Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the City of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2: 10-12)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

John Verdon: On Writing and LET THE DEVIL SLEEP

By Mark Young
Author John Verdon’s third novel, LET THE DEVIL SLEEP, is comprised of many interesting elements—a compelling story, a population of vivid characters, and an opaque and dangerous plot whose literary waters only become clearer in the novel’s closing pages. All the earmarks of a fabulous read! For me, however, above all else, is the character of David Gurney and how he developed from the debut novel, THINK OF A NUMBER, navigating his way through SHUT YOUR EYES TIGHT, and finally culminating with LET THE DEVIL SLEEP.

In this third of a series tracking down serial killers, main character David Gurney—a highly decorated, retired NYPD homicide detective—reluctantly agrees to take a young television reporter under his wing as she interviews survivors of the victims targeted by The Good Shepherd, a vicious serial killer. This novel is about two journeys—finding the killer and Gurney finding himself.

We are privileged to have John Verdon share his thoughts and comments about his latest novel, LET THE DEVIL SLEEP, the art of writing, and a little insight into his own life. It has been more than two years since John joined us here on Hook’em & Book’em after launching his debut novel. We welcome him back.

MARK: John, please tell us what you want the readers to know about LET THE DEVIL SLEEP.

JOHN: I couldn’t possibly come up with anything better to tell readers than what Publisher’s Weekly said in their starred review:  "Verdon, who rejuvenated the impossible crime in his 2010 debut, THINK OF A NUMBER, shows there’s much more that can be done with the serial killer plot in his breakneck, knockout third Dave Gurney whodunit .... The tension is palpable on virtually every page of a story that perfectly balances the protagonist’s complex inner life with an elaborately constructed puzzle."

MARK: As I understand, one of the techniques for creating a unique character is showing a person’s often-shallow external desire—one that is often self-serving, goal-minded—conflicting with the character’s internal desire, an internal motivation that is often  more selfless.  How would you identify and describe these conflicting desires within David Gurney throughout all three novels? What might be Gurney’s interpretation of his internal desire be for the greater good?

JOHN: Wow, that’s a big question. But it’s a particularly relevant one, since Gurney is often troubled by a sense of conflict concerning his own motives. I think the best way I can answer you is to quote a brief passage from the new Gurney novel (still untitled) that I’m working on right now:

“The truth was that a complex murder case attracted his attention and curiosity like nothing else on earth. He could make up reasons for it. He could say it was all about justice. About rectifying a terrible imbalance in the scheme of things. About standing up for those who had been struck down. About a quest for truth.
But there were other times he considered it nothing more than a form of high-stakes puzzle-solving, an obsessive drive to fit all the loose pieces together. An intellectual game, a contest of minds and wills. A playing field on which he could excel.

And then there was Madeleine’s dark suggestion: the possibility that he was somehow attracted by the terrible risk itself, that some self-hating part of his psyche kept drawing him blindly into the orbit of death.
His mind rejected that possibility, even as his heart was chilled by it.

But ultimately he had no faith in anything he thought or said about the why of his profession. They were just ideas he had about it, labels he was sometimes comfortable with. Did any of the labels capture the essence of the gravitational pull? He couldn’t say.

The bottom line was this: Rationalize and temporize as he might, he could no more walk away from the challenge of a complex murder case than an alcoholic could walk away from a martini after the first sip.”

MARK: This last summer, you wrote an article about serial killers for Publisher’s Weekly. It appears you have become an expert on these psychopaths since each of your novels is populated by serial killers. How do you go about creating these killers’ state of mind so that their personalities and motivations become a believable part of each story?

JOHN: The subject that actually interests me most is the destructive impact of self-centeredness. Like any human failing, selfishness exists in many forms on a continuous spectrum from peccadillo to true horror; and serial murder, killing people for personal gratification, could be seen as representing one extreme of that spectrum. This is the reason I write about it. The state of mind of the killers in my novels is dominated by the desire for instinctual gratification, warped and intensified to the point where all inhibition and empathy disappear. From a creative point of view it’s a matter of taking basic human desires and ratcheting up the volume until the output becomes severely distorted.
MARK:  I read somewhere that there is often a semiotic relationship between the protagonist and the antagonist where one becomes a reflection of the other—good versus evil. There lurks within the protagonist a choice whether to cross that line, to emulate the antagonist as they both struggle to achieve that final objective. Do you see that in Gurney’s psychic, struggling against that pull to the dark side, that willingness to cross the line in order to achieve the greater good?

JOHN: Gurney has a strong, traditional moral compass. He is honest and truthful. His failings lie more in the area of ignoring the emotional needs and feelings of others and becoming intellectually obsessed with his professional challenges. Although he is certainly no saint, he has perhaps fewer problems with temptation than he has with love itself. He is often more comfortable dealing with people who want to kill him than with people who want his attention and affection.

MARK: In Robert McGee’s how-to book on writing, Story, he explains that a story is a design in five parts: The Inciting Incident, Progressive Complications, Crisis, Climax, and Resolution. In Let The Devil Sleep, without giving away the Inciting Incident, what are some of the factors leading up to it in this story?

JOHN: At the beginning of Let the Devil Sleep, Gurney is struggling with the physical and emotional damage he suffered at the end of SHUT YOUR EYES TIGHT. He’s depressed and needs to get back in the game. The opportunity to help a young journalist writing about the lasting effects of a ten-year-old serial murder case begins to pull him out of his lethargy. Discovering a few initial oddities about the situation awakens him further. And the deal is sealed when he encounters real peril and mystery. (This echoes part of my answer to your previous question -- the fact that Gurney seems to be drawn more strongly to danger than to his family.)

MARK: As a novelist, I’ve tried to find the best way of developing plot and story structure to help me keep on track throughout the novel. One suggested method calls for a very detailed story structure in which each chapter, each scene, is meticulously outlined before a writer sits down and writes the first draft. On the other extreme, another suggested alternative is to use the free flow, seat-of-your-pants technique in which everything emerges as you work through the story. What have you found works for you?

JOHN: Typically, an idea for a certain kind of crime will come to me -- let’s say the series of shootings of motorists in LET THE DEVIL SLEEP -- and I’ll jot it down on an index card. Then I may think of a number of possible motives for it, and I jot them down. Then I may think of a way into the story -- in this case a journalist writing about the surviving family members ten years after the event, or maybe something else -- and jot all that down on index cards. Then I have to figure out how Gurney might get involved -- and jot the various possibilities on index cards. That kind of free-association see-where-my-mind-leads-me process goes on for three or four months. My little cards fill up with notes about major plot points, key discoveries, red herrings, characters, subplots, descriptions of settings, snippets of dialogue. I generally end up with three or four hundred of these cards, as well as a growing sense of a central story skeleton -- places where all these details might appear in some rational progression. Then I start to see new relationships among the people, new twists in the story line. I lay out all my cards on the dining room table, and organize them roughly into a three-act structure. As soon as I’m convinced I have an exciting, coherent story to tell, I begin the linear writing process. In the course of that process, the characters themselves become more assertive and change some of my original ideas. Maybe I can sum all this up by saying that I have a reasonably detailed plot structure laid out before I start writing a first draft, but then the characters take over and bring it to life in ways that hadn’t occurred to me.

MARK: On your website, you share photos of the area upstate New York where you and David Gurney reside. Very picturesque! Like Gurney, you migrated from New York City to take up life in the country. I presume it was a very stark contrast in life styles. What initially drew you to that area? And—separating expectations from reality—what surprised you the most about this transition?

JOHN: The fact that there were no negative surprises. We had expected to like living here, and we ended up loving it. Even in the small details, there is something pleasantly benign about our mountain surroundings. For example, there are no poisonous snakes in this area, no poison ivy. There’s also no traffic, no noise, a slow pace, endlessly beautiful countryside, pure air, wonderful water, nice people.

MARK: Also on your web site bio, you wrote, “Along the way I also got a commercial pilot’s license, as an alternate route to the horizon, but that’s another story.” Could you elaborate?

JOHN: It’s a long story, but the short version is that flying always fascinated me. And I was equally fascinated by the idea of doing something completely different from my career in advertising. So I took lessons, got a private pilot’s license, then got an instrument rating, then got a commercial license with the notion that I might start a small air-charter business -- at which point I got distracted by another business opportunity and never followed through with the charter plan. But I still have a fond place in my heart for flying.

MARK: Now that you have three, widely entertaining novels under your belt, what does the future hold for John Verdon? Can we expect more Dave Gurney adventures, or are you considering traveling in another direction?

