Thursday, September 29, 2016

Chase Baker Action/Adventure Series in its Rightful Order

First a disclaimer: You can read any of the Chase Bakers however you want. Out of order or in order. But recently I've been getting a lot of fans asking me for the proper order of things, since it's only natural for readers to want to start at the beginning and carry it through to the most recent. If the Chase Baker series poses any confusion it's because bestselling author Ben Sobieck, also contributes to the series. Our collaboration has thus far produced three novels that I'll identify in the sequence (one day I'll explain more on how this collaboration works, but it's basically no different than what James Patterson does).

So here goes:

1. The Shroud Key by Vincent Zandri
2. Chase Baker and the Golden Condor by Vincent Zandri
3. Chase Baker and the God Boy by Vincent Zandri
4. Chase Baker and the Lincoln Curse by Vincent Zandri
5. Chase Baker and the Viking's Secret by Ben Sobieck (Vincent Zandri Presents)
6. Chase Baker and the Da Vinci Divinity by Vincent Zandri
7. Chase Baker and the Apocalypse Bomb by Ben Sobieck (Vincent Zandri Presents)
8. Chase Baker and the Humanzees from Hell by Ben Sobieck (Vincent Zandri Presents)
9. Chase Baker and the Seventh Seal by Vincent Zandri
10. Chase Baker and the Dutch Diamonds by Vincent Zandri (Not Yet Released)

Rather than provide a link to every individual book I'm going to provide instead the simpler Amazon Page link that highlights the entire Chase Baker Series

Also, here's the official Chase Baker Facebook Page which is updated almost daily thanks to site administrator and author/writer, Elyse Press Major.

Like I've mentioned several times to the subscribers of the Vincent Zandri "For Your Eyes Only" newsletter, there will soon be Chase Baker swag for sale, including mugs, t-shirts, baseball hats, and other travel gear like compases, shoulder bags, bush jackets, bush vests, and more. My partner Laura Roth is working on this as my two fingers type.

There's even talk about a Chase Baker restaurant in the works. Chase Baker's Treasure Chest, featuring exotic dishes from all over the globe served tapas style, good beers and wines, and a tin shack-ceiling fan-cooled, Sloppy Joes-like relaxed atmosphere. The kind of place you would belly up to after a long bumpy flight in from Istanbul or the Amazon Jungle.  

But for now anyway, I'm going to keep writing the adventure series and keep on building the fan base. Which means, more travel in the immediate future. I'll probably circle the globe a couple more times this year seeking out more Chase stories, but then, that's what it's all about. The adventure and the romance of it all, and taking you along for the ride.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Battling Through the Pain

Jim Harrison not long before the final poem.
Last night I woke up in a pool of my own sweat. My head was pounding...No, that's not right...My skull felt like someone had split it in two with a fireman's axe while I slept. My joints ached so bad I was convinced I had developed arthritis in each and every one of them. My body was on fire, and my stomach was churning and twisting and bloated like the Alien was growing inside it and was about hatch, exploding skin, muscle tissue and blood all over the bedroom.

I got out of bed, and felt so dizzy, I had to grab the wall. Making my way into the bathroom, I did what I had to do there, and afterwards dared not look at my face in the mirror for fear of what I might see. A pale, sad, pathetic example of a man who was slowly dying.

Getting back into bed, I shivered and trembled. The fever was that bad. Sure, I'd been fighting a cold as of late, but this was insane. This was far more than a cold. It was more than the flu. It was more than the pneumonia that knocked Hillary on her pantsuited behind this past 9/11. I recalled my having hiked down in the Catskills a few days before. Maybe I'd been bitten by a deer tick. Maybe I had contracted Lymes Disease. Or maybe something worse. Maybe I'd developed a cancer. Pancreatic cancer.
A Healthy Robert B. Parker
By time the morning arrived, my temperature was holding steady at 102 F. I would have to head to the emergency room if it got any worse. But then, what about work? What about the novel I'm trying to finish and get into my editor by Friday, as promised? I couldn't let something like a little stomach bug get in the way of a writing day. I had to tough it out and try my best to make it to my writing desk.

I recalled the old days, when I had a real job. If I got sick, which was rare, I'd gladly call in and go back to bed. I hated my job, so a day off sick was better than a day on healthy. But now that I work for myself, things are different. Writing is all about momentum, consistency, and habit. I work everyday, even when I'm traveling. And I travel quite a bit. What if I were a pro football player and the team was depending upon me? Would I go back to bed? What if I were a soldier fighting on the front lines? I couldn't just explain to my comrades that I wasn't feeling up to the fight today so good luck with the battle. Instead, I'd have to battle my way through it all.

So even though my entire body was in pain, and even if there was multi-colored goop exuding from every single opening and orifice, I made a cup of coffee, swallowed a handful of Advil and sat my ass down on my writing chair. I might not have accomplished what I would have, had I been healthy, but at least I showed up, no matter what.

Jim Harrison had a heart attack at his writing desk, keeled over, and died. Mystery writer, Robert B. Parker did a face plant on his typewriter and never woke up. My father died putting his work boots on. Now that's heroism.   


