A dichotomy of cheesecake and boots

As you lovely readers may be aware I am in the middle of writing the third Hannibal Smyth novel ‘A Squid on the shoulder’, which is, I am told, eagerly awaited. But in writing the third Hannibal novel I have come to something of a quandary. The Hannibal novels are not the only place where you can find stories about Harry Smith as a couple of short stories about his early exploits also feature in the wonderful Harvey Duckman Anthologies (which I heartily encourage readers to read.)


These short Hannibal stories were originally intended to just happily stand alone from the novels, and indeed as individual stories they are complete on to themselves. However, and here comes the quandary, characters originally introduced in those short stories, as well as the stories themselves have had an influence over novels and the meta plot of the whole series (and that took me by surprise). This has become steadily more apparent as I write ‘Squid’ not only because ‘Squid’ sees Hettie ‘Spanners’ Clarkhurst returning to the series in a much expanded role. Hettie is both one of my favourite characters and a readers favourite, and I found myself writing her into ‘Squid’ before realising what I had done, as she was the perfect character to fill the Hettie shaped hole in the plot. Someone needed to be standing behind a door in the first chapter, and I typed her name without thinking about it…

You would be surprised how often this kind of thing happens, sometimes stories want to be written and the writer is just the medium through which that happens. These are often the best stories…But as Hannibal would say, I digress…

Hettie is not alone, as other characters from the short stories will I know also feature in, and have a greater part, in the later Hannibal novels, beyond just being passingly referenced. Hence my quandary, for while the short stories stand alone they have influenced the wider story and not every reader of Hannibal reads the Harvey Duckman Anthologies (they should btw, they contain a fabulous array of stories from talented writers, but that is beside the point.) However, because they have become somewhat intrinsic to the series, for those readers who foolishly or otherwise resist the lure of the Duckman, but want to read the complete Hannibal, it has become apparent that I should consider releasing those Hannibal short stories in there own Ebook. Hence I was playing with book covers last night, and doing the first bit of compiling for the ebook.

Did I say cover, yes, yes I did…

hanibal shorts cover

As ever, this is where it gets complicated, because I hate releasing anything in ebook only, I like to hold my books in my hand been an old-fashioned bibliophile. But these are short stories, and doing a print version would seem redundant, it would be half the size of my novella ‘A Scar of Avarice’ which is already a fairly short 100 page book in print form. I’ve always considered ‘Scar’ a bit of an anomaly in this regard, the print version only exists because I wanted one for the shelf, though a remarkable number of print copies of ‘scar’ have sold, so clearly I’m not the only one who likes their completism on the printed page… But the production costs of a print copy of a book comprising of a couple of short stories and a teaser chapter from Maybe, mean what I would have to charge (due to the minimum price rule) for print copies would be more than the ebook versions of full Hannibal novels… And frankly I don’t make anything on print copies of ‘A Scar of Avarice’ because I sell it so cheap, but I don’t feel it’s reasonable to charge more for what is a short novella with a couple of short stories. However, I have considered for some time doing a revised edition of ‘Scar’ with a few more short stories in it. But that another crux because while you can mention to ebook owners that is they re-download the revised copy form there on line library they will get the bonus stories. The print copies people have bought stay the same.

What I can do however is a combined book of both Scar and the Hannibal short stories, with a few other shorts in there as well. I can in effect produce a new anthology, for new readers, while producing the ebook of the Hannibal shorts for people who already have scar. Of course if anyone is mad enough to collect all my books even if they have the Harvey’s too and so have all these stories, well bless you madness…

Of course that does mean I need a title for the print anthology and a cover…

Did I say cover, yes, yes I did…

cheesecake avarice and boots (2)

Do you sense a theme here… (though both covers are not quite finished yet…)

This is far from set in stone at this point but I am working on these, a third Hannibal short for Harvey which may be included in the early years and the anthology as well and the actual listing for the print edition is far from set in stone… If nothing else its all proving a fabulous procrastination for this difficult chapter I am having with Squid…

This entry was posted in amediting, amreading, amwriting, book reviews, books, Canadian steampunk, fantasy, fiction, goodnews, goodreads, Hannibal Smyth, Harvey Duckman, indie, indie novels, indie writers, indiewriter, novels, Passing Place, reads, sci-fi, steampunk, supernatural, wow, writes, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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