About The Author
Vincent Panettiere is a former literary agent, representing writers and directors in televIsion and film. At the same time he was certified by the Major League Players Association (MLBPA) to represent major league baseball players. Previously he was an executive with Twentieth Century Fox and CBS.
A WOMAN TO BLAME is his first novel. Previously he wrote and published The Internet Financing Illusion which investigated the dark side of the Internet and the scams committed upon unsuspecting businessmen.
About the Book
A thoroughbred race horse collapses and dies after finishing last in a race he was favored to win. Hours later the stallion’s trainer, a young woman with a promising career, is found dead on a suburban Chicago beach.
A woman to blame? The police draw a facile solution – murder/suicide. Mike Hegan, a veteran police detective being forced to retire on medical disability, refuses to believe the official version. His search for the truth leads him to a promontory on a Caribbean island where scores are settled and lives lost.
Interview with Vincent Panettiere
How Much of yourself is hidden in the characters in your book?
There is not much of me in the characters with the exception of a juvenile sense of humor.
How much of a story did you have in mind before you started writing?
Initially the book was a screenplay. The basis for the screenplay was a New York Times article in the 1970s about a veterinary who was found dead on a beach outside Chicago. I changed her profession to horse trainer and changed all of the circumstances and back story. The script never sold and a few years ago I looked at it again and decided to expand it into a novel – adding more characters etc.
Can you tell us what genre you write?
This is my first novel – a detective/mystery thriller. My second which I finished last month is totally different. My first book The Internet Financing Illusion is non-fiction – though one reviewer said it “…reads like a fast paced novel…” “…powerful writing, timely and fascinating…”
Obviously to date I have not written in any specific genre.
How do you cope with writer’s block?
I didn’t write one word for the second novel for 18 months. Maybe that means I didn’t cope well or… I never think of it as writer’s block. If ideas are not coming I just try to plant a suggestion in my head and wait for the answer. Usually it comes when I’m doing menial, physical activity – peeling potatoes etc.
How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
I try to put myself in the place of the reader. I wouldn’t want to read a book if every voice was the same; nor would I want to write one either; developing different characters is as much for my amusement as anything else.
Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
I have no technique; just wait for internal direction. I do not write outlines; write some notes, ideas, scraps of dialogue, scenes – even if out of context.
How (or when) do you decide that you are finished writing a story?
The story is organic and evolves into a natural conclusion.
Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?
As I learned years ago – if you want to send a message call Western Union. These days we would substitute email for Western Union. Readers of novels want to be entertained, not bludgeoned.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve finished a second novel which is not ready for publication. I’ve also started another novel utilizing some of the main characters from A Woman to Blame.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes and tried to avoid it too.
At what age did you discover your love of writing?
First I discovered a love of reading and in high school started to write for school newspaper.
When were you first published? How were you discovered?
I was first published in my high school newspaper. Have yet to be discovered.
What is the most difficult part of the whole writing process?
The most difficult part of writing is the tyranny of the blank page.
What do you like to read?
Am an eclectic reader – from political subjects to favorite novelists, travel and food etc.
Which writer influences you the most?
I try not to be influenced or to imitate. Hopefully I have my own style/voice etc. Even those terms bother me as I think the book has to engage a reader or not by what is written; if technique is so apparent it can stifle the story.
If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, which actors would you like to see playing your characters?
If the book were made into a movie or TV series I would happily cash the check and leave the producers to do their jobs.
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