Daily Archives: June 22, 2022
Posted by authorcamilson
The Final Crossing: A Tale of Self-Discovery and Adventure
by Vince Santoro
GENRE: Historical Fiction
In this tale of self-discovery and adventure, we are connected with a history we’ve come to know as the cradle of civilization.
Nenshi, an Egyptian house servant, raised in nobility, is well-schooled, a master huntsman and hungers to be free. His master agrees to grant his freedom but while the petition is set to be heard, Nenshi’s indiscretion gets in the way. He is caught in a secret love affair with a woman above his social status.
As punishment, he is exiled to labour in the Nubian gold mines. His life turns upside down as he is thrust into a world for which he had been ill prepared. He escapes from the mines and vows to return to Thebes, but his attempts push him farther and farther away on a journey that redefines him – a journey mired with cruelty, bloodshed, and the discovery of a new deity.
In the end Nenshi learns his freedom has been granted and must decide whether to return to his homeland or start a new life.
“I greatly enjoyed this well written story by Vince Santoro. He takes us across the Ancient World
through the protagonist, Nenshi, an exiled Egyptian servant who struggles with class structure, both around and within himself. Santoro weaves a story of ideas – a sense of belonging, monotheism, and the human soul – told through Nenshi’s rite of passage through to his final crossing. The setting is visually evocative of “spirit of place” as the novelist and travel writer Lawrence Durrell called it. It’s a story worth reading.” – Terry Stanfill
Award winning historical fiction author of The Gift from Fortuny, Realms of Gold, The Blood Remembers and other works.
“Vince Santoro is a gifted storyteller. I found The Final Crossing difficult to put down because it is
well written. As an historian and author of non-fiction books, I am impressed with the amount of research that Santoro has done to prepare this story of adventure and romance set in the ancient Middle East. The customs, the beliefs and even the character names are all authentic to that region and era. With so many plot twists and turns, Santoro will keep you guessing about what might happen next to the protagonist until the very end!” – John Charles Corrigan
Author of The Red Night and “Love Always”
The sound of dragging footsteps along the pebbled path grew louder. The morning heat would soon turn into an inferno and drain any enthusiasm from the simplest of pleasures. But it was not enough to hamper a hunting expedition.
“Finally,” Nenshi said as he bent down to grab his bow and arrows nestled between his feet. “Must you always be late?” He looked up to the sky and squinted to get a reading of the sun’s position. “I don’t have all day. Unlike you.”
“Don’t scold me like a child. I keep forgetting,” Hordekef replied and wiped his clammy hands on his shirt.
Nenshi shook his head. “You keep forgetting you’re a free man and I am not?”
Hordekef shrugged his shoulders and turned to look down at his hunting dog. “Precisely,” he replied as he tugged at the leash to nudge the dog to come closer. It refused. “I have known you as a nobleman’s son, not a servant.”
Nenshi frowned, hated to be reminded of his status. Unlike most servants, even raised in nobility had its burdens. Hordekef gave the leash another tug. The dog still refused to budge. “Perhaps one day you will call me to celebrate your freedom rather than go hunting.”
There was silence, save for the sound of the dog’s pant.
The yearning for freedom had grown over time but the longing was not enough to set Nenshi free. Even though it was uncommon for servants to ask for their freedom, if warranted, in time, it would be granted. But Nenshi could not wait to be accorded such benevolence.
“Well … when will you ask your master to grant you your independence?” Hordekef asked. “You have told me, repeatedly, you would.”
Nenshi was reluctant to answer but felt the obligation to provide his friend with an explanation. “I have tried, several times. Something always gets in the way, his work, visits from old friends. I don’t know what else to do. He has been good to me. You know that. I don’t want to disrespect him.”
“Tehuti is aging. After he enters the underworld, you will still respect him. Unfortunately, your status will not have changed.”
Nenshi remained silent. The dead air surrounding him fell on his shoulders and caused him to be still, immobile. The heaviness could only be shaken with distraction. “Let’s go, we’re wasting time,” he said, tipping his head sideways in the direction of the wasteland.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Vince is an Italian-born Canadian who grew up in Toronto, Canada, and now lives in Pickering, a suburb of Toronto.
In his youth, education and sports became a priority. A private boys’ school, St. Michael’s College in Toronto, provided the opportunity for both. He graduated from York University, Toronto, with a degree in history and a minor in behavioural science.
Vince was always up for new challenges. After completing his studies, he set his eyes on Europe and played professional basketball in Italy. When he returned home, he shifted gears and worked in the aerospace industry in several capacities. The most rewarding was managing internal communications for a large aircraft manufacturer. It was during this time he decided to hone his writing skills by studying journalism at Ryerson University, Toronto, and he had several articles published.
His career in communications along with studies in history and journalism prepared him to take on his next challenge: to write a book. His debut novel, The Final Crossing, has been a labour of love, one he worked on for many years. It reflects life experiences, woven into a story that inspires and entertains, and perhaps even show the world in a different way.
CONNECT WITH VINCE SANTORO
WEBSITE – Vince Santoro l Novel Writer (vsantoro.ca)
FACEBOOK – Vince Santoro | Facebook
INSTAGRAM – Vince Santoro (@vsantoro14) • Instagram photos and videos
TWITTER – Vince Santoro (@vsantoro14) / Twitter
GOODREADS – Vince Santoro (Author of The Final Crossing) | Goodreads
PURCHASE LINKS – The Final Crossing
AMAZON.COM – https://amazon.com/dp/0228871840
AMAZON.CA – https://amazon.ca/dp/0228871840
AMAZON KINDLE – https://amazon.com/dp/B09WJKB96S
Vince Santoro will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Tell us about you as a person.
