Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vincent Zandri - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Vincent Zandri. He is the No. 1 International Bestselling Amazon Noir Author. Vincent is the writer of the Dick Moonlight Thriller Series, the P.I. Jack Marconi Series and the Chase Baker Thriller Series.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Romance, Crime

Website: Vincent Zandri
Author's Blog: Vincent Zandri - Noir Author
Twitter: @VincentZandri
E-Mail: Vazandri@aol.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Vincent Zandri is the NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author of THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT FALLS, THE CONCRETE PEARL, MOONLIGHT RISES, SCREAM CATCHER, BLUE MOONLIGHT, MURDER BY MOONLIGHT, THE GUILTY, MOONLIGHT SONATA, MOONLIGHT WEEPS, FULL MOONLIGHT, THE SHROUD KEY, and the forthcoming, THE BREAKUP. He is also the author of numerous Amazon bestselling digital shorts including PATHOLOGICAL, TRUE STORIES and MOONLIGHT MAFIA, as well as the coauthor of DEADLY DOZEN which sold more than 90,000 copies in its first two months of publication.

Harlan Coben has described THE INNOCENT (formerly As Catch Can) as "…gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting," while the New York Post called it "Sensational…Masterful…Brilliant!" Zandri's list of domestic publishers include Delacorte, Dell, Down and Out Books, and Thomas & Mercer, while his foreign publisher is Meme Publishers of Milan and Paris. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri's work is translated, or soon to be translated, into many languages including the Dutch, Russian, French, Italian, German, and Japanese. A freelance photo-journalist for Living Ready Magazine, RT, Globalspec, inTravel Magazine, along with several other global news agencies and publications, Zandri lives in New York and Florence, Italy. For more go to WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

First things first. Let’s start with what’s next. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Truth be told, I have a few new releases coming this year. The first is Moonlight Weeps which is the most recent in the Dick Moonlight PI series. It's being published by Down & Out Books probably sometime in the late summer. Next is Moonlight Sonata which is being translated into Italian by Meme Publisher in Milan and Paris. That should be out in early summer. I've also just signed a major deal with Thomas & Mercer for the publication of my 400 page stand-alone literary thriller, The Breakup. Fans of my bestselling stand-alone, The Remains, will want to read The Breakup.

You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Did you use forums, newsletters and methods like that?

When I first started publishing book length fiction back in 1999 and 2000, there was no such thing as social media. I simply relied on the marketing team at Dell Publishing to do their thing, which wasn't always effective. But then comes Facebook, Twitter, and the ability to blog about anything you want, when you want. I dove head first into this online opportunity and quickly expanded my fan base far wider and more rapidly than any old fashioned book tour of brick and mortar bookstore signings could have. Social media has allowed me to be a global player whereas prior to its existence, I was simply, Vincent Zandri, local author.

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

Covers are usually the sole domain of my publishers. But if they're creating covers for a series like the Dick Moonlights or the Jack Marconis, they all contain the same basic design which brands the books as a Vincent Zandri thriller series. The only covers I have a hand in designing are for my brand new Chase Baker Thriller Series and that's because I'm publishing them under my own label, Bear Media, which I run with my two sons Jack Zandri and Harrison Zandri. The former is a visual artist and the latter a writer.

You have several great book trailers. (See links below.) They look very professional. Do you know how much impact they have had on your book’s success? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailers?

Book trailers are fun in that they bring the book to life in another more visual format. Curiously they do little to affect sales. The one trailer I'm most proud of is for Scream Catcher, which my sons filmed, scripted, and produced.

You have written several short stories and novellas. Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work?

I write short stories and novellas simply because that's what I feel like writing at the time. Or perhaps the story just wants to be told in that particular length. I don't use them as a tools to sell my novels, although I suppose they might entice a reader to pick up my longer works.

I like the idea of Author bundles. You are a part of a novel collection called Deadly Dozen. What was the impact on your other sales? What was the main objective of bundling your works with other romance authors? How did you put something like that together?

Deadly Dozen has done incredibly well, nailing three separate spots on the NYTimes Bestseller list and hitting the USA Today list for seven consecutive weeks. Bundles are attractive now to voracious readers who like to fill up their Kindles and e-Readers on the cheap. I wouldn't call us romance authors because we're anything but. We're thriller authors competing with romance authors for a small share in their vast marketplace. When we first started our collective, I never expected to sell anything. I assumed we'd share marketing ideas and that would be that. But it's grown into this publishing monster with a life all its own.

