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Tom Piccirilli and Why This Matters
Tom Piccirilli is a very, very talented writer that I have not had the pleasure of ever meeting in person, at least to my memory.
He’s also facing a major health crisis.
I’ve mentioned this once on Twitter already, and I feel I must repeat myself here. He’s facing a literal fight for survival, and every penny will help.
Guest Post: Avalanche by Tom Piccirilli
As many of you know, I’m a HUGE fan of Tom Piccirilli. Over the last twenty years, Piccirilli’s tried his hand at virtually every genre. But in my opinion, his stellar crime novels (particularly his “noirellas” such as The Short Ride To No Where, The Last Deep Breath, and the brilliant Every Shallow Cut.) have been must reads for me.
Piccirilli’s latest, The Last Kind Words, may very well be his strongest novel to date, and currently ranks as one of my top reads of 2012. And I’m very excited to host Piccirilli as he gears up for the release of The Last Kind Words on June 12th.
Avalanche by Tom Piccirilli
As anyone who’s ever read my blog knows, I talk a lot about my growing sentimentality, or better put, the burdensome weight of the past. Those feelings were especially true last night at the drive-in.
I clearly remember my first drive-in experience. I couldn’t have been more than three. My parents took me to see Planet of the Apes during its initial run back in ‘68, a film which utterly terrified me. The human hunt early on in the picture freaked my little ass out. I was so scared I was speechless, which is a good thing because my father hated my whining. (I was a big whiner. I still am.)
Nowadays the drive-in experience is a little different. My wife and I pack our three dogs into the car, we stop and grab dinner (last night it was a couple of calzones from Chicago’s), we eat, walk the dogs around the lot, and then settle in. Nowadays you listen to the movie over your radio, not over those big speaker boxes you hang on your window (I kind of miss them).
More gravity from the past: the two movies playing were The Avengers and Dark Shadows. The Avengers was one of the first comic books I ever pored over. It was an early issue, #5, which came out in ‘63, two years before I was born. My brother, Bill, who’s eleven years older, must’ve had it lying around in a drawer for a while. I clearly recall him telling me Thor was his favorite character because he had long hair (Bill was a hippie with big porkchop sideburns at the time).
When I finally picked up another copy of the issue a few years ago off eBay, I was surprised at how much I remembered: the storyline, bits of dialogue, and even what certain panels of art looked like. People can slam comic books all day long as being silly or cheesy, but as a child I found them mind-expanding. They fired my imagination. They started the tickle that led to the itch that became my passion and need to write.
But we’re not through with our nostalgic trip yet. Because the second feature last night was Dark Shadows. While the film is utterly awful in my opinion, it also brought me back to the late 60s when I’d plant myself in front of the TV and watch Barnabas and the whole cursed Collins family try to untangle themselves from the trials of enduring vampirism, witchcraft, spectres, lycanthropy, and other supernatural and non-supernatural ills. That show had impact on a kid, let me tell you.
So the past was heavy last night. My parents were on my mind. My brother, the house I grew up in, the stirrings of early imagination. I remembered sitting outside a stationary store with a long-dead friend of mine reading comics in the early 70s. I remembered that the kid had long blonde hair like Thor. I remembered when he got run over on his bike while delivering newspapers on his route.
But, really, the past is always opening wide beneath my feet. It’s the well from which I draw my water. All of it. My next story, like the current one, like the last one, will be built on the foundation of comics, movies, old TV shows, the actions of my mother and father, some offhand remark made by my brother almost fifty years ago, the great human hunt by talking apes on horseback. I never know when some pebble will fall from the cliffs of my subconscious to start an avalanche of memory, motif, and compulsion.
What’s in the water of your well?
Tom Piccirilli is the author of more than twenty novels, including THE LAST KIND WORDS, which bestselling author Lee Child called “Perfect crime fiction.” (Click HERE to order) He’s won two International Thriller Awards and four Bram Stoker Awards, as well as having been nominated for the Edgar, the World Fantasy Award, the Macavity, and Le Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire. Learn more about Tom at: www.thecoldspot.blogspot.com
A quick note about an author who could use a bit of help:
Tom Piccirilli is the author of twenty-five novels including THE LAST KIND WORDS, SHADOW SEASON, THE COLDEST MILE, THE MIDNIGHT ROAD, and A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN.
He’s also fighting the Big B.C. - brain cancer.
“This site was created as a way for all Tom Piccirilli’s friends and family to help out while he kicks brain cancer’s ass!!”
The Night Class - Tom Piccirilli
“The college winter break is over, and Caleb Prentiss faces yet another semester of higher education. Struggling with alcoholism and frustrated by his irrelevant classes, Cal seeks solace in the arms of his scholastic-conscious girlfriend and in somnambulistic conversation with a mystifying college radio DJ.
But Cal’s ennui is shattered when he discovers evidence of a murder which occurred in his room over the Christmas recess. Obsessed with unearthing the particulars of this gruesome and haunting event, Cal wanders down the grotesque hallowed halls of a university gone mad.
Run-ins with the two hard-nosed campus security guards, relationship hurdles with both friends and lovers, and enigmatic signals from the Dean’s icily eminent wife force Caleb to question his place in the bizarre night classes of higher education.
Even as he gets ever closer to the truth, Caleb is plagued by the supernatural occurrence known as stigmata: his hands bleed in imitation of the wounds of Christ whenever someone close to him dies.
And Cal’s hands are bleeding a lot these days.”
Downloads The Last Deep Breath e-bookThe Last Deep Breath book download
Tom PiccirilliDownload The Last Deep Breath
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online Quincy Finds A New Home (The Quincy the Horse Books)
Affective Genealogies: Psychoanalysis, Postmodernism, and the “Jewish Question” after Auschwitz (Texts and Contexts) download
read Three Times Blessed (Belles of Timber Creek, Book 2)
online (Reprint) 1946 Yearbook: St. Mary’s High School, New Baltimore, Michigan
e-book The 2009 Import and Export Market for Essential Oils Including Concretes, Absolutes, Resinoids, Concentrates, and Terpenic By-Products of Essential Oils in Oceana
The Last Kind Words by Tom Piccirilli
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway.
The Last Kind Words tells the story of Terrier Rand and his family of thieves as they cope with one of their own falling into the underneath and going on an eight victim killing spree. The Rand’s grip on the life they once lived where family goes before anything else is slowly spiraling out of control.
For such a harsh tale, the writing is both soft and beautiful. I found myself genuinely caring for these characters despite their sins and transgressions. Although this really isn’t the type of book I normally read, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I can’t wait for the next installment featuring Terrier.
This novel is the reason that I enter giveaways for books that I would normally never pick up in a store; I would hate to think that I could have missed this gem of a novel.
31/50 books 2012
The Big Click Issue 6: Fiction by Barry Graham, Nonfiction by Tom Piccirilli
Issue no. 6 of The Big Click magazine has just been published, and contains a story by me, “Big Davey Joins the Majority.” It also has a powerful essay by Tom Piccirilli about the treatment for brain cancer he’s undergoing.
Click here to buy the magazine in e-book version for $2.99. If you’re broke or miserly, you can read it for free at the website. My story will appear there on the 15th of this month.
I'm Keeping Tom Piccirilli's Seat Warm at The Big Click
Novelist Tom Piccirilli is also a columnist for The Big Click magazine. He has had to take a break while he recovers from treatment for brain cancer (which he wrote about powerfully here), so I’m going to be filling in for him until he’s ready to return. I’m both honored to be invited to do this and hopeful that he’ll make me redundant soon.
My first column, an essay on class issues and noir, will appear in the May issue. Meantime, you can read my story “Big Davey Joins the Majority,” which was published in the January issue.