Simon's Mansion - Semi Finalist BookLife Prize 2019

BookLife Fiction Prize 2019 Semifinalist Judge on Simon's Mansion, "What sets this book apart is its raw originality."

BookLife Prize 2019

Semi Finalist Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10 Originality: 10 out of 10 Prose: 10 out of 10 Character/Execution: 10 out of 10 Overall: 10.00 out of 10 Assessment: Plot: Though Poe offers a thoroughly compelling and propulsive plot, the author displays a somewhat impatient tendency to skim-over potentially rich scenes in favor of more slow-going descriptions and allusions. The novel's unexpected developments and narrative breadth, however, allow this work to resonate.  Prose: While at times Poe's abstractions can unnecessarily obfuscate the circumstances, the author delivers a finely tuned narrative with literary prose that is smooth, rich, and rhythmic in cadence.  Originality: What sets this book apart is its raw originality. Simon’s Mansion sensitively and realistically captures the struggles of a young man seeking truth and acceptance following a period of intense struggle. That the author draws from personal experience to craft this story, provides a meaningful level of …



IBPA Award judge gives Simon's Mansion highest marks in each category.

IBPA Awards judge gives Simon's Mansion the highest score (10) in each category. "I gave this book a 10 in writing because of the great use of language with complex descriptions such as the one on page 40 of “fast freeze productions.” There are so many engaging minor characters such as Clarice and Twiggy. Each character in this novel is so well drawn and the dialogue is sharp, authentic, and believable. Even the dog Cicero and the goat Ferdinand are endearing characters. I loved the relationship that develops between crotchety Vivian and kindly Thad. The respectful but conflicted relationship between Simon and sister Connie who is intelligent, caring, but very religious and well-meaning is fascinating as well. The author does a great job of moving the story forward through dialogue instead of using excessive description and exposition. The setting and time and place are all vividly portrayed. There are message machines, telexes, modems, cassette players, VHS tapes, and call…

The Family of Humanity

I was in 8th grade in 1968 but I remember the sick and scared feeling. MLK, RFK, and other deaths affected me deeply, which in the end lead to my hoping for a world of ideals based on beliefs - and initially the ideas of the "Unified Family" gave me hope (that is what we called ourselves in the early days of Sun Myung Moon's religion). I was ready to die for the cause of the Brotherhood of Man, the Kingdon of Heaven on Earth. It may have been an impossible quest - but it was a genuine hope. People today have no hope. Christianity is the religion of white supremacist hate or black acquiescence. Those beliefs have offered nothing and led to nothing. Now, we live in an age when violence, inflamed by social media, is the force of black lives matter. They do, but until we see each other as members of the same species, engaged together in the struggle to create a global community - tribalism will destroy us. I long for the days of my youth - the naive hope in the existence of …

Simon's Mansion - 2020 IndieReader Discovery Awards

Simon's Mansion is an entrant in the 2020 IndieReader Discovery Awards

Read the review.


IndieReader approved author William Poe on his motivation: “Storytelling, having people respond to characters and become enthralled in the narrative, is its own reward.”

Simon's Mansion promotion on AskDavid

Simon's Mansion. Recent review on Amazon and Goodreads

Simon's Mansion review

James W 5.0 out of 5 starsThe Way Back Home Reviewed in the United States on March 26, 2020
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase Simon’s Mansion, William Poe’s latest entry to his LGBT literary fiction series, continues the story of protagonist Simon Powell as he returns home to rural Arkansas and struggles to reckon his past with his present. Along the way we are treated to a gripping tale of love, loss, and the search for redemption.

From page one, Poe’s vivid, judiciously-paced prose works wonders as the author gracefully infuses a tried and true prodigal son/coming of age narrative with shades of intolerance, bigotry, and addiction. The novel begins by re-examining Simon’s various relationships (primarily that of his family as well as his lover, Thad) and the emotional baggage he can’t seem to shake, slowly laying the groundwork for a surprisingly thrilling third-act that provides an incredibly satisfying conclusion (avoid spoilers if you’s very g…