So okay; the Smitty novella, A Killing Kiss (click on the cover in the right hand column to order) has been out for a little while now. Number Thirteen Press, the new English publisher who is offering it, is doing a marvelous job of coming out with really great crime-fest creations. They are trying to come out with a novella on the 13th of every month. One hell of a chore if you ask me. But, for the most part, they've been cranking'em out on time.
I feel honored, by the way, on being the sixth one of their new batch of offerings. But I have to be careful here. I've been writing for 55 years. I could overload this new establishment with my 'stuff' in a blinking of the eye . . . so you know . . . slow down!
Now the real chore begins. How in hell do you get the word out that Smitty is here in a damn good story, one which everyone who has read it has offered a 5-star review, and not go stark raving mad doing it. How do you pump up its recognition factor on a limited budget? (I'm the guy with the limited budget . . . as if you didn't know already)
It's true. The number of writers who make a full time living off nothing but writing their own material can probably be counted on ten fingers. Well . . . maybe add another couple of hands worth of fingers to it . . . but you get the picture. The vast majority of writers have to keep their day jobs in order to remain solvent.
Add to the fact that, at last estimate, there were about a BAZILLION writers out there who think they are just as good as any of the Top Sellers in their subjective genres, and you add to the picture of abject poverty It's kind interesting, really, to think about it; there is a boat load of TALENT in this world. There really is. But LUCK? A writer has to be more LUCKY than talented in order to succeed in his chosen profession.
But LUCK my friends, is a finicky bitch. You never know who she is going to smile upon with approval and tap on their shoulder her ephemeral gifts.
So, as a writer, you've got to become creative in your recognition efforts. Every writer I know is networking on the social sites to get the word out. Networking everywhere. Hoping that somewhere . . . somehow . . . things will click and their LUCK will change for the better.
And/or they're at one bookstore or another physically huckstering their wares. I've done that. Don't mind doing it. But where I live, fella, the bookstores I need to sell my wares are 90 or 120 miles away . . . one way . . . to get there. (yeah, when I tell you I live out out in the boondocks in a state that's just pretty well empty of people, I mean it) So that costs money to get there and back.
So what the hell. I think I'll just write for another 55 years and wait for LUCK to eventually meander down the trail and stumble across my dead carcass. It's gotta happen sooner or later.
Came up with this brilliant, crazy, stupendous idea! A collection of Turner Hahn/Frank Morales short stories, maybe about five or six of'em, rolled up and packaged with a set of black-and-white illustrations thrown in for an additional thrill.
If you've followed this blog . . . you've ran into Turner and Frank. Homicide detectives the two of them. Turner is one who looks like Clark Gable . . . but bigger, stronger, and a bit meaner. And rich; don't forget rich. Earned his money the American way---he inherited it from a grandfather he didn't know was still alive.
A long story. You need to read the second novel of the series to get the background on this one.
Frank is Turner's long time partner. Red headed, built like a Tiger tank (with no discernible neck connecting head to shoulders) and with an IQ of a couple of Einsteins combined, Frank is, shall we say, a physical presence worth noting by friend and foe alike.
Two unique, interesting, characters. First created and explored in a series of on going novels I'm trying to find a publisher for . . . and alive in a number of short stories I've written over the years. And am still writing. So far there's about 25 or 30 short stories. Kinda amazing, if you think about it. Thirty some-odd different homicide cases solved and none of'em quite like the other.
So I've got five new short stories ready to go. Well . . . almost ready to go. Maybe six if I get the last one just started finished up in time. Waiting right not for the cover art for the ebook collection to be done . . . plus finishing up a couple of stories. But close: real close in getting the collection out there.
The stories range from out-and-out spooky to the traditional 'whodunits.'What I like the most about the stories, and the books, is the chemistry the two have with each other. Yes, they are mystery/detectives stories. But they are also 'buddy' tales as well. Two friends who know each other and like being around each other. I like that---I find it rare to find in most genre fiction.
Some famous pundit once said (more or less); "If you can't find the story out there you want to read, then you must write it."
I like a good crime story. I like the plots laid out in such a way that they are both logical, AND, that they can be solved in a realistic fashion. I like stories with a twist. Not something so outrageous and unexpected it borders on the bizarre, But something unexpected.
What's kinda fun is that, over the years, Turner and Frank has picked up a small following of sorts. Fans who, like me, enjoy reading about their exploits. Not a big fan base, mind you; nothing large enough to tickle the interest of a major publisher to pick'em and give'em a fair chance to build on. But small. And maybe, slowly growing.
The artwork, by the way, being done for the series is from the talented hands of a Spaniard by the name of Javier Carmona. He, and his brother Jesus, have done most of the artwork for my books and stories. Javier is doing both the cover and the black-and-whites for this collection as well. Over the years we've developed an easy relationship that, I hope, has been beneficial for all of us. It certainly has for me.
So expect the collection out soon. And I leave you with one final image. One of the black-and-white's.