From a hospital bed, a middle-aged woman recalls taking back her mystery writer husband after twelve years of divorce and how all went swimmingly well. At first, anyway. But soon she began to feel empty inside and her unhappiness led to her cheating on him like she did the first time they were together. Only this time, she and the man she’s sleeping with have big plans for the writer.
Award-winning author Vincent Zandri had a quick chat with TheBigThrill about his latest novella, THE WOMAN WITH TWO FACES:
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
I actually got back together with my second wife. Bad mistake. She not only took me for several hundred thousand dollars, she was messing around behind my back. Thank God I didn’t marry her again or she’d own the rights to a whole bunch of my books. She was with me when I won the Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original, Moonlight Weeps, in 2015. She loved the NYC glam, but once I was broke again, she kicked me to the curb. How could I not put this story into my fiction?
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
It’s actually not a major undertaking once you’ve been doing it as long as I have. Granted this is a short 35K novel, but it only took me a week to write, then off to editing. I write one clean draft.
Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
I’m always watching old noir movies like Terror Street or The House Across the Lake (which is about a mystery writer). These movies aren’t woke and they appeal to my noir sensibilities much more than modern movies ever could. There’s also an element of The Twilight Zone in this one, or does the title give it away?
When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
There are no more empty spaces, unless that is, you want to start writing about ChatGPT as an antagonist. But that would be stupid and boring, don’t you think?
Vincent Zandri is the New York Times and the USA Today bestselling ITW Thriller and PWA Shamus Award winning author of more than 115 novels and novellas including the Dick Moonlight PI series. Called one of the most “prolific” writers of his generation, Zandri is a freelance journalist and the host of the Writer’s Life Podcast on YouTube.
To learn more about the author and his work, please visit his website.