A: It began with a love of language,
and the power of words to make me feel something. I was pretty young then,
maybe six or seven. Soon, though, I transferred that passion over to music when
my father bought a baby grand piano. He’d studied a lot in his youth and was
considered a prodigy. Hearing him play was very inspiring, and I decided I
wanted to be able to do the same thing. Then years passed when I worked at the
keyboard hour after hour. I gave up in high school, when family pressures at
home made it one burden too many. In college I found myself very interested in
writing papers…organizing a narrative. It didn’t really sink in until I’d
earned a graduate degree in business that I was on the wrong track. I picked up
a pen at age twenty-seven and wrote a story. I’ve been writing ever since.
Q: What is your typical writing day
A: That depends on if I go the gym
or not. I’m something of gym rat, so I do go most days. If I don’t, I dig in
early, around and go as
long as I can. I get to it later on gym days, around . And, of course, a lot depends on what I’m
working on at the time. I spend more time editing for other people and reading
story submissions than I did in my early years, which is fine, because my own
work doesn’t take it out of me the way it used to.
Q: Do you outline? If so, how
extensive are your outlines?
A: I never outline. I’m not sure
why. I [love] being with an idea and just seeing where it goes. I do a lot of
pulling the text apart, however, getting down to the subtext. That all has to
line up—story, novel, it makes no difference.
Q: How many revisions will you typically
do on a novel?
A: A lot. Structural revisions, for
the most part; moving big sections around…altering the time line. Sometimes I
need to flesh out a certain character, give her more back copy than I’d
Q: What is your best tip for editing a manuscript?
A: Have someone else do it for you.
It’s really hard to do this yourself. Keep in mind that editing is different
from proofreading. Think of proofreading as finding typing and spelling errors.
Editing is vetting a piece for language use, consistency, flow, and asking
questions the author may have overlooked.
Q: Which writing habits and/or
tricks of the trade have made you a better writer?
A: Being persistent and ruthless in
my self-appraisal. Listening to what people say about my work, looking for
commonality in the feedback I get, imitating my favorite authors.
Q: Do you ever suffer through
writer’s block? If so, how do you fight it?
A: Sometimes I don’t feel very
inspired. [Sometimes I don’t feel] like moving ahead with a big project, like a
novel. So I start a short story, or an article. Having more than one project
going at a time keeps me fresh, not bogged down.
Q: What drew you to write your
A: I grew up reading literary
fiction, and that’s pretty much all I read.
Q: Do you utilize beta readers?
A: Not really. I have one good
friend who has read my stuff for years. She serves as my proofreader.
Otherwise, I let the literary journal editors who publish my stories, or the
people on staff at She Writes Press, weigh in.
Q: In your most recently published
novel, what’s one scene you really enjoyed writing—and why?
A: In Chapter Two, the main
protagonist’s mother shows up for a surprise visit. She’s not welcome in the
first place—and that she’s really drunk doesn’t help. I love socially awkward
scenes. My protag, Freddie, lies to her new husband when he comes home from
work, saying her mother is really just a stranger who’s trying to find the
people who used to live there. Later, she comes clean.
Q: What makes the main character(s)
of your most recent novel so special?
A: I have a number of main
characters, because this is a saga of four generations. However, the one I just
referred to, Freddie, frames the novel. I like her because she’s plain on the
outside, and anything but on the inside. She also has conversations with her
dead husband, which I really enjoyed writing.
Q: What is your best advice for
A: Get comfortable using social
media, especially Twitter. Also, set a hefty publicity budget so you can pay
for a publicist to get news of your book in good mass media publications, if
Q: How do you deal with negative
A: Grumble, then forget about them.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of
being an indie author?
A: I’d say having relatively more
control of my book than I might otherwise have.
Q: What is your least favorite
aspect of being an indie author?
A: Having to pay for publicity
myself. It’s expensive!
