Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bad and Beautiful


Bad as in the first word of the title for my upcoming novel Bad Thoughts, Beautiful as in the stunning cover my publisher settled on*. So far I've been lucky--both the Point Blank and Meridiano Zero covers for my first novel, Fast Lane, have been works of art. Now just waiting to see what Serpent's Tail comes up with for Small Crimes.

*the photo for the cover was taken by a good friend and an amazingly talented artist, Laurie Pzena.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Monday, March 12, 2007

Cast of Small Crimes, part 6

Another one of Joe.

Cast of Small Crimes, part 5

Clara Coakley, Phil Coakley's daughter. In this drawing, Jean-Pierre was experimenting with a more "Leonard Cohen" look for Joe Denton.

Friday, March 9, 2007

250-word Flash Fiction

I originally posted this on the unfortunately now defunct Flashing in the Gutters. At less than 250 words I think it works well as a fully-realized story. One of these days I might look at rewriting this as a 60,000 word novel.

Danny Smith by Dave Zeltserman

I can’t get Danny Smith off my mind…

He was a good-looking kid. Well-mannered, soft-spoken, just an overall good kid. Only twenty-four years old. Six months ago he hired me to find his birth parents. You see, he was adopted, had great parents, but he wanted to know his roots. There was something familiar looking about him, made me think I had seen him before. The reason for that was his birth dad turned out to be Sam Lombardo, top guy in the Boston Mob. It didn’t take me too long to find that out. It turns out Lombardo had a one-night fling with a dancer, never knew he had this other son. When I told him about Danny, he told me what he would do to me if this kid ever bothered him.

That was six months ago.

Two weeks ago I heard Lombardo was on his death bed, dying of congestive heart failure, and word was he was going down fast. His goons brought me to to see him. Lombardo wanted to know about Danny. I thought he just wanted to make peace with his son before he died.

A week ago Danny’s parents called me. They were frantic. Danny had disappeared. They had no idea where he was.

Three days ago I heard through the grapevine that Lombardo had found a heart donor. A good match, too. Transplant looks like its going to be a success.

I can’t get Danny Smith off my mind…

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Cast of Small Crimes, part 4

Toni, a stripper with not quite a heart of gold. For the movie version, think Eva Langoria.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Femme Fatales on Hardluck Stories

The Femme Fatale issue of Hardluck Stories is now online. Guest edited by O'Neil De Noux, with original noirish femme fatale stories by Michael Bracken, Trey Barker, Pearce Hanson, Stephen D. Rogers, George Wilhite, John J. Wilson, Patricia Abbott, Matt Spencer, Garnett Elliot, T. P. Keating, Rafe McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Merrem Shaw and Terry White, and illustrated by Jean-Pierre Jacquet, this is one collection of Hardluck Stories you don't want to miss!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Cast of Small Crimes, part 3


Manny Vassey, a 56 year-old local mobster who's dying of stomach cancer, and if the DA is able to coax a death-bed confession out of him, Joe and a lot other people are going away to prison.

Manny has long been a been one of my favorite bad guys, appearing in three earlier short stories: Next Time (Hardboiled #22), Triple Cross, and Nothing But Jerks. Here I've turned him into more of a flesh and blood character, taken him out of Chicago and moved him to fictional Bradley, Vermont.