Vincent Zandri's Blog - Posts Tagged "venice"

I haven't been to Venice in 23 years.
The first time I was there, I was 23. That means I haven't been to Europe's most famous, most romantic, most sinking, most decaying, most don't-pinch-me-or-I'll-wake-up paradise in a life time.
I wrote one of my most anthologized and translated short stories not long after my first visit to Venice. It was called, Portrait. It was about getting lost but finding love within the canals. Now, all these years later, with 5 novels behind me including The Remains and Godchild, I'm finding that Venice, although a maze, isn't nearly as confusing or intimidating as it was all those ears ago. I guess maturity and has it's advantages. So does grace under pressure.
This is the time of Carnival and it seems as though the entirety of Italy has descended upon the ancient city. People of all ages, wearing costumes and gowns and masks make for a mysterious if not dangerous experience. Even if it is all in good fun.
Tossed into the sea of people are women in ball gowns topped with white wigs, faces painted with white powder. Men wear black, shin-length, capes, and those triangular caps that the great lover Casanova wore. Some wear evil masks of grossly long noses, while other people...young, college age, silly people...dress up in bunny costumes...
....Get the rest of the scoop at The Vincent Zandri Vox:

The Remains
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Published on March 07, 2011 23:35 • 143 views • Tags: adventure, godchild, the-innocent, the-remains, travel-writing, venice, vincent-zandri
The following blog is now appearing at The Vincent Zandri Vox in slightly different form:

A lot of people...readers especially...associate me directly with Indie Publishing. There's good reason for this since for the past two years I have been publishing with arguably the hottest indie-based publisher in the country, StoneHouse/StoneGate Ink (Get the full story on my indie journey here at SUSPENSE MAGAZINE). And I've done very well with them. So well, I've landed a major deal with Amazon's Thomas & Mercer imprint. But that doesn't mean I won't continue to work with the StoneGates.

Not by a long shot.

But it also means something else too. For ages now I've been preaching that for an author to be successful he or she needs to engage in a variety of publishing methods. Those methods are, and I repeat: Traditional major, indie-based small press, and self-publishing. I've engaged in the two former methods sometimes successfully and other times dreadfully. But the latter of the three, self-publishing, has eluded me for some time now, even if a whole lot of people out there assume that's what I've been doing for a while now.

But now, I have gone and done it with the re-publication of my literary psychological suspense novel, Permanence, first published in 1995. For my first venture into the world of DIY, I wanted to make sure I did it right, so I hired the best editorial and conversion pros I could find. I also hired a great cover artist, and just one look at the stunning woman-in-the-water book cover might make you realize this is not going to be your everyday thriller.

I also rewrote some of the book, having added a brand new plot point towards the end. I know some fans might consider this cheating, but to be perfectly honest, I'm a better writer now and I wanted to give the reader his or her money's worth. That includes well written sentences and a well developed plot.

This is not your everyday Vincent Zandri thriller. It's a bit of an experiment and the narrative relies heavily on image. Something I was very into at the time. Through the years, some of my fans who read the original version have called this my best, most powerful book. I'm not sure about that, but who knows. Like I said, it was a departure when I wrote it and now, in this second edition published by my own Bear Media label, it remains a departure. But a good read nonetheless and an important stepping stone in the evolution of my noir career.

I hope you think so too


Permanence Permanence by Vincent Zandri
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The following blog is now appearing in slightly different form at The Vincent Zandri Vox:

When traveling in Venice, try not to stay on the Grand Canal anywhere near the Casino. You know, the one where James Bond rolls up to the table in his white dinner jacket, tosses a couple of die, and nails craps. And then, when the lovely young brunette standing beside him spilling out of her red gown asks him his name, he replies, "Bond ... James Bond," with a face that conveys neither happiness nor sadness, but surly intuits, "I'm also available and I've got a big hard gun." Anyway, don't stay at a hotel near the casino because you will be up most of the night due to thunderous beat of Euro-Disco, the lyrics "I'm too sexy for my car ..." replaying in your brain again, and again, and again. Not even James Bond could withstand such a torture without cracking (You listening to me Q?).

But hey, this is Venice so I'm not complaining.

While here I have been retracing the steps of my main characters in The Disappearance of Grace, my Venice stand-alone novel. Hitchcockian in form, the novel is about a solider, an officer, who having returned from the Afghan war suffering from PTSD along with temporary bouts of temporary blindness, attempts to try and reconcile his stressed relationship with his significant other. A painter named Grace. Problem is, while the two are enjoying a quiet lunch in San Marco, Grace suddenly goes missing. Our blind soldier has no choice but to try and find her, blindness be damned.

Yesterday while in Piazza San Marco I saw the exact table where Grace disappears and I saw the exact boat that carries her away to one of Venice's many islands. This is not my first time here but every time I visit I see something different and the experience becomes new again.

Walking the narrow, maze-like corridors of this ancient city is an experience of both claustrophobia and wonder that is not always easily described unless you expose yourself entirely to its magic on your own terms. I tried to get all the emotions right in "Grace" and hopefully I've succeeded. Imagine being half blind and losing the love of your life inside this aquatic city of love and broken hearts? A city that, at times, seems impossible to navigate even when your vision is 20/20.

Tonight I will board the night train to Paris. I've been overseas now for 64 days and will fly home from Paris later this week. I've gathered more material for a new novel or two, while completing a brand new novel called The Breakup.

Europe can be a wonderful place to write, to disappear, to find yourself amongst the eternal ruins. But do not ever try and attempt a good night's sleep by laying your head beside a casino.


The Disappearance of Grace
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Published on December 29, 2013 02:13 • 107 views • Tags: amazon-bestsellers, florence, italy, mystery, on-writing, paris, the-concrete-pearl, the-innocent, the-remains, venice, vincent-zandri