Interview with Rich Zahradnik
Tell us about your latest book.
A Black Sail is set during the Bicentennial Celebrations of July 1976 in New York City, when 16 tall ships of sail and a naval armada of 53 vessels visited. Reporter Coleridge Taylor witnesses a woman’s body being pulled out of New York Harbor while he’s working on a feature story ahead of the big event. Bricks of heroin are strapped around the woman’s waist. Taylor thinks he’s onto a drug war between the Italian mob and a Chinatown tong. Both sides will do anything to stop the story, including putting Taylor at the bottom of the harbor.
What formats is the book available in?
Trade paperback and all the major e-book formats.
Who are your favourite authors?
Michael Connelly, Derek Raymond, Raymond Chandler, Ray Bradbury, Charles Dickens, William Gibson, Michael Chabon.
What advice do you have for other writers?
It’s trite but… Don’t give up. I am here now because of all the people who I met at conferences, workshops, writing groups and other venues who did not stick with it. They fell away. It’s a game of rejection and getting better at the craft. Don’t. Give. Up.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
"It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense." - Mark Twain
What's the best thing about being a writer?
I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid. I was so into stories I wouldn’t hear people talking to me. The books played movies in my mind. Now, my movies are playing in other people’s heads. That’s the best thing.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
My website: www.richzahradnik.com
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
They’ll follow a good murder mystery while getting a feel for New York City in 1976, a time where they might see some interesting parallels to our own.
Where can a reader purchase your book?
Amazon, BN.com, Indiebound.org, Smashwords. It’s handled by the major distributors too, so you can order through your favorite bookstore.
How do you research your books?
I read books on the topic. I’m on my third on the serial killer Son of Sam for the book that will be set in 1977. I also use contemporaneous newspaper reporting. The New York Times’ online archive (Times Machine) is a huge help and saves on library trips in a big way.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
I’m finishing a stand-alone thriller called The Causeway. It’s about three people thrown together after they witness a drug murder—just as a hurricane is about to hit a barrier island off New Jersey. They need to escape over the Causeway, the only connection to the mainland, before the bad guys catch them.