Partners in Crime Tours have teamed up with me once again to bring Vincent Zandri to The Top Shelf! He’s here on his Moonlight Rises tour. My review of his book will be up sometime in the weeks to come but for now enjoy this awesome interview!
TTS: First, tell us about the man behind the words. What’s Vincent “V” Zandri REALLY like?
Just as handsome and dashing as I appear in my photos. Ha! Not!. I’m like every other working stiff. I get up on Monday morning, make the coffee, contemplate the work day, and get down to it. Only difference is I can do it from anywhere in the world. Right now, I’m doing it from Florence, Italy, my second home. But I work five days a week, about eight hours a day. I usually work Saturday mornings too, unless I’m away. For downtime I like to have a beer, read, watch a movie, fly fish, hike, run, lift weights, play drums, catch a nap, hang with my kids, cook with my girlfriend, get in the car and go, or just do anything that I feel like. I never watch TV and rarely go to the movies.
TTS: I hear you have a band. What do you do and how long have you been in that band?
Sadly I am no longer in a band. I was the drummer The Blisterz, a punk band that’s featured in my newest novel, Concrete Pearl. But my career commitments have become too many to be able to devote the time the band needs to travel and record. So I decided it was time to take my leave while they seek out a new drummer.
TTS: Tells about your kids. One is starting to follow his dad’s footsteps, correct?
I have three kids. Jack, 20, Harrison, 17, and Ava, 6. Harrison, or Bear as we call him, is with me now in Florence. He’s a dedicated writing neophyte and already at work on his first novel. He and his brother Jack have also started work on designing a new video game. They would like to bring “art” back to video game development. Ava is the light of my life. She’s a fashionista and follows in her mom’s footsteps. Her mom is a fashion professional. I used accompany her to Paris for Fashion Week. Looks like one day I’ll be following my daughter.
TTS: You live in New York. Do you ever see things in New York that prompt you to want to write your novels or do they just come to you?
New York, especially Albany it’s capital, is full of crooked politicians and on-the-take cops, and all sorts of hard-boiled stories and images. Especially the neon covered windows of its many corner bars and saloons. It’s had a profound affect on me and my outlook. I can remember vividly 15 years ago when I had to work a real job, and how desperate I would feel driving home to wife and family, knowing I had to do it all over again in the morning. You’d stop at one of those neon-lit grills and try and forget things. It’s that kind of life from which noir was born. Stories like “They Shoot Horses Don’t They” and “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” While New York City is becoming Disney Land, Albany still maintains that authentic desperate noir atmosphere. In truth, it’s a tough place to live.
TTS: Why do you choose Italy as your writing retreat?
Italy is far removed from the US in that preparing a single meal and the time you give over to enjoying it is far more important to its people than the pursuit of greenbacks. It’s a completely different mindset. In Florence especially, you can just feel the creativity oozing from the cobbled streets and stucco-sided buildings. It’s still the classic art and architecture capital of the world and arguably Dante’s “The Divine Comedy,” which was born here, is the first modern novel in terms of structure and delivery. I have relatives in the area whom I’ve never met. But I feel more at home here than I do some of the places I grew up in. It’s nice to finish up work for the day in someplace special and romantic.
TTS: Tell us about your FIRST book. Was it hard writing that?
It was in that it was my creative thesis at the time for my MFA in Writing at Vermont College. I also had to do a lot of research that took me to some of New York’s hardest maximum security prisons. The book became The Innocent and it has since sold hundreds of thousands of copies and still going strong.
TTS: What is your FAVORITE book and why? How about your LEAST favorite book and why?
My favorite would have to be The Remains since it’s so personal and reflects entirely the loving relationship that I carried on with my ex-wife long after our divorce. I don’t have a least favorite. There are those that gave me difficulty and took years to get right, like Scream Catcher which will be released very soon.
TTS: Any pet peeves in the author world? Something that really jerks your chain that you wish an author wouldn’t do?
