Sunday, February 20, 2011

GODCHILD! A Thriller for the Broken Hearted!

"Papa, before he became 'Papa," and not long after suffering his first of many broken hearts, all of which he would attempt to mend through his writing and his psychiatrist, Smith Corona."

Have you ever purposely set out to write a novel based upon your own broken heart?

I understand what it is to find solace in writing. I know what it is to find peace and escape. But at times, I also find writing better than even the best therapy session with the most expensive shrink in town.

What did Ernest Hemingway refer to as the name of his psychiatrist?
Smith Corona.

When I set out to write GODCHILD in early 2000, I not only wanted to pick up the story of Jack Marconi and where it left off in the THE INNOCENT, I somehow wanted to exorcise the demons that had been tormenting my soul for more than a year. Since the success of the sale of THE INNOCENT under a Random House imprint (It was published under the title, AS CATCH CAN), I'd been able to buy a new house and support myself and my family while writing full-time. The problems came about when my then wife decided that my writing was not just a means of employment and passion for her husband, but serious competition for her attention.

Said wife hired a personal trainer to help chisel out a new body and she eventually started sleeping with the personal trainer. Of course a tortured separation followed and divorce became immanent. Now instead of having the world by the horns, I was suddenly faced with living apart from my kids.

What did the cheating spouse get out of all this: Naturally she got the house, the kids, the friends, the money, ...the whole works. Because in New York State, doesn't matter who cheats on who. It's the one making the money who's got to pay.

So I found myself living in two room apartment, with no money, yearning for my kids, angry as all hell at my now ex-wife, and desperately dependent upon the success of my next novel, which would become GODCHILD. But sometimes, it's desperate, if not broken-hearted circumstances that can bring out the best in us as writers, and just plain human beings. So, in the opening pages of the manuscript, when I found my character Jack Marconi gripping his trusted 1918 Colt .45, emptying an entire clip into the rows and rows of booze stacked on the shelves of his favorite bar, tears streaming down his face, his fiance now having left him, I knew I had discovered a story that didn't mirror my own necessarily, but that did reflect my state of scary mind. A state of mind that had not only been shattered, but was dangerously close to doing something entirely stupid.

But then, that's the good thing about writing stories: you can live vicariously through your characters. You can suffer with them, do desperate and stupid things with them, you can love and lose with them, you can grow with them. But most of all, you can heal with them. I think by writing GODCHILD, I not only learned how to deal with a broken heart. I learned how to move on from it.

GODCHILD... a newly released novel from StoneGate Ink. A story for the broken hearted that takes place where THE INNOCENT leaves off....Check out the product description and some reviews below:

"A classic detective tale."
--The Record (Troy, NY)

"[Zandri] demonstrates an uncanny knack for exposition, introducing new characters and narrative possibilities with the confidence of an old pro....Zandri does a superb job creating interlocking puzzle pieces."
--San Diego Union-Tribune

"This is a tough, stylish, heartbreaking car accident of a book: You don't want to look but you can't look away. Zandri's a terrific writer and he tells a terrific story."
--Don Winslow, author of The Death and Life of Bobby Z

--Kirkus Reviews

-- Review

Product Description

He wanted justice, truth, revenge...whichever came first.

Prison-warden-turned-P.I. Jack "Keeper" Marconi understands the criminal mind. And he knows what it takes to break a man. His own life came apart the day a black Buick broadsided his car--and his wife died horrifically in the seat beside him.

Years later, on the eve of his second marriage, Marconi catches a split-second glimpse of the driver who killed his wife. Suddenly hurtled back into the past, he is determined to take one last shot at hunting him down. That is, until he is offered a job he can't refuse: to bust a beautiful woman out of a hellish Mexican prison. Now Keeper's chase through Mexico follows a trail of bodies and lies back home: to the truth about a woman on the run, to a man sitting behind the wheel of a black Buick, and to a story that someone will kill to bury....


  1. This post spoke directly to my heart. I am sorry that you had to endure such a horrific break-up with your wife. Love can be cruel.

    I must confess that I am one who also utilizes writing as therapy. In the past several months, I have been able to heal from decades of hurt through my writing.

    Yes, I also use that painful emotion to ooze into my fiction, which gives it just the right amount of realism.

    Thanks SO much for being transparent about your personal life. This allows us readers (and writers) to connect with you through alternate pathways in addition to your stellar books.

  2. Thanks for saying this ME...I sometimes wonder if I'm being too transparent, but then, as writers, shouldn't we come clean? I know it helps me....helps a lot to reveal my feelings on the page...:)