Friday, September 23, 2016

On-Site Research Resulted in 'Chase Baker and the Seventh Seal'

Today is Release Day for the 9th novel in the Chase Baker action/adventure series,

I traveled to the Middle East in May of this year and "Seal" is the book that resulted from it. Judging from the reactions of my beta readers, it just might be the best Chase yet. In fact, for those authors who feel as though they can get away with Googling all their information about a specific locale somewhere outside their writing room, I'd like to submit this: You can't possibly get an idea of the true smell, taste, or feel of a place unless you immerse yourself in it for a while.

In Jerusalem, I climbed the stone walls in the Old City, explored the tunnels under the Wailing Wall, bribed a teenage kid to take up through the Muslim cemetery to the top of Golgotha where Christ and two thieves were crucified for all of Jerusalem to see and be fearful of. The top of the skull-like hill is exactly 777 meters above sea level and it's the highest natural point in the city (the Bible speaks of 7 codices and when the seal on the 7th one is breached, the end of times will be upon us). It's located right outside the Damascus Gate on what was the Damascus Road back in the 1st century AD. There's a garden nearby and a tomb which has only been used once in its two centuries of existence. One of the two resting places was hastily chiseled out to accommodate a man who measured 5'11", the exact height, it turns out, of the man whose likeness appears on the Shroud of Turin. Coincidence? Or fact.

Or perhaps you believe in tradition...that Jesus was crucified on the spot in which The Church of the Holy Sepulcher now resides. I spent a lot of time there as well.

But you be the judge. Read the book... 

Chase Baker and the Seventh Seal is one of those novels that will elevate your heart rate and make you think...

Here's the deal: It's offered up here for just 24 hours only at a .99 so that we can sell as many as possible on opening day and propel this one right up the charts.

Since my readers can be found the world over:

Chase Baker and the Seventh Seal UK Edition

Chase Baker and the Seventh Seal CA Edition

Chase Baker and the Seventh Seal AU Edition

Chase Baker and the Seventh Seal JP Edition

Chase Baker and the Seventh Seal FR Edition

Chase Baker and the Seventh Seal DE Edition

Chase Baker and the Seventh Seal IT Edition

Lock n' load



Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Things I Cannot Control

Richard Prince

 A while back...actually a long while back wife and I were having dinner with artist Richard Prince and his wife back when he kept a house in upstate New York. Prince was already a world renowned artist/photographer at the time and a mega success. But he was also a huge noir fan, a book collector, a rare bookstore owner, and also a writer. As we polished off a bottle of wine together while the girls chatted among themselves, he offered me up a bit of advice that I've never forgotten.

But before I reveal the advice, I should tell you that this was around the time I'd signed on for a big advance with Delacorte Publishing for a two book, hard and soft deal, and if I recall correctly, my first novel, The Innocent (As Catch Can, as it was titled back then), had already been published. So I'm guessing the year was around 1999 or 2000. I remember relaying to Richard about how anxious I was about the book's sales, which at the time, weren't exactly hot. Richard nodded, and listened, and then, sitting back in his chair said, "Listen, the only thing you have control over as a writer, is the writing. That's all you can do. Throughout your career publishers and editors and sales people will come and go, but you and your writing will always be there. Concentrate entirely on the writing. Work harder than the other guy.  Make it the most important thing in your life, and you will succeed." 

Of course, many ups and downs have occurred since that dinner at the Prince home. But I have gone on to make a nice, solid, career for myself. I guess you could say, I have become established. But even after hitting two Amazon No. 1 Overall Bestsellers. Even after having spent 4 weeks in the Top ten (with The Innocent), and another three weeks with The Remains. Even after hitting the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. Even after winning the PWA Shamus Award (Moonlight Weeps) and the ITW Thriller Award (also Moonlight Weeps), even after selling hundreds of thousands, perhaps even a million, copies of my books over the past five years alone, things still sometimes don't go my way.
The novel that would become The Innocent

Just this past two weeks alone, I learned that one of the architectural trade publications I've been writing and editing for for ten years no longer needs my words now that a new owner has taken over. Add to that a two book deal my agent has been working on for months, which even included a rewrite for the acquiring editor, just went inexplicably belly up. Hmmmmm. Go figure.

There's no one to blame in all of this, since this is how the business side of the writing game works. Nothing is forever. But then, these events most definitely fall into "the things I cannot control" category.

Now, I've also been lucky these past couple weeks.

The novel that was supposed to be sold in said two book deal got immediately picked up by another publisher also in a two book "nice" deal. The book will come out in hardcover in Jan, 2018 and be found on every New Releases table in bookstores from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon, as well as on your favorite eReader. Lucky, yes, but in the end, I still had no real control over the deal. It just sort of happened and I'm happy for it.

But what I do have control of is my writing. No matter what happens on the business side of publishing, whether it be something positive or negative, one thing holds true above all others: My writing comes first. No one can take that away from me.

Tomorrow morning is Monday. The beginning of the working week. I'll wake up after the sunrise and like, Papa Hemingway used to say, I'm going to bite on the nail. Writing is the hardest work there is. But it is also something I have total control over. Thanks for the advice Richard. I'll never forget it.