Vincent Zandri Interview
1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I’m a full-timer. Novels and journalism. I write all day, but stop at around five. That is, I’m not on deadline.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I write all my novels by longhand first on yellow legal pads. All journalism is done right on the keyboard in some pretty interesting places. The bush in Africa, outside the Kremlin walls in Moscow, or from a five-floor walk up in Florence, Italy.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
From other writers and journalists I know or know of. One journalist I admire is a woman named Lizette Potgeiter originally from South Africa now operating as a freelancer out of Afghanistan. We both work for RT (Russia Today TV). I wish I had half the guts she has. Other inspirations are Hemingway, Mailer, Max Frisch, Charlie Huston, JA Konrath…But mostly the inspiration is derived from within. In a word, I’m obsessed. Just ask my two ex-wives about it. They’ll be happy to tell you what a self-obsessed jerk I am! Ha!
4: Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
When I’m working on a first draft of a book, I try and write five long-hand pages per day and stop when I know I can continue on the next day. The first draft is sort of an elaborate outline.
5: Being a self published author how do you come up with your cover art?
Well, I’m not self-published. All my published books are traditionally published. However, come this Fall I will take the plunge and self-publish an old manuscript of mine called Dead Man on Kindle and Smashwords (recently I’ve been Twittering the opening chapters). My two most recent publishers, RJBuckley and Stone House Ink, are both based on the brand new electronically based publishing model which as you know is pretty much crushing the big New York houses like the ones that published my first two thrillers, As Catch Can and Godchild. I’m going to take a cue from them and put out some of my old novels as well as my Out of Print books. Sales will be entirely online and the books will be available forever and ever, amen!!!! The gift that keeps on giving. Oh and the cover art. I’m lucky enough to have a girlfriend who is a very gifted artist. That’s her job.
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
I was originally groomed to be an executive and eventual president of my dad’s very lucrative commercial construction business. So the answer to your question? I think I might be just plain crazy!
7: Do you own an ebook reading devise?
I have downloaded Kindle on both my computer and Blackberry. Now I am never without reading material on my voyages and assignments overseas.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
Besides the few I mentioned before, I’m a fan of all many hardboiled authors like Hammett and Parker for instance. But also some of the new more underground talents, like Heath Lowrance, SA Bailey, Les Edgerton, and Boston Teran. I also love Jim Harrison who writes everything and who is the last great living epic American author born prior to 1950.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
My first trailer for my newest noir thriller which Buckley released in December of ’09, Moonlight Falls, has generated lots of hits and is fantastic. Film noir at its best and less than two minutes long. It’s all a part of the virtual tour I’m still doing for the book. You can see the trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swD2-jAS03I. You can check out the tour dates via my website: www.vincentzandri.com.
A trailer is also in production for the new thriller, The Remains, being released as an EBook in June (and trade paper in November) from Stone House. Check in at www.vincentzandritheremains.com for news on that as well as an excerpt. Book trailers, like virtual tours, are awesome ways to promote books that are sold almost entirely online.
10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
Two novels. One a mainstream mystery for Stone House called The Concrete Pearl which will be a new series starring a tough but savvy and beautiful career construction woman/amateur private detective and a very hardboiled noir tale that will be the follow up to Moonlight Falls. It’s called, appropriately enough, Moonlight Rises. There’s a very good chance that I will self-publish MR.