A new blog from the creator of The Vincent Zandri Vox about writing, traveling, and the world in the present tense.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Murder By Moonlight Book Trailer Contest Winner - YouTube

Here's the winning entry for the Murder by Moonlight trailer contest sponsored by Amazon Studios!

Murder By Moonlight Book Trailer Contest Winner - YouTube

Methinks this entry truly brings out the cinematic possibilities of the Dick Moonlight series.
What are your thoughts?



Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Art of Loneliness

I spent more than three months overseas in 2012 trying to purge whatever demons or persistent memories that had lodged themselves inside my skull over the past couple of years. I went from a month in Italy, to a couple of weeks in Paris and Normandy, directly to California, back to New York, then to Egypt and back to Italy. In between were trips to other places, mostly for conferences and even a beach-side vacation in the Cape.

I recall flying back to the states a few months ago. The pilot flew directly over Cape Cod like a ship captain or pirate of yesteryear desperately seeking the Provincetown lighthouse. A much welcome beacon in the the heart of darkness.

I guess I'm always looking for that beacon in my heart of darkness. Memories are part of our business as writers. Even if some of them are somehow pleasant but unpleasant at the same time, we tend to romanticize them, and even do our best to conjur them up in our work. What were the sensations, feelings, emotions that went into something that sticks in our brain like silly putty on the wall?  How can I tap the typewriter keys to recreate it so that it's more real than when it actually happened? How do we paint the canvas so that we walk away from it for the night convincing ourselves with absolute confidence: "There, I feel better now."

Regrets are easy to cling to because we are always asking ourselves, What if I had done something different? But then, what the fuck is the point of that? You can't change your senior page in your high school yearbook. It's still there gathering dust in the attic to send chills up your spine. Pimples and all.

Every evening in Florence, Italy, following work, I walk to a small bar located in the Santa Maria Novella. On the way I pass by a boutique shop that sells women's precious underthings. There's a woman who works the shop. She's an attractive brown-eyed, brunette and she always smiles at me as I walk by. On occasion we share a "Buono sera," or "Buono nochte" but always I keep walking and she keeps working. I sometimes wonder what would happen if I stopped to talk, but I never do. Maybe that's the beauty of it all. The art of loneliness.

Why, as writers and artists, do we crave it?

I will travel thousands of miles to be alone and hate being alone. Perhaps there's a lesson to be learned here. Or maybe, I'm just doomed to always be searching for that beacon. But God help me if I ever find it.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Advice for Writers in 2013

It dawned on me this afternoon that I haven't yet dished out my usual annual bit of advice to new writers who are wondering how they might succeed at penning their first novel this year and making a killing off of it. Especially in E-Book format.

Three years ago I might have told one of these persons to jump on the social media bandwagon. To make their presence known on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Linkedin and more. I would have told them to invest in virtual book tours and to spend a couple of hours each day marketing their work on-line. I would have told them to start a blog and use it to offer advice on the writing process, and to present essays that show off the human side of the writer writing them...Or something like that.

Times have changed.

Social media isn't nearly as effective as it used to be. Virtual tours have most definitely taken over from the dreaded traditional book signing tour, which is a great thing, but they no longer help propel much in the way of sales. That is, you want to make a living at this gig. Blog writing is still a popular form of journalism, but it has become more of an outlet, writer-to-writer, reader-to-reader. A way to share information for free.  And frankly, there are too many bloggers out there who can't even write a proper sentence much less a novel.

So, you ask yourself, if none of the old tried and true methods of promoting your work in the digital age no longer work, than how in the world am I to sell my books?

The answer is simple: Write as well as you can, and then write some more. The only thing that will truly sell your work year in and year out is to write great books.