Thursday, 19 May 2011

PUSH-UPS: Anthony Neil Smith

So, what you pushing right now?

Once again, my thrillers Yellow Medicine and Hogdoggin’.

What’s the hook?

This time, I’m promoting the e-book versions. The books were published on Bleak House Books in 2008 and 2009, but I was able to get the e-rights back and I’m now selling them on my own for Kindle and Nook. With new cover art by Erik Lundy, they’re looking awesome. Yellow Medicine is out now, and Hogdoggin’ will be out in early June.

And why’s that floating your boat?

I’m really excited by what I’m seeing with e-books. Lots of great new voices breaking onto the scene without publishers, but with great stuff. I love publishers and brands, but I’m also loving the frontier thrill of the self-published folks getting a break. And it’s not because the work is bad that they can’t get a publisher (although there are tons of absolute shit books out there), but because publishers are taking fewer chances on fiction. I’m currently without a publisher, so I’ve gotten my whole backlist up online and I’m having a ball working on new work to sell directly to readers.

When did you turn to crime?

Well, with the recession and all...oh, crime fiction, sorry. Honestly, I’ve been hooked since I read The Hardy Boys and The Three Investigators in second grade. Always wanted to be a crime writer after that. Now I’ve got four traditionally published novels, one e-original, and a thriller out there looking for a home.

Hardboiled or Noir, classic or contemporary?

My agent tells me the word “noir” is a sales killer. Don’t tell him I said it. But yeah, noir. I like the craziness of noir over the orderly universe of the hard-boiled, where justice is expected, regardless of how dim it is. In noir, justice is a four-letter word, but not as fun to say as “fuck”.

And, what’s blown you away lately?

I’ve got a new team working at PLOTS WITH GUNS (Sean O’Kane edits, Erik Lundy does the art, and Gonzolo Baeza helps with submissions).

I just finished a sneak peek look at Roger Smith’s Dust Devils, which is some dark, hopeless, amazing shit. Wow. And I hope everyone is now aware of the future classis Crimes in Southern Indiana by Frank Bill, hitting stores this fall.

See any books as movies waiting to happen?

Meh. You don’t mean mine, right? Of course not.

I get bored with movies based on books I’ve already read. I just don’t care unless I know going in that they’ve really fucked with the original story. I prefer them to do loose adaptations or homages, like we see Rodriquez and Tarantino doing so much of the time.

Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?

Good in all of it, bad in all of it. Yeah, there are mainstream writers I think are pushing the boundaries, and indie writers who are cracking the glass ceiling with an axe. I’m stunned by the cool stuff I’ve found for my Kindle, usually for very cheap. I get the feeling of walking into a drug store and pulling it off the rack like the old days. I don’t care if it’s a file or paper. I like a good book. That said, I’m a sucker for old 50s and 60s pulps. I collect them, and not the expensive ones, either. I prowl the second-hand shops for cheapies. And I do love a good brand in paperback, like Vintage Crime or Picador or Harper Perennial. The best covers are on trade paperbacks these days.

Shout us a website worth visiting …

Um...http://plotswithguns.com. Duh.

Or http://anthonyneilsmith.typepad.com

Even better, my wife’s Etsy handmade purse shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BSmithStitchery?ref=si_shop

Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself …

Why in the hell would I do that?

Buy on Amazon