You have put together a set of your novels called PULP!: Two Novels and a Novella What was the impact on your other sales? What was your main objective in bundling your novels

I've actually had to start over again with PULP! It's currently being revamped to exclude one novel, Moonlight Sonata, in the wake of a contractual argument with its original publisher (who shall gladly go nameless here), and will be replaced with either another Moonlight or another Chase Baker. That's all I can say about PULP! right now.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I rarely run digital freebies since 90% of my novels are traditionally published. On occasion I run freebies for my short stories but that's about it. They don't affect over all sales one way or another. I do however, give away paper editions when I can.

How do you start your book launch process for a new book? Give a brief outline of the steps you go through to get your book to market. What methods were the most successful?

I don't do a whole lot, believe it or not. The publisher will usually handle a launch. I did have one publisher who did absolutely nothing to launch a book (Moonlight Sonata's current publisher), which is why I left them. But in general, what I will do is post news of the book on all the social media platforms, and then perhaps blog about the book, or maybe blog about something related to the book. For instance, I promoted The Remains by writing and blogging about the power of identical twins.

You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and providing useful information to other writers. What is your primary goal? Your blog is available via subscription from Amazon. Have you seen an impact from this service on your other sales?

The Vincent Zandri Vox exists as a news outlet for writers, travelers, readers, and anyone who is interested in the far out global culture we share in the early 21st century. When I can I like to help other writers, especially newbies, with personal stories that might not only inspire them, but warn them against the many predators that plague this business. I.E. There's a terrible influx of so-called "indie publishers" who bill themselves as writer friendly, and who preach falsely about wanting to help writers succeed when in fact all they are interested in is grabbing up the rights to authors work and stealing 50% of their royalties. If the author suddenly wants out from these shysters, the publisher will demand tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Real bottom feeders and criminals. I'll be writing more on this topic in the Vox as the year progresses.

Author's Book List
Full Moonlight - A Dick Moonlight Thriller
Some things are not as they appear. Especially if you're Dick Moonlight--a P.I. with a piece of .22 caliber hollow-point bullet hopelessly lodged inside his brain, making his sudden death at any given time a real possibility. When he's hired to look into some mysterious carcass mutilations taking place at the historic Albany Rural Cemetery, Moonlight encounters a nightmare worse than death. A nightmare that haunts him like the bone-shattering howl of a werewolf, and that takes place under the cover of a full moon...From USA TODAY Bestselling author, Vincent Zandri, comes a 42 page dark, paranormal, action-packed novella for those who love suspense and who wish to dive into the entire bestselling Dick Moonlight PI series, starting with MOONLIGHT FALLS and then proceeding to MOONLIGHT RISES, BLUE MOONLIGHT, MURDER BY MOONLIGHT, MOONLIGHT SONATA and coming soon, MOONLIGHT WEEPS!

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Shroud Key - A Chase Baker Thriller
Chase Baker is a true Renaissance Man. He’s also a man who knows how to find trouble. A part-time resident of Florence, Italy, his resume reads like a modern day Da Vinci or Casanova. Writer, private investigator, tour guide, historian, treasure hunter, adventurer, and even archaeological sandhog, Chase is also a prolific lover. Unfortunately for him, his dangerous liaisons all too often make him the target of a jealous husband. Now, at the direct request of the Florence police, he finds himself on the trail of an archaeologist by the name of Dr. Andre Manion who’s gone missing from his teaching post at the American University. But having worked for the archaeologist several years ago as a sandhog on a secret but failed dig just outside the Great Pyramids in the Giza Plateau, Chase smells a renewed opportunity to uncover what just might be the most prized archaeological treasure in the world: The mortal remains of Jesus. But how will Chase Baker go about finding both the archaeologist and the Jesus Remains? With the help of Manion’s beautiful ex-wife, Chase will manage to secure an up-close and personal examination of the Shroud of Turin, not only to view the famous image of the crucified Christ, but to unlock the relic’s greatest secret which is none other than a map, or a key, detailing the precise location of Jesus’s body.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Permanence - A Novel of Dark Suspense
Based on true events, PERMANENCE, is a "Hitchcockian" literary thriller about Mary Kismet, a woman who is holding onto a deep dark secret too painful and startling to reveal. Now, having isolated herself from the world, she attempts to break away from her demons by immersing herself, body and soul, into a passionate and erotic love affair with her psychiatrist. A mystery with a surprising if not frightful climax.

