Vincent B. Davis II - Mafia Crime Thriller set in the Roarin 20's
Vincent B. Davis II is an author, entrepreneur, and soldier. He is a graduate of East Tennessee State University, and has served in the United States Army since 2014. He's the author of four books, two of which have become international bestsellers. When he's not researching or writing his next book, you can find him watching Carolina Panthers football or playing with his rescued mutt, Buddy. As our Author of the Day, Davis tells us about his book, Sins of the Father.
Please give us a short introduction to what Sins of the Father is about.
Sins of the Father is a mafia crime thriller set in the 20s and 30s, with frequent flashbacks to Sicily at the turn of the century. The narrative follows the lives of the individual members in the Consentino family, and how/why the life of crime is so difficult to escape. Fans of The Godfather will feel right at home.
You’re young for a full time author. How did you make your start?
I think I’ve always wanted to be an author. I still have notebooks full of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings knock offs from when I was about 8 years old. But my background was in business. I graduated with a business degree and worked in the Financial Planning industry for roughly four years. I was always told it was impossible to make a living as an author, so I planned to wait until I was retired to work on my books full-time. But when I graduated, I looked up and realized that I don’t have a mortgage, a wife, or children. If I’m going to take a risk, now is the time. I took out a $3000 loan to fund my books development, and with only $200 a month coming in from the Army Reserves, I quit my job and went all in. God has opened up a lot of doors since then, and fortunately I believe I’m going to be able to stick around as a full-time author. The rest is history!
Your past books have been about Ancient Rome. What inspired you to write about the Mafia?
This is one of the situations where the trite old saying is accurate, “I didn’t choose the book, the book chose me.”. I had always been fascinated by the Mafia. I’ve always been fascinated by the culture of the Roarin’ 20s. Once the seeds of the idea had been planted, I couldn’t ignore it. I wanted to return to The Sertorius Scrolls, but these characters kept screaming out to me, and refused to shut up until I told their story.
Ultimately, I’ve always said that I don’t write about Rome, or the Mafia. I write about the human condition. About the intrinsic tragedy of existence, and how men and women either rise up to meet the challenge, or turn to less honorable means of facing the world. I write about relationships, about love, honor, family, country… and for that reason, the switch from Rome to the 20s wasn’t so difficult.
How much research did this book require from you to make the history part of it ring true?
A lot. That’s the best way I can say it. I’ve spent years researching both the 20s and Ancient Rome. I have notes I’ve been collecting since 2010, on both eras. Before the first word has ever been typed, I’ve spent hundreds of hours pouring over old books, dissertations, et cetera, as well as visiting the locations when I’m able (Little Italy in Manhattan, and Rome).
When you aren’t writing, do you have any time for hobbies?
Less than I’d like! When I do find some margin in my life for relaxation, I love reading, fishing, and watching Carolina Panthers football. Man, it’s been awhile since I made a consistent effort to fish, but I’m making an error to fish more (I think it will make me a better writer). I never miss Carolina Panthers football though. Ever. I also love spending time with my friends and family. I’m a pretty relational guy. Also, I love dogs. All dogs. I have a ridiculous puppy voice that is likely to scare away any chance at getting a first date, but fortunately my dog Buddy doesn’t mind, and he pretty much goes everywhere I go.
What order would you suggest for your books?
I guess it depends on where the reader wants to start (Rome or New York City), but I’ve always imagined that my room books would be read like: The Man with Two Names -> Son of Mar -> The Noise of War -> Blood in the Forum. That’s how they were written and also chronological. I tried to make them standalone as much as possible, but I definitely think the best reader experience is to follow this order.
Sins of the Father can be enjoyed without prior reading, and its sequel will be available soon!
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I don’t care how nerdy this sounds, but I’d love to meet some of the Romans in my book. If I met Quintus Sertorius, I’d probably cry. I was shaken to my core when I was in the Roman Forum, where all of them walked and ran the state.
Beside that, I’d really like to drink a beer with Tom Hanks, Liam Neeson, and Denzel Washington. Those guys are awesome.
What is the best writing advice you’ve received?
“Nobody wants to read you sh*t”. Life changing advice, and man is it true. Authors make a grave error when they think they’re important or interesting enough to warrant eight hours of someone’s time. You have to focus on the reader. It’s not about me as the author, or how brilliant I am. It’s about the reader. What are they going to get? Entertainment? Encouragement? Enlightenment? When you write and package a book in such a way that the reader experience is put first, that’s when the readers start to show up.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
If I’m writing, I have a tobacco pipe and a cup of coffee in hand. Without fail. Every time. Perhaps it’s just me trying to channel my inner JRR Tolkien, but they really do help me settle into the moment and focus on the subject matter.
I also listen to music. For my Rome books, I listen to nothing but classical music and soundtracks, which really place me in the moment. When writing my The Consentino Crime Saga, I listen to nothing but Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, and other stars from the 20s and 30s.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on the next book in the Sertorius Scrolls, tentatively titled, “Bodies in the Tiber”. I really wanted to have it on shelves before the New Year, but that doesn’t look likely. That being said, I’m working diligently, and hope to have it available.
For the fans of Sins of the Father, though, never fear! Part 2 in the Consentino Crime Saga has already been written, and it will be published as soon as the editing and cover design has been completed. Q1/Q2 of 2020.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
My website is vincentbdavisii.com. From there, readers can sign up for “The Legion”, where they can download free eBooks, maps, family trees, and more. As far as where to buy the books, any bookstore should have my paperbacks available, and Amazon is the best place to snag my eBooks and audiobooks.