Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas: A Reflection and a Plan

For some, Christmas is a day to open presents, eat and drink a lot, and generally party it up with friends and family. This is my first holiday season home in a quite a while, so for me it's all of those things but also a time of reflection. Astrologers say that Cancers are always looking back at the past as if thirty years ago were yesterday. But today, Christmas Day, December 25, 2014, I'm looking forward.

Here's what I'm looking forward to in 2015:

--The release of my new big stand-alone thriller, Everything Burns, on Feb 1. This novel, from Thomas & Mercer, will be the first in my Albany Noir Trilogy. I am making a prediction that it hits the Top 10 for all books in Kindle right out of the gate (How about them apples Mr. Kennedy!?).

--2015 will also see the completion of the second in the Albany Trilogy, Orchard Grove, as well as my new international thriller, Lost Grace (new title pending). Scream Catcher will be republished under my own label, Bear Media, but there's a surprise in store for this project. It will published in six episodes, much like an online television series. Each piece will stand alone, but propel the overall plot of a serial killer who records the screams of his victims as they are dying with his cell phone (Where do I come up with this stuff? I don't know. I think my parents dropped me on my head when I was a baby...)

--I'll be writing the third installment in the Chase Baker series. This one taking place, in part, in Nepal, India, and beyond, and will rely on the research trip I took to each country this past summer. (The Chase Baker series has been holding court in the Top 50 for Amazon International Thrillers in the UK for months)

--I'm currently planning another adventure for the late winter, early spring. I'm not about to divulge the location because I haven't quite decided what it will be and on which continent. Of course, funding is always a challenge, but I'll manage to scrape up the casheshe. It will be doozy I guarantee.

--On a personal note, this is also the year I hope to become a better dad, a better friend, cut down on the beer (just a little), eat healthier, become more spiritual, push aside politics, spend time in Florence, Paris, and Madrid, and in general, live the life.

Thanks to my fans who have made that "life" possible. You are the greatest gift any writer can receive for the Holidays.

Cheers and God bless!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

An Unintended Creation Story

Who knows how David started out?

These days, Zandri's been getting a lot of people asking him where he comes up with his ideas, so he thought he might address the issue. The question, admittedly, is a difficult one to answer. When a lovely young woman asks him, "Where did you come up with the idea for The Remains?" the best answer the writer can manage is a shoulder shrug and a, 'I'm not sure. It sort of wrote itself.'

The answer, on one level, might be considered silly if not trite, a blow-off, if you will. But on another, more metaphysical level, the answer is as honest as the one God would surely give if someone were able to ask Him how he created the universe, not necessarily in seven days, but at all for that matter. Who ever really creates what he set out to create in the first place? Perhaps Michelangelo envisioned an entirely different pose for David when he started chiseling. Maybe Vaughn Williams came upon The Lark Ascending entirely by accident while messing around with his violin one day (or perhaps he found himself staring at a lark, on a lark). For certain, For Whom the Bell Tolls began as a short story, and blossomed into a mega masterpiece. God might have intended, at first, to create a universe filled with magical flying creatures and peaceful little cherub-like creatures who inhabit a lush forested world where no one wages war, no one goes hungry, skin color is the same but different, and religion doesn't exist (who needs religion when you are happy?) In the end, God got what we have now. For better or for worse.

The point here is that the power of creation is beyond us mere mortals. It is a part of something that cannot be defined by concrete terms or boundaries and therefore is a part of the universe. An infinite, ever expanding universe.  

So how did Zandri create The Remains or Everything Burns?
God only knows...