get you to buy my book, I’d like to quote House of Cards’ Francis Urquhart, “You might think so. I couldn't possibly comment.”


Anonymous said...

But wasn't best seller Dick Francis about your height? Since he was a former jockey, he must have been on the short side. Liked your humorous blog and will look for your books.

Simon Wood said...

That was back in the day, Anon. Today, I doubt he would be so successful. :-)

ktford said...

To your fans and fans to be you are clearly a writer of stature.. always on the lookout for you work since discovering your stories/books years ago..
Another Simon Wood piece.,yes!!

Patty G. Henderson said...

Simon, it's so good to see you become so successful. Talent doesn't stay down too long. You do remember Barclay Books? How can either of us forget, right? LOL. You've done better for yourself with the path you took and Blessings to you in your continues success.

Simon Wood said...

You're a good egg, KathleenEllen.

Hi there, Patty. :-0

John Purcell said...

All the convention groupies I know (admittedly only 2 or 3) tell me that you're not short where it counts. So, if they only buy 2 or 3 books, instead of the suggested 5, you'll have some alternative consolation.

Terry Shames said...

Uh..Simon, I believe Sue Grafton isn't all that tall, nor is Carolyn Hart, don't have to be tall to be a bestseller!

Simon Wood said...

John: you have something there. :-)

Terry: they're plants. Sue and Carolyn are fronts for a 6' guy called Gerald.