Monday, February 14, 2011

Author Interview: Vincent Zandri, Author of The Innocent

Joining us today is Vincent Zandri, author of of the recent bestsellers, Moonlight Falls, The Remains, and The Innocent. His novel As Catch Can (Delacorte) was touted in two pre-publication articles by Publishers Weekly and was called “Brilliant” upon its publication by The New York Post. The Boston Herald attributed it as “The most arresting first crime novel to break into print this season.” Other novels include Godchild (Bantam/Dell) and Permanence (NPI). Translated into several languages including Japanese and the Dutch, Zandri’s novels have also been sought out by numerous major movie producers, including Heyday Productions and DreamWorks.

He holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College and is a 2010 International Thriller Writer’s Awards panel judge. Zandri currently divides his time between New York and Europe.

Welcome to The Book Connection, Vincent. It is an honor to have you with us. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m the bestselling author of Moonlight Falls, The Remains, Godchild, and now, The Innocent. I’m also a freelance photo-journalist, and traveler. I’ve been published by Delacorte, Bantam/Dell, StoneHouse Ink, StoneGate Ink and others. I also drum for the punk band, The Blisterz.

Where did you grow up?

Albany, New York. The city made famous by William Kennedy. And now by me!

What is your fondest childhood memory?

In 1970 my kindergarten teacher wore miniskirts, and she had long, brunette hair, and long fake eyelashes. I was about two feet shorter than her and completely in love. I knew then, that I loved women. That in itself was a relief, I suppose. Of course, what I didn’t know then, was that I would be up for a life-time of heartache.

When did you begin writing?

Serious writing? My second year of high school.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I write all day.

What is this book about?

Here it is, from the publisher’s mouth:

“Getting caught is simply not an option.

It's been a year since Jack Marconi's wife was killed. Ever since, he's been slipping up at his job as warden at an upstate New York prison. It makes him the perfect patsy when a cop-killer breaks out--with the help of someone on the inside. Throwing himself into the hunt for the fleeing con, Jack doesn't see what's coming.

Suddenly the walls are closing in. And in the next twenty-four hours, Jack will defy direct orders, tamper with evidence, kidnap the con's girlfriend--and run from the law with a .45 hidden beneath his sports coat. Because Jack Marconi, keeper of laws, men, secrets, and memories, has been set up--by a conspiracy that has turned everyone he ever trusted into an enemy. And everything he ever believed in into the worst kind of lie.”

What inspired you to write it?

I was interviewing New York’s first black max security prison warden at the time for a memoir, and he mentioned that at one time in the late sixties he’d been brought up on charges of aiding and abetting an escaped cop killer. I wondered what would happen if a warden actually went after the escaped prisoner on his own, and in the meantime, began unraveling a conspiracy against him, beginning with the men and women he trusts the most: his own brothers and sisters in arms.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My publisher and my agent. They depend upon me to bring home the bacon.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

Not any longer. After I walked out of MFA school in Vermont, I vowed never to do a workshop again. My son’s and my sig other listen and comment on my stuff. And of course my agent and publisher. That’s when they decidedly fry the bacon that I bring home. Ha Ha.

Who is your favorite author?

Right now it’s Charlie Huston. But I go through phases.

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?
Yes. Chip MacGregor.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

It was an absolute train wreck of a plane crash. But I somehow made it out alive. How’s that for mixing tragic metaphors!?

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

I would have got it out of my mind right away that my kindergarten teacher was attractive and that a woman like her could be good for me one day when I grew up…Oh wait, my bad! You mean about the publishing? I would have invested the entire $250, 000 I received for my first Random House advance in Amazon Kindles. Hindsight is everything and nothing.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Go straight to the aforementioned Amazon Kindle page:
But it’s available on every E-Book reader like the Nook at B&N for instance.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?
What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

The Virtual Tour with the ravishing Dorothy Thompson and Pump Up Your Books. I recently asked her to marry me. She said No! :(

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Finish school and then when you get out, go get an education by traveling the world and reading what you want to read.

What is up next for you?

Back to Europe in a few weeks, and finishing up two new novels from my Moonlight series. Also, The Concrete Pearl will be out in the spring. That’s the first novel from my new series staring Spike Harrison, beautiful but brassy construction business owner and amateur detective. She carries a framing hammer rather than a pistol. The idea is currently being shopped to Hollywood and cable TV.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Thanks very much for having me.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Vincent. I loved The Innocent and hope to read The Remains soon. I wish you continued success.

For anyone considering purchasing Vincent's books, The Remains Kindle edition is currently selling for only $2.99 and The Innocent is only  99 cents. You can't go wrong at those prices. My review of The Innocent will appear at Books, Products and More! on February 23rd.

You can visit his website at  or his blog at Connect with Vincent on Twitter at, on Facebook at and Myspace at


Cheryl said...

Great to have you here today, Vincent.

Michelle V said...

Great interview! I am quickly becoming Vincent's biggest stalker, er, I mean fan. LOL.

Michelle V

GulfGal said...

Enjoyed the interview, Vincent!

Vincent Zandri said...

Thanks all, and thanks for having me Cheryl...And I love salkers :)))) Ha!
Just a reminder, The Innocent is only $.99 for you Kindle or Nook or whatever for the length of the Virtual Tour, so that's more or less free. We want you all to try it out and tell us what you think:)))

April said...

Hey Vincent! Great to see you here! I just finished The Innocent and LOVED it! I had to go and download Godchild at Amazon, lol. You are bad for my reading addition, mister.

Ellen said...

I've read Moonlight Falls & loved it. This one sounds great too.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting interview. I like the easy going feel of it. It is also a worthy study in self-promotion for we who hope to someday catch a similar piece of lightning in a bottle.

JM said...

How beautiful to be able to write all day. I grab a few days every now and then and turn them into writing days.

Rebecca Camarena said...

With all your books that you have been promoting with book tours, I sure am seeing your name around quite a bit.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for dropping by everyone!

Nicole weaver said...


What an interesting man. I am going to buy a kindle soon, and I will be sure to buy his books. Thanks for sharing the interview with such a well known author!

Nicole weaver

Kate Dolan said...

Enjoyed the interview - pretty funny for someone who writes such intense stories.

Mayra Calvani said...

How to say no to these prices? I'm checking the out!

Jessie Gertsch said...

It's really cool to read how Vincent came up with the idea for his book from an interview and built a whole world around one offhand comment. I always wonder how authors come up with their stories, so this was great to read! It also sounds like a great book, so while I've been reading a lot of romance books lately, I think I'll have to check out The Innocent.

Vincent Zandri said...

The Innocent is back on sale guys...$.99 for the month...just in time for those beach reads!