What Doesn’t Kill You by Simon Wilson – Interview

Welcome to Author Simon Wilson


If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

Back to my school days.  Life was so disciplined at preparatory school and if I could return with the knowledge that I have now, I could have the greatest time ever.
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
Books, Sun tan lotion, Occasional shipwrecks to stock up on luxuries
What is one book everyone should read?
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Time travel
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
It would have to be the matron from my preparatory school.  She was one mean person and I’d love to know what made her that way.  I guess she’s sharing pies with Hitler and sneering at me as I write this.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Full English breakfast.  Accept no healthy substitutes!
Night owl, or early bird?
Night owl.  I can’t go to bed until my wife says I have to.
One food you would never eat?
There’s just too many.  Okay, just one.  It has to be beetroot.  Since I was made to eat it at boarding school I’ve never been able to touch it since.  It’s psychological now and would take years of therapy to resolve.
Pet Peeves?
Pretentious people.  Who do they think they are?
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
It’s worryingly true, and fascinating all in one.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
A sequel documenting the four years following my first year memoir.
What inspired you to want to become a writer? 
To share my exploits with others, and to hopefully entertain them at the same time.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Just knowing that I put something out there and people are actually reading it.
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Tubthumping by Chumbawamba
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? 
Don’t give up your day job just yet.
If you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live and why?
The seventies man.  You don’t appreciate the peace movement until you’re too old to enjoy it.  Where’s that damn time machine?
When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
A lion tamer.  I ended up with a ferocious wife, which is the next best thing but I can’t get my head in her mouth because she just won’t let me.
How did you know you should become an author?
It’s the only job I’ve ever really enjoyed.  If only it paid a salary!
Favorite Food?
Lamb Madras.
Favorite Candy?
I used to get these sticks of candy from the tuck shop at school.  It must have been around 1978 or 79.  I think they were called ‘Bendy Pencils’ and were made by a company called Dunhill.  I have never seen them since but I’ll never forget them.
How do you react to a bad review?
I had a one star review on Amazon for a Kindle copy of my book that stated: ‘I ordered this three weeks ago and it still hasn’t arrived.  I expect DHL have lost it.  Do not buy.’ Thankfully Amazon took it down or it wouldn’t have been funny.
You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?
My wife and son anything they wanted.
If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
Finally he gets it.
What’s your favorite season/weather?
Summer.  It’s a no brainer, right?
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I think that it’s a calling that doesn’t require inspiration.  One day you start writing/typing stuff down for no particular reason and after that you can’t stop.  Help me somebody!
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
With incredulous relief.

What Doesn’t Kill You by Simon Wilson

I was sent away. I was scared. I was eight years old.

‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ is a sometimes sad, sometimes horrific and sometimes humorous account of my first year at boarding school beginning in September 1971.

In the days before the abolishment of corporal punishment, this expensive school found many opportunities to wield slippers, canes, plimsolls or just hard flat hands for the slightest of reasons. By today’s standards it would be called barbaric. Did we suffer? – Yes we did. Did we behave? – Mostly. Did we learn? – You bet we did!

This was a strict regime where if you didn’t have friends, your life was a living hell; where telling tales would get your lights punched out; where talking after lights out resulted in six of the best on your bare behind with a hard-soled slipper; where talking back to teachers meant you couldn’t sit down for hours. This was my home.

The food was bad. Bullying was rife. Beatings were the norm.

Welcome to boarding school!