Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Red Pill

Swallow the red pill and discover how deep the rabbit hole goes.

It's the moment I've been waiting for, for nearly ten years now.
The moment 5 of my my in-print books and 3 brand new books get republished with a really big house that knows how to sell books (and that's saying it rather lightly). It's the moment I've worked for since my split with Random House. The moment I've honed and sharpened in my mind with each book I wrote and each publication that rose up the charts with some really great small presses and indie publishers like my brothers and sisters at StoneHouse/StoneGate Ink.

I've put up with empty bank accounts, broken relationships, too many sleepless nights, ugly book signings, and at times a hopelessness and an anxiety so profound it was crippling. But then I've also had the great fortune of having enjoyed a creative well that is at present 7 years deep and doesn't show any signs of drying up.

I've enjoyed some nice relationships, met a bunch of new friends, traveled to some distant and exotic lands both as a journalist and novelist, and even been blessed with being reunited with the same woman who inspired me all those years ago. I've seen my bank account refill and I've watched my books go from selling hundreds per year to selling hundreds of thousands.

Next year at this time, I will have sold more than a million copies of my in-print hard-boiled novels. That to me is mind boggling, but a reality nonetheless. A new kind of surreality.

So life has changed for me. And now, in this hinterland between past and future, I await a brand new life filled with publishing possibilities and creative works I never would have dreamed up a dozen years ago when I signed my first major contract. I no longer think on a local level. I think globally and I write for a global audience. My books will never go out of print. The antiquated system of returns means nothing to me now that my novels are being published not only in paper, but ebook and audio.

It's a new world I'm about to enter into. I've swallowed the red pill, and I'm passing through a new doorway that will show me where the rabbit hole goes. 

Listen up on September 4th 2012 when the long pause becomes the big bang!


Sunday, July 15, 2012


"Wendy, I'm home..."

A gifted writer who attended my panel discussion on "balancing life with work" at this weekend's ITW-sponsored Thrillerfest in NYC made a startling admission. As a collaborator/writer for one of the most popular authors in the world, she's been finding herself working seven days a week, taking time out only to eat and, in her words, "catch some MSNBC." An attractive 60-something woman with lush graying hair, her knees trembled as she spoke. I took her admission of obsession as a serious cry for help.

Let's face it, the writing game can become an obsession if you allow it to be. We all suffer from it at one time or another. Some authors have even turned their obsession into some memorable fiction.
Stephen King comes immediately to mind. Remember Jack Nicholson's portrayal of Jack Torrence in The Shining?

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." 

Ernest Hemingway admitted his obsession also in one of his many letters to his then editor, Charlie Scribner, Jr.

I've also found myself becoming so obsessed with writing novels and stories that I will write myself into an exhausted state. I neglect my friends, family, and my reading. In a word, I neglect life.

My advice to this woman and others like her: If you write full-time, it's best to treat it like a job.
--work only Monday through Friday if possible.
--work 9-5
--take plenty of time out for breaks and exercise.
--take days off to go hiking; to hit a movie; to do nothing
--don't work on holidays
--don't work on the weekends unless striving to make a deadline

...The point is to have a life. And while we're gifted and lucky for being able to write full-time, it doesn't mean we must beat ourselves up by spending every waking hour with fingers glued to the keyboard. There's no reason to feel guilty about your place in life, no matter how fortunate.

How are you balancing your work with your life?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sleeping "in" the Job: How I Create a Story

That ain't me catching flies...

I work a lot.
I write nearly everyday.
When I'm not writing, I'm still writing.
Sort of.
Often times, people lie in bed and worry about stuff: The dwindling bank account...Paying off the student loans...Is the wife cheating on me?...My boss sucks...Looks like I'll never make it Spain in this lifetime...That sort of thing.
But when I lie in bed, or close my eyes some place else like a on transatlantic flight somewhere, I think about stories. Plots and characters and story lines. If I hit upon something that really excites me, I feel a physical twinge in my body, much like a short, sharp electric sharp (I'm not making this up). I open my eyes, feel a smile form on my lips. I've created a new novel in my head. I've written without having typed or penned a single word.
How do you write when you aren't writing?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Your Worst Nightmare

What's your worst nightmare?
Is it being all alone, hopelessly lost in a dark and cold place?
Maybe it's snakes crawling all over you?
Maybe it's being hunted down by a psychotic killer in the deep woods. A devil. A demon.
Or perhaps, just perhaps, you are afraid of the demons that reside inside your head.

If you are afraid of all these things, then you know exactly what it is to be Jude Parish,
former violent crimes detective turned bestselling true crime author.

Jude is being hunted by a video game designer who is also a serial killer.
And before the hunter finishes the violent game of cat and mouse he starts with the entire Parish family in the deep, unrelenting Adirondack woods of Lake George, New York, he will catch their screams.

SCREAM CATCHER: The New Psychological Suspense Thriller from the No. 1 International Bestselling Amazon Kindle Author, Vincent Zandri.  


"Vincent Zandri and Scream Catcher are Champions!!!! CMash  |  4 reviewers made a similar statement  "The writing is excellent with vivid descriptive writing that will make you feel the powerful emotions of the story. M. Vasquez  |  3 reviewers made a similar statement  "Suspense lovers, I highly recommend this book! ReviewsByMolly  |  4 reviewers made a similar statement
CATCH THE EXCITING VIDEO TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tix2CNcaxIo