Mind Control, book two of the Medici Protectorate series released in June. The series follows the Notaro sisters and the Brothers sworn to protect them. The second installment of the saga focuses specifically on Jo Notaro and her warrior, Vinnie Falco.
Soon, we’ll take the time to sit down with Jo and have a talk with her, but this week, we’re going to have a chat with Vinnie. (Believe me when I tell you, neither Jo nor Vinnie is easy to pin down for a discussion, so consider this a boon that we’re even getting a few minutes of his time.)
Hair: Very dark brown, curling at collar; longer than he likes, it needs a trim.
Build: Warrior’s physique
Occupation: VP of Legal Department at MDH (Italian International Conglomerate) as well as one of the four Brothers in the Brotherhood, the elite warrior faction of the secret Medici Protectorate
Quirks: Clenches his jaw a lot and lately has been running his hand through his too-long hair, but when you have to deal with everything he’s dealing with, who wouldn’t?
Vinnie feared for Jo’s safety and wanted to refuse this interview. At my insistence, he only agreed if I was drugged and blindfolded before being escorted to his secret location by trusted members of the Protectorate. When I reminded him that I was, in fact, the one who chronicled his story and therefore knew his location (therefore rendering it not secret to ME), he finally relented, only after muttering that I might be a double agent, because I might know about their enemy, then, too. That’s our strategist, always thinking.
Vinnie finally agrees to the interview but refuses to allow me to say where we are. He only allows me to refer to it in general terms. So I can say that we are in a beautiful atrium. The gardens are lush, the furnishings lavish yet comfortable. A variety of cookies has been served, each tastier than the last—biscotti, pizzelle, anginetti, tarelli, ciumbrelli, strufolli. (Of course they’re delicious, Donni and Gianni baked them.) And the richest espresso accompanies them. I nibble on an anise pizzelle and sip my drink. Heavenly.
Vinnie just stares at me. At least, I’m assuming he’s staring. He’s facing me, but he’s wearing mirrored sunglasses and I can’t see his eyes, making it that much harder to read his hard features.
Me: So, Vinnie. (I wipe my hands on an exquisite brocade napkin.) Thanks for meeting with me.
Me: And for not putting me through the extra security protocols.
Me: You know, this will be a lot more pleasant and the readers will grow a lot more interested if you open up a little. You know, move past the monosyllabic, tough-guy routine. (I get the feeling he glares at me, but I still can’t see his eyes.)
Vinnie: What makes you think I want people interested? I don’t want people reading about us. The more people who know our story, the more people who might pick up clues about where we are. I don’t want anybody—anybody—trying to figure out where Jo’s at. Where any of the girls are. It’s bad enough the books are out there. Now we need to do this interview, too? Why not sky write our location? Send up flares?
Me: Vinnie, you know how much I love the girls and the Brotherhood. I’d never want to do anything to bring harm to any of you. I just thought that if more readers were aware of what you were going through—
Vinnie: (He whips off his sunglasses and his gaze bores into me, slices my soul into shreds.) Are you saying I’m not enough to keep Jo safe? That I’m not doing my job? Do you have any idea what I went through up on that roof? What I’m going to have to deal with for the rest of—never mind. (He puts his sunglasses back on and looks out over the gardens.)
Me: (I bite my lip. I know what he’s dealing with from the roof. And I know it’s not over. Not by a long shot.) I know you’re doing your job, Vin. You do it well. Damn well. Jo and the girls are lucky. Damn lucky.
I know at this point the interview is over. Vinnie has closed off and I won’t get anything else out of him. My fault, I suppose. I went down the wrong road on that one. So I put a few biscotti on a plate and put it in front of him, pour him an espresso. When he snaps out of whatever mental hell he’s retreated to, hopefully he’ll appreciate the gesture. I gather my things and go inside. Gianni and Jo will deal with Vinnie, and everyone else will see me out.
So that was my chat with Vinnie Falco from Mind Control. As you can see, he’s pretty intense. And has recently gone through something, let’s say—traumatic. I’m guessing we’ll see the ramifications of that in Medici Protectorate Series Book Three, Body Armor, which should be released in the spring of 2017.
Until then, if you’d like to discuss Vinnie, or Jo, or Mind Control, I’d love to hear what you’d have to say. Leave a comment below.