Notice the difference? Compare this cover to the one to the right; the one at top of the food-chain that announces 'Call Me Smitty: Dirty Little Stories.'
See the difference? The one to the left in the blog has more fine detail in the face and hands. And if you notice, some smoke is coming out of the Beretta. The difference when an artist with the talents of Javier Carmona can put into a piece of artwork using another format instead of the traditional .jpeg version.
I'm very happy I've finally got Smitty back out on the market. I've collected twelve stories--ten short stories and two novellas--and compiled them into one edition. I think I'm going to use this artwork for the entire series (although, just for the hell of it, changing the color of his ties and/or sport coat might make interesting variations on the theme).
I know I've talked about this before--but in pulling this compilation together I decided to rewrite the opening story. The story on how Smitty became Smitty. And let me tell you, Hortense, it's a story that is really, really emotionally intense! (Actually, you can read the story in its entirety here in the blog; just scroll down far enough and look for a story called 'There Is No Johnny--Just Call Me Smitty')
. . . and then there is a story called, 'First Kill.' The first first 'hit' the newly created Smitty does for hire. Not what you think it is. The ending of the story is a bit different. But then . . . that's what I like to do with the Smitty stories. Nothing ever appears exactly like you think they should.
Take for instance, the story called 'Fairwell, Brother.' Odd to think that a cold blooded hit-man like Smitty would have a soft spot for a cop. Turns out he does. But again, not quite what you'd expect for his idea of tenderness.
If you want a story that'll really rattle your cage, try one called 'Not Any More.' A bit emotional, some interesting visualisation. An unexpected ending.
And if you're looking for a stay-awake-at-night-don't-turn-off-the-lights!!---try the novella 'A Dish Served Cold.'
I admit, Smitty (all my characters, for that matter) needs a publisher who has gone gaga over him and will pull out all the stops to see that he is 'discovered' by the masses. Or a lit agent who has become a fan (working on that one--the lit agent angle). Yeah, I agree; it's a crowded field. Crowded and noisy. To succeed in it I think you need to create a character, or characters, who somehow rise above the noisy crowd and make themselves very visible.
Working on that as well. The character development thingee. Think I'm almost there . . .