Monday, April 18, 2011

Intitial Impressions and Gut Wrenching Feelings: My story of the first time I met Vincent Zandri

"The Blond Bombshell"

This might qualify as one of the more unusual guest blogs you're ever going to read at the Vox or anywhere else for that matter. But it was the brainchild of Boise-based author, Bri Clark, who herself is one of those rare creatures who not only possess both brains and beauty, but her talent and sharp wit can reduce a more humble soul like myself to a wet pile of rags and bones. Her subject today is the first impression she brought away from our initial meeting in Boise last Fall for the first annual Boise Book Expo. Like Bri will point out in her piece, I had just signed with StoneHouse Ink and StoneGate Ink, and my books were selling OK, but nothing like they would a few months later when THE INNOCENT would land on the Top Ten Amazon Kindle E-Book Bestseller List, with GODCHILD and THE REMAINS following close on its tail. But I recall seeing this tall, strawberry blond drink-of-water who inquisitively inquired about the recent trade paper release of THE REMAINS. I believe I asked her to check me... I mean, it out, while at the same time trying to catch a glimpse of her "ring finger" which was sadly occupied with a wedding band. Hey, you can't blame a bachelor writer guy from New York for trying. But we did hit it off in every bit of that east happily meets west way,and have maintained a close friendship and mini-support group ever since. We're both writers, parents, dreamers, wise-asses, and restless individuals and I guess in a way that makes us soul mates. The Blond Bombshell of Boise, and the Bulldog Bachelor from New York. With that, I give you Bri Clark!

It was at the first annual Idaho Book Extravaganza in Meridian ID. I had heard about this even the day before (through Facebook) and on a whim went. The people were so amazing that not only presented but who were attendees. The great thing about the writing world is that we really are just all one big team rooting for one another which brings me back to meeting Mr. Vincent Zandri. He is one of the most approachable successful authors you could ever meet.

Vincent had just given a speech on writing and ebooks. At the time, he had recently signed with Aaron Patterson at StoneHouse Ink and wasn’t selling 50,000 books in a month. It may be more than that now. Anyways, I took some notes and did a little bit of heckling (I don’t think he remembers that part.) Then left to go get some lunch before the workshops started.

So I come back trying not to be too overwhelmed by the information and possibilities of publication that I was daydreaming about. Then as I’m walking among the crowded main floor there is Mr. Zandri. I didn’t notice who he was at first but when I saw him looking at me I kind of felt like a gazelle who just got spotted by a lion licking his chops. Only I’m not nearly as graceful or as lean as a gazelle and Vincent is not nearly as fierce as a lion.

Anyway, so I walk past him and he smiles and says something that is classic Italian New Yorker. While I can’t remember what he said I do remember it was a mixture of a pickup line and a compliment. I know this because when he said it my married woman instincts kicked in and I remember looking slightly behind me thinking he was talking to someone else as I pulled my shirt down and squared my shoulders trying as I had all day to conceal my squished to the top of my dress pants muffin top.

I said something back, he laughed and arched his eyebrow, I smiled, and then I walked away. This other presenter was over a few feet at a booth and I had decided after his presentation that he was someone I needed to talk to. But the whole time I walked away and talked to him my gut kept saying go find that guy with the Yankee accent and witty humor. He’s the one you want to talk to.

Unfortunately, I did not and I kept talking to that guy and bought his book. I learned nothing from him that was of use and frankly, I’ve never read his book. However, I did find Vincent on Facebook and started talking to him. Thankfully, he responded and now has become my unofficial mentor in this industry and a good friend. We write completely different genres, (I’m a romance author and Mr. NY Bachelor isn’t really about that now is he?) but he has fantastic instincts and is more intelligent than he give himself credit.

My first encounter with Vincent taught me a valuable lesson I think every writer should know. Sometimes initial impressions are wrong and always, always listen to your inner protagonist.



  1. That is not the picture I sent!!! ROFL

  2. Boy, the two of you would be too much to take sitting in one room together. 'Though I'd like to give it a shot someday

  3. LOL B.R. WE will be at the Idaho Book Expo again this year. It's Oct 28 &29 if you are feeling froggy. Lucky for us w are 2000 miles apart.

  4. My inner protagonist says it's time for lunch.
    Or maybe that's just gas! ha! Thanks for being my guest today Bri! Good stuff as usual...

  5. Thank you for having me V and it's probably gas. But I mean techinically didn't I "but her talent and sharp wit can reduce a more humble soul like myself to a wet pile of rags and bones." into letting me post? ;)


  7. Why does this sound like a sultry city fling in the making? I can see Bri standing there puffing away, lol. God knows how I wandered over here when I should be working but it's the stuff '50 movies were made of....sigh....and incidentally you two are very well soul mates, possibly karmic. ;o)