Smitty, as you may or may not know, is a hit man. But, more than that. He's a hit man slowly changing, or converting, himself into something else. Call it becoming a private detective. Or maybe, more like a crusading vigilante. Whatever you decide on his image, he is slowly weening himself out of the hit man-for-hire persona and into something else.
Still dark. Still a bit scary. Still relentless. But definitely morphing into something else.
A small British indie publisher, Close to The Bone, and I have been working, off and on, with each other for a few years. Lots of Smitty short stories have found their way to to their ezine magazine. Now we're working on the idea of making Smitty a series. The idea (or, my idea is . . ) to write a novel, follow later one with a collection of Smitty short stories plus a novella into one volume, write another novel, and so on. Over the years I've written about 30 Smitty short stories. So novel . . . collection of short stories . . . novel . . . collection of short stories . . . seems like a perfectly logical way to go.
First came the novel, Dark Retribution: Smitty's Calling Card (look to your right to see it). Coming out in September is the second offering in the series, a ten-short story and one band new novella called Dark Retribution, Volume II: Sometimes Nightmares Come True. This volume of short stories explains why and how Smitty became Smitty. I'll make a confession here; frankly, I think the very first short story in the collection is the best story I have ever written. But there are a few other gems in there that should capture your attention.
My publisher/editor friend came up with the idea of using a cover that will automatically alert the reader it's the Smitty series. Each overall view of the image is similar. But look closely and you see the subtle differences. I think it's a brilliant idea.
Compare the two covers and tell me what you think.