"Man's life is flashing before his eyes...."
The first line in my novel, Moonlight Falls, still causes chills to run up and down my spine. I was in quite the state when I wrote it. The second marriage was crumbling, the bank account was in the red, my original Big 5 publisher wasn't about to roll out a third book for me now that I hadn't earned out a mid-six-figure advance, I had no freelance prospects, and my dog died. Okay, well I'm fibbing about the dog, but things were pretty bleak to to say the least. So much so, that not even the worst country music ballad could do it justice.
How does the line go in the famous Wilco song? I shiver whenever the doorbell rings. Or something like that. And yeah, I must admit, there were times I thought, you know what, why not just check out now and beat the reaper at his own game. But then, even the next cheeseburger is worth waiting for. Especially if the cheese is sharp cheddar and you're washing it down with an ice cold beer.
But it was in this state of mind that I began Moonlight Falls, with those first seven words. Because in a real way, my life was flashing before my eyes. I knew that I had no choice but to write my way out of my depression. That a creative mind had no other choice. That is, it wanted to survive.
I can still recall sitting across from Suzanne Gluck's big glass desk inside her glitzy William Morris Agency office in Manhattan, while she read the manuscript one page at a time, a pair of brass knuckles set out on the desktop, and her rather attractive assistant bringing her a bagel (no cream cheese). Gluck was, is, arguably, the best literary agent in the world. And that is no exaggeration. She took a special interest in Moonlight Falls and I was convinced at the time that all my problems were solved. But it was not to be. In the end, that big ass advance I hadn't earned out at Delacorte plagued me like a bad shadow and even she couldn't sell it. I had no choice but to go with a small publisher.
Said small publisher treated me very kindly, but as time went on and the manuscript was whipped into someone else's editorial vision, it sort of lost it's original gritty vision in order to become more attractive to a wider audience. But only now, nearly ten years after I first started writing it, is my original vision of the manuscript available for both new readers and Zandri completests. It's hard-boiled, it's noir, it's romantic suspense, it's raw, it's sexy, it's bad ass, and yeah, it's as close to the original version Ms. Gluck read inside her office with me staring at her, wondering if she was single (she wasn't).
So, without further rumination, for the first time in a long time, I give to you, MOONLIGHT FALLS (EXTENDED EDITOR'S CUT EDITION)...
Also, check out the original MOONLIGHT FALLS TRAILER