Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Monsieur of Noir... Vincent Zandri

A review and an interview....


Thirty years ago, teenager Rebecca Underhill and her twin sister Molly were abducted by a man who lived in a house in the woods behind their upstate New York farm. They were held inside that house for three horrifying hours, until making their daring escape.

Vowing to keep their terrifying experience a secret in order to protect their mother and father, the girls tried to put the past behind them. And when their attacker was hunted down by police and sent to prison, they believed he was as good as dead.
Now, it’s 30 years later, and with Molly having passed away from cancer, Rebecca, a painter and art teacher, is left alone to bear the burden of a secret that has only gotten heavier and more painful with each passing year.But when Rebecca begins receiving some strange anonymous text messages, she begins to realize that the monster who attacked her all those years ago is not dead after all. He’s back, and this time, he wants to do more than just haunt her. He wants her dead.

Trailer for The Remains

The Remains was voted the No. 1 Amazon Bestselling Hot Hard-Boiled New Release and was No 8 on Amazon's Romantic Suspense list. It was published by the rising star of a publisher Stonehouse Ink. This novel was two firsts for me. It was my first noir genre novel and was also my first taste of Vincent Zandri. I have to say I'm addicted to Zandri now like a southern woman needs gossip. The noir genre is a big leap for me. Romantic fantasy, paranormal romance and romantic adventure are my genres of choice to read and write. You will notice the key word being "romance."

The Remains by all indications was an accidental romantic suspense...I still felt every exclamation point!

 I connected with Rebecca in a way I have only done from female authors before. Most reviews you will read (there are plenty)about the The Remains will talk about how suspenseful, frightening and scene setting it is. Believe me it is all those reviews and more. However, for me I enjoyed another element. It was subtle and woven in like the center piece of a braid, hidden but needed for a tight rhythm. It was Rebecca.

Rebecca has lived a life of tragedy from the painful experiences of a childhood event, to the loss of her twin and finally the ending of her marriage. Nevertheless, through all that she happily endures. Her love and empathy for those around her is inspiring. If Zandri ever tires of noir he obviously has more than potential for romantic suspense.

Vincent Zandri...The Monsieur of Noir
Vincent Zandri is an award-winning, bestselling novelist, essayist and freelance photojournalist. 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.” Translated into several languages including Japanese, Russian, French and the Dutch, Zandri’s work has also been sought out by numerous major movie producers, including Heyday Productions and DreamWorks. Other novels include Moonlight Falls (R.J.Buckley), Godchild (Bantam/Dell), and Permanence (NPI). His newest thriller, The Remains (Stone House) will be published in July, 2010 in E-Book and in November, as a Trade Paperback. Forthcoming novels include The Concrete Pearl (Stone Gate), a new detective series starring the brassy but beautiful construction business owner, Ava "Spike" Harrision, and the re-publication of the classic, As Catch Can (Stone Gate).
I was able to speak with Mr. Zandri... here are the spoils of that interview.

What is noir? Noir is my passion! It's truly American literature...dark detective type novels. When Europe caught on it became known as noir. Noir is French meaning dark, gloomy or black.

How do you write women so well?  As a child I was surrounded by women...I still try to do that as an adult. (can you see the smile in that line?) I had a single mother, two older sisters and I'm very experienced in relationships. What can I say...I love women.(see the smile again)

Have you ever received a bad review? No.. at least not professionally or from a blog review. Thank God. (He thanks God a lot. It's sincere too.)  However, I had one by a reader on Amazon, it's still there and I remember it well. This douche (yes he said douche) said I should be classified in the same pile of junk as LaHane. And I thought that's a good pile to be in.

Was The Remains meant to have a romantic element? No absolutely not. I had just ended my relationship with my second wife. That relationship very much inspired this novel. Don't get me wrong I loved her and we are still very close.(insert smile again) I didn't get much done creatively during our six year relationship. When it ended I went into a writing frenzy and the end result was The Remains.

Do you consider yourself a character writer? You set the scenes so realistically.  I like to set up the circumstances and then imagine how that character would react.

Do you base your characters off real people? Of course. I even use their real names until the end. (I'm curious if he will have to keep his laptop locked after that one.)

What's a typical day for you? Always have to have a good cup of home I make it. In Italy I found myself going out for coffee. A great cup of coffee is essential for an author. I put on what's lying around and write a while. There is always writing to be done...whether on a novel, for my blog, or an article. I'm a gym rat so I always work that in. I have three kids so anything they need. I enjoy cooking for them.

After reading The Remains and now Moonlight Falls and Moonlight Mafia as well as interviewing Mr. Zandri this is my conclusion. I already knew he was a gifted rising author. However, now I find that he is wickedly brilliant and witty with as much baggage as his characters. Just like his characters he perseveres through the trials of circumstance and finds the joy of the moment. Which really I think is a requirement for any great author. Can you be a cutting edge anything and be described as delightfully normal?

1 comment:

  1. I have this one waiting TBR. I have got to make time to get to it! LOVE the interview!

    Michelle V