The Story Behind Vincent Zandri’s Moonlight Falls


Moonlight Falls is basically film noir on paper. It’s about Richard “Dick” Moonlight, suicide survivor who now must cope with a small piece of .22 caliber bullet lodged in his brain. Because it’s pressed up against his cerebral cortex he has trouble making good decisions and he suffers on occasion from short-term memory loss. In times of stress he passes out. He could suffer a major stroke or die at any moment. So time means little to him. When he makes the wrong decision to sleep with his former boss’s wife and she later turns up brutally murdered, he believes it’s possible he might have killed her and just can’t remember it.

I believe I was down in Manhattan promoting As Catch Can back in 2000 with my then Delacorte editor, Jacob Hoye (now MTV Books), when I came across a story about a man who survived a suicide attempt and lived with a piece of bullet shrapnel still stuck in his brain. At the time I was also influenced by a self-stabbing suicide art exhibit that I caught in a Soho gallery by the artist infamous artist Damien Hirst. I’ve also been fascinated with a rarely spoken about story from my family history in which my paternal grandfather committed suicide by slicing his neck open with a straight razor in front of his grown children. I found myself wondering, What kind of psychotic desperation moves a man to perform such an act? To this day I do not know my great-grandfather’s first name since he is never spoken about. But I do know this, he could not have been a very happy guy

In any case, Moonlight Falls, is and was, my divorce book. The one that I started when I was going through the pains of the typical brutal divorce in which the ex is literally sucking you dry financially and emotionally. All of the angst that was building up inside of me show’s itself in “Moonlight” in all it’s potentially blood-spattered glory. Trust me when I tell you there were times I understood my great-grandfather’s motivation.

But because my life was such an emotional rollercoaster, I ended up going through quite a few drafts of the novel, playing with different endings, and never being quite satisfied with what I came up with. It was a case of forcing something that simply can’t be forced. It wasn’t until I put the book down for a year, got married again to my then girlfriend, that the true ending arrived organically.

However, because I wasn’t earning much money at the time due to the work I was putting into the book, the second marriage quickly turned into the second divorce. Funny how that happens. That period in my life became even more dreadful than the previous breakup period a few years before.

So what did I do?

I decided to rewrite Moonlight Falls, one final time, putting in all of that new, raw emotion. Finally, after four or five years of writing, I had in my hands the novel that would became the book you are reading now. As luck and hard work would have it, the critics and many readers are calling it my best work. Heyday Films has sought it out as a potential major motion picture project. And now, I’m considering writing a sequel.

What’s the plot?

I haven’t come up with anything solid. But I’m not married anymore so divorce probably won’t be appearing anywhere in the story. But I can guarantee you this: there will be plenty of heartbreak, plenty of violence and sex. Albany will be the noir backdrop and Dick Moonlight will find himself in more trouble and danger than he ever thought possible. And being a major screw-up, he will no doubt make a whole lot of wrong decisions and take a whole lot of wrong turns along the way.

If Moonlight fell hard last time, this time he will fall even harder.

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. A traveler and adventurer, Zandri currently divides his time between New York and Europe. He is the drummer for the Albany-based punk band to Blisterz. You can visit his website at www.vincentzandri.com.

You can purchase Victor’s new book, Moonlight Falls, by clicking here!

3 thoughts on “The Story Behind Vincent Zandri’s Moonlight Falls

  1. Pingback: Pump Up Your Book’s February 2010 Authors on Virtual Book Tour – Day 11 « Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours

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