Choke On Your Lies: The Cover
by Anthony Neil Smith

Today I am pleased to welcome author Anthony Neil Smith (aka Doc Noir). In addition to his work as co-creator and editor of Plots With Guns, he’s also the author of five novels and dozens of short stories. Today he’s here to talk about his latest novel, Choke On Your Lies.

Choke On Your Lies by Anthony Neil SmithThis week, I released my latest novel as an e-original direct to Kindle and Nook, bypassing the publishers. I still have major respect for publishers and would take a deal from them in a second (sellout? Yep), but I really wanted to get this book out as quickly as possible rather than let it swirl around for another year or so.

So, this cover. Gorgeous, ain’t it? I was lucky to find this amazing photo from model Erin Zerbe that reminded me of old sixties and seventies paperback covers. Very alluring, yet very “mysterious” in a way. I had to have it. And luckily, Erin was more than happy to let me use it. Kudos. I originally wanted to make the whole thing retro – fonts, colors, maybe even a bent corner or coffee ring stain. But in the end, I liked the very stark final cover you see here. It did the best job.

Some people won’t like it. Maybe because she’s half-naked. Maybe because she’s a proud plus-sized model. All I know is that I think it’s beautiful. Let’s get a couple of things straight: 1) I find plus-sized women very attractive, and 2) the novel revolves around the character of Octavia, who weighs about three-forty. She’s outrageous, mean, bitter, and sexually aggressive. And I think she’s an amazing woman.

I didn’t really want the cover to have anything to do with the actual characters and story other than give you a feel for it. I mean, did the hotties on the old Sixties’ covers and Spillane novels actually appear in the book? It’s all about setting the mood. And for a book about a plus-sized woman and a lot of sex happening all around, this cover fit the mood perfectly. I had my cake, ate it too, and then remembered the recipe for later.

If the people demand it (going into Charles Dickens mode here), I plan on writing some other Octavia mysteries, and I’m crossing my fingers that Erin might be available with some more photos. She’s not only a beguiling model, but she’s also working towards her MFA degree – her thesis is a stunning piece of work called “Control.” And maybe forty years from now, people will dig back through the archives online, find these covers, and have their breath taken away for a moment. And I hope they’ll say, “Wow, I wish they still made covers like that.”

And maybe they will again. Crossing my fingers.

Choke on Your Lies is now available at the Kindle and Nook stores for .99 through Feb 4th. After that, it’ll cost you a couple extra bucks. Spread the word.

Anthony Neil Smith is currently the Director of Creative Writing at Southwest Minnesota State University. He earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers in 2002. In addition to Choke On Your Lies, he is also the author of the novels Psychosomatic, The Drummer, Yellow Medicine, and Hogdoggin’. Smith is also co-creator and editor of the internet noir zine Plots With Guns. To learn more about Anthony Neil Smith, visit his website.


  • Lucious Lamour

    January 28, 2011 - 9:31 AM

    Sweet, another book for the Kindle. Love, love adding new titles to the Kindle! At $.99, what a bargin. Thanks for the post!

    • Elizabeth A. White

      January 28, 2011 - 11:08 AM

      No doubt the $0.99 Kindle buys are a great way to get introduced to new authors, and for authors to get people to try them.

  • Xavier benito

    January 28, 2011 - 8:25 AM

    The kindle version is 3.44$ and the nook 0.99$. Why?

    • Elizabeth A. White

      January 28, 2011 - 8:36 AM

      Hi Xavier. Not sure why it’s showing as $3.44 for you. The price is not scheduled to rise until February 4th, and even then it’s only going up to $2.99

  • Charles Wingfield

    January 27, 2011 - 9:27 AM

    Great cover! Fits perfectly with the mood of the book. Good on Anthony Neil Smith for using it!

  • Paul D Brazill

    January 25, 2011 - 6:53 AM

    It’s a fantastic cover.

    • Elizabeth A. White

      January 25, 2011 - 11:11 AM

      Love that he went with something representative instead of “commercial.”

  • N

    January 24, 2011 - 1:13 PM

    And feel free to keep challenging me, too.

    I appreciate the turnaround, though. Glad to hear you’re liking the book!

  • McDroll

    January 24, 2011 - 12:44 PM

    Well!! Imagine anybody not liking the cover of CHOKE ON YOUR LIES? However, if anybody did have a sudden and adverse reaction to it and harangue the author, then it will all turn out well because:
    a. it got people talking therefore noticing the book
    b. said person who had negative reaction bought book and is now reading and enjoying it
    c. said person will review and publish and pimp the book from own blog

    So, keep being controversial, push the boundaries, make people squeal with outrage and challenge them to understand their own reactions!