Simon Paul Wilson, what’s your damage?

By E.R. McTaggart

To celebrate the publication of our new book, Heathers, we profile a number of the writers involved in the project. Today it’s the turn of Simon Paul Wilson, author of “Sushi“.

The other children call her Sushi.

Her real name is too hard for them to either remember or pronounce, so they renamed her after a food from her country.

Sushi doesn’t mind so much. After all, it’s much better than ‘that Japanese girl’ or worse names.

~ Opening sentences of “Sushi” by Simon Paul Wilson

Your story, ten words or less.
Dreams of true love turn into nightmares.

Having read (and enjoyed) a few of your pieces, I’d say you like to write about young Japanese women. Should we be worried?
I think it’s me who should be worried! I tried writing from a male perspective and didn’t feel it worked so well. So, I changed the gender of my narrator and was very pleased with the voice. Also, I feel there is much more I can do with a female character, especially in terms of emotion. As for Japan, I’ve read so many books by Japanese authors and seen hundreds of movies and was inspired by how quirky, weird and scary their stories were. I’m trying hard to not include an Asian female in my latest book. I think I will fail though.

I enjoyed Nigiri today. Halibut is my favourite, with salmon a close second. During a Japanese vacation, where should I go to eat? Once my belly is full, What should I absolutely do?
During my time traveling around Asia, I’ve found the best places to eat are little local restaurants that are hidden away down back streets, far away from any tourist hotspots. What to do in Japan after eating? KTV is a must.  Some of the singing you will hear is so bad it’s close to genius.

About writing: when did it start, when will it stop, and what’s happening in between?
Started writing seriously in 1995. I will finish when I have run out of weird ideas. In between? A day job, a wife, a son, lots of music to listen to and far too many books to read.

In your story, I see a little bit of J.D., a little bit of Veronica, and many Heathers. In high school, who were you? A guy on the edge? A jock or a cheerleader? A murderer with a scheme to blow up the gym?
I was the D&D geek who evolved into  a music nerd.

About you: tell us three things we must know.
I like prog and post rock, I’m a lifelong Doctor Who fan and I think Zen Buddhism is cool.

Now tell us one thing about yourself that you haven’t told your parents.
I don’t like jigsaw puzzles.

Final question: how have you enjoyed the pankhearst process? (I’ve heard that Lucy is AWFULLY mean)
It has been an absolute joy being part of the Pankhearst process and I have not been given any money to say this.

Seriously though, it has been great and I’m really proud to have “Sushi” included in Heathers.


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