Called "hauntingly beautiful" by bOOk R3vi3ws, PERMANENCE is a tragic novel of obsession, dark compulsions, hard-boiled sexuality, and suspense.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Guilty - P.I. Jack Marconi Series
Sometimes the recipe for true love can turn out to be the perfect poison.

Jack Marconi is back. In The Guilty, Jack finds himself investigating a local restaurateur who’s not only obsessed with the sexy, dark romance novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, he’s accused of attempting to murder his school teacher girlfriend. As the now brain-damaged young woman begins recalling events of that fateful winter night when she was allegedly pushed down the stairs of a West Albany mansion, she becomes the target of the angry foodie/sex-obsessed boyfriend once again. Only this time, he’s cooking up a plot to keep her silenced forever.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Moonlight Sonata - A Dick Moonlight Thriller
Sometimes a man who goes missing should stay missing.

When a hotshot literary agent by the name of Suzanne Bonchance lures Richard Moonlight into searching for her missing star client—the boozing, womanizing Roger Walls—the private detective finds himself waist-deep in a whole lot of trouble. But when a sexy, young MFA in Writing student who claims to know Walls comes to his rescue, Moonlight not only becomes smitten with her charm, he also finds himself falling in love with a girl he barely knows. As the trail for Walls narrows, and the truths about everyone who has ever been involved with Roger Walls are revealed, Moonlight finds himself wanting to run away as fast as his legs will take him. One thing he can't outrun, however, are bullets.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Moonlight Falls - A Dick Moonlight Thriller
Albany, New York, is the setting of Vincent Zandri's paranoid thriller (in the Hitchcock tradition) about Richard "Dick" Moonlight, former APD detective turned private investigator/massage therapist, who believes he killed Scarlet Montana, his illicit lover and wife of his ex-boss Chief of Detectives Jake Montana. The dilemma ... Moonlight doesn't remember what happened!

Book Trailer: Moonlight Falls

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Disappearance of Grace
Now you see her. Now you don’t.

Captain Nick Angel has finally made a separate peace with the war in Afghanistan. Since having been ordered to bomb a Tajik village which resulted in the death of a little boy of no more than two, he’s been suffering from temporary bouts of blindness. Knowing the he needs time to rest and recover from his post traumatic stress, the US Army decides to send him to Venice along with his fiancee, the artist, Grace Blunt. Together they try and recapture their former life together. But when Grace suddenly goes missing, Nick not only finds himself suddenly alone and sightless in the ancient city of water, but also the number one suspect in her disappearance.

A novel that projects Hitchcockian suspense onto a backdrop of love and war, The Disappearance of Grace is a rich, literary thriller of fear, loss, love, and revenge. From the war in the Afghan mountains to the canals of romantic Venice, this is a story that proves 20/20 eyesight might not always be so perfect and seeing is not always believing.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Scream Catcher - Hard-Boiled Thriller
Jude Parish is a former violent crimes cop turned bestselling true crime author. Now, in the wake of his literary success, Jude is hoping to lead a quiet, peaceful life in the idyllic Adirondack vacation town of Lake George, New York along with his pregnant wife, Rosie, and Jack, his young son from a previous marriage.

But when the ex-cop becomes the accidental witness to a bizarre murder in which the killer, video game designer and master of disguise, Hector “the Black Dragon” Lennox, insists on recording the screams of his victim prior to shooting him dead, the Jude’s life is turned upside down.

When Lennox is arrested by the L.G.P.D. and Jude is asked to act as the state’s “star witness,” he has no choice but to take on the role. But what he doesn’t realize is that the killer’s arrest is actually the first level in what will be a carefully scripted 1st person video kill game that will involve his entire family as “players” and “victims.”

How will the kill game end?

Like all violent video games, it will end in death. But it won’t be “Game Over” until Hector Lennox tries to catch the screams of his tortured victims.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Godchild - P.I. Jack Marconi
Jack “Keeper” Marconi is desperate to move on—from his former job as a prison warden, from his wife’s horrific death in a car accident, and, most of all, from the torturous suspicion that the hit-and-run driver was actually aiming for them. After three long years, Keeper can still perfectly recall the image of the black Buick and its driver. And on the very day he is set to put it all behind him and marry again, Keeper catches a glimpse of that ominous car. Now he knows what he must do: find that driver.

