Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Keeping Up the Promised Pace


This year I committed myself to putting out a piece of fiction every month. At the very least, a short story, more than likely a novella, and on occasion, a full-length novel. I've also produced another Chase Baker Boxed Set, but that doesn't count. And of course, all this is separate from the novels my traditional publishers put out on my behalf. Which means I've been a busy little bee, and so has my editorial/art team.

On Friday, the 6th Jack Marconi PI story, in this case, a novella will be released. It's called Arbor Hill and came to me in the form of a story a buddy of mine told me last month over a beer. A poor soul went on a date with a woman, a dentist mind you, who took him for $10K on his credit card. Oh, and she would not have sex with him with a condom on. Naturally she pulled the, "I think I'm pregnant" thing on him a week or two later.

Jeeze, I'm not sure if I should feel sorry for the poor sap, or slap some sense into him. Such is the dilemma Jack Marconi PI faces now that said poor soul has hired him to get his money back.

You can still pro-order this one at a very special price (on Amazon that is):

Amazon US

Amazon UK

But you can buy it now at

iBooks

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

It's a killer story and you can read it one sitting or over the course of a couple of nights.
BTW: As a hybrid writer, I can now confidently report, that I am making double and in some cases triple/quadruple the sales on my indie books than I am my traditionally published efforts. Which leaves me feeling conflicted. Do I pursue more independent opportunities with my own label, Bear Media, or stay true to hybrid authorship?

Time will tell.    
 
WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM


Friday, May 12, 2017

Discipline



Sorry...I'm not talking about the kind of discipline that involves black leather, riding crops and chains. So mind of out of the gutter pronto.

This is the kind of discipline that leads to freedom. If you're a writer, what you're working for in the short and long run, is freedom. The freedom to do whatever you want when you want to do it. But just like the freedom we enjoy as Americans, it don't come cheap nor does it come without a lot of hard work. It takes discipline to pull your butt out of bed everyday and sit yourself down at the writing desk to pump out five or six pages of new work, day in and day out. Discipline takes strength but it also takes desire and self-motivation.

Working for yourself is a goal most working stiffs and corporate slaves only dream about. What's the point of putting in all that schooling, all those loans, if you're only signing up for two weeks vacation per year?

One of the best things about being a full-time author (or freelance writer for that matter) is being your own boss, setting your own schedule, building a passive income that will not only take care of you and yours in the present tense, but will supply financial security for future generations. But it all takes discipline.

So how do I go about applying the writing disciple in my everyday life?

The answer is in the Vlog (nice face huh?):

 THE REMAINS, the No. 1 Overall Amazon Bestselling, is just 0.99 for a Limited Time! "Beware the Woods!"

WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

Saturday, May 6, 2017

You got what it takes to be a full-time author?


My very first novel back in the day of big advances ...
I've been doing this writing gig for a long time now. Full-time. Some years have been spectacular. You know, those years when I'm scoring big contracts and winning some prestigious awards, and hitting all the lists.

Then there are those years where all I hear are crickets, the bank account is dwindling, and the passengers are jumping ship.

Most years, however, fall somewhere in between the highs and the lows, and that's actually a good place to be. Because in the writing business, things are never as good as they seem, nor are they as bad.

The only thing you can control is the writing. At least, that's what my first editor at Delacorte Publishing, Jacob Hoye, used to tell me. And he was spot on. So long as you're true to your craft, everything else can go to hell.

Now, with further ado, you got what it takes to be a full-time author?


Today THE REMAINS is just 0.99...
Grab it and be thrilled...

WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM







Friday, May 5, 2017

Who Doesn't Like a Threesome?


We all want more.
More food, more booze, more sex, more sleep, more fun, more action, more adventure, more romance, more life...Now you can get a whole lot more of action/adventure hero and Renaissance man, Chase Baker in the newly released Chase Baker Trilogy II. Included in this collection, three of the more recent bestselling Chase Baker paranormal romance adventures:

1. Chase Baker and Lincoln Curse
2. Chase Baker and the Da Vinci Divinity
3. Chase Baker and the Seventh Seal

No.'s 2 and 3 were researched on-site. The former by motorbike at the little town of Vinci in Italy's Tuscan countryside. The latter was researched in Jerusalem and all of Israel last June. I take pride in my research efforts which have taken me from Mt. Everest to Machu Picchu and from the Great Wall to Red Square. In three weeks, I'll pack up the backpack, slip on my hiking boots, store my malaria pills, and head down to the jungles of Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico to research what will be Chase Baker no. 12. 

What's that I hear? You're not commenting on research for the Chase Baker and the Lincoln Curse. Well, that one takes place less than a mile up the road fro my home. The story comes courtesy of my first wife who grew up in an old house that once served as the home for Major Henry Rathbone who, along with his wife, Clara Harris, shared the Presidential Box along with Abraham Lincoln on the night he was fatally shot by John Wilkes Boothe at Washington's Ford's Theater in April 1865. When Lincoln dropped, he fell into Clara's lap. Her bloodied dress was said to have been haunted by the spirit of Lincoln. It was allegedly stored behind a brick wall in the house and it was said to have caused both the Major and Clara to go completely insane. There's a lot more to the story, but then you'll have to grab the book and read it.

The good thing about The Chase Baker Trilogy II is that it's totally bingeable. It's sort of a damp, cool weekend here in the northeast. The perfect weather for lighting a fire, and curling up with some Chase Baker. Get this one in eBook or Paper for a special low price for a very limited time.

Buy The Chase Baker Trilogy II:

Amazon

Kobo

iTunes

Barnes & Noble/Nook


     
WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Blink


Emily Phillips: She was born, she blinked and...
I read recently about a Florida woman, Emily Phillips, who wrote her own obituary. It went something like this. I was born, I blinked, and it was over. It hit me hard. Because I could entirely relate. Luckily or by the grace of God, I'm not writing my own obit at present, but for certain, I was born, I blinked, and I turned 50. Or 52. How the hell did that happen?

I look at writing projects on my table. Some stuff I've been thinking about for years. More than ten years. Back when a man or a women entering the workforce or even writing their first stuff was still in kindergarten. In some ways, life is better than it's ever been. I feel better, because I work out like crazy and I don't abuse myself like I once could. Was a time I could party all night and get up and bite on the nail. That no longer holds true, so I don't abuse myself. It just isn't worth it anymore.

But there are scares that, dare I say it, come with age. The doctors tell me I have too much plaque on the arteries. It's genetic for the most part. But now I'll need to take medication to keep the cholesterol down. The bad stuff. I have to cut out certain foods. No more red meats or butter or bacon double cheeseburgers. Oh well. You do what you have to do. You're lucky to be here.

There are those who are not so lucky. People who have been friends for ages. For life in some cases. They are sick. Gravely sick. You never imagined the possibility let alone probability, that they would one day be gone from your life, so you put off seeing them for a while because life is getting in the way. A while turns into years, and years, and more years. And then you find out they aren't well. You do what you can to help them, but it will never be enough. You failed them a long time ago. You were selfish.

Look at yourself in the mirror. You might not realize it, but the life is racing by. Make the days count, the hours, the minutes. I know you've heard it before, but don't sweat the little things. Live the life the way you always imagined it. Buy a plane ticket...Now.  A ticket to anywhere.
Because one day you'll blink, and it will be over.

WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Blank Page


A familiar sight...
The difficult thing about being a fiction writer, is having to make it all up, day in and day out. You can borrow on what's happening all around you, if that makes it slightly easier. The crime, the politics (if you're so inclined), the cultural pulse, and so on. But always, you are are still left facing the same blank canvas.

There are mornings when I wake up, having no idea what I'm going to write or how I'm going to write it. All I know is that it, whatever it is, must be written. It's what I do, how I define myself, and and my reason for living.

Some days it's easy. Other days, it truly is like biting on the nail, as someone far more famous than me described it a long, long time ago. But always, I do it. No matter what's happening in my life, no matter my physical or mental condition, no matter the day, no matter the weather. If a nuclear attack were imminent, would I still get the word count in?

As absurd as that question is, the answer is obvious enough for me.
But what about you?

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The 'But(t)' Sentence



The most famous butt in the word, errr...
We don't always accept stuff at face value. Not if we're being smart. We weigh the pros and cons, often carrying on an internal dialogue in our heads. I.E. "Hmmmmm, that chocolate frosted donut sitting all by itself in the case looks delicious. But maybe I should eat something healthier. Like a banana. But I'm not crazy about bananas. I could always have cereal. But all I have is Cheerios and Cheerios suck. Now how about that donut. But my clothes feel like they're shrinking lately..."
And so on, and so forth. BTW: You probably end up eating say half the donut and therefore the calories don't count.

But I digress.

So one of the tricks of the writing trade...fiction that is, but it can be applied to the nonfiction stuff too...is the infamous But Sentence. I say infamous only because it sounds good. The But Sentence is used not only to propel a paragraph along, but also to help flesh out a character and/or situation more fully. It also keeps the reader more subconsciously interested in the text since But Sentences provide a specific rhythm to the story. Think of these little gems as paradiddles for words.

"Kim hated her long dark hair. It was dirty and unkempt. But then, she liked the way it made he blue eyes seem even bluer. Or her eyes weren't blue necessarily, but more like baby blue with a little gray in there. Actually, they were brown. Now she could always cut her hair. But she didn't have the money for a decent beautician. Instead she could cut it herself. However, she could never trust herself with a pair of scissors. Clearly, Kim, had herself one hairy conundrum."

Or something like that. But hey, I'm making this up as a I go.

The point of the illustration is to demonstrate that a But Sentence doesn't always begin with a But, rather, it can begin with an "Or," or an "Instead" or a "However," or even a "Clearly." You get a sense of the back and forth, the teeter-totter rhythm of the graph. You don't even have to care all that much about Kim's problem, but you keep reading because of the rhythm, the back and forthness of it all.The Buts are not only the glue that holds the thing together, it's the drumstick coming down on the snare drum, the bass pedal beating the bass drum.

Practice a few But Sentences on your own today. It's a fun exercise. Or maybe I'm just fooling myself. Of course, I'm one of those geeks who sees Kim Kardashian's big butt on a magazine cover and has to write a story around it. A long story. But then, that's my job.

WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM