Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Interview with Author Daniel Simone

1.      Daniel, what inspired you to write your new book?  When the Pierre robbery took place in 1972, it spun in the national headlines for 6 months. It was a sensational crime that amused the public and entranced the media. How it was engineered, and how polite and sensitive the robbers had been with the hostages was fascinating to me.  Also, it was a unique crime because the authorities were clueless, and still are to date. It was a perfectly executed heist by astute, sophisticated criminals. And when the sole surviving gunmen, Nick Sacco, contacted my agent, I leaped at the opportunity to have him collaborate with me on the book. 

2.      What is it about? The story is about the famous 1972 Pierre Hotel armed robbery.  The Pierre is a New York landmark that hosts presidents, kings, and queens.  The theme is also about greed, lust, betrayal, political corruption, and a moving romance. Eight Mafia backed gunmen held the hotel under siege for 3 hours, ransacked the guests' safe deposit boxes, and made off with $27,000,000 in cash and jewels. (In 1972, $27,000,000 was equivalent to a quarter of a billion dollars at present value).  That night, the hotel hosted 388 guests, and you can well imagine the situations that arose in those 3 hours with so many people under one roof. But incredibly, whatever happenstances cropped, the robbers were prepared to deal with them without harming anyone. And some of the whirling activity that developed was actually comedic. At the end of the robbery, as a token for the inconvenience the gunmen caused the hostages, they gave each of them a twenty-dollar bill.  The book is also about a heart-wrenching loves story that ended in a tragedy.

3.      So where are the jewels? Come on, tell us!! Shortly after the robbery, the robbers began double-crossing one another, and in the process they squandered most of the loot, except for Nick Sacco, who at the time was the wealthiest jewel thief in the country, if not the world, and the most wanted by the FBI.  Unfortunately, after Sacco entered the Federal Witness Protection Program for an unrelated matter, he couldn't suppress his gambling addiction, and no longer earning as he did in his days of glory as a jewel thief, lost his fortune of approximately $11,000,000.  

4.      What is so interesting about your book that it should be the one people buy if they only buy one book? The book is written in the style of a novel, a genre` called Narrative Non-Fiction.  And because it reads like a novel with vivid dialogues, character development, and dramatic scenes, it's entertaining to a broad audience and not just to true crime fans.  In addition, the book is quite informative, imparting relatively unknown facts that the readers will find amusing and interesting.  And as aforementioned, it isn't a story merely about a robbery; rather it's about a faction of obscure people, their unconventional lifestyle, and the consequences of their actions and mentality.  And of course, lust and betrayal are always appealing to all. More intriguing, the frustrated and baffled authorities, who could not solve the heist, adds another color to the plot.  The story is weaved in a cinematic and suspenseful yarn. In fact, it has already been optioned for a full feature film by Titan Steel Productions. 

5.      Why do these true crime mysteries capture our imagination? True crime captures our fascination because of how criminals are glamorously portrayed by the media and by Hollywood. As a result, they're regarded as heroes, such as Don Corleone in the Godfather, and Henry Hill in Goodfellas.  And our subconscious yearns to lead a life of a debonair, powerful, influential gangster.  But in reality, there's nothing glamorous or suave about those individuals.  On the contrary, 99% of them can hardly scratch a living and are unable to support their families. Most have vices, drugs, alcohol, and gambling.  And they're constantly under the fear of an imminent arrest or of being murdered by a rival. Consequently, their families suffer, and it's a rarity for a career gangster to die at home of old age in his own bed.  Most of them are either killed or die in prison.

6.      How are you marketing your book? My marketing strategies are an array of promotional campaigns, but the most effective are appearances in print and TV media outlets. I prefer to avoid book reviewers. They can be unpredictable without a cause. For instance, a reviewer could praise a book that has no merits, and dispraise the best book on the market.  Submitting a book for a review is a dangerous proposition.

7.      Any advice for struggling writers? My advice to aspiring writers is most of all not to be defeated by the uphill road to publishing.  First and foremost, a writer must have a literary agent, and it's almost impossible to recruit a worthy one to represent the manuscript of an unpublished author. I recommend to devise a sensational topic for a book written in a unique, engaging style. I also suggest for a writer to associate himself or herself with an established author and negotiate a co-author arrangement.  A joint venture with a known, published writer is usually  the key to attract an agent.  But above all, never become disenchanted and discouraged. Those who lose their drive to plow forward despite the rejections, will surely lose the quest to see their books published.

8.      Where do you see the future of book publishing is heading? Book publishing has been on a declining slope, and I anticipate that downward trend to  continue. Sadly, everyone of the current generation, and even the older generation, is too engrossed into smart phones, and no one seems to find time to curl up with a book. Perhaps, the best advice I should give to an aspiring writer is to write apps instead of books, or to write screenplays. But that's a whole different conversation for another time.  I truly hope I'm wrong about my negative projection of the current publishing trend.

THE PIERRE HOTEL AFFAIR by Daniel Simone is now available for pre-orders on Barnes & Noble and on Amazon.com. This is the inside scoop of a sensational and famous robbery of the world-famed Pierre Hotel, a New York landmark that has hosted presidents, kings, and queens. The sole surviving armed robber of that bold caper, Nick Sacco, collaborated with Daniel Simone, unveiling never-before-told facts and explosive revelations about the largest unrecovered jewel heist in history.... It is also the story of a love affair that ended in a heart wrenching tragedy. DRAMATIC GRIPPING, AND SUSPENSFUL!
The Pierre Hotel Affair by Daniel Simone and Nick Sacco will be published by Pegasus in May 2017. It will also be available in hard cover, ebook form, and audio CD and can now be preordered at a discount on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. See link below:
About the author:  Daniel Simone, born in New York City, is an American author who specializes in writing about sensational crimes in collaboration with one of the perpetrators or investigators of the actual event. He specializes in the narrative non-fiction genre, a stylistic fashion of crafting a true story in the form of a novel, coloring the theme with character dialogues, and vivid scenes dramatized with action and suspense. These elements enliven a story, heightening the intrigue and entertainment of the readers. Simone co-wrote with Henry Hill the The Lufthansa Heist. In early 2015, Simone and a collaborator completed a revelatory, and quite explosive, project about the Charles Manson murder convictions, a forthcoming book exposing never-before-told facts. Simone has also published approximately 130 feature stories in several print publications. See www.DanielSimone.net for more information.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs

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