JOHN: The fourth Gurney novel is happily underway. There may be a fifth and even a sixth. My feeling so far is that the mystery-thriller form and the core personality dynamics of the Gurney novels are an adequate framework for anything I would be interested in writing about.

MARK: I enjoyed reading your web page bio about your journey through life. You mentioned that after settling in upper New York you finally lost that need of “wanting to be somewhere else.” What brought this about—your new location or something else?

JOHN: Maybe it’s just a form of contented old age.

MARK: Again, thanks for joining us, John. We look forward to reading whatever and wherever your creative mind takes you in the next novel.
Author John Verdon’s three bestselling novels won international acclaim and have been translated into 20 languages. Leaving the life of a Manhattan advertising executive, he and his wife moved to upstate New York, where he learned to build Shaker-style furniture and earned a commercial pilot’s license before turning his attention to writing. You can find out more about John at his website.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Author Jordyn Redwood: Cops & Nurses

By Jordyn Redwood

I’m used to seeing police officers on a daily basis—not that I’m in jail or a frequent traffic law violator, but as an ER nurse, we cross paths every day. ER personnel and law enforcement work hand in hand on many issues.

In the first chapter of my debut novel, Proof, one of these circumstances brings Dr. Lilly Reeves and Detective Nathan Long together. A victim he needs to interview has been critically injured in a car accident. Lilly wants to save her life. Nathan wants information in case she dies.

Ahhh, conflict, the lifeblood of any suspense novel.

What are the most common instances where law enforcement and ER personnel work together?

1. To report a crime. As medical personnel, we are obligated to report injuries that involve crime. Now, often times, the patient is not necessarily forthright with what has happened to them. So, to cover ourselves, we report injuries that involve guns and knives with clear intent to hurt or kill. So, cutting your finger while slicing vegetable isn’t going to cut it—pun intended. Nor is a child accidentally shooting another child with a BB gun. Now, if the story is suspiciously veiled as in my abusive boyfriend didn’t mean to stab me in the chest during his drunken rage—well we’ll report that anyway.

Other crimes we report. Dog bites if serious bodily injury has occurred. Child abuse—but not always directly to law enforcement. Often times, we go through our hospital social work team to report and hotline these injuries. If we think the child needs to be removed immediately—this would be more of an instance to involve the police.

2. If we need help. Many hospitals do not have armed (as in bullets) security anymore. At a neighboring institution, violence against medical personnel got so bad that they started a cooperative effort to staff police in the evening hours. It used to be that medical people just “had to take it” when a patient was violent against them. Now, it is much more common to see charges being brought against these individuals. 

Hospital security can only go so far—if things are bad we will call 911. Obviously, an armed intruder, suspicious package, called in bomb threat and missing individual would require law enforcement.

3. To retrieve someone. I am generally not allowed to physically restrain someone and hold them against their will. There are very fine lines here. Is the patient medically competent to make a decision? That’s one of our first questions. Our restraining someone and keeping them in the hospital if they have a medical condition influencing competence, say a head injury, will be easier to defend. But say a teen was brought by their mother for concern for suicide and he just flat out walks out (this is called elopement) of the ED. We will call law enforcement to try and bring him back. They will likely put the patient on an M1 hold—or involuntary commitment—for psychiatric evaluation, so they can justify restraining them and bringing them back to the ED.

What other instances do you see ER personnel and law enforcement working together?

Maybe Mark can add the instances when they need us!

About Jordyn Redwood: She is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. Her debut novel, Proof, has been endorsed by the likes of Dr. Richard Mabry, Lynette Eason, and Mike Dellosso to name a few. You can connect with Jordyn via her website at

About PROOF: Dr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it's the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find--and punish--her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?

Friday, May 25, 2012

What A U.S. Marine Taught My Daughter About Life

By Mark Young
[Editor's Note: This has been re-posted this Memorial weekend in memory of all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country]

My nine-year-old daughter excitedly edged through the fair crowd, going from booth to booth collecting free stuff—toys, pens and pencils, candy, free bottles of water, and balloons. She was a walking advertisement for the Republicans and the Democrats, water softeners and water savers, tree huggers and tree cutters. Everyone had their stuff out for the taking—and she took. With a cute smile and a polite “thank you,” she shoveled her loot into free bags collected on the way.

And she wasn’t the only one. There were a string of takers right behind her, of all ages and shapes. But she is a pro. This was her second fair this month, and she quickly learned the best places to grab free stuff. Forget the exhibits, animal barns, and the rodeo show. She was a girl on a mission.

It was almost inspiring how she swooped in to clean house. And no one seemed to mind.

Then she came to a small booth wedged between the carnival lot and a performance stage, where a country western band rocked out. One man in a U.S. Marine uniform stood tall, his knowing smile and friendly eyes greeting all visitors. A small crowd of teenagers—boys and girls—gathered around the Marine and must have caught my daughter’s attention.

As we drew closer, I saw the Marine sergeant holding a leather exercise ball and standing next to a convex sit up bench with a rack bar. One young man lay back on the bench, his head touching dry grass and his feet in the air, wrapped around a dumbbell bar. As the teenager raised himself, the Marine threw the ball at the young man’s midsection. With a straining red face, the teenager caught the ball and threw it back on his way up. I heard the Marine chant “fifteen” and the boy seemed to collapse.

I heard the goal was twenty reps which the boy failed to achieve. He walked away dejected amidst smirks and jeers. Another young man took his place, and this guy reached his goal. He was given a U.S Marine poster, and walked away beaming as if he’d been given a pot of gold. I heard the Marine tell him and his companions something, but I couldn’t make it out.

My daughter stood watching until all the teenagers had sauntered away. Then she bravely walked up to the Marine and asked if she could try. Without wavering, the Marine nodded and smiled. I watched with some trepidation. I knew the exercise ball would be too much for her to handle. Wisely, the uniformed sergeant modified the rules so that she only needed to do a complete sit up, hands clasped across her chest, twenty times or more to reach her goal. Still, this was a daunting task for a young girl.

I watched her sit up, face taut, arms folded, as she grimaced to complete the first rep. Then she dropped back for another. And another. And another. She passed the twenty sit up mark and made it to 21. She surpassed most of the teenagers who proceeded her. I was one proud dad.

As she finished, my daughter climbed off the bench and stood up. The Marine shook her hand, then reached into his pocket and removed a very nice silver pen with Marines and the logo inscribed on it. As he handed the pen to her, he quietly said, “Earned…not given.” She clasped the pen, pride showing in her expression. This was something my daughter worked hard for—something earned, not given.

Of all the things she gathered at the fairs this summer, this one pen meant more to her than all the free stuff combined. That Marine taught her a lot about life in just that one encounter.

Those words flashed in my mind as I traveled back to the first days of my Marine boot camp, and the subsequent training that finally led to Vietnam. To battles waged that cost the lives of my friends and fellow countrymen. That precious ground we fought for was “earned, not given.” I saw that look in the eyes of that Marine, as he handed her the pen, a look I’d seen in the faces of many other Marines. He knew the cost.

As I wrote Off the Grid, I introduced my readers to the main chaacter, Gerrit O’Rourke, a Marine lieutenant, whose Recon unit is fighting for their lives in another war, in another time.Though this international thriller is not about that war, Gerrit brings the things he learned as a Marine into his experiences as a Seattle cop, and into his struggles to stay alive as he battles against forces bent on killing him and those he cares about. As I grew to know Gerrit, I saw a lot of him in the Marines I knew in times past, and I recognized the code he learned to live by. Life is not always easy. And the important things in life are earned, not given.

There is a Christmas footnote to this story about the Marine. On Christmas morning, I unfolded the wrapping of a present from my daughter and saw the pen she had earned at the fair. As I wrote this article, I glanced at that pen next to me, a gift that I will always cherish. Later, I learned from my wife that my daughter—from the moment she earned that present—intended to give it to me for Christmas. She knew what the U.S. Marines meant to me. And she knew what the gift meant to her, a gift earned—not given.

Above the walkway at the San Diego marine recruit depot is written these words. “To be a Marine, you have to believe in: Yourself—Your fellow Marine—Your Corps—Your Country—Your God. Semper Fidelis.” Always Faithful. These words echoed in my mind as I wrote Off the Grid, a story about always being faithful. About the pride of earning your place in this world, about sacrifice and commitment.

It is my hope that what my daughter learned from that Marine at the fair will stay with her forever. Semper Fi.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Interview: Author Vincent Zandri

By Mark Young
One of my favorite authors is Ernest Hemingway. As I prepared to interview our guest—international bestselling novelist Vincent Zandri—I could not help but make comparisons between these two men. Both men traveled extensively in Europe, loved to write, spent an awful lot of time in cafes and bars, and enjoyed the outdoors.

There are differences. Hemingway and  Vincent became freelance journalists, but I am sure Papa never dabbled as a punk rock band member or studied the world’s first wind turbine-powered skyscraper in Bahrain. To be fair, these things did not exist when Hemingway was earning a couple of Pulitzers for literature, but I doubt he’d have moved in that direction if they did.

In many ways, though, Vincent seems to have followed the Hemingway template for living. He regularly crisscrosses the Atlantic, spending a part of the year in New York City and other parts in Italy and elsewhere. He has been able to choose a lifestyle that allows him to wander, gathering great material for his novels while making a living.

Mark: Thanks for joining us today, Vincent. In one paragraph, how would you characterize Vincent Zandri, the novelist, for our readers?

Vincent: Well that’s a tough one. First and foremost, I’m a hard worker. You have to be in this business. Maybe to the point of obsession. But I’m also still learning. I suppose I will always be learning as a writer. This is a solitary existence and I live in my mind a lot more than the average man or woman.  But I try and balance the cerebral life of the writer with the physical, making sure to spend as much time away from the typewriter as it were, as I do in front of it. After all I wouldn’t have anything to write about if I stayed put all the time. Thus the frequent flier miles.

Mark: I know you’ve written several articles about your experiences moving from traditional publishing to following an independent publishing path. At one time, your novels were released by traditional publishers like Delacorte and Dell, and then you decided to become an indie author, working with outfits like Stonehouse Ink. Recently, you signed a contract to publish through Amazon’s imprint, Thomas & Mercer. What led you to make these changes?

Vincent: Somehow it just seemed like a no brainer to sign a couple of deals with an indie press like StoneHouse/StoneGate Ink when they were offering an incredible 50% royalty rate on e-books. Plus they were getting the editing and cover art done in a matter of a few short months as opposed to a year or two like the biggies. My agent at the time strongly suggested I give the e-book-heavy independent house a try once they offered up a couple of contracts. And it was one of the best moves I’ve ever made in my life. Those deals led to my selling a couple hundred thousand e-book editions of The Innocent alone and that’s what led once more to a major deal. So I guess I’ve come full circle. But this time, the major publisher is similar to the indie, in that they are very e-book heavy and they are also marketing geniuses. Not to totally blow their horn, but Thomas & Mercer/Amazon is the place to be if you want to make a great living as an author.

Mark: Give us your viewpoint on what is happening in the publishing world and what the future might hold for new authors?

Vincent: At this point, I believe that things are changing all the time. What worked a year ago in the indie world, such as pricing your books at .99, doesn’t work anymore. Now you have to do freebie specials to get people to notice. So what happens next year? Do we pay people to read our books? I’m being a comic hear, but the reality is that the major publishers are very aware now of what works in the e-book market in particular and what doesn’t. Now they are beginning to offer competitive royalties and they are pricing their e-books for less. So it’s just a matter of time until the “indie experience” as it were, no longer works for the majority of authors who insist on self-publishing or signing with an indie label. Plus the market is becoming flooded with sub-par material, and many  Kindle readers and the like, are fed up with bad work. In the end, it will be business as usual. The good work will float to the top and the bad stuff will sink, and fade away.

Mark: I understand that Thomas & Mercer will be releasing your new novel, Murder By Moonlight as well as many of your previously released novels. What is Murder By Moonlight about and when can we expect it to be available?

Vincent: “Murder” is based on the real life story of Chris Porco, a young man who is doing a couple of life sentences for taking an axe to his parents while they slept. He killed his dad but his mother somehow survived the attack. Originally she fingers Chris as the killer, but later on recanted. One of those a-mother’s-love-for-a-son-overrides-everything-even-murder kinds of things. Murder by Moonlight is a fictionalized account.  Despite the seriousness of what happened, it was a lot of fun to write since, as an novelist, I can wax poetic and use artistic license while not being bogged down entirely by factual material. The murder and attempted murder took place in an Albany county white-bread hamlet called Bethlehem. You can’t make stuff like that up. It should be available in the late spring.

Mark:  How would you compare working with Thomas & Mercer compared to working with traditional publishers like Delacorte and Dell? What are the similarities and differences?

Vincent: It’s sort of the same experience in that there’s the whole agent, publisher, advances, contracts, release dates, publicity department, etc. kind of corporate atmosphere stuff. But much different in that these guys actually want your input every step of the way. Even in the content editing phase, they take the attitude that the author is the boss. The suggested edits are just that. Suggested. However, my content editor, a guy named David Downing who is a fiction writer and MFA in writing teacher, did an unbelievable job getting me to really reach for the essence of the novels. It was very hard work, and I’m still pretty tired from the whole thing. We did five, back to back edits in a row, plus I finished the first draft of a new novel called Precious. This was also at a time when my father dropped dead after going for a run, so it’s been one hell of a few months. But that’s where you can find the major difference between Dell and T&M. When my dad died, these guys were on the phone with me telling me not to sweat deadlines, take care of your family first. They sent me wine and food and sympathy cards. You didn’t get the “personal treatment” at Dell. I made some nice friends there, and partied a lot, but it wasn’t the same. I’m happy where I’ve landed.  

Mark: Recently, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million announced they would not be carrying Amazon titles. How do you see these business decisions affecting writers like yourself, Barry Eisler, and Joe Konrath, who’ve decided to team up with Amazon?

Vincent: I don’t care. Seriously. I don’t care. Here’s the way my royalty structure is broken down: 80% Amazon; 10% B&N; 10% miscellaneous. Or something like that. It’s pretty much the same for the others you mentioned too. Those authors published at the Big Six will realize a bigger sales number at B&N, but that’s because the corporate giants cater to those stores more than they do the reader, who is the real, inevitable client in all this. Amazon caters directly to the client, not the bookstore. That’s why they are taking over the world. Not because they are cut throat business people, but because they are the first operation to actually do things the right way by directly connecting readers to the authors they want to read. It’s really very simple and beautiful in its lack of complication and sincerity.  

Mark: I read that you might be writing a screenplay? Can you tell us something about this venture?

Vincent: ‘Might’ be is the key phrase. And I’m not actually writing the screenplay so much as my books are always getting reads from movie companies, producers and actors. I expect to connect one day and have a movie made, but I’m not holding my breath in the meantime. If I had a buck for every time an agent told me to be available for a phone call with the likes of George Clooney or Dustin Hoffman or DeNiro, I’d be a wealthy man. Like Papa Hemingway said, Hollywood is a strange business. You drive across the desert due west and stop when you reach the state line. There will be a car waiting for you there. A man will get out. He will be wearing sun glasses and a black suit. You hand him the book, he hands you the money. You nod at one another and head back to your respective rides. No words need ever be exchanged.

Mark: Many of us can only travel vicariously through the lives and experiences of others. Since you are a world traveler, is there one place in your journeys that you’d pick as the best place in the world to live and visit—or are you still searching?

Vincent: I’m always searching. And I’m one of those persons who can be living in Florence for a month or two and lament that I’m not in Paris or Istanbul or New York.  I guess it’s like writing. I’m always exploring and seeking out new opportunities that will improve both my life and hopefully, the lives of others. I leave for Italy again in early March so I can finish up some research in Venice. Venice is a nice place to go and take stock of your life. If you can’t get some thinking done in a place like that, you don’t think. If you don’t feel blessed while you’re there watching the boats bob in the Grand Canal in the never still gray water, then you are without a soul. I’m a thinker and I feel blessed. I’m a lucky man.   


Vincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling author of THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT FALLS, CONCRETE PEARL, MOONLIGHT RISES and SCREAM CATCHER. He is also the author of the bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL and MOONLIGHT MAFIA. Harlan Coben has described his novels as "...gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting," while the New York Post called THE INNOCENT, "Sensational...Masterful...Brilliant!" In March, April and May of 2011, he sold more than 100,000 Kindle E-Book editions of his novels. In September 2011, he signed a "very nice" deal with the Thomas & Mercer crime imprint of Amazon for the publication of his new novels, Blue Moonlight and Murder by Moonlight, along with the re-publication of many of his back-list titles, including The Innocent and The Remains. Zandri's list of publishers also include Delacorte, Dell, StoneHouse Ink and StoneGate Ink. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri's work is translated into many languages including Dutch, Russian, and Japanese. An adventurer, foreign correspondent, and freelance photo-journalist for RT, Globalspec, IBTimes and more, he lives in New York. For more go to WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM.