I immediately messaged her, begging like I do. She agreed and I was thrilled. Imagine my SHOCK when she says to me, "You know I also write under the pen name Vastine Bondurant." WHAT!?!?! I know!
So if you don't know the name C. Zampa perhaps you've heard of Vastine Bondurant. In the interview I ask about both pen names and about her future writings! So you're in for a treat.
She is also offering a Reader's Choice Giveaway! YOU can choose ANY ebook by either C. Zampa or Vastine Bondurant! EEEEEEE!
Let's talk C. Zampa books...
When Honor Castillo convinces himself he isn’t gay, he begins a new life. He ends his affair with his lover, Jorge Villagomez, and marries Rebecca to establish a life with her as a respected San Antonio businessman. They have a son and he tells himself he is happy.
Eleven years later, Jorge returns to San Antonio, and his path crosses with Honor’s once more. The flame of their passion never died, and neither did Jorge’s love for Honor.
When Jorge approaches Honor to design his studio, Honor believes he can walk the line between friendship and lovers. But when a sudden crisis threatens to take Jorge from him forever, Honor must choose between his duty and his heart. Most of all, he’s forced to decide what he’s willing to lose in order to be true to who he really is.
OH JORGE! You'll understand it after you read it! *Whispers* I hear rumors of a sequel...
What kind of man drives a bulletproof Mercedes and carries a high-powered pistol in the glove compartment along with his boyhood teddy bear? Candy G does, that’s who. Once the exclusive attorney for the most powerful drug lord in San Antonio, he turned his back on Teirso Flores and walked away. But at what price?
Moving on with his life despite the threat of Teirso’s revenge, Candy meets gorgeous, streetwise Carlos Alvarez, and thus begins a passionate love affair rife with danger, secrets, and specters from the past that just won’t let go. When truths are revealed, will the one thing that brought their worlds together be the test that strengthens their love or the knife that severs their bond forever?
*Sigh* my heart still is all bleedy and emotional just thinking about this book.
Of course be sure to check out C.Zampa's Goodreads page for reviews and such.... C.Zampa on Goodreads
VASTINE BONDURANT BOOKS:
A lonely stretch of beach becomes a hiding place for two men who, when their paths cross, are determined not to be ships just passing in the night.
Purlman “Purly” Gates—dark, brooding, mysterious, hiding from his past and the hefty price on his head—is hopelessly attracted to the young man who strolls the beach every morning. At the risk of his own exposure and its deadly consequences, Purly succumbs to his desire and sets out to lure the beautiful enigma into his lair.
Lucky Cleary wants the swarthy stranger who watches him from the shadows of the cottage deck, and his morning promenades finally pay off when the man steps out onto the beach and into Lucky’s life in a move to bring their paths together.
But Lucky has a secret as well—a past mistake following close behind him, promising certain death if it catches up with him.
When each man discovers the other’s identity, the truth forms a powerful bond between them and fans the flame of their passion.
But is the meeting of these two lonely souls a beautiful destiny or merely a cruel twist of fate in which their desire is nothing more than the kiss of death for them both?
A Texas Piney Woods Story
Rural East Texas, 1931. Preacher’s son Emory Joe Logan and a fiddler from Shreveport, Glory Lands, meet and form a tender bond. When they are caught and arrested for homosexual acts by Sheriff Elihu Bishop, the lawman’s sanctimonious bigotry threatens to rip the young men from their families.
Emory Joe’s father, Pastor Charles Logan, is brought to his knees in terror, confusion, and anger. He still regrets not standing up against Bishop when the lawman murdered a youth in cold blood nine years ago.
Now there’s no longer a choice for the preacher to stand up to the lawman. Cold-blooded justice, bigotry-disguised-as-religion, and hatred take on a whole new meaning when they’re standing on his doorstep, ready to take the son he loves.
Again, be sure to check out Vastine's Goodreads page: Vastine Bondurant on Goodreads
4 books... 4 choices... 2 pen names... ONE author! CRAZY TALENT!
You have 2 pen names. Can you tell us aside from C. Zampa what the other is and what the differences in writing they both offer?
Okay, so this is silly...but when I first started writing, my good friend and mentor was an older Italian gentleman. With his influence, I began with stories about the 40's Mafia. Always Italian characters. So I wanted an Italian pen name (told you it was silly!), and it was easy. I just chose 'Zampa', which is the name of my favorite opera. I truly did it for fun, never intending to really ever be USING the name.
But, then my heart and soul went also to my deep passion---the south, rural east Texas (my roots). My true voice, I believe. And...well...I felt this 'other' voice was calling for a name that fit its heart. Our company had a customer ( a man, believe it or not) whose first name was Vastine. I LOVED that and used it. Then the 'Bondurant' came from a character I loved, Big Pete Bondurant, from James Ellroy's novel, 'American Tabloid.' So, sure, folks may think I'm off my nut about a mile an a half... but it just had to be. And the Zampa now is my pen name for contemporary, usually Latino based; and the Vastine is for my vintage self. LOL
There have been talks of a sequel for Honor C. Can you confirm or deny this?
I can absolutely confirm it! I wasn't expecting the feedback from readers (and it made my heart so happy, by the way, for them to love my boys), wishing for Honor and Jorge to have their happy ending. Well, that was funny, because I honestly thought they DID have a happy ending. But, well, Jorge's health was a question. And I thought...yep...they need a follow-up. It's taking a long time to formulate, because I'm letting my heart direct a story for it. I just didn't want it to be focused on Jorge and his health. So still musing.
I had a conversation with a friend about the titles of your books. Honor C and Candy G. They aren't part of a same series but you titled them after a MC. Is this something you will typically be doing? Or is this coincidental?
It's intentional. What nobody knows is that, when they were planned, they WERE supposed to be a series. But at the time of publication for Candy G, the second in the series was SO far in the future, I couldn't commit to actually titling it as a series. What's funny is that the sequel is NOT going to be patterned that way because it's about the two MC's from Honor C, and I didn't want to call it 'Honor C, Part II'...lol. BUT...there IS going to be a follow up story to Candy G, involving his best friend, and it will be Jesse D.
What is your writing ritual like ie... Writing Cave, out on the porch, after the kids go to bed you pull out the laptop and write wherever you are?
I could produce faster if I HAD a ritual. I really don't have one, but when I DO write, it is at the dining room table where my desktop is located. Oh, I dream of a laptop, though! I'd like to write on the patio!
Do you oversee the design of your book covers or do you get little say in the matter?
Both. Dreamspinner (where I have two Zampa works and one Vastine work) are absolutely wonderful about the author having input. I was a greenhorn at the time Candy G was published and I'll admit I didn't have much input, I was kind of afraid to react if I didn't like something. And I have regretted that. But the other books? The artists (Paul Richmond and Reese Dante) were determined to not let that cover go out the door until I could say I loved it. They were magnificent in their effort to please. For a WIP I'm working on, I had a cover made as incentive. I haven't been able to reveal it yet, as the book is not ready, but the artist (A. J. Corza) worked very closely with me.
What advice would you give new writers entering this genre?
OH, man. Advice for this genre. Tough question, because---for me---writing is writing. In all genres I might write, I want to show respect for my characters, for my subjects. But if you're contemplating the m/m genre? Just please enter into it with love for it, not because it happens to be a genre that is steadily growing in popularity. Well, for that matter, don't go into any genre for money alone. In my opinion, as it's a still fairly new genre, with lots of speculative eyes watching it, it's at a delicate stage in its history. And, as with any genre, as for any author, give it your very BEST.
Can you tell us about any future projects you have in the works?
Working on a contemporary Latino story, another San Antonio based setting. I can't reveal the title yet. I'm working on a sequel to Honor C, a sequel to Glory Lands (Vastine's story) and another Texas Piney Woods story whose title I also can't tell yet.
What inspires you?
Mostly music. Surroundings. For my Latinos, I'm submerged in Hispanic music---anywhere from Latin club mixes, 'gangsta' style music, traditional Mexican folk songs. For surroundings, I love hanging out in the---gods, what would you call it?---well, the barrio districts in the city where I grew up, Pasadena/Houston, Texas. The rich culture, the vivid color, the flavor. But mostly music. For everything.
Writers tend to be very ambitious people. Where do you hope this career will have taken you in 5 years time?
I plan to have won a Pulitzer within the next five years. Just kidding. Seriously? I really do not know. Where I'm leaning, to be honest, is more into mainstream. What I'd write and---most of all---what I'd do with it once I DID write something mainstream? I'm not sure. Probably self publish. But I honestly don't see any sort of big thing in my future as far as writing. The fun part will be seeing where it does lead me. As far as ambitious? I am not. I truly do this for the pure love of it. I'm an odd ball who---when I got my first contract---saw the part where it asked, "How do you want to be paid?".....and I thought, "Oh, man, oh, man! I'm getting PAID for this!" I truly, truly was not ambitious enough to even have thought of that part.
Can you supply us with ways to keep up with your career (In both pen names) via Social Media?
For C. ZampaEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Vastine Bondurant:
With all her amazing books you're sure to find it hard to choose just ONE ebook! So choose wisely... Then buy all the other ones :D Seriously she's worth every penny...
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
Enter below. The contest runs for 5 days. I will email the winner and you will have 48 hours to respond with your book choice and format preference. Then C. Zampa will email you your winnings :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway