Archive for the 'Fifteen Digits'

What do you think of the new cover (right) for Nick Santora’s…


The hardcover cover


The paperback cover

What do you think of the new cover (right) for Nick Santora’s Fifteen Digits? Whatever your opinion, pop over to the book’s Facebook page for a chance to win a free paperback.

My Digital Confession

CobbleA recent, controversial  New York Times article by Stanley Fish uses the results of a 2011 psychological study to argue readers and viewers experience no negative effects from knowing the ending of a story in advance. We asked a few of our friends what they thought–check back regularly today for their responses.

Oz isn’t real because Dorothy was dreaming the whole time.

Norman Bates’ mom is actually dead – he just wears her clothes. 

Harrison Ford’s wife was the killer in PRESUMED INNOCENT.

If we were in the time of the height of the popularity of these films, and you were on the way into the theatre to see one of them and I stopped you in the lobby and told you these spoilers, you’d serve me up a well-deserved knuckle sandwich. Why? Because I would’ve ruined the movie for you. A child would understand that. And it takes a child-like mentality to believe otherwise.

The New York Times piece wins a gold medal in the Rationalization Olympics as it tries to support the notion that being pre-told the surprise/shocking/unforeseen conclusion to a story doesn’t necessarily take away from the movie-watching or TV show-viewing or book-reading experience.

As humans we’re wired to hope for ”The Surprise Ending” because we innately know that life itself is full of surprise endings.  Your life can end as soon as you step off a curb … or, as it did in my case … it can change forever as soon as you swing your fist at another.

I haven’t discussed this soon-to-be-confession with Little Brown/Mulholland Books prior to writing this piece and they’ve been incredible supporters of mine so I hope they don’t think I am blind-siding them.  And the truth is, I’ve never shared this information publicly before right now, at this very moment, as I type this.

But I believe enough time has passed that I can talk about it and I hope that readers understand that people change over the years.

Over two decades ago, when I was 18, I began an incarceration term in Fishkill Prison in New York for the killing of another teen in a fight over money.  I was young and stupid and I didn’t mean to hurt anyone, let alone take someone’s life … but I deserved the time I got. I was 17 when the fight happened, so the records have always been sealed.

I spent the first year in prison hiding.

The second year crying.

And the third through sixth year in the Rec Room watching TV and Movies.  The shows and films with twists and surprises and endings you never saw coming — those were the ones that stayed with me for weeks and months — those were the ones that were talked about and debated in The Yard.  Those were the ones that were special.

They helped get me through my bid. Because I knew I wasn’t alone.  Other people (even if they were fictional) had their lives turn on a dime as well — others were surprised by life’s fickle whimsies as much as I had been.

If I had know the endings of these stories before I watched them, they wouldn’t have been nearly as effective — not nearly as special.

So let that be my vote against spoilers.

Sincerely,

Nick Santora (author)

(ps – I never did time in prison. Never killed anyone. Made the whole thing up. Now that you know that, go back and read this piece and see if it is nearly as interesting now that you how it ends.)

NICK SANTORA was a lawyer before his first screenplay won Best Screenplay of the Competition at the 2001 New York International Independent Film Festival. A co-creator, executive producer, and writer for the hit A&E show Breakout Kings and former writer and co-executive producer of Prison Break, Nick Santora lives in Los Angeles, California.

Check out Nick Santora’s new novel FIFTEEN DIGITS, and the paperback edition of the nationally bestselling SLIP & FALL,  now available in bookstores everywhere.

The Lineup: Weekly Links

Contrasted Confinement

Marcia Clark’s second Rachel Knight thriller GUILT BY DEGREES is in bookstores now–and the reviewers love it! John Valeri of The Examiner raves about how the novel “takes the strongest elements from an already assured debut and melded them into near perfection,” while Kirkus proclaims that Knight “transmutes the dull and ordinary into the bright stuff of legends…serious fun.” CNN champions its “fast-paced story” that “crackles with authenticity,” and the Financial Times called Clark’s newest a “blade-sharp read.”

Also check out the great love that Marcia’s newest is getting from bloggers like Christian Manifesto, Mystery Scene, The Review Broads, and S. Krishna’s Books.

Nick Santora’s recently released FIFTEEN DIGITS has also been receiving great blogger reviews from the likes of BookReporter and Booking Mama. And don’t miss Nick’s interview at Bitter Lawyer.

Joe R. Lansdale’s EDGE OF DARK WATER continues to earn rave reviews online, most recently from White Cat Publications, The Mystery Reader, and Serial Distractions. Kirkus also chimed in, calling the novel “a highly entertaining tour de force.” Even the self-proclaimed World’s Toughest Book Critics can’t resist this one!

In other news, Joss Whedon’s THE AVENGERS film had the biggest opening weekend, ever, by a longshot. Which already has industry blogs like Cinema Blend and LA Times’ 24 Frames pondering just what went so drastically right for the franchise. Two words: HULK…SMASH!

We’d shared this last week, but in case you missed it the first time around, Nick Santora’s video of the opening scene of FIFTEEN DIGITS is leagues better than most book trailers and well worth your time…

Did we missing something sweet? Share it in the comments! We’re always open to suggestions for next week’s post! Get in touch at mulhollandbooks@hbgusa.com or DM us on Twitter.

The Lineup: Weekly Links

Contrasted ConfinementNick Santora’s new novel FIFTEEN DIGITS was recently reviewed in The Hollywood Reporter, which proclaimed the novel “a propulsive thriller that hurtles along to a brutal and–trust me–very unexpected conclusion.” Nick’s novel was also reviewed in the Washington Post, with reviewer Steve Donoghue writing: Santora expertly ratchets up the tension….Readers will be mighty entertained.” LA Weekly also has a great interview with Nick, and touts the novel as “a mix of Dennis Lehane and Scott Turow.”

In other news, Lawrence Block’s much-acclaimed return to Matthew Scudder A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF was just awarded a Spinetingler Award for Best Novel in the Legend category. Congrats Larry!

A new section of our social writing project Triggers Down is up…

And Nick put together this absolutely incredible short film of the first scene in FIFTEEN DIGITS with a little help from a few of his friends–check it out below! Now THAT’S what we call a book trailer! Fullscreen it–you won’t be disappointed.

Did we missing something sweet? Share it in the comments! We’re always open to suggestions for next week’s post! Get in touch at mulhollandbooks@hbgusa.com or DM us on Twitter.

Start Reading Fifteen Digits by Nick Santora

Prologue

The problem with all you lawyers,” Mauro lectured Spade, “is you think the support staff ’s nothing but replaceable parts—just warm bodies in blue blazers running your files up and down the floors whenever you snap your fingers. You guys treat us like we’re invisible.”

Rich Mauro sat back in the booth and took a pull on his beer. Spade studied him for a moment, then smiled a disconcerting grin— a Cheshire Cat That Ate the Canary kind of thing.

“And that’s why you’re where you are and I’m where I am,” Spade pointed out smugly. “Where you see problems, I see opportunities.”

Jason Spade leaned across the table, over the half-finished Harp’s and the untouched onion rings. In the crowded bar, between the blare of the Smithereens on the jukebox and the howl of drunk Irish electricians toasting some dead union brother, there was no need to whisper, but Jason Spade’s was the kind of idea that demanded secretive tones. Even if whispers weren’t required by the environment, they were called for by the very nature of what he was about to propose.

“The benefit of being invisible,” Jason whispered, looking straight into Mauro’s eyes, “is that people don’t see you when you’re robbing them blind…now, how ’bout you and I get rich, Rich?”

And with that simple question, a chain of events began that changed, destroyed, and ended lives. People would be maimed, tortured, and killed. Millions of dollars would be stolen, then stolen away from the thieves themselves.

It was a question that would eventually make Rich Mauro, Jason Spade, Vicellous “Vice” Green, Dylan Rodriguez, and Eddie Pisorchek suffer beyond measure. Some of them would die because of it.

After it all went down, to the ill informed, it appeared that it happened because of money. But to those who were involved in it, to the guys who were so deep in the mess that it covered their mouths and pushed up into their nostrils, they understood that it all happened for love—love that was pure and real or love that had never been there to begin with, but love nonetheless.

And all of it—every cry of agony, every drop of blood—it all began with that conversation between Rich Mauro and Jason Spade, a conversation that lasted less than fifteen minutes, on a summer night, over a couple of beers in a graffiti-stricken booth in the back of McMahon’s Pub.

Nick Santora was a lawyer before his first screenplay won Best Screenplay of the Competition at the 2001 New York International Independent Film Festival. A co-creator, executive producer, and writer for the hit A&E show Breakout Kings and former writer and co-executive producer of Prison Break, Nick Santora lives in Los Angeles, California.

FIFTEEN DIGITS is now available in bookstores everywhere.