Wednesday, September 28, 2011
My ex-wife (the second one) used to call me selfish. She claimed my work came before my family. That all the hours I put into my writing was taking away from the quality time I might otherwise share with she and the kids. Which I never quite understood since I usually never work nights and was often the Johnny-on-the-spot when it came to making dinners, feeding the crew and helping out with the homework. You know, domestic stuff like that. My ex was pretty good at making reservations. That was about it. Ok, I'm joking. In her defense she worked and took care of quite a few household chores that might have otherwise never gotten done. Like the laundry for instance.
But in terms of work, I was not only diligent, I often worked seven days a week writing and marketing my novels. I recall a time when guests of hers were over and she simply introduced me as her husband. When the topic of writers and books came up, it struck me as odd and frankly, kind of sad, that she never once uttered a word about my being a published novelist. Later on, the when the guests were gone, I asked her why she did that. Her response was, 'You already have enough of an ego.' Can you just see the steam pouring out of my ears??????
I guess by then the marriage was over (all 36 months of it) and by that time, she'd had enough of the importance I placed on my writing and the sacrifices we all had to make in order to see a novel become a success. I can't say I blame her. However, I will say that she knew what she was getting into, since when I met her I was a novelist and when we married I remained a novelist (despite her family insisting I get a "real job in the real world.")
There's a reason why many successful authors tend to marry and divorce several times over. The reason is simple: Our work is indeed the most important thing in our lives. Doesn't mean we don't love our kids and spoil them and dote over them. Doesn't mean I didn't love my wife. I loved her to death. But the fact is, when it came to my work schedule, nothing was going to get in the way of it. Not chores, not social engagements, not sickness, not even Christmas. Work isn't even the word for writing. It's more of a calling, a devotion to a religion. Or, maybe this will make more sense to you in a down-to-earth-way: A farmer has to get up and milk the cows and feed the chickens on Christmas morning just like any other day. The animals don't know the difference. The farmer isn't working. He's living a lifestyle and adhering to a calling that is far different from the usual 9-5, sleep, TV, bed that most people are used to. That's the precise allure of the job, no matter how hard and grueling it can be.
I guess when people get married, they see themselves changing their partner's ways and habits to a certain extent. They envision a spouse who will be more sensitive to their needs and wants, and this can include time set aside for them. Nothing wrong with this so long as a fine balance is maintained and said spouse doesn't go overboard with the changes she intends to pursue in her man (and vice/versa naturally). But what she should realize prior to walking down that aisle is that she is marrying a writer. An artist. She is marrying someone who is indeed selfish and self-centered and full of ego. Because that's precisely what it takes to make it as a writer. It is a selfish occupation that will often cause you to lose not only marriages, but relationships and friendships of all kinds, and you, as an aspiring published author, must be prepared for that.
Hemingway went through four wives, and many friends. But his writing was his constant. So long as he could write, his reason for living was intact. Nothing could interfere with it, and nothing would ever stand in its way. And when the words would no longer come to him, he enacted the most selfish act of all. His fourth wife Mary woke up and found his slumped over body in the vestibule of their Ketchum, Idaho home, and what was left of his brains spattered against the walls. Norman Mailer married eight times, Michael Chrichton eight times, Stephen Crane eight times, and the list goes on and on.
I'm not trying to portray a dismal picture here. I'm trying to be honest. As full-time writers who wish to work alone for hours at a time but who also wish to engage in meaningful relationships, there will come a time sooner than later that we will be accused of being selfish and full of ego. We will be accused of placing more importance on our work than we do on our children and our spouses. Even when we have become successful we will still crave attention and affirmation like a spoiled child screaming out behind a locked bedroom door. And we will want to continue to work harder than ever before.
But if you can somehow strike a balance between the work and the ego, and your loved one's needs and wants while still achieving great success, you will be the luckiest person alive. I've yet to find a way to strike that balance and it's cost me dearly. But I'm thankful for what I've achieved and I'm always hopeful that one day, that delicate balance will come before it's too late. For now anyway, I'd better get back to work.
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Friday, September 23, 2011
Who doesn't need one of these every now and then?
There's been a lot of chatter lately about the e-Book market being flooded with crappy books from writers who would, under traditional publishing circumstances, not only be rejected by major publishers but also by most discerning agents. In other words, their writing sucks. But being able to publish your own book these days means you don't have to go through the often terrible trials that most editors can put upon a budding author by lambasting said literary neophyte with rejection after rejection.
Like my dad always says, "But that's the job."
I entered into the literary arena as a traditionalist back in the early '90s, having started out at a local newspaper, then working my way up to regional magazines, and eventually national publications. I wrote my first publishable short story in 1991 after four or five years of writing nothing that was publishable. Or, at least, nothing that was ever accepted by a decent literary magazine or journal. Then I went to writing school where I began my first full-length novel that was to become As Catch Can and later, The Innocent. It sold to Delacorte almost immediately upon my graduation and for a time, it looked like rejection, and the ugly horse she road in on, was a thing of the past. Forever.
Then came the dismantling of my publishing house, and "Catch" was largely forgotten about. I published one more novel with the biggies, Godchild, but by then, the Big 6 were already entering into a tailspin of consolidation and house cleaning. Having earned a major six-figure advance I was now out on my ass as they say, and only as good as my next manuscript.
I wrote that manuscript and while my agent loved it, it was rejected by the big six. So I wrote another one. That one got rejected. It wasn't the quality of the writing I was told, it was my having not earned out my advance. But that wasn't my fault I bellowed. No one wanted to hear it. My argument was rejected.
Still I labored on, and wrote yet one more novel. Same story. No one would take me on.
In the meantime, other forms of rejection awaited me. Friends rejected me for being down in the dumps. My max'd out credit cards rejected me. My emptying bank accounts rejected me. A good night's sleep rejected me. Health rejected me. My ability to quit smoking rejected me (I've since been smoke free for 6 years, but bear with me) Even my new lovely wife, who was growing inpatient with my inability to make a living, rejected the crap out of me. So did her family. They wanted me to give up full-time writing and go to work for my dad's business, whom I had worked for in the past while honing my skills. Problem was, if I worked full-time, I couldn't write. And I knew in my heart that the only way to break through the hell-hole of rejection was to write. Not write "on the side" as some of them were saying.
So I persevered, even when my wife divorced me. My life might have entered into a tailspin of rejection and humiliation for a year or so, but always, the writing was my constant. It was the light I could rely upon in the midst of all that darkness.
When Moonlight Falls got accepted by a small press, and did very well I was elated. Later when The Remains was accepted by StoneHouse Ink and produced as an e-Book first, I was entirely skeptical that anything good could come out of it. I had no idea about e-Books and initially rejected the notion that they would replace paper as the dominant manner of reading. But when it eventually hit the Top 100 and then the Top 20, I was hooked.
You would think that I might cut the cord at that point, and kick rejection in the ass and simply self publish from that point forward. But something in my gut told me to continue with the traditional route. The process, while grueling and often times frustrating, still worked for me. Which is why I prefer to continue working with an agent who reads my manuscripts first for their quality and promise. Later on, my publisher will do the very same thing. If they reject it, there's probably a good reason. You know, like it sucks or something (Luckily this hasn't happened yet...I'm on a roll as they say).
Now I'm not only working with StoneHouse Ink, but I'm signing a 7 book deal with Thomas & Mercer, potentially the biggest powerhouse publisher on the block. I have many more novels in me that will have to be read by my agent first and then my editor at T&M. Even though I could simply publish the novels myself, I choose to go this route and risk being rejected yet again.
Because for me...and I speak only for me...risking rejection makes me a better writer. And it's more important for me to have a reader tell me Concrete Pearl or Scream Catcher was "brilliantly written," than to be in the Amazon Top 10. Ok, well, I lie, that rocks too (The Innocent graced the Top 10 for 7 weeks...). But if I'm going to be a writer who not only has staying power, but whose audience continues to grow and expand all over the globe, then every now and then, a little ass kicking might do me some good.
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Friday, September 16, 2011
"You'll never get a major deal again!"
Sounds harsh doesn't it. Even cruel, especially when it comes from the mouth of a respected independent bookstore owner who operates one of the most successful bookselling operations out of Albany.
This was the scene: a year ago or so, said bookstore owner was lamenting the fact that my newest novel at the time, The Remains, was being published in trade paper and E-Book by an indie press. Due to the slowdown in paper sales because of E-Book sales and other economic factors, she didn't want to take the book on in the traditional manner by ordering it from the distributor. She wanted it on consignment. That way she wouldn't get burned down the road by having to hang on to unsold books.
When I explained to her that she could by all means return the books, she wouldn't hear of it. Ok, fair enough. These are trying economic times after all, and book stores are quickly going the way of the record store and the Blockbuster video store. Somehow our talk shifted to my original major deal with two Random House imprints back in '99 and 2000. I mentioned how my agent was going after another major deal based on the excellent E-Book sales I'd been experiencing thus far with The Remains. That's when she turned to me, looked me in the eye and said, "Vincent, you will never get a major deal again!" It wasn't like a slap to the face, it was more like a swift kick to the soft underbelly. She then backed up her statement by telling me the deal with RH had been fluke. The editors were tossing major six-figure deals around like confetti back then. Didn't matter the talent or the inherent value of the writing.
Wow, if I didn't already feel poorly enough about having to be on consignment at her shop, now I was made to feel like a total loser. I mean, I thought bookstore owners were supposed to prop up writers? Work with them? Live in harmony? You need me and I need you and all that...
Fast forward a few months.
The Innocent, Godchild and The Remains all hit the Top 100 on Amazon Kindles and eventually the Top 20. I started moving around 3,000 units per day. That's right. That's not a typo. 3,000 units. The Innocent hit the Top 10 and stayed there for seven weeks. In the meantime, I completed yet another novel, Murder by Moonlight. My agent wanted to go out to sale with it, hoping for the major deal said bookstore owner claimed would be impossible.
The Big 6 in New York all enthusiastically expressed interest in getting a read. So did another major publisher. A new major publisher that's emerged from out of Amazon. Thomas and Mercer. I'd heard about this publisher as not a major in the traditional sense, but more of a hybrid indie and major in which the author receives a terrific E-book royalty on top of being published in hardcover, audio and trade, and along with it, a nice advance or even better.
What makes this new publisher more enticing than the Big 6 however, is their direct connection to Amazon, the biggest store in the world. This publisher will not only sell your books but it is in their best interest to market them and even position them to sell. Something the Big 6 cannot guarantee.
I told my agent that if we did indeed get an offer from T&M that I wouldn't entertain a Big 6 deal, even if they offered me a much larger advance. I wanted to be at a home that represented the future of book selling. I wanted a place that would offer me security and a voice as an author. T&M, I was told would offer that and more. Then, when I heard that big name bestsellers like JA Konrath and Barry Eisler were signing contracts with T&M, that entirely iced the deal for me.
Just yesterday my agent excitedly forwarded my new contract from T&M to me for my review. There's a few details we're ironing out, but it looks great. I'm not at liberty to discuss the upfront money or the percentages, but suffice to say I'm back in the big leagues in a big way. Not only is T&M publishing Murder by Moonlight, but they are re-publishing five titles on my back-list, including The Innocent and The Remains--a first for my agent who has been in the publishing business for two decades. News will be forthcoming in all the usual trades: PW, etc. It's an exciting time for me and my entire family.
"You will never get a major deal again!" said the bookstore owner.
Sometimes I love proving people wrong.
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Monday, September 12, 2011
Concrete Pearl: Reviewed by "Reviews From the Heart"
Reviews from the Heart: Concrete Pearl
I received this eBook of Concrete Pearl by Vincent Zandri compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours for my honest review and this one had me hooked from the first page. Being sensitive to my readers this book does contain some profanity and sexual references that one may find common to construction crews dialogue but it does not take away from the value of a well written story.
The character of A.J. Harrison, the daughter of the Harrison's Construction company was a believable one considering she's been doing this kind of work since she begged her father to give her a shot since she was sixteen. Now struggling to maintain a hold on the company on the verge of bankruptcy and multiple fines already from OSHA, if she can't locate her missing subcontractor, James Farrel, she will more than likely lose the business from the amount of pending lawsuits that are building over the cancer cases of the children affected by the asbestos since inhaling the fibers for the nine months she's been working on the school.
When a lawyer, Damien Spain, shows up suddenly and begins offering her help, hired by James' wife, that things begin to take a twisted turn. This novel will hold the reader from the very first paragraph and is so well written, you finish before you realize it which to me is a definite sign of great writing. I award this book a 4 out of 5 stars. For more information about this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:
Sunday, September 11, 2011
After a divorce or a breakup or a death to someone close to you, a professional therapist will almost always suggest that you try and recall the good things about that person, then move on. Obviously you will never forget and often be reminded of the individual who at one time was very close and special to you. But now that person is gone and they are never coming back to you. The bond is broken forever. Despite the immediate and sometimes agonizing pain, the loss means one thing and one thing only: it's time to reinvent your life.
Today is 9/11, the tenth anniversary of an event that we will never nor should we ever forget, when a Mickey Mouse organization called Al Qaeda comprised primarily of murderous Islamic extremists got very, very lucky, and managed to pull off the mass murder of the century. Since that time the country and much of the world has been tossed into economic turmoil, travel by airplane has become difficult and full of security hassle, many American lives have been lost on the fields of battle in Iraq and Afghanistan, we've tolerantly learned to live with degrees of fear defined by color coded bar charts, and we've tried in every politically correct way possible to understand why Muslim Radicals might hate us so much. We've even come close on occasion to apologizing for just plain being us. Well, I'm not apologizing. I don't say "I'm sorry" to bullies and homicidal maniacs.
Other things have happened in the past ten years. Good things.
Osama, the Al Qaeda chief thug, is dead. A man who lived by the gun and died by the gun. Another thug, Saddam Hussein has been tried and hanged. We now have active counter-terrorism organizations operating both inside and outside the U.S. and in turn, we are better able to protect and defend ourselves. The internet has exploded with social media sights like Twitter and Facebook spreading messages of freedom and democracy to citizens of Egypt, Syria, Libya and elsewhere, making it just a little more difficult in this day and age for a Mafia style thug like Saddam to rule over a country of frightened people. No we didn't uncover weapons of mass destruction in his country prior to entering into the second Iraq War, but that never disguised the fact that they did in fact possess them and had used them before in the form of poison gas on innocent Kurds and had been in the process of acquiring light water for their nuclear processing plants which were being reconstructed.
But it's ten years since 9/11.
Nearly 3,000 innocent people lost their lives on that day, and we shall never forget a single one of them. While it pains my soul to try and imagine the unspeakable sorrow and horrors each of these people went through on that sunny Monday morning, these days I prefer to think about the passengers of Flight 93 bound for San Francisco who decided to re-take their hijacked plane even though it was almost certainly going to mean sacrificing their lives in the process. But somehow they knew that given the choice of being a victim or a defender, they all chose defender. They are heros and saints.
So what shall we do over the course of the next ten years?
Move on. Remember what occurred all those years ago on September 11, 2001 and move on with reconstructing your life.
No more apologies for who or what we are as Americans. We have our faults but we are a strong people whose spirit will always be one of defending the right to be free.
Be tolerant. There will be many more people of the Muslim faith moving to America who are as far removed from the murderers of 9/11 as you and I are from Charlie Manson. They just want a fair shake at living the American Dream. So part of moving on is to move on with people you might have formerly harbored a distrust for.
Be vigilant. There as many domestic terrorists at work in the United States as there are foreign terrorists who want to kill Westerners, Christians, Jews and people of color. Yup, they want to kill little children too. Let's force them out of their rat holes and put these haters behind bars.
Work harder. No one single U.S. President can bear the unspeakable burden of creating jobs for us. As Americans we've always found a way to not only to make a living, but to create new industries. Lets stop complaining, stop collecting unemployment and other "entitlements" and get the hell back to work. Now!
Fight back. It's not only probable that another terrorist attack will occur in the US, it's inevitable. And when it does, we find out the party responsible, and we don't hold back. This time we retaliate with a "police action" not with one arm tied behind our backs, but with everything we've got. We take terror to the terrorists and eliminate every single one of them in as swift a manner as possible. We send a message to the world that we will not be bullied anymore.
Most of all, we must live and re-invent ourselves as free people who love not only our country but the entire world and beyond.
Let's take today to remember the past. Let's never forget! But then let's also pick ourselves back up, dust ourselves off, and move on with life.
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Friday, September 9, 2011
Richard Moonlight doesn't always know precisely where he's going, but he somehow always gets there.
I'm often asked how is that I'm so prolific?
The answer is simpler than you might imagine. And it came to me not in college or MFA writing school, but instead by reading Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. It was inside a cold water flat five or six flights above a square in the Montparnasse district of Paris that the would-be Papa wrote some of his first short stories. Stories that would come to change the literary world as we knew it.
He was able to write his stories with confidence day in and day out by following one simple rule. He would write a certain amount of words everyday and then complete the session by ending in a place where he was sure to go on the next day.
While this took severe discipline it was also liberating to know that come the next morning, you wouldn't find yourself staring at a blank piece of paper knowing that the day before you shot your wadd, as it were.
So then, I'm not Ernest Hemingway. But I do write a lot of novels, and the way to do that is not only to sit your butt in the chair and write whether you feel like it or not (this is your job after all), but also to always make sure that you end in a place that will allow you to continue the next day. The best way to do this is to simply make some small notes right on the page below your last sentence. If your character is about to enter an apartment with his ex-girlfriend in order to steal a zip-drive containing secret nuclear information her new boyfriend is about to sell to the Iranians, you might make a note about what route they take in order to get to the apartment, and the steps they take in order to get there without being spotted. That should be enough to get you moving come the next morning. The rest of the chapter should reveal itself organically for you.
Thanks Papa for making my writing life just a little bit easier. I wish I could say the same for writing school.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011
"Classy title. Classy writer."
Chris Redding is a writer with a bucket list. But then, who doesn't have a bucket list? It seems I spend half my life in the air on the way to one foreign destination or another while dreaming about going to yet another destination even before I've landed in the first destination. Am I making sense here? Well, the talented author of "A View to a Kilt" (Get it?) certainly does. I owe her big time for picking up the slack at the Vox while I try and catch up from half a summer in Italy and while writing the first draft of my new Moonlight thriller, Blue Moonlight.
Time for you to fly, Chris:
Bucket ListChris ReddingWhen I was younger I never thought about a bucket list. Oh I had things I wanted to see. And because I spent the first few years of my marriage following my husband’s career around the world, I did see many things.I saw the Mediterranean Sea. That body of water was as beautiful as I expected it would be. There I was in the south of France on a gorgeous day. The next morning we had croissants so buttery that when you bit into them, the butter ran down your hands. Ah.One of the things I wanted to do was fly on the Concorde. My DH and I shared this dream, but alas, we had children instead of saving up for it. On July 25, 2000, Air France Flight 4590 took off while on fire and later crashed killing all 100 passengers, the crew and four people on the ground. This was the beginning of the end for the Concorde and it is unlikely we will ever see supersonic air travel in my lifetime.Why am I talking about this now?I recently went to the newly refurbished Intrepid, Sea, Air and Space Museum. For those who don’t know what this is, the Intrepid is an aircraft carrier that was originally used during World War 2. It was decommissioned in the 1970’s and later brought to New York City as a museum.You are tapping your foot. I see it. What does an aircraft carrier have to do with supersonic air travel?This museum complex was recently refurbished and now, on its deck, is a Concorde. (There were 20 made.)And I got to sit in it. No flying. No world class service, but I did get to sit in a seat and in the cockpit. And it was worth every penny I paid. Especially because I learned some interesting facts.I’m sure I will use them in a book.The Concorde was built by the British and French which is a feat in itself. After the accident, the planes were grounded until an investigation could ensue. When ii finished the British decided to bring the Concorde back into the limelight with a publicity tour. They planned on flying celebrities and other important people around Britain. Sadly they picked September 11, 2001 as their date. After that date, air travel was reduced. Companies didn’t want to pay for flying and at the same time computer and internet technologies made it easier for companies to do business with each other without flying. And the price of fuel had gone up. All these contributed to the demise of the Concorde. For me a sad day.But now I have had at least sat in one and dreamed about what it would be like to see the curvature of the earth from an airplane. Thanks for having me today, Vincent.A View to a Kilt excerpt:The trip downtown took ten minutes in the midmorning traffic. Miriam shivered at the cool breeze snaking across the parking lot of the Philadelphia Police Administration building at Fifth and Race Streets. She wasn’t dressed for the fall weather. Pulling her coat tighter around herself did nothing for her exposed legs. The chill percolated to her bones.Would she ever be warm again?Donner left her in an interrogation room and went to get coffee. The room, painted in a subdued green, had what Miriam presumed to be a two-way mirror on one wall. A tape recorder for her statement sat on the table. She couldn’t seem to stop shivering despite rubbing her hands up and down her arms. Standing, she began to pace. A urine smell wrinkled her nose. She jammed a lock of blonde hair behind her ear and caught a look at herself in the mirror.“Bedhead, big time,” she said to her reflection. Her crumpled dress added to the picture. She admitted she looked as if she could kill someone. Even her hot pink, sheath dress looked odd on her. How she looked was the least of her worries now. Doubling in pain, new tears streamed down her face. “Oh God, Joe. What were you into since I last saw you?”Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, one dog and three rabbits. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. When she isn’t writing, she works part time for her local hospital. Her latest book is A View to a Kilt.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
A friend of mine who is a published author and great writer just emailed me about what it takes to sell a lot of books. E-Books in particular or so I'm assuming. At first I was ready to dig in with a two page email about marketing and social media and how important it is to maintain a constant presence on these digital mediums. I was also ready to discuss the importance of blogging two or three times a week on topics ranging from how to write a great noir novel to what I did on my summer vacation. Then there's Kindleboards, Goodreads, Crimespace, yadda...
But then it occurred to me that no matter how much I talk about these issues, none of them are really responsible for selling books, so much as they simply spread the word about your books being available for sale on the free market. Social media can definitely help you sell books but it can also hurt sales when you abuse and over-use it. After all, you shouldn't be directly selling your books in a social media setting. You should be selling you the human being.
So then, how was it I've been able to sell hundreds of thousands of e-books so far this year?
Jeeze, I'm not entirely sure how I did it.
But I do know this. If you want sell a lot of units (as they are lovingly called in the trade), you need to write great books (luckily my friend has this going for him already). You need a great cover (like me he's traditionally published so he has to rely on his team to produce this for him), a great product description and a very good if not "cheap" yup "cheap" price. As for the rest of the equation, you have to rely on a little luck here.
But then, how can you improve your luck as an author who wants to sell lots of books? The best possible way is simply to write more books. Authors like Scott Nicholson and JA Konrath are making thousands of dollars every month not on just one title, but upwards of 40 titles. These guys are sitting on a novel and rewriting it over and over again for two or three years. They are writing them in a matter of two or three months (please don't take this as gospel, I'm merely trying to make a point).
But Vin, you say, how is it possible to write a great novel in two or three months?
My answer is this: can you produce five good pages per day, five days a week? Or are you worried about writers block? If you believe in writers block, you must learn to change your beliefs. Writers block doesn't exist. If you're a writer your job is to show up at work everyday and write. Granted, there will be days when Mr. Plot and Mr. Story and Mrs. Brilliance don't show up for work, but that's just the nature of any business. You go with the flow and you keep plugging away anyhow. You take up the slack and plow through the day.
Or here's an idea that might help.
Whenever you feel like it will be impossible to write yet another book, think about your dad or mom. What did they do for a living while they were raising you trying to put clothes on your back, Hamburger Helper on your dinner plate and video games in the Play Station? If your dad was a lawyer, did he ever get lawyer's block? If your mom was a nurse, did you ever hear her complain "I've had absolutely nothing to nurse about for the past six months"? Of course not. Your parents showed up for work five days a week because that was their job. Sometimes it went well, and on occasion, when the proper support staff didn't always show up, things were hard. But by the year's end, they produced a body of work for which they were paid a significant sum.
Back to my point about selling books.
There is no tried or true answer to selling books. Sales flow in cycles. I seem to experience a few weeks of stellar bestselling sales every three or four months or so, probably due to Amazon marketing campaigns. My last great months was in July. I'm not due for another Top 100 Kindle Bestseller months until October or November. But then, this is just a guestimate. I have no control over Amazon marketing, other than signing on with their publisher, Thomas and Mercer, which I'm about to do.
So, in the final analysis, there is only one tried and true method of increasing your chances of selling books. That tried and true method is to show up for work everyday, and write more of them.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
THIS IS HOW YOUR LIFE ENDS: NOT WITH A WHIMPER, BUT A SCREAM!
My first stand-alone thriller in the Stephen King tradition since the bestselling THE REMAINS: SCREAM CATCHER is now released by StonGate Ink in all E-Book formats...
To Order Cick here: SCREAM CATCHER
This is how your life ends: Not with a whimper, but a scream!
Jude Parish is afraid. The former violent crimes cop turned bestselling true crime author has a fear-filled demon lodged inside of him. A demon so real he can only imagine a slimy reptilian beast with scaly skin, black eyes, and razor-sharp fangs having taken up residence inside the place where his once confident and fearless soul resided.
Now, in the wake of his literary success, the ever anxious Jude is hoping to lead a quiet, peaceful life in the idyllic Adirondack vacation town of Lake George, New York with his new pregnant wife, Rosie, and Jack, his young son from a previous marriage. But when Jude becomes the accidental witness to a bizarre “kill game” in which the killer, video game designer and master of disguise, Hector “the Black Dragon” Lennox, insists on recording the screams of his victims prior to shooting them dead, the ex-cop’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 fight his demon-fear and take on the role. But what he doesn’t realize at the time, is that the killer’s arrest is actually the first level in what is a carefully designed and scripted first-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 catches the screams of his tortured victims.
“If you want a novel that runs wild like a caged beast let loose, Zandri is the man.”
—New York Post
“Probably the most arresting first crime novel to break into print this season.”
“A thriller that has depth and substance, wickedness and compassion.”
—The Times-Union (Albany)
“Vincent Zandri explodes onto the scene with the debut thriller of the year. As Catch Can is gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting. Don’t miss it.”
—Harlan Coben, author of The Final Detail