03 July, 2012

Review & Guest Post :: Permanence by Vincent Zandri

Mary, a Travel Agent by profession, is a grieving mother. The story is narrated from Mary’s POV. She has lost her child to a drowning incident and so it’s high on emotions. Besides her ex-husband and her child, Mary did not really have in anyone else in her life. And so, when she finds herself alone, she holds on to the only other person around – a psychiatrist. When I see/hear about an affair between a psychiatrist and a grieving person, I get this feeling that there’s something wrong. And soon enough we find out that the ‘doctor’ too has a story of his own.

The plot builds a certain rhythm from the beginning that keep telling the readers whenever something major is coming up. Sometimes you see it coming and sometimes you cannot guess what it is going to be. The characters – both Mary and the doctor, have certain strength in them that make us feel for them - even after we learn about the doctor’s demons and Mary’s disturbing revelations. Somehow the darkness in the characters makes them seem human.

The most notable quality of the novel is its language. Vincent Zandri has taken things to another level with is masterful manipulation of words. It was undoubtedly his style of writing that lent the characters and the plot the ability to take the reader for a ride.

This was my first time reading this author and I am for sure going to read his other works. I not only recommend everyone with an affinity for good fiction to try out his work.

The Worst Writing/Publishing Advice I Ever Did Get

It seems like every author I know is blogging about the best and worst writing advice they ever got. My colleague Stant Litore just published his in a very cool blog at ZOMBIE BIBLE, and I thought I would do the same here. Only difference with my little piece is that I am including publishing advice as well as some other gossipy juicy tidbits. 

1. If you write five good stories in your life, that's a lot.
Source: Creative writing prof at MFA School. What a douche.

2. It's image that propels a novel, not plot.
Source: Creative writing prof at MFA School. I actually did my thesis on this huge pile of steaming MFA-writing-style dog shit. Ok, there's some veracity to it, but if you don't have a plot in your novel, than you might as well, ummmmm, teach at an MFA program for a living.

3. If it isn't literary it's sub-par.
Source: MFA school in general. For the most part I write in the hard-boiled genre and my sentences are at least as good as some stuck up literary stiff who wouldn't know a plot if it got undressed in front of him.

4. "When I begin to read violence in a novel, I toss the book across the room."
Source: That's a direct quote by an MFA prof of mine who spoke with a faux French accent and had written one novel about working as a used car salesman like thirty-five years ago, and nothing ever since. That's because he considers himself such a great writer that putting words on a page, not to mention words that convey violence, is beneath him. Again, total douche.

5. "You can write on the side while you work for your family business."
Source: I can't tell you but it's a direct quote. Enough said about that topic... But sill, if I were to translate it would be, "You can be miserable and trapped like the rest of us or you can write and have a great life."

6.  "You will never get another major deal again."
Source: A local independent bookstore owner who is supposed to be a pillar of society. Two months later I proceeded to sell a couple hundred thousand copies of The Innocent, The Remains, and Godchild, which lead to my signing a "very nice deal" in an 8 book acquisition with Thomas & Mercer at Amazon Publishing (and yes my agent had other offers from some of the traditional Big Six houses which we turned down. Gladly!). I was definitely thinking of that bookstore owner while hanging out at the T&M publishing party in NYC during the BEA two weeks ago, alongside some reporters from The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, etc.

7. "Write one true sentence."
Source: Ernest Hemingway. Papa I love you man, and if it weren't for you I probably would have done the family business thing the unmentionable source wanted me to do. But you lost me on this one...

8. Once you strike the major deal, you got it made.
Source: other writers, most of them from MFA school. Most times, after you sign the major deal and secure the first portion of the advance, you find yourself in trouble. You have no idea how to market yourself so you leave it up the marketing team. Usually, you end up selling nothing. Getting the major deal doesn't mean you've got it made. It means  they are giving you a chance to sell some books. Writing isn't only an art. It's a business. Don't blow your chance to be a success.

9. E-Books are a fad.
Source: That bookstore owner....Ha, ha, hahahahaha....

10. Social media doesn't sell books. Traditional book signings sell books. 
Source: Some author who still listens to cassette tapes in his car and who still misses Borders Books.

11. You need an MFA in Writing.
Source: MFA teachers who depend upon you for their paycheck.

All this said, what's the best advice I ever received?

1. Write what you like to read.
Source: Vincent Zandri, bestselling noir author.

About the Author
Vincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling Amazon Kindle author of THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT FALLS, CONCRETE PEARL and the forthcoming MOONLIGHT RISES. 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-Books editions of his novels, and is rapidly closing in on the 200K mark all totaled. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri's work is translated into many languages including the Dutch, Russian and Japanese. An adventurer, foreign correspondent, and freelance photo-journalist for RT, Globalspec, IBTimes and more, he divides his time between New York and Florence, Italy.

Contact the Author

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Tour Stops

June 1st: Kick Off Promo + Giveaway @ C Mash Loves To Read
June 4th: Spotlight @ Mama Knows Books
June 5th: Interview @ Tribute Books Reviews
June 8th: Guest Post @ Read2Review
June 13th: Guest Post @ Reas Reading And Reviews 
June 18th: Guest Post, Review + Giveaway @ Books R Us Online 
June 20th: Review + Giveaway @ Minding Spot 
June 22nd: Review @ The Top Shelf 
June 29th: Review @ Caite's Day At The Beach 
July 3rd: Review @ b00k r3vi3ws by D.D.S. 
July 5th: Interview + Giveaway @ Chris Redding, Author
July 6th: Review @ Well Read Fish 
July 8th: Review @ Me And Reading
July 9th: Review @ Celtic Lady's Reviews
July 13th: Review @ So Simple Sara 
July 16th: Guest Post @ A Good Day To Read
July 16th: Spotlight @ Writers And Authors
July 19th: Review @ A Good Day To Read 
July 20th: Review @ Socrates Book Reviews
July 20th: Review + Giveaway @ Joel M. Andre, Info
July 30th: Review @ Layers Of Thought
July 31st: Guest Post + Review @ Jean Book Nerd