Even as his life is hurtled off axis, a new case comes his way. A beautiful woman—an author on an assignment gone wrong—has been locked up in a notorious Mexican prison. Keeper has no intention of accepting the near–suicide mission to break her out. But when he discovers that her case could be connected to the hit-and-run driver, there’s no stopping him. Risking it all, Keeper follows a trail of bodies and lies through Mexico—and all the way back home.

For Keeper, it’s time for justice. Time for truth. Time for revenge.

Book Trailer: Godchild

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Innocent - P.I. Jack Marconi
In 1997, Green Haven Prison went insane…

They call him Keeper, but lately Jack Marconi has specialized in losing things. Just last year, he lost his wife in a mysterious traffic accident, and ever since, he’s felt like he’s losing his mind. As the warden of the maximum security Green Haven Prison, home to 2,500 of New York’s most hardened criminals, Marconi can’t afford to drop focus, even for an instant. But he’s been slipping up on the job, and he’s tormented by flashbacks to the Attica uprising. All of which makes him ripe for the role of patsy when a convicted cop killer named Eduardo Vasquez stages a daring breakout on his watch.

From the start, Marconi suspects an inside job. What he doesn’t suspect is that he’ll become the target of a frame-up. Soon drugs are planted in Marconi’s office, embarrassing photos are circulated, and he finds himself facing trumped-up charges of obstruction of justice. With his supervisors clearly setting him up to take the fall, Marconi hatches a desperate scheme to clear his name. Kidnapping the escaped killer’s girlfriend, he arms himself with a .45 and takes off in pursuit of Vasquez—and the truth.

Once sworn to uphold the law, Marconi will have to elude it if he wants to bring this conspiracy to light. Otherwise Keeper could lose everything: his job, his reputation—and even his life.

Book Trailer: The Innocent

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Remains
It’s been thirty years since the terrifying abduction of twin sisters Rebecca and Molly Underhill by a deranged man who lived in a cabin behind their house in upstate New York. Fearful of retribution against their family, the girls kept the incident secret.

Rebecca, now a painter and art teacher, and alone since Molly died of cancer, suddenly begins getting strange and anonymous text messages—the first with just her name. Is Molly trying to communicate with her? Not possible, thinks Rebecca, who’s never believed in God or an afterlife.

And it couldn’t be their attacker from so many years ago; he was imprisoned for a similar crime at about that same time. Surely he’d still be in jail or dead by now—wouldn’t he?

But things get stranger. Rebecca’s art student Francis, an autistic savant, gives her a series of paintings he’s done. Rebecca, with increasing dread, realizes the sequence of scenes depicted in the paintings match the nightmares she’s had every night since the horrific ordeal three decades earlier. How could Franny know? Is it a ghostly warning of some kind?

Unnerved, Rebecca spills the whole frightening account of the abduction to her ex-husband and friend, Michael, who, dismayed by the story, vows to help sort out the mysterious texts and disturbing series of paintings.

What happens next is a frightening rollercoaster ride that builds up to a soul-shattering climax that will leave the reader checking the locks on their doors and windows…

Book Trailer: The Remains

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Moonlight Rises - Dick Moonlight
Dick Moonlight is dead for real this time. Thanks to a trio of Obama-masked thugs in a dark downtown Albany alley, he’s purchased a one-way ticket to the Pearly Gates—that is, until he feels his floating spirit painfully pulled back into his bruised but breathing body. And that’s when the real trouble starts.

A private detective with a short-term memory problem due to a wayward self-inflicted slug, Moonlight knows he’s still in danger. Now he just needs to know why. And he’s got plenty of enemies to keep him guessing—the Albany police, the local mob, even the latest love of his life, Lola, can’t be trusted. Only his Vietnam-vet best friend, Georgie, is on the level. But it seems the goons who tried to take him out have bigger fish to fry—chiefly Moonlight’s latest client, Peter Czech, a handicapped nuclear engineer with a mysterious Russian heritage. Czech had something—a box—the gang believes is now in Moonlight’s possession, and they’re willing to get it any deadly way they can. Problem is, Moonlight doesn’t recall Czech giving him any box—of course, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have it. He just better figure out where it is before he winds up dead for the last time.

The Cold War is heating up once again in Vincent Zandri’s latest thriller. Moonlight Rises is a fast-paced, whip-smart tale of a guy who can’t always remember getting into trouble—and can’t seem to stay out of it.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner and
HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

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