About Me

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"We need to make books cool again. If you go home with someone & they don't have books, don't fuck 'em."--John Waters

I'm the author of more than twenty novels including SHADOW SEASON, THE COLD SPOT, THE COLDEST MILE, THE MIDNIGHT ROAD, THE DEAD LETTERS, and A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN. Look for my next one THE LAST KIND WORDS due out May '12 from Bantam Books. Contact: PicSelf1@aol.com

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thank Christ that 2010 is Fucking Over

Or almost so. Man, I don't think I know anyone who had a truly good year. Every kindness was tempered with some vicious blow to the kidneys. Everybody was pretty wrecked financially, took a shellacking personally and professionally, and more than a little emotionally. Most of us made it through though, singed around the edges as we might be.

Those of you paying attention know my wife Michelle suffered a heart attack back on April 1st (prompting me to actually tell the 911 operator, "This isn't an April Fool's joke, man, send an ambulance pronto.") After a spookyass ride to the hospital where I followed behind the ambulance and watched as it stopped at all the stop signs, casually drove the speed limit, and waited patiently at red lights, only to see them finally turn on the siren about a half-mile from the hospital, they finally got to the ER and zipped her inside. (Ambulance driver drove around the parking lot twice looking for the ER entrance--seriously). In any case, she came through surgery with flying colors. She handled a few days in ICU and months of physical rehab like a trooper. She's now much healthier than me. And you, for that matter.

At least three of my buddies saw the dissolution of their marriages, and several watched as their careers took a major step backwards for one reason or another. For the first time in something like 11 years I didn't have a novel come out in print, although NIGHTJACK did see its digital and audiobook release.

For more on the beatdown, you can check out my essay "Dead Mower Dreams & the Weeds of Boo Radley."

But some good stuff did occur in 2010, so let me focus on that from now until we usher the nasty bitch right out the door:

A ton of my stuff was released on Kindle through Crossroad Press, including NIGHTJACK, THE FEVER KILL, ALL YOU DESPISE, FUCKIN' LIE DOWN ALREADY, SHORT RIDE TO NOWHERE, LOSS, and THE NOBODY.

Bookgasm noted FUTILE EFFORTS as Collection of the Year.

The audiobook of THE MIDNIGHT ROAD became available.

THE COLDEST MILE won the International Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original.

And of course, in the end, the best thing I can say about 2010 is that I survivied it, and so did you. We're both still here, my friend, trying to hold onto our faith. It's not always easy. In fact, often its impossible, but somehow we find ourselves still moving forward, trying our damnedest to collect the dream and haul it in close for a bear hug. Here's hoping 2011 is a little easier on us all. In the meantime, thanks for being here and sharing this bizarre thing called life with me.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Midnight Road Audiobook now available

The Blackstone Audio release of THE MIDNIGHT ROAD is now available. Seriously dig the reader, Donald Corren, who brings a real life to the story without indulging in theatrics. My thanks to Blackstone and Don!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Books to Snatch Up Now

And here's a bunch of terrific new books by some of the best authors out there:

Ed Gorman's latest collection of crime fiction is NOIR 13. According to Publishers Weekly: "Gorman (STRANGLEHOLD) showcases the darker side of his talents in this solid collection, a mix of previously published and original stories. Gorman is comfortable with futuristic settings ("The Baby Store," in which a couple deals with the loss of a child and the prospect of having another) as well as fantasy ("A Little Something to Believe In," in which a changeling seeks the secret to paradise), but he's at his best in a crime story like "Flying Solo," in which two elderly Midwestern men facing a death sentence (cancer) embark on a new career of crime in the service of protecting others. In "The Long Way Back," successful brother Giff visits struggling brother Michael in their Cedar Rapids hometown and bails Michael out when his weakness threatens his family's well-being. In the chilling "Killing Kate," a husband decides on a unique way to punish his wife for her infidelity."

Dave Zeltsmerman's first e-book original for Kindle and Nook is VAMPIRE CRIMES, a high octane kick-ass thrill ride and easily, according to him, his "mos tnoir novel. Think Pulp Fiction with vampires to give you some idea." Fans of any of his 'man out of prison' noir books (Small Crimes, Pariah, Killer) are going to dig this one.