I would describe myself as competitive, humble, and with a dislike for deception. Competitiveness comes from playing sports at the highest possible level that I could achieve which was professional basketball in Italy. Being competitive also taught me never to give up on my goals. Humility comes from being raised in a traditional Italian home with values such as honesty, respect, and kindness. As for deception, I don’t like it when people give false impressions or lead you to believe something that is not true. I understand that in some cases, accidental deception, someone may deceive to avoid hurting another person, but intentional deception is a different matter. In fact, my next novel (in work) deals with lying and deception.
If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Lady Gaga. To hang out with for a day would be awesome. She’s immensely talented. The songs, the voice, the lyrics – so profound. She’s intelligent and sets goals. Hanging out with her for a day might reveal things about her that people might not know. I can keep secrets. Besides, we both come from an Italian background, so that’s a good start. Have a Campari or Prosecco and who knows, we might even collaborate on a song. I can’t sing but I can write.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
The Final Crossing tells the story of an Egyptian servant, Nenshi, who struggles with class structure, both around and within himself, often pondering what it means to be a free man. It’s a story of self-discovery and adventure, with spiritual overtones.
Nenshi builds up the courage to ask his master to free him. But as fate has it, before the petition is granted, he is caught in a secret love affair with Sia, a beautiful Egyptian freewoman. During one of their trysts, Nenshi commits a crime against Sia’s father and is consequently punished and sent to the Nubian mines to serve his sentence. He escapes and vows to return home, but events take him farther and farther away on a journey in pursuit of freedom and love. A journey that redefines him, a journey mired with cruelty, bloodshed, and the discovery of a new deity.
The story asks some philosophical questions such as what it means to be truly free, what is the human spirit, and what it means to believe in a god? It explores cities and civilizations in the ancient world. It’s a story filled with compelling moments, some clever, some with musical wordplay all told through interesting characters and twists and turns until the very end. It’s a story that entertains and perhaps make the reader see life in a different way.
What is your writing process?
It took a while to develop a writing process that worked for me. I tried a very structured approach with little flexibility. It didn’t work. I tried a “free for all” approach. That didn’t work either, too many distractions. I knew structure and discipline were important, so I sought a happy medium.
Now my writing process goes something like this.
I start the morning (after breakfast) by dealing with the business aspects of writing: check and respond to emails and social media; follow-up on marketing initiatives; work on a draft for an upcoming blog, etc. After lunch I work on my story whether it’s planning scenes, researching or actual writing.
But my routine is not set in stone. Of course, there are days that I prefer to golf instead or go out for lunch or visit friends and family. And I don’t beat myself up if a day goes by and I haven’t written a thing. I know at some point I’ll make up for it and write for hours on end. Balance is the key.
There’s no specific time of day that works best for me to write. Once I get going, I don’t stop until it’s lunch time or supper or time to go to bed. Frequent breaks are important too. Sitting in front of a computer for hours can drain you. So, going for a short walk, having a drink on the deck or a brief conversation with my wife can recharge my batteries.
The bottom line is that I set a goal to write a book and I never give up on it!
If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role(s) and why.
The perfect actor to play Nenshi, the protagonist, is Mena Massoud. Mena was born in Egypt but grew up in Markham, Ontario, part of the Greater Toronto Area. You might remember Mena from starring in Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin.
Mena is a seasoned actor. His knowledge of Egyptian history, culture, and the land, contribute well to the lead role in The Final Crossing, the movie, not to mention his Egyptian looks and physical presence.
What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their latest book?
Plan, plan, plan. Budget, budget, budget.
There are so many things that an author needs to consider once his book has been published. Perhaps the biggest is marketing since traditional publishers have off-loaded much of this activity to the author. Indie authors and self-published authors face the same burden. Learning as much as possible about how to market a book goes a long way. To get through the myriad of activities requires good planning. From creating an author platform to arranging a blog tour, every step must be planned in detail.
Related to this is budget. Some of the planned activities cost money. Working with an editor or hiring a web designer to create a website can be expensive. Some contests and awards have a cost for submission. Even buying books to sell at a book launch costs money. Oh yes, the launch has a cost too.
So, my advice is to budget for these well in advance of the book’s release and subsequent marketing. Plan your marketing activities so you don’t lose sight of what needs to be done. The plan and budget may not be perfect, but it will be better than flying from the seat of your pants.
List 5 things on your bucket list.
Five things? Just 5? OK.
- Visit Egypt. Almost made it until Covid hit. Now it’s back on the list.
- Go to Liverpool, England. Yes, I’m a Beatles fan.
- Learn to play the piano. I have one, just needs to be tuned.
- Re-read Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Yikes, lots of pages.
- Take my wife to Hawaii. I think this should be number 1.
In what way do you think that this current pandemic has changed the book & publishing industry?
Covid-19 has been devasting for everyone including businesses. The book and publishing industry was not impervious from the impact. Even with an increase of Internet sales of print books and e-books, the industry saw changes similar to what other businesses experienced. From limited in-store sales to virtual conferences to working from home, the industry was indirectly affected and even some brick-and-mortar bookstores closed their doors forever.
But I want to look at it in a positive way. The industry may come to realize that bookstores play an important role in a reader’s experience. Supporting local brick-and-mortar bookstores can help increase sales. Relying heavily on Internet sales is like putting all your eggs in one basket. Reading has become increasingly popular due to restrictions placed on recreational and entertainment activities. This bodes well for both publishers and authors. I see the book and publishing industry bounce back as it gives more attention and support to the much-needed brick-and-mortar bookstores.
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