For matters of complete disclosure, it should be pointed out that Simon Wood and I are friends. Reviewing friends presents a tricky quandary because you have to be honest in your reviews but you don’t want to damage the friendship (sadly, I’ve seen poor reviews ruin relationships). I tend to solve that dilemma by begging my friends not to send me anything that sucks. Luckily, they tend to listen and Simon is no exception.

Tell me a little bit about what you write. Do you see yourself as a thriller writer a horror writer or what?

I write what I love. Above all other things, I’m a fan. To be a good writer, you have to be. I’ve grown up loving stories, so now I want to tell them. That means I flit between horror and crime, comedy and sci-fi. I’m a little bit of a chameleon which I know bugs the hell out of people at times, but I like telling stories. Sometimes I want to scare people, astound people and make them laugh from time to time. If I see myself as anything it would be a storyteller.

How would you describe your spiritual journey? Would you describe yourself as a religious/spiritual guy?

I don’t consider myself a religious person. I don’t seek guidance from a higher being or seek support from a faith. I guess that makes me sound directionless and I suppose I am in a lot of ways. I’m still trying to find my place in the world. Still discovering. I’m weird like that. -J-

While I don’t seek guidance from others, I always make myself available to others. If people seek help, I’m here. I’m never one to turn my back or to end a friendship.

What role does faith play in your life?

That’s a difficult question to answer. I don’t think faith plays a part in my life. I’m always the first to doubt. Will this happen? Will that work out? I always err on the negative. I think it’s a self defense mechanism—expect the worst and prepare for it.

There seems to be this thread of “sin” throughout your story. This idea that buried sins can come back to get you. Am I reading too much into things?

When I look through my books and stories, sin does present itself as a consistent theme. I wouldn’t say it’s a subject I champion on purpose. I didn’t even notice the theme for several years of my writing. It’s just something I believe in—sin will be your undoing. You don’t have to be particularly religious to see or understand that. Everyone makes mistakes, but if you take measures to cover them up, they will come out and it will hurt.

I suppose the other predominant theme is temptation. In life, every one of us walks a fine line. The moment we let our temptations get the better of us, we lose our way. Several of the kids I grew up with became killers or were killed. I found it hard to deal with the fact that someone I played soccer with could take a life, but they were a product of their decisions. You could see the downward spiral and if it weren’t for a handful of choices they would have never ended up where they ended up.

What would be the one thing you would want readers of Accidents Waiting to Happen to come away with?

Indiscretions (or mistakes), no matter how deep you bury them, will come back to bite you. There are always options. When I pick my novels and stories apart, all of them could have ended on page one if the protagonist had done the right thing.

(to be continued …)

***
If you want to make sure that I see your comment or just want to stop by and say hi, feel free to do so on my message board. I apologize in advance for some of my regulars.