Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 604, January 23, 2011

"Home of Oppositional Defiance Disorder"

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A Word About Sweeter Than Wine
by L. Neil Smith

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Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

My publisher, Shahid Mahmud of Phoenix Pick, the science fiction imprint for Arc Manor, is highly unusual among publishers, in that he wants me to be happy with the way my books turn out. There's nothing inside my Phoenix Pick books I don't want there, and nothing has been taken out that I wanted in. I have to be happy with the cover or Shahid isn't happy. For those of you who don't do what I do for a living, you may rely on me when I say this is a rare quality in the industry and I value it highly.

What happened yesterday is that he sent me a .pdf of the proposed cover for my latest book, Sweeter Than Wine. It's gorgeous and sexy, as you'd expect it to be. It's a vampire novel, and that's new territory for me, although you'll find everything in it that you look for in my books: competent individuals doing their best to stay on the right side of the ethical line. As usual, there's a smattering of sex, plus considerable gunplay and other violence. Plus a long, lost love being pursued, metaphorically, by the Furies.

And for some reason I still don't understand, there's a lot of talk about food. My vampires eat and drink like you and I do. The blood feeds whatever it is that makes them vampires.

I don't have a release date yet (I'm just all excited about the cover, which I'll share with you as soon as I can) but you might lope over, keyboardially speaking, to, or check out the little corner I have at The sites are a trifle behind, but that's only because the boss has been busy pulling off miracles—like getting Ceres published in under ten days' time, in both Kindle and dead tree form. When you order, it's best to do it through Amazon dot com.

But check out Phoenix Pick—it's where I live, now, literarily speaking. And it's where the books you always wanted me to write (no, I can't tell you now) will be coming from for the foreseeable future.

I have some doozies in mind.

Reprinted from Mr. Smith's 'blog "L. Neil Smith at Random" at


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