BYE BYE BABY is Allan Guthrie's first foray into detective fiction. The novella is due to be published by Barrington Stoke as part of their 'Most Wanted' series sometime in 2013 but is out now on Kindle in the US, the UK and on a variety of digital formats from Smashwords , and costs a mere 99 cents! The story centers on Frank Collins, an inexperienced detective who comes across a rather unusual kidnapping when a seven-year-old boy disappears after school. Collins has been looking to lead a high-profile case for a while, and sets out determined to prove his worth. But the missing schoolboy is only a trigger for another crime. It gradually becomes clear that someone is intent on exploiting the boy's grief-stricken mother, but what Frank Collins doesn't know is that they have plans for him too. According to the DO SOME DAMAGE blog:
"The approach is so fresh that it makes the whole thing feel like the first time I've read a police story."

Ken Bruen's latest is his most recent offering in the dark as sack cloth Jack Taylor series THE DEVIL. This eighth novel in the series is surprisingly tinged with the supernatural as Jack rushes forth to battle...well, you can guess. There's sly nods to previous Taylor tales and a showdown you have to read to believe.

Greg Gifune's GARDENS OF NIGHT is now available in paperback at Amazon, Horror Mall, Barnes & Noble and pretty much anywhere else you’d want to buy it. GARDENS is published by UNINVITED BOOKS, a new independent publisher owned and operated by author Robert Dunbar (THE PINES, THE SHORE, MARTYRS and MONSTERS). I hope you’ll all check out GARDENS OF NIGHT (which critics are already calling perhaps his best work to date) and support Rob Dunbar's www.uninvitedbooks.com.

Colorado author Patricia Stoltey's second Sylvia & Willie mystery, The Desert Hedge Murders, was released in paperback in September from Harlequin Worldwide. The first book in the series, The Prairie Grass Murders, is now available as an ebook for Kindle.

I called the great T.M. Wright's SALLY PINUP "a sly, subtle, stylish tale of terror that will keep you spellbound." It's a terrific novella out by Nick Cato's Novello Publishers, which usually publish humorous fiction. But Wright's SALLY PINUP, while clever and hep, is also disturbing in the same way that all his finest fiction is.

Gary A. Braunbeck's new non-fiction book TO EACH THEIR DARKNESS is the revised, corrected, and massively expanded version of his classic memoir FEAR IN A HANDFUL OF DUST, with typos and hundreds of other printing mistakes removed, and easily 60% new material. If you're not already a major fan of Braunbeck's then that just means you haven't read him yet. Correct that now, and start with this one, one of his very best.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Colliding Harder & Sparking Higher

So is there a difference between sentimentality, nostalgia, and just being caught up in vivid memory thanks to the holiday season and some particularly strong subject matter to the latest story? I’m not sure. Maybe I’m just a moody prick. Strike that, I know I’m a moody prick, but things have been colliding harder and sparking higher lately.

I just finished my first real horror piece in several months for a new antho, using as its core concept the Say You Love Satan/Ricky Kasso case from back in the 80s. For those unfamiliar, on Long Island when I was a teenager a story broke about four kids who went off into the woods of a Northport park together ostensibly to do some carousing. There, Ricky Kasso, a burnout, dropout dope peddler, and two of his buddies, beat, stabbed, eye-gouged, and eventually murdered Gary Lauwers. It took hours. Not only was the crime vicious beyond belief, but it became iconic for the times because of all the hysteria surrounding heavy metal "satanic" lyrics and supposed teenage devil worship of the period. Besides digging up graves and claiming to have occult powers, Ricky demanded that Gary Lauwers say he loved Satan before being butchered.
For the next couple of weeks Ricky led other friends up into the woods to show them the body while he solidified his legacy in the annals of local spook legend by saying a black crow gave him a message from the devil to kill Lauwers, and that the trees all bowed down to him as he murdered. If nothing else, it was good copy, and drove Tipper Gore apeshit.

It’s a brutal story with a lot of impact, especially if you were around the same age as the principle individuals at the time, which I was. Thinking about the case, and being homesick for family and friends on Long Island during the holidsays, has made me sentimental despite all the ugliness associated with the circumstances. It's put me in a bizarre mood that's still clinging as I start a new story, a crime piece, which keeps wanting me to traipse over the line into horror regardless of how hard I try to hold it in place.

Rarely have tales clung to me so desperately, although it’s atypical that I use real events as the subject of my stories to begin with. Hopefully I’ll shake free of this residue soon and I can throw myself back into the sequel of THE LAST KIND WORDS, which is really what I ought to be doing.

In the meantime, back to this crime tale, if I can wrestle it into form.


Now available for $2.99 download: "In ALL YOU DESPISE, Tom Piccirilli’s characteristically lean prose grimly illustrates the high price of redemption and the violent limits of brotherly love. When a nameless man awakens to find his blood-spattered brother passed out in his trailer it sets off a chain of painful, hard-hitting events that tests family loyalty and shows the savage impact of a father’s dark legacy."

