Sunday, November 17, 2019

Pamela Howard is Out of the Blue

We go back maybe thirty years. Back to when we were just kids fresh out of school, she working for one of my dad's clients and me working for my dad's construction business. Pam Howard and I would talk on a daily basis depending on the construction project or projects we had going. Since these were the days before the internet or even faxes (I kid you not), I would often find myself driving correspondence, shop drawings, and blueprints to her Albany office in my beat-up Jeep. I loved this part of the job because it got me out of the office, and God knows, I hate offices (thus the full-time writing thing).

Pam was always a professional but also a really nice kid. Bubbly even. When I left the construction business to pursue the super lucrative writing business (that's a joke Ha-Ha), Pam and I kept in vague touch. My second wife, Laura, even worked for her for a short time when Pam was running the PR at the Albany Institute of History and Art. It wasn't all that much later when I started to learn of the profound hardships she was made to endure. She would not only lose her first husband to an early grave, she would lose her second husband, plus her mom, all within six short months. How does one deal with that kind of tragedy and still get out of bed in the morning? I'll leave that for Pam to tell you in her own words.

Maybe I'm prejudice, but there's no better way to exorcise a demon from your battered soul than writing about it. Thus is born Pam's memoir, Out of the Blue. It's a remarkably well written piece of literary liberation, and cannot possibly be read without shedding a tear or two. But just like the author, there are moments of laughter also. In fact, Pam is so good-natured about her life's losses she often jokes about her third husband's chances of survival. Dark humor, but what the hell, if you can't laugh, than you obviously can't live either.

As usual, I've gone on for far too long. Without further ado, please meet Pamela Howard, a stunningly talented debut author.


What do you do when you lose virtually everything in life, personally and professionally?  How do you move forward?  I experienced a series of losses (including my 51 year old husband) in 2012 and 2013, and have written a book that describes the depths of pain and loss, followed by the joys of finding my way to a new and fulfilling life.  This book is full of real-life experiences, thoughts and observations on death, and how I used my circle of family, friends and professionals to chart a new course to happiness.  I hope this book can help you to move past whatever may be holding you back in your life as well.  

Excerpt from the book:  "I can tell you that grief cannot be managed like a project.  Grief doesn’t give a shit about your spreadsheets and TO DO lists.  Grief is a dark shadow that follows you around and stalks you.  Grief waits for you to be vulnerable, just for a second.  It lurks around the corners just out of view.  Grief is always just under the surface waiting to breach into your consciousness, just when you least expect it.  It’s a song on the radio, a TV commercial, a taste, a smell, or when you drive past your old favorite restaurant that grief can paralyze you.  But what I learned about grief is that as time goes on, the grief bubbles up less and less.  The pain is still there, but becomes a little less acute all the time."

I hope you pick up Out of the Blue. It's a tremendously easy read, but hard at the same time, if you get my meaning. For certain, you won't forget it. 

Friday, November 15, 2019


We're lucky to be living in a time when communications are not only instant, they are conducted in all sorts of ways. We not only have mobile smart telephones that boast far more computing power then the computers that sent men to the moon, we have Facebook, Twitter, video chats, blogs, vlogs, YouTube, PodCasts...any number of ways to communicate both directly and indirectly.

It's so easy to communicate now, we can become famous just by creating our own mini-TV station (My son Harrison is presently doing fan referred to him as "God"). Or we can communicate directly with the already famous, if they so wish.

But all this access has given rise to the annoying phenom of ghosting. That is, when you are in a relationship with someone, be it professional or personal, and after emailing or texting them, they simply choose to ignore you for whatever reason. In other words, they basically cut off all communication with no explanation. It's not only infuriating, it's kind of cowardly, to say the least (publishers and agents like to pull this shit, trust me).

I don't ghost.

That is, if you are close to me in the business of writing world or the friendship world, I will always respond to you, even if what I'm about to communicate isn't necessarily what you want to hear. There are any number of reasons why someone might want to ghost me. Maybe you owe me money. Maybe you don't like my Blitzkrieg Publishing mentality and MO. Maybe you don't like shoes. Who the hell knows.

All I know is this. You know who you are. And if you are going ghost me, you will become invisible to me (you see what I did there).


 Just a few days left to pre-order THE EXTORTIONIST, the newest in the awesome, bestselling, totally cool, Steve Jobz PI series.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wrong Place. Write Crime

It's a pleasure being compared to mega pulp master Eric Beetner and in the company of bestselling crime writer, Frank Zaphiro. I wasn't off the plane from Chernobyl and the latter is interviewing me on his awesome podcast Wrong Place. Write Crime. We not only discuss my catalogue, but important noir/crime writerly stuff like, you'd better be enjoying what you're writing or it's gonna damn well show itself on the page. If you don't like your own words, your fans or would-be fans ain't gonna like it either. Make sense? Oh and we're also lucky to be published by the same gritty, take-no-prisoners outfit, Down&Out Books.

Grab the Podcast HERE:


Also, please don't forget THE EXTORTIONIST, the latest in the Steve Jobz PI Thriller series, is currently available for pre-order at a special low price that will double after its November 29 release date. So act now thriller fans.  

Saturday, October 26, 2019

A Brilliant Performance of Primary Termination

Because that's what the audio version truly is. Not just someone reading the from the book, but actually making it come alive. Performing the story, as it were.

The narrator for my latest novel (or the novel of the month anyway...Ha-Ha), Primary Termination, is Lisa Ware. In my humble opinion, Lisa captured the true essence of Tanya Teal in her portrayal of the book's protagonist/heroine. Just enough spunk mixed with just enough guts and humanity to make her seem both real and someone you'd most definitely want on your side should a mega corporation like Everest dot com, and its AI, truly come to run our lives one day.

Without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to the narrator of Primary Termination, Lisa Ware:


Let me start by saying what a pleasure it is to be narrating Primary Termination for Vincent Zandri! His Thrillers never disappoint, and his dip into the Dystopian genre is no exception. I am honored to lend a voice to Tanys Teal and help bring the war with the Everest Corporation to the masses. At what cost would you take a worry-free life?

      Producing an audiobook is quite an experience and undertaking. One must have the proper equipment, the proper location, the proper training, and the proper mentality. Most narrators are on the – um – eccentric side. Some of us are downright batty! Makes for great characters. . .

      I've recorded a quick bit of me in the booth if anyone is curious about the process (yes, I have a stuffed dog sitting on top of my microphone). View that here →

      Before I even consider stepping into the booth to record, there is a ton of prep to do. The book must be read through at least once to gain familiarity and to mark up the text with any notes. This allows me to get to know the characters and helps to mold my performance. Now I can match the author's intent and keep the story flowing. There is a short dive at the beginning to make sure narrator and author are on the same page and then it's right into the deep end – all in, baby!

      Once the recording if completed, it is then edited and proofed. I'll re-record any errors or glitches – of which there will be many, because we all make mistakes – and then the project is mastered/engineered. After all that, the audio is uploaded and we wait for ACX to do their thing and gt the final product up on the (virtual) sales.

      I cannot wait for everyone to join the war. I hope you all enjoy Primary Termination as much as I do!  


BTW I have some free promo Audio codes for Primary Termination for both US and UK audiences. All you gotta do is email me at and I can send one over to you. First come first serve while they last.