I can’t say other authors really jerk my chain so to speak. I’d say the press sometimes gets under my skin when they confuse me as a “self-published” author, which couldn’t be further from the truth. All my contracts, legacy or independent, are traditionally agented deals. A publicist whom I’ve been working with for a while now recently included me in a piece she wrote for one of her blogs on self-published authors being picked up by majors houses. I could only shake my head and laugh. Since when am I being lumped in with the self-published crowd? In any case, I have considered self-publishing, but when I saw the time and effort that had to go into it, I backed away.
TTS: You did an Author’s Lab Collaboration with Giovanni Gelati. What went into that process and was it fun?
It was fun. I wouldn’t want to do too many of them, because it takes a tremendous amount of effort and time that I might rather use for my own work. But it was definitely worth the experience, and I’m a big supporter of Giovanni Gelati and his efforts
TTS: Are you staying strictly with eBooks now, or will there still be print books for those who don’t have eReaders?
All my books with StoneHouse/StoneGate Ink are published in eBook and Trade Paper. However, my agent is working on a new major deal that’s going to make my books available in several reading formats. But I do believe that eBook will by far be the dominant form in which fans and potential fans will read my work, new and old.
TTS: What’s up next for Vincent Zandri lovers everywhere?
Later this week or next a major announcement will be made regarding my future. But I’m not at liberty to divulge it yet.
TTS: Anything you want to say to your fans?
Thanks for buying my books and thanks for spreading the word. I couldn’t do it without you.
TTS: Thanks, V, for taking the time to visit The Top Shelf today! Can’t wait to read what’s next!
Thanks for having me Misty.
Vincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling Amazon Kindle author of THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT FALLS, CONCRETE PEARL and the forthcoming MOONLIGHT RISES. He is also the author of the bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL and MOONLIGHT MAFIA. Harlan Coben has described his novels as “…gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting,” while the New York Post called THE INNOCENT, “Sensational…Masterful…Brilliant!” In March, April and May of 2011, he sold more than 100,000 Kindle E-Books editions of his novels, and is rapidly closing in on the 200K mark all totaled. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri’s work is translated into many languages including the Dutch, Russian and Japanese. An adventurer, foreign correspondent, and freelance photo-journalist for RT, Globalspec, IBTimes and more, he divides his time between New York and Florence, Italy.
The Next Stop:
October 13th-Review&Guest Post@A Good Day To Read
Synopsis: “Life sucks. Then you die. Or, if you’re Dick Moonlight, first you die and then you live.”
Dick Moonlight is dead.
Really dead this time, now that three President Obama-masked thugs dressed all in black and communicating only with hand-held voice synthesizers pressed up against their voice boxes have beat the life right out of him inside a dark, downtown Albany alley. What are the thugs after? A box. Size, weight, description unknown. They also want him to stay away from his newest and only client: a handicapped nuclear engineer of dubious Russian heritage by the same of Peter Czech.
But then, now that they’ve killed him, Moonlight’s problems seem to be over. In fact, as he undergoes an out of body experience, his soul floating above his train-wreck of a corpse inside the Albany Medical Center I.C.U., he feels pretty damned good. Great in fact. To make death all the more sweeter, his one true love, Lola, is standing by his bedside. With her long dark hair draping her chiseled face and big round Jackie O sunglasses hiding tear-filled eyes, she appears every bit the grieving sig other. Nothing could make the dead-and-gone Moonlight prouder.
But then something happens. Something bad. A man enters into the I.C.U. Some young guy. He takes hold of Lola’s hand, and pulls her into him. Together, the two share a loving embrace over Moonlight’s dead body. Now, what seemed like a peaceful death is anything but. Moonlight wants back inside his body so he can face-off Some Young Guy and find out if his true love has in fact been cheating on him. At the same time, he wants to find out the true identity of those thugs who killed him so he can exact his revenge. No doubt about it, Moonlight needs to live if he’s going to uncover some pretty painful answers and take care of business.
Like a little kid dropping down a playground slide, Moonlight slides right back inside his bruised and broken body. Opening his eyes the white light blinds him. He feels the pain of his wounds and the pain of his breaking heart.
Life sucks, then you die.
But Moonlight rises.