Here’s some generous words on NIGHTJACK by Greg Gifune, author of GARDENS OF NIGHT (definitely read Greg if you haven't already): "Per usual, I love the way you approached the concept. The unique angle at which you come at your subject matter and characters is often what fascinates me most about your work...you made all the right choices, and as a result, pulled it off seamlessly. Really well done."


5 anthologies with my work have hit recently.

BY HOOK OR BY CROOK edited by Ed Gorman & Marty Greenberg features my piece "Blood Sacrifices & the Catatonic Kid": DAMN NEAR DEAD 2: LIVE NOIR OR DIE TRYING ed. Bill Crider & the late Dave Thompson includes "Zypho the Tentacled Brainsucker from Outer Space vs. the Mob"; FESTIVE FEAR GLOBAL EDITION ed. Steve Clark features my 20k word noirella "You'd Better Watch Out"; SPECTERS IN COAL DUST edited by Michael Knost includes "Holding the Line"; and THE BEST OF TALEBONES edited by Patrick Swenson has my oldie dark fantasy piece "Caucasus."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Check 'em out, Folks

Been meaning to drop a line here about some recent reads that I really enjoyed.

Here's two from Chizine:

Tim Lebbon's THE THIEF OF BROKEN TOYS is a haunting, surreal novella-length tale about a grief-stricken father trying to find some way to come to terms with the death of his young son. With his marriage on the outs and little left to live for, he meets a mysterious stranger who somehow manages to retrieve the boy's broken toys and fix them, which returns good memories in the father to help replace his pain and sorrow. Poignant, honest, and with a truly emotionally impacting ending, give this one a whirl.

Also, Paul Tremblay's collection IN THE MEAN TIME. I've been a big fan of Paul's since reading his novels THE LITTLE SLEEP and NO SLEEP TILL WONDERLAND, which follow the dubious investigations of a narcoleptic PI. Now he tears up the scene with short fiction that is striking, original, enigmatic, surreal, and horrific in all the best ways. If you're a fan of the likes of Dennis Etchison, Donald Barthelme, Thomas Ligotti, or Kelly Link, you'll love Paul's work. In any case, scarf up his books, you can't go wrong.

Dave Zeltserman's OUTSOURCED is a speedy, gritty, hardboiled bank robbery tale that bops and weaves along as a group of out-of-work computer programmers decide to get their hands dirty and find they like it a lot. As with Zeltserman's previous novels SMALL CRIMES, PARIAH, and KILLER, his greatest storytelling skill is in the small true, emotional details that every reader will understand. He will definitely keep you flipping pages as fast you can, and once you finish one book you'll be racing on to the next.

Max Allan Collins' iconic hitman QUARRY returns in a series of reprints including all of Quarry's earlier adventures: QUARRY, QUARRY'S LIST, QUARRY'S CUT, QUARRY'S DEAL, and QUARRY'S VOTE. If you were lucky enough to get hooked on the Quarry novels published by Hard Case Crime over the past few years, then here's your chance to go back to the beginning and fall in love with our favorite killer all over again.

For you lovers of old school horror, try Harry Shannon's A HOST OF SHADOWS. His tales are fun, affectionate throwbacks to the kind of horror you dug back in the 80s and 90s: nasty, dark as hell, and action-packed ripsnorters. Monsters a'plenty with some thoughtful psychological threads to balance them out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Loss & The Nobody

Two more of my noirellas are now available for digital download from Crossroad Press. LOSS and THE NOBODY. $2.99 each. Hope you'll give them a whirl.

Employing the unique, darkly humorous, and powerful noir voice that is his trademark, Piccirilli demonstrates why he's become a must-read author for admirers of both crime and horror fiction. LOSS concerns a failed writer working as a handyman in an old Manhattan apartment building with a strange history and numerous oddball tenants, not all of whom may be what they seem. The penthouse is owned by a bestselling novelist and his wife, the nameless narrator's longtime unrequited love, who soon goes missing. Is she dead or somehow trapped within the endless corridors of a lair full of twisted memories and half-forgotten ambitions? This is a haunting noir-ghost story fusion that not only spotlights the fear of missing out on one's greatest hopes and romantic dreams, but also features such memorable characters as Mojo the talking monkey and the corpse of the real inventor of aluminum foil.

This book is available in MOBI (Kindle) EPUB (Sony / Nook) PDF (Adobe) and PRC (Mobipocket) formats. Please choose your preference from the drop-down menu below before proceeding to checkout.

Also available on Amazon Kindle.

Cryer once had another name, but he can't remember it.

The man he used to be was stabbed in the head by an assailant. After months of catatonia Cryer awakens in a mental facility to find that his former life is almost completely forgotten. He knows his wife and daughter have been murdered - he saw them die moments before his own assault - but his shattered mind is incapable of retaining their names. Or even his own.

Now Cryer is free again and trying to track down an elusive killer through his own unknown past. But how do you investigate the murders of your loved ones when you can't remember them? When you have no idea who your friends or enemies were? Where you lived and worked? And what secrets you might have once had and failed to keep?

And how is he supposed to deal with the little man who keeps crawling in and out of his skull?Cryer is a nobody now, but that won't stop him from finding a vicious murderer and making him pay.

"Part vigilante procedural part hard-boiled PI yarn and part examination-of-post-loss-survival weepie, THE NOBODY is Tom Piccirilli at his uncompromising best. The dialogue is so crisp it's like Leonard on speed, and the second and third pages are the literary equivalent of being hit in the face with a shovel. A roller-coaster ride? You bet. A page-turner, even? Yep, no question. A palpable atmosphere, larger-than-life characterisation and impeccable plotting? They're all there. Like I said - clichés: can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em." --Peter Crowther - PS Publishing

This eBook is available in MOBI (Kindle) EPUB (Sony / Nook) PDF (Adobe) PRC (Mobipocket)

Signed, limited edition hardcover edition of EVERY SHALLOW CUT can now be pre-ordered from Horror Mall.

A nice review of NIGHTJACK right here.

Another fine review of my latest collection FUTILE EFFORTS here.

Some news:

The option for my novel THE COLD SPOT has gone to Norman Twain Productions. The script is being worked on at the moment. Stay tuned for more in the coming months.

Sold a new story to Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. Look for "The Void It Often Brings With It" in 9 months or so.

Check out a new interview with me over at Chizine.

Received a very hip & complimentary note from actor Elijah Alexander, the reader for the Blackstone Audiobook release of SHADOW SEASON. Look for the finished product sometime early next year. THE MIDNIGHT ROAD and THE COLD SPOT audiobooks should be arriving within the next month or two as well.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hideous Babies and the Loom of My Muse

So how does someone come to write a horror-dark-fantasy-crime novel about a group of four people with multiple personality disorder who wind up together in a mental institution where a murder may or may not have occurred, leaving a list of 167 suspects including gods, creatures of myth, historical figures, private eyes, cowboys, and a talking dog? *gasp* And a protagonist who channels the spirit of Jack the Ripper, who can see all the other bizarre personalities and interact with them?

I have no clue. Scream “Cop out!” if you like, but I’m here to tell you the truth, friends, and the truth is that the longer I write, the less I understand the process. It’s like trying to explain how you breathe–the more you think about it, the more you’re likely to hiccup, choke, snort or hyperventilate. I’m always in awe of authors who can pinpoint the reasons, inspiration, and catalysts behind their fiction. My own muse is quite silent on the subject. She gathers up all the threads of my history and weaves and knots them together in a fashion that remains inexplicable to me.

The metaphor holds true. I never know what elements will reflect some small incident from my childhood or some unresolved situation or trauma. I look back on a scene and wonder, Why did I feel the need to discuss that? Jesus Christ, now everyone will know THAT about me. It’s that kind of a personal mechanism. I never know how deep the muse is going to ply. Maybe she’ll pluck some subject that’s currently on my mind. Maybe she’ll drag out my deepest fear. She might send me to the bureau where my high school yearbook resides. I could turn over from a dream and remember a line from Abbott and Costello that sends me to the keypad to knock out a new chapter. If it plays its part in making me, it plays its part in the work. And it all plays its part in making me.

I wrote NIGHTJACK about five years ago, just as I was making my move out of the horror genre and into the crime field. It felt to me that horror was a young man’s game. Writing dark fiction about the fears that lay ahead around the next corner, as opposed to crime, which seemed to be an older guy’s arena. Dark dramatic fiction dealing with the regrets and mistakes coming up behind you. My inherent story themes and current concerns dovetailed perfectly with my mid-life crisis. Since I started my screaming slide over the hill, I’ve become more and more invested in noir fiction. I don’t need speculative dreads anymore, I’ve got a wealth of real ones to keep me busy. The well of my past is deep. Just like yours. Just like anybody’s.

So Nightjack was a swan song of sorts, a strange cross-genre fantasy that starts off in a mental hospital, moves to the mean streets of New York, and eventually winds up on a Greek island where myth and reality, the damned and the doomed, the dead and the divine all meet. I wasn’t sure if this one would ever see print. It didn’t fit in with my crime fiction career at Bantam. And my small press works, even the pieces that can be considered fantastical, leaned heavily toward the noir field. But digital publishing has opened up some new doorways for works that fall outside the usual parameters of one’s career. You don’t have to worry about your ugly babies anymore, you can allow the little hideous bastards out in public and let them lope along with the beautiful kids.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


On the day of his release from a mental institution Pace is taken “hostage” by Faust, Pia, and Hayden, three escapees from the hospital who disappeared after the presumed rape and beating of Cassandra Kaltzas, daughter of the Greek munitions tycoon Alexandra Kaltzas. Each suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder, experiencing complex delusions and sometimes fantastical identities. Pace tries to piece together what happened when apparently one of their alternate personalities tried to kill Cassandra.

Pace himself is an alternate of William Pacella, a man whose wife died in a restaurant fire set by a local mobster for insurance money. William Pacella “dies” so that Nightjack can be born–a new personality who may or may not be Jack the Ripper.

For unknown reasons, Pace is able to see others’ delusions–when alternates take over members of the group, Pace alone is able to interact with each persona. Included among them is Princess Eirrin, a ten thousand year old sorceress and heir to the Atlantean throne; Smoker, a half-breed gunman from 1880s Arizona; Thaddeus, friend and companion to St. Paul; and the ancient Greek architect Daedalus, who soared among the clouds with his home-made wax wings and watched his son perish in the sea.

Now the four find themselves under attack from assassins sent by Kaltzas to punish the person who attacked his daughter. Conflicting stories abound about Cassandra–whether she was raped, if she was perhaps murdered, or if she and Pace somehow crossed paths even before the hospital. In fact, she may not even exist.

As the attacks persist, the group is forced to face their own personal traumas and terrors, and go in search of Kaltzas in Greece. There, on an island where fantasy, myth, and truth are all entangled, Pace and his many alternates must sift through madness and deceit to unlock the mystery. And everyone may wind up dead unless Pace willingly unleashes the most brutal killer of all: Nightjack.

This book is available in MOBI (Kindle) EPUB (Sony / Nook) PDF (Adobe) and PRC (Mobipocket) formats. Please choose your preference from the drop-down menu below before proceeding to checkout.


Above is the cover art to my next noirella EVERY SHALLOW CUT, due out from Chizine Publications in mid-March.

Here's the synopsis:

He's nameless, faceless, and has nothing left to lose — and now he has a gun. Alone except for his beloved bulldog, Churchill, a despondent man who's failed at his career, his marriage, and his own simple hopes makes his way across the fierce American landscape and the spectacle of his own bitter past. As he heads home to his distant brother, he witnesses various tragedies and crimes which bring out the killer in him

Tom Piccirilli gives us a suspense story for our current struggling times, taken directly from a broken heart. It is full of realism, grit, and a depth of the dark streets that give voice to the fears most of us can barely imagine. The terror of loss, the overwhelming dread of failure, the desperate push towards crime, the horror of missed-out, mediocre dreams. And the all-too average explosive rage.


Over at Examiner.com, I'm Blu Gilliand's second victim (following the great Norm Partridge) for a new feature called "Interview 5.5.5." That means I'll be answering five questions about five different topics over a period of five days. DAY ONE is Tom Piccirilli on Writing. And DAY TWO is about my early days in Horror.

SPECTERS IN COAL DUST is new antho featuring fiction by Gary Braunbeck, Christopher Golden, Elizabeth Massie, Bev Vincent, Lee Thomas, Steve Rasnic Tem, and yers truly.

I have a new blog up over on DO SOME DAMAGE, wherein I get maudlin over my lost youth and the onrush of Autumn. Come on and check it out.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Book Sale, Baby

Media Mail shipping free in the US!
Email to PICSELF1@aol.com to confirm availability and Paypal info.

FUTILE EFFORTS - signed, limited edition new collection, nearly 500 pages of fiction & poetry - $30

Futile Efforts features nearly 500 pages of Tom Piccirilli's unique blend of intense and provocative writing. In addition, the four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award invited a group of guest contributors that reads like a "who's who in horror" to write smart and insightful introductions for every piece in this outstanding collection. These authors include Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Thomas Monteleone, Gerard Houarner, Ray Garton, Brian Keene, Christopher Golden, Simon Clark, Ed Gorