Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thriller 3! "Love is Murder"

Today's guest blogger has a foot in each type of publishing and wrote one of the best, if not THE best, opening lines I've ever read. Please welcome Will Simon!

"Here’s a piece of advice you won’t find in any manual, leaflet, monograph, self-help book, or national talk-show: when an agent with the FBI’s Violent Crimes Unit opens an email, then spends the next ten minutes vomiting in the men’s room, do not under any circumstances lean across the desk and look at the screen…"
From “Spider’s Tango” by William Simon

Thank you for inviting me here today, Suzan!

In my novel SPIDER’S DANCE, readers are introduced to Nicholas White, a computer security consultant and electronic evidence expert.  DANCE is about Nicholas slowly bur surely realizing a recent oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico was not an accident, but a carefully orchestrated conspiracy reaching back to WWII.

I had a lot of fun writing it, and came to really like Nicholas himself; an independent kind of guy, old-fashioned in some ways, firmly rooted in the past while living in the New Millennium. 

Every other year or so, International Thriller Writers publishes a THRILLER anthology.  While working on DANCE, a little vignette with Nicholas occurred to me and I wrote and submitted it for THRILLER 2.  It didn’t make that particular cut due to the theme the collection was aiming for but some of the responses were encouraging.  I filed it away and continued writing DANCE.

The day came a couple of years after that when submissions were opened for THRILLER 3, specifically for stories of romantic suspense.  In one of those coincidences that a writer would get busted on - but happen all the time in Real Life - Turner Classic Movies had been running a marathon of Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn movies.  Which led to my digging out the DVD’s of “Remington Steele” and “Moonlighting,” both old favorites.

On a whim, I went back into “Tango” having overdosed on clever plots and witty dialogue between the sexes.  After giving it some thought (approximately 2.7 seconds, as I recall), I re-wrote “Tango” from end to end, making it lighter, more fun, more engaging.

Without giving too much away, a child has been kidnapped.  It turns out this particular child could potentially have a severe impact on the security of the United States; it was a scary plot in this post 9-11 era.  The FBI contacts Nicholas, who is supposed to be on vacation, and we go from there.  In DANCE, Nicholas mentions he was once married a long time ago.  In “Tango”, he meets his ex-wife again after all these years since she is now with the FBI. 

It was a lot of fun to write, to try and re-capture the banter and dialogue of Tracy and Hepburn movies, while addressing a very real scenario.  I liked it, finalized it, and sent it in.

In a collection like THRILLER 3, most of the slots are pre-assigned to established authors.  There were only three slots open to freelance writers.  ITW received seventy submissions, whittled that down to fourteen in a series of ‘blind readings’, and the publisher chose the final three they liked the best to be included.  I am extremely lucky and very proud to have been one of those three that were selected.

I sure hope you enjoy it!

Since 2002, William Simon has been the owner and lead investigator for a licensed firm that handles computer forensics and electronic evidence exclusively.

Earlier works published under the pseudonym ‘Will Graham’ include STREET HEAT and SOMETIMES, THERE REALLY ARE MONSTERS UNDER THE BED, both available in eBook editions. 

SPIDER’S DANCE, a full-length novel featuring Nicholas White, is also available.

His website is:


  1. Congrats, Will!!! I love the cover of the book. I'm taking my book with me to San Diego and plan to enjoy.


  2. Remington Steele and Moonlighting...two of my favs. And now so is William!

  3. I really liked your short story, William. It deserved its coveted spot and outclassed many of the stories by more established writers. Now, quit resting on your laurels and finish your novel.

  4. It's a fantastic story with a brilliant premise. Ironically, I turned on HBO this morning and there was "Desk Set," with Hepburn and Tracy! Even more ironic, the story revolves around a big computer replacing regular people. So it combines wit and cyber stuff!

  5. Great blog about the process, William! And I know for a fact "Spider's Tango" is a good read!

  6. Congratulations William!
    I really enjoyed your story and am hooked on Nicholas White..more please!!

  7. What a wonderful blog! Congrats William on your success and I wish you tons more!!

  8. Thank you, everyone! And especially Suzan for hosting me today..:)

  9. Wow! I go out to the cafe' to write for a few hours and come home to all these lovely comments about Will and his Nicholas White.

    And Will, it's always a pleasure to host you! (Now write me the next Emma and Jonathan story! *grin*)

  10. I've already had the pleasure of reading this fun book of short stories and I have to say that Will's is one of the best. The premise is good,the story-exciting and the hint of romance- just right! Congrats on this HUGE accomplishment.

  11. Congrats Will on your success! I've read Spider's Tango, and thoroughly enjoyed it!!!! Oh...and those folks you are rubbing elbows with in Love Is Murder...not too shabby, Mr. Simon.

  12. I'd like to take the time to leave a thoughtful comment but am running off to read SPIDER'S TANGO.

  13. Congratulations, Will! Loved "Spider's Tango" and so excited for you! All bad guys should have to have a run in with Nicholas in my opinion. Love this guy!! ;)