Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Authors To Watch: Vincent Zandri, author of The Ashes

Winner of the 2015 PWA Shamus Award and the 2015 ITW Thriller Award for Best Original Paperback Novel, Vincent Zandri is the NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, and AMAZON KINDLE No.1 bestselling author of more than 25 novels including THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT WEEPS, EVERYTHING BURNS, and ORCHARD GROVE. He is also the author of numerous Amazon bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL, TRUE STORIES and MOONLIGHT MAFIA among them. Harlan Coben has described THE INNOCENT (formerly As Catch Can) as "...gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting," while the New York Post called it "Sensational...Masterful...Brilliant!" Zandri's list of domestic publishers include Delacorte, Dell, Down & Out Books, Thomas & Mercer and Polis Books, while his foreign publisher is Meme Publishers of Milan and Paris. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri's work is translated in the Dutch, Russian, French, Italian, and Japanese. Recently, Zandri was the subject of a major feature by the New York Times. He has also made appearances on Bloomberg TV and FOX news. In December 2014, Suspense Magazine named Zandri's, THE SHROUD KEY, as one of the "Best Books of 2014." Recently, Suspense Magazine selected WHEN SHADOWS COME as one of the "Best Books of 2016". A freelance photo-journalist and the author of the popular "lit blog," The Vincent Zandri Vox, Zandri has written for Living Ready Magazine, RT, New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, The Times Union (Albany), Game & Fish Magazine, and many more. He lives in New York and Florence, Italy.



It’s been eight years since artist and single mom, Rebecca Underhill, was abducted and left to die in an old broken down house located in the middle of the dark woods. But even if her abductor, Joseph
William Whalen, has since been killed, another, more insidious evil is once more out to get her in the form of the Skinner. The son of an abusive butcher, Skinner intends on finishing the job Whalen started but failed at.

How is he going to get to Rebecca?

He’s going to do it through her children, by luring them into the cornfield behind the old farmhouse they live in.

Now, armed with the knowledge that the Skinner has escaped incarceration at a downstate facility for the criminally insane, Rebecca must face the most horrifying challenge of her adult life: Rescuing the children not from a house in the woods, but from the abandoned tunnels that run underneath her property.

But the Skinner is watching Rebecca’s every move.

Horrifying question is, will she live long enough to save the children?



When did you begin writing?

Initially I began in college out in Providence, RI, in the mid-eighties. I started big by trying to write a novel right away. I had an old portable manual typewriter my mother’s uncle gave me. At the time I was taking all sorts of English courses on Faulkner and the like. I’m not sure what that first novel was about, but for certain I recall that it was dreadful. Hey, you gotta start somewhere, somehow.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

I’m a full-timer so I write every day. Or, if I’m not writing, I’m editing. Generally I write by the seat of my pants, editing at the end of the working day as I go. The first draft is usually a very comprehensive outline. I do two solid drafts after that, and usually it’s ready for the editors. There will be several more drafts after that, of course. It’s also important to keep in mind, that I don’t start a novel until I’ve thought it over for a good six months to a year.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

The Ashes is the sequel to the The Remains, which was an Amazon Overall No. 1 Bestseller. It continues the saga of artist and single mom, Rebecca Underhill. She, along with her twin sister, Molly, were abducted by a deranged man called Joseph William Whalen, in the woods behind their farmhouse thirty years ago. At the start of The Remains, Whalen is now released from prison and goes after Rebecca again. In The Ashes, a psychopath named The Skinner, and who was once Whalen’s cell mate, escapes from a prison for the criminally insane, and decides to go after Rebecca and her son. 

How did you get the idea for the book?

A lot of fans were asking me if I was going to write a sequel to The Remains. So I thought it over and found out that Rebecca’s journey was far from over. There will be a third book as well, making it a trilogy.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Rebecca is close to my heart because I modeled her on my second wife. Her ex-husband, Michael, a novelist, was more or less modeled on myself.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

Both The Remains and The Ashes are written from a female POV. Being that I’m a man, and a tough guy at that, I really had to get in touch with my feminine side (LOL). I laugh, but it really is a challenge to pull off convincingly, especially considering most of my readers are women. But I’ve always been surrounded by strong female role models so perhaps that’s the secret to getting it right. 

Which authors have inspired your writing?

Hemingway, Mailer, Martha Gellhorn, Tim O’Brien, Jim Harrison, Jim Crumley, Robert B. Parker, Charlie Huston…too many to name them all.

What projects are you currently working on?

My novel, The Corruptions, was just released in hard-cover from Polis Books. It’s the fourth in the Jack Marconi PI series and loosely based on the Hollywood style prison break that occurred at Dannemora Maximum Security Prison in June of 2015. The newest in my Chase Baker action/adventure series, Chase Baker and the Dutch Diamond will be released in March. Currently I’m working on the pilots for two new series, while starting a new standalone as well. In January 2018, my standalone, The Detonator, will be released in hard-cover as well.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Learn to take control of your writing and your rights ASAP. Look to become a hybrid author, combining the best of traditional publishing with independent publishing. Don’t be so quick to sell off your rights just for the opportunity to tell your friends and family you now have a publisher. The publishing business is maybe one step above the used car business. It’s filled with shysters who prey on writers. Work as hard as possible and work every day. Keep jabbing and eventually you’re gonna land some punches. Anyone who wants to know more about the writing life and my books can go to WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

Giveaway Details:

Vincent is giving away ten Kindle e-copies of THE ASHES!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Ten winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway ends midnight May 31.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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