I never expected Moonlight Falls to sell. I never expected it to generate a bunch of pretty great reviews. I never expected it to do anything other than amuse my friends. Like my other three novels, the publishers pretty much tossed them up against the wall and watched to see if they’d stick. One or two of them hung around for a short while, but inevitably, they peeled themselves away from the plaster and landed with a giant thud on the floor.
But Moonlight Falls has been different. Moonlight Falls has had staying power. It has generated a kind of cult following, especially amongst noir fans, even prompting noir giant, Heath Lowrance, to include me in the pantheon of Modern Noir Novelists writing some of the best hardboiled stuff today (http://sites.google.com/site/noirfictionguide/). An honor to be sure.
But success has its complications, the major one of which is, be careful what you ask for. Fans are demanding more from my unreliable narrator, Richard “Dick” Moonlight. And now I have to come up with the sequel I never intended to write. The problem is that I intended MF as a stand-alone. You know, I bring the main character from point A to point Z while never keeping in mind that I might have to write another book using him as the protagonist. Short of killing him off, MF is a complete novel. That, however, is all I’m going to say regarding that subject. I don’t want to ruin the ending. And it’s a doozey, believe me!
So then, what do I now?
Of course, I begin to outline the second “Moonlight” novel in earnest. But I feel a responsibility to my reading public to make this novel even better. Raise the bar on thrill. In Moonlight Falls, Moonlight has to wrestle not only with his own impending mortality, his life is constantly at risk from Russian mobsters who illegally harvest organs, crooked cops, jealous husbands and even more jealous and indeed, very pissed off, ex-wives. Even a retired security guard takes a shot at him. That said, I need a plot that will outdo all I have accomplished in the first book and then some.
Remember just a moment ago when I told you, short of killing off Moonlight in the first novel, I never planned for a sequel. Maybe I have something there after all. Because of the little piece of .22 caliber bullet lodged inside his brain, Moonlight could die at any time. It could suddenly shift and then, just like that, my hero has bought the farm. Yes, I definitely have something there. In death, I just might give life to a brand new Moonlight novel. I can even call it, Moonlight Rising.
What will be the first line of this stunning new Albany-noir novel?
Moonlight Falls author, Vincent Zandri, is an award-winning 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.” 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. Presently he is the author of the blogs, Dangerous Dispatches and Embedded in Africa for Russia Today TV (RT). He also writes for other global publications, including Culture 11, Globalia and Globalspec. Zandri’s nonfiction has appeared in New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, Game and Fish Magazine and others, while his essays and short fiction have been featured in many journals including Fugue, Maryland Review and Orange Coast Magazine. 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. He is the drummer for the Albany-based punk band to Blisterz.
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