Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Beach boy


We All Fall Down came out slap bang in the middle of summer vacation season, so emails have been hitting my mailbox from readers recently. As with all my previous books, I can honestly say there’s a little bit of trepidation when I receive an email titled: I’ve read your book. Sounds innocuous enough, but a statement like that can be read a bunch of ways.

I’ve read your book…and I loved it. But it could also mean, I’ve read your book…and you should be looking over your shoulder for a long time because I know where you live, you son of a *&^%$.

Luckily the emails I’ve received have been the former and not the latter—and for those who think the latter, I’m armed, okay? So just back off, buddy.

So my ego has been fed over recent weeks with some very nice praise. One of the recurring themes has been along the lines of, “a great beach read.”

Hmm. A great beach read, eh? No one has mentioned anything about it being a future classic of literature or a life changing experience. It keeps picking up the beach and airplane tag. I mentioned this to a friend and they asked, “Aren’t you offended?”

The simple answer is no. I think it’s wonderful to be thought of as a beach or airplane read. I have no pretensions. I really mean it when I say I want to entertain the reader. I don’t have an agenda. I don’t want to educate. I want to provide a little escapism. I want someone to forget how cramped it is in economy and how much work is building on their desk while they veg out on the beach as they flip through the pages of my imagination.

If the book ends up as a dog-eared bundle of pages that spends the rest of its productive life as a doorstop, so be it. All I ask is that they’ll remember me the next time they hit the beach or board a plane.

Yours in your hand luggage,

Simon Wood


Betty Hechtman said...

I know exactly what you mean about wanting to entertain. My hope for HOOKED ON MURDER was that readers would have a good time. Maybe they'd learn a little about crochet, but mostly just get away from it all for awhile.

There is a lot to be said for fun reads that leave you with a smile. I will look for your book.

Camille Minichino said...

Let me point out that our guest today is a loyal Sister in Crime and as much entertainment as his books.

Thanks for visiting, Simon

Monica Ferris said...

I remember my surprise at learning my first novel (a Peter Brichter mystery, not a Betsy Devsonshire entry) was coming out in hardcover. What I was writing -- what I'm still writing -- is exactly what Simon is talking about, a light entertainment that will be left on the seat of the bus or airplane at the end of a journey. I *love* that sort of book! How wonderful to have the tedium and discomfort and annoyance of a journey lightened by a jolly story! Difficult books can be valuable, important, even essential, but difficult times -- and vacations -- call for comfort reads.

Camille Minichino said...

I love your "jolly" comment, Monica. Are you a Brit too??

(I was kind of hoping Simon would use "bloody" in his blog, as he does every other word in real life -- LSHMBH!)

zhadi said...

Bloody hell, Simon! You're a fantastic beach read! And also quite a nice Muni read.

Linda O. Johnston said...

A good beach read is a wonderful thing, Simon. And your dog is adorable!

caryn said...

I haven't read your book, but I own it, just haven't got to it yet. Does that count?
Yes, Linda is right, the dog is adoreable.

Terri Thayer said...

Welcome to Killer Hobbies, Simon. This could be a life changing experience. From now on, you'll be surrounded by women armed with needles, glue guns and rotary cutters.

I think there are people out there who need permission to read fiction.Summertime is a great one. Beach read, plane read, sick bed read. Whatever, just - read.

Simon Wood said...

Thank you for the nice comments. It's a bloody nice welcome.

Caryn: It's okay that you own my book, but haven't read it. That way you're still a fan. :-0

I think people missed something. I'm as adorable as my dog. Correct, yes? :-/


Camille Minichino said...

What dog?

Terri Thayer said...

Simon, you're much kinder than I am. I usually tell people just the opposite. Reading the book is optional. I just need them to buy it.

Camille Minichino said...

I'm with Terri on this one ... buy the book!

I was at a gathering recently where the group of about 30 told me proudly that they buy one copy of each of my books and pass them around. Someone is still about five books behind.

Of course I'm happy I have 30 readers, but 30 sales of each book would be nice, too, and would go farther in terms of being able to keep them published!

Kathryn Lilley said...

It's fun to be a "great beach read"! We'll all meet under the palm trees! Thanks for joining us today!

Simon Wood said...

Cammy, don't pretend you don't like dogs...especially mine.

Kathryn Lilley said...

Check out Michelle Gagnon's post at a brand new author's blog called The Kill Zone. She included amusing thoughts about doing book tour stops with Simon. The Kill Zone: http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/