Q: What is your current writing
A: The Magdalene Tapestry –
Q: What are three of your favorite
A: Light in August, Mrs.
Dalloway, and Home.
Q: If you could have lunch with any
novelist, living or dead, who would it be? What would talk to them about?
A: William Faulkner. I’d like a spirited
discussion of surviving the vicissitudes of the book business.
Q: What is your best piece of advice
for budding authors?
A: Don’t give up. Get good, honest
feedback. Imitate your favorite writers. Learn how to self-edit.
Q: What is your favorite
A: “I write to discover what I
know.” – Flannery O’Connor. #
A: I loved reading so much when I was growing
up. It occurred to me at some point I’d like to try my hand at writing. I was
about seventeen when I told a friend I wanted to be a writer one day.
Q: What is your typical writing day like?
A: I wake up around 5 a.m. I don’t get up, I
lay there thinking about what I wrote the previous night, run all through it
and then begin to draft the next scene. Typically, I’ll write four or five
hundred words like this and then email them to myself for later editing. Most
of my work is done in the evenings between 7 and 11 p.m.
Q: Do you outline? If so, how extensive are your
A: If I get an idea for a story I know straight away
whether I can develop it or not. I have an idea of the shape I want for the
story, the direction I want to bend it in and then I just write. In short, I
outline very little.
Q: How many revisions will you typically do on a
A: I to get the story as close to the finished
product in one take, meaning I might only write five hundred words a day. I’m
aiming for quality rather than quantity. I’ll edit and revise, read aloud
revise again and then send to beta readers. Revise (or not) in accordance with
their comments. Run through it all again and then send off for professional
edit. Some scenes I can revise twenty or thirty times before I’m happy.
Q: Which writing habits and/or tricks of the trade
have made you a better writer?
A: I purchased some text to voice software which
reads back what I’ve written as I progress, it adds time to the work, but I
think it pays in the long run and I wouldn’t be without that process now. I
found interviewing my characters as if I were a movie director helps me get
into their heads and though I have no experience as an actor, I play out some
dialogue and action scenes with the accompanying movements. I also like to
verbally pitch what I’ve just written to close friends and watch their
reactions to it. If they look interested in what comes next, I know I’m on the
Q: Do you ever suffer through writer’s block? If so,
how do you fight it?
A: I work on something else. For example, I
currently have three books in varying stages of completion, about a hundred
thousand words between them. I jockey between them when I get stuck.
Q: What drew you to write your preferred genre(s)?
A: I guess those are the genres I prefer reading.
Q: In your most recently published novel, what’s one
scene you really enjoyed writing—and why?
A: One of my characters, Carla Black employs the
services of a teenage boy putting up posters to lure a killer, William Boule,
from hiding in Morocco. Things quickly go wrong and she fears the boy has
been killed because of her. Later, she tries to make financial amends with his
family but is rebuffed. Undeterred, she finds a way to help anonymously. I got
a great deal of satisfaction conveying that part of the story.
Q: What makes the main character(s) of your most
recent novel so special?
A: In the Life and Times of William Boule,
Carla Black and Miller have an ongoing love/hate relationship. They’re both
strong characters; and they have a tendency to bring out the best and worst in
each other. I think a lot of people can identify with the situations they find
themselves in, except my story is set against the backdrop of the unlikely pair
being pursued by a serial killer.
Q: What is your best advice for author
A: Use tools to manage your time so that you can use
Twitter and the like to auto tweet about you while you concentrate on writing
your next book. And don’t give up.
Q: How do you deal with negative reviews?
A: I accept that I can’t please everyone and take
the negatives on the chin. Thankfully, those kind of reviews are a tiny
minority and totally insignificant compared to the number of books I’ve sold.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of being an indie
A: Artistic control. Sounds pretentious, but what I
mean is I get to choose the when where and what I write about. I work with
professional editors in the production of my stories and similarly, choose the
very best graphic designers for my covers.
Q: What is your least favorite aspect of
being an indie author?
A: A lot of work goes into the promotion of my
stories. It is effective, but not quantifiable in the sense that the 80/20 rule
applies and there’s no real way of knowing which twenty percent of the work put
in is the effective part. I hate wasting time and the eighty percent is pretty
much wasted, but like the guy in the shack in Lost who just keeps
pushing buttons because he’s been told the island will blow up if he doesn’t. A
lot of authors feel obliged to do the same kind of thing.
Q: What is your current writing project?
A: The Night of the Mosquito. In a nutshell,
it’s the story of an escaped psychiatric patient with a taste for blood, and a
retired hypnotherapist who suffers a bad reaction to a mosquito bite. Set
against the backdrop of an apocalyptic event, which wipes out power and
communications in Europe, it’s a compelling thriller filled with drama,
suspense and carries a powerful message. It’ll be available pre-release on
Amazon in the next week or so.
Q: What are three of your favorite novels?
A: When I’m writing I have a tendency to stop
reading so I don’t have any current favorites, but from the past, I’d include: The
Main by Trevanian, love his easy writing style. The Dead Zone by
Stephen King, a master of suspenseful storytelling, and The Adventurers by
Harold Robins, who could also tell a great story.
Q: If you could have lunch with any novelist, living
or dead, who would it be? What would talk to them about?
A: You said living or dead? You’ve given me a
license to time travel, perhaps? That being the case, I’d love to have had
lunch with JK Rowling in the cafe where she sat writing the bones of her Harry
Potter books, talked to her about her hopes and aspirations. Maybe caught a
little of the magic in the air, given her a glimpse of the future. We all love
a great success story, don’t we?
Q: What is your best piece of advice for budding
A: Dream up a great story and find a way to tell it
to best effect.
Q: What is your favorite inspirational quote?
A: This isn’t a particularly inspirational quote,
more cautionary, but I apply it to my writing, slipping into character. “Be
careful who you pretend to be…because if you take care you can create some
No witches, warlocks or vampires...
just a sexy tale about trying to live the Hollywood dream...
wanted to be a writer ever since I was six years old, and I’ve thusly spent
most of my life pursuing this goal with spunk, gusto, and an unjustifiable
level of confidence. The first book I ever wrote was about a kitten funeral, so
naturally it was clear early on that I was destined for greatness.
is your typical writing day like?
A: I wake
up at , drown myself in coffee, respond to fan mail, then handle
all of my marketing tasks. Once that’s complete, I write for hours and hours
until I eventually realize that it’s the evening and I’m literally starving. At
this point, I gorge on whatever sustenance I can rummage up, then continue
writing until the wee hours of the morning. Finally, I go to sleep for a
handful of minutes, and then the cycle repeats itself.
Q: Do you
outline? If so, how extensive are your outlines?
enjoy outlining just as much as I enjoy writing. I don’t understand why
outlines have such a negative reputation. My outline and I are buddies. If I
could fist bump my outline, I would, but I’m not too sure that’s good for the
laptop screen. Oh, and
my current outline is 27 pages long—so pretty extensive.
many revisions will you typically do on a novel?
revise as I go, so it’s really hard to say. Maybe three?
is your best tip for editing a manuscript?
An. Editor. Don’t get me wrong, you should clean it up yourself as well—but for
the love of God, hire a professional!
writing habits and/or tricks of the trade have made you a better writer?
trusting my intuition, and sticking to a strict schedule have worked pretty
well for me. You could also try a blood sacrifice or dark sorcery, but the
results are mediocre from my experience.
Q: Do you
ever suffer through writer’s block? If so, how do you fight it?
A: I very
rarely deal with writer’s block these days, but on the off chance it bites me
in the ass, I just force myself to write anyway. The only way out is through.And if that doesn’t work, I
recommend fighting it off with a katana. Nunchucks work, too.
drew you to write your preferred genre(s)?
most girls grew up watching Disney princess movies, I spent my childhood
enjoying old-school adventure movies:Jason and the Argonauts, Clash
of the Titans, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad,etc. Ever since then, I’ve always
wanted to write adventure stories; the genre is insignificant, so long as my
characters are on a thrilling adventure—and falling in love along the way, of
Q: Do you
utilize beta readers?
And if you don’t, what is wrong with you?!
your most recently published novel, what’s one scene you really enjoyed
really enjoyed writing the first kiss between Eve and her love interest (no
spoilers, but he’s pretty delicious), because who doesn’t want to instigate a
love connection? Go on with your bad self, Eve! You kiss that boy right on his
makes the main character of your most recent novel so special?
Kingston is a bad mama jama. She’s a
great blend of strength, snarky humor, and relatable vulnerability. But most
importantly, she’s smart, which is something I think is lacking in new adult
fiction: intelligent protagonists. I’m tired of reading about characters who
make me facepalm over each and every one of their stupid decisions. I wanted to
write someone who, while certainly imperfect, at least has a few brain cells at
is your best advice for author self-promotion?
to people. Yes, sometimes people are mean. Yes, sometimes people are stupid.
Talk to them anyway. Guess what? Mean, stupid people buy books, too—and if you
talk to them, maybe they’ll buy yours.
Q: How do
you deal with negative reviews?
magic is a completely underrated form of revenge. Just sayin’.
is your favorite aspect of being an indie author?
complete control and accountability of everything that I do. I am my own boss,
and I set my own rules. I am not at the mercy of someone else’s bottom line.
is your least favorite aspect of being an indie author?
the word “indie” itself. It makes me think of a young man at a coffee shop with
a half-assed beard, vacuum-sealed pants, and a thrift store ukulele. Now, pair
this image with “author,” and I still imagine this man, but now he’s writing a
book that, “like, you’ve probably never heard of.” Can I call myself something
else, please? How about a goddess author? I’m going with goddess author.
is your current writing project?
current project is a new adult fantasy. The story takes place in a peaceful
realm governed under the rule of a holy queen, known respectfully as The
Savior. Upon The Savior’s eighteenth birthday, a tournament is held in Her
honor where the finest bachelors compete to be Her husband. The story follows
twenty-year-old Tobias, who enters the tournament due to extenuating
circumstances—and he’s not too excited about it. The tournament is incredibly
dangerous and ripe with political corruption. Even worse, Tobias realizes he
has stronger feelings for a woman in The Savior’s court versus The Savior
happens. Shenanigans ensue. And lots of people die. Enjoy!
are three of your favorite novels?
Inferno(though if we’re getting technical, that’s actually just a
really long poem), A Clockwork Orange, and for the sake of nostalgia,Ella Enchanted.
Q: If you
could have lunch with any novelist, living or dead, who would it be? What would
talk to them about?
would most certainly choose a dead novelist, and I’d probably spend the entire
lunch asking them what it’s like being dead and subsequently resurrected. To
hell with writing, I could be solving life’s greatest mysteries in a single conversation! If I had
to choose a living novelist, I’d probably go with E.L. James, simply so I could
teach her about the birds and the bees. I mean, someone has to eventually.
is your best piece of advice for budding authors?
not too late to seek therapy.But if you insist on being a masochist, I’ve got tons of
actual writing advice on my YouTube channel.
is your favorite inspirational quote?
put yourself forward as someone good enough to do interesting things is, by
definition, to expose yourself to all kinds of negative judgments, and as far
as I can tell, the fact that other people get to decide what they think of your
behavior leaves only two strategies for not suffering from those judgments: not
doing anything, or not caring about the reaction.” — Clay Shirky
No witches, warlocks or vampires...
just a sexy tale about trying to live the Hollywood dream...
I received an e-mail a few weeks ago from Dylan Bruce, a screenwriter I've known (through e-mail and phone calls) for about ten years. He was one of the first people who readLuigi's Chinese Delicatessen, my debut novel. He said, “Let me be part of your publicity machine. Let me interview you about the book!" After I got done laughing, I thought about it. Dylan had done an interview with me a number of years ago and we had some fun with it, so I figured, "OK, sure!" So over a few e-mail and phone conversations, we knocked out this interview. —JV
DB: First of all, Jim, I enjoyed the book. It was a lot of fun and quite a ride!
JV: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!
DB: I know the book is a work of fiction, but I have to ask: You're a screenwriter in Hollywood and your main character, Trent Nordhoff, is a screenwriter in Hollywood. Is any of the story—any of it at all—based in reality?
JV: Some of it, sure. Not my reality, perhaps, but somebody’s reality. No, to be honest, there are bits and pieces that are based on things I’ve experienced, but for the most part it’s a work of fiction.
DB: After writing screenplays for so many years, why did you decide to write a novel?
JV: Yeah, it’s kinda odd. I mean, if you had told me just a few years ago that I’d pen a novel, I would’ve laughed. But ya know, I really, really enjoyed the process. I loved the freedom of writing a novel. I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed writing screenplays. Also, with a screenplay, if it’s on spec, very few people are going to read it. Sure, maybe a few of your friends, you agent, your manager, maybe a handful of producers or executives. But if it doesn’t get sold, it becomes a doorstop. If it never gets made into a movie, that great story you came up with is gone. But with a book, you can publish it yourself and get it out into the world. Even if you sell just a few hundred copies of that book, that’s far more than would’ve read your unsold, un-optioned screenplay. Of course, I sure hope to sell more than a few hundred copies. We’ll see how it goes.
DB: Isn’t Luigi’s the end result of a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? JV: Well, yes and no. Here’s what happened: I had heard about NaNoWriMo over the years, but I was a screenwriter, not a novelist. Then when I decided I wanted to write the novel, I went online and got all the info about NaNo. I’m not much of a joiner, so signing up for the NaNoWriMo really wasn’t gonna happen. Don’t get me wrong, I think NaNo is great, and it gets a lot of writers writing books, but it just wasn’t something that I found necessary for myself. But I liked the idea of cranking out a novel in one month. So a few weeks later I looked at the calendar and said, “OK, Vines, one month from today you’re gonna have the first draft of your novel.” I was sitting and writing about five minutes later. I slapped down a lot of words over the next couple of weeks. I remember quite clearly my word count at the 17 day mark. It was just over 25,000 words. I plowed forth, totally focused on getting the first draft done by the thirty day mark. I went a bit over my target date, crossing the finish line on the 34th day. At least I thought I did. After reading through the manuscript I realized I wanted a couple more scenes. So I spent three more days getting those written. On the thirty-seventh day I had just over 80,000 words. The novel was done. All I had to do was edit and make it as shiny as I could. I had a couple of paid script assignments and some personal issues I had to take care of, so editing was a process that would take another couple of years.
DB: Did you edit as you were writing?
JV: Well, not really. I mean, if I’m writing on a yellow pad and then transpose it over to the computer, I’ll usually do some editing along the way. But I prefer to just put the words down, get it all done, then later go back and clean things up one page at a time. I think it important, psychologically speaking, to just get the project done.
DB: How much of that original draft remained in the published book?
JV: I don’t think it changed too radically. If I had to make a guesstimate, I’d say I changed about 20% of that original draft. I’ve written a lot of screenplays over the years and I’ve trained myself not to write material I’m gonna cut. Most of my editing is just trimming up paragraphs, trimming dialogue, fixing my lousy punctuation…that sort of thing. But cutting entire sequences…well, that doesn’t happen very often.
DB: Did you outline this book?
JV: When I write a screenplay, I always outline. And I tell all up-and-coming screenwriters to never ever start a script without at least a bullet point outline. But with the book I just dove right in. In fact, I didn’t even start it at the beginning. I wrote several of the later chapters first and then doubled back and wrote all the introduction stuff. At least one segment, the segment with that horrid Georgia Stanley, which comes about three-fourths of the way through the story, was pretty much the last thing I wrote. I added Georgia because I thought the story needed that extra bit of drama. So no, I didn’t outline the book at all. Again, that’s why I enjoyed the process so much; I was able to go where I wanted to go, wherever my imagination took me. That sort of thing is more difficult when you’re writing a screenplay. That said, I have a feeling I’ll draw up some sort of outline with subsequent novels.
DB: OK, getting to some of the specific characters in the book…
DB: So I have to ask: Was the MILF character, Laura Hammerstein, a real person? Was she someone you actually knew?
JV: Maybe she was, maybe she wasn’t.
DB: OK, so that tells me she was real!
JV: I didn’t say that.
DB: So what about Megyn [the "figure" model]?
JV: Well, I’d say maybe 30% of Megyn is a person I once actually knew.
DB: What about that little hottie, Chloe? Did you ever pick up a girl who was hitchhiking, take her out, get her drunk…
JV: C’mon, Dylan, didn’t you read the copyright page? It clearly states: “This is a work of fiction.”
DB: Too bad. Don’t tell my wife, but I think Chloe was pretty hot.
JV: You liked her? I mean, you’d really want to date someone like that?
DB: Hell yeah! Nothing like a good challenge!
JV: Then go take a walk around Hollywood. You’ll probably meet Chloe’s twin in about five minutes. But why are you asking me about all those nasty little trollops? Why don’t you ask me about Crystal?
DB: Ah, right—Crystal. It seems she was based on a girl you once really knew…someone you had a thing for at one time.
JV: Crystal was definitely real, for the most part. But it real life we only spoke, briefly, a few times. But yeah, she was a girl that I—well, it’s all kinda heartbreaking, really.
DB: Sorry to hear it.
JV: I got over it…eventually.
DB: Getting back to the Georgia character. She was a total bitch. When it was revealed what she did to Trent, I was so f***ing mad!
JV: Yeah, she’s pretty infuriating.
DB: Did you ever have a run-in with such a person in your years as a screenwriter?
JV: Well, I can’t say I ever crossed paths with anyone quite as loathsome as Georgia Stanley, but I sure did run across my fair share of wicked people.
DB: Your main character, Trent Nordhoff, is no saint, either, especially in the way he deals with Mrs. Hammerstein.
JV: He likes her and has a certain amount of respect for her…he’s just doing what he has to do to survive. I don’t think you can totally blame him. He’s just a young guy, and she’s a hot, older woman.
DB: A hot married woman!
JV: Sure, if you want to get technical about it…
DB: Don't you think Trent was a little on the immature side?
JV: In a lot of ways, he definitely is. But I think most guys in their mid-20s are.
DB: He also seems pretty cynical.
JV: He doesn't start off that way, but yeah, after a handful of years, he has an edge that wasn't necessarily there previously.
DB: Are you a cynical person?
JV: Well, I've been involved in the movie industry, in one form or another, for many years, so I'm kinda inured to it. Fact is, it can be a rough place. Sure, there's lots of glamour and glitz and palm trees and pretty people, but underneath it can be quite nauseating, quite cold. It's not easy carving a little niche in this town, so I don't think you can help being at least a little bit cynical. Besides, there's a lot of bull getting thrown around in this town. If you believe everything people tell you—"Oh, we love your script!" and “We’ve got the financing!”—you're in for a rough ride. But for a young guy like Trent, someone who grew up far from Los Angeles, you can see how his bubble would burst after a very short time. But hey, conflict is drama, right? If everything was peaches and cream all the time, who'd read the story?
DB: Getting back to your writing process: So you just sat down at the computer and wrote?
JV: Actually, I rarely used a computer in my initial writing phase. I sat with a pen and yellow legal pad and just started writing. I was really astonished how quickly this book came to me. It just poured out, almost as if someone had been dictating over my shoulder. This has happened to me many times before, but it was quite pronounced with this novel. It was kinda scary. But good scary! Anyway, once I’d get a decent amount written on the legal pad, I’d transpose it on the computer. I’d go back and forth between legal pad and computer. As I already said, I got the first draft down pretty quick.
DB: So why did you choose Luigi’s Chinese Delicatessen as your first novel?
JV: I actually think it chose me. Again, I've been floating around "Hollywood" for a number of years and it's a setting I know well. I've also met, in one form or another, most of the characters that populate the story. I've known people who were similar to [the characters of] Kurt, and Red, and Jean-Claude. I've been to a handful of industry soirees where the people you meet hand out their business card at the end of the conversation. But what drew me to write Luigi’s, I think, was that it's an adventure story. Not an adventure about a guy in search of the Ark of the Covenant, or hunting a giant ape, but a story about a young man dropping what's comfortable—family, friends, a secure job—and driving 2500 miles to begin a life—he hopes—as a Hollywood screenwriter. Now if that's not an adventure story, what is? DB: In one of your recent blog posts [2/10/15] you wrote about transitioning from screenwriter to novelist. You wrote, “If a script doesn’t get produced, if it doesn’t get made into a movie, that great story of yours is relegated to the dark void known as obscurity. Ah, but this is not necessarily so with a novel, especially nowadays with the self-publishing boom. A writer can pen their tome and, with a few clicks of a mouse, send that book out into the world.” Can you elaborate on that a little?
JV: I became a screenwriter primarily because I wanted to tell stories. I wanted to entertain. For years I thought the only truly fun and interesting way to do that was by getting a movie made. Turns out I was wrong. Getting a script produced is a daunting task. You have to jump through a few dozen hoops just to get somebody to say, “Yes, we want to make this into a movie.” Then there’s always the huge possibility that you’ll jump through those few dozen hoops and a few dozen more and still end up with a screenplay that’s nothing more than fodder for the recycle bin. Now, with a novel, you’re completely in control. You write it, you cast it, you’re the cinematographer, you’re the set designer…you’re even in charge of make-up and wardrobe! The finished product—that bound novel—is like this neatly packaged movie that will play out in the mind and imagination of the reader. The best part: you don’t need anybody’s permission; you don't need anybody to say “yes.” I just think there’s something extraordinarily satisfying about that.
DB: I love the title: Luigi’s Chinese Delicatessen. How’d you come up with it?
JV: My girlfriend and I talk on the phone every night. Well, every night that we’re not actually together. Anyway, one night she called and—being the goofball that I am—I answered the phone with the incongruous, “Hello, thanks for calling Luigi’s Chinese Delicatessen. How may I help you?” I had been thinking about titles for the book for a while, so after I hung up with my girlfriend, I got to thinking, “Hmm…Luigi’s Chinese Delicatessen. Now that sounds like a really good title for the book.” Then I tried to figure out how to incorporate that title into the story. Happily, I figured it out pretty quick.
DB: Are you planning to write any other novels?
JV: Definitely! I’ve got other ideas, other genres. Whatever success I’ve had as a screenwriter has been in the horror and thriller genres. I’d like to try a horror novel; also a thriller. This is all an experiment right now. I’m just having fun seeing where it all goes. Having fun is the biggest reason why I write. If you’re not having fun, it’s just not worth it. I feel sorry for people who do jobs only for money. There’s a saying: “Do a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I think that’s very true.
DB: Will there be a sequel to Luigi’s Chinese Delicatessen?
JV: It’s funny. A few of my beta-readers told me I had to write a sequel. I just had to! So sure, if the folks reading Luigi’s 1 want a Luigi’s 2, they’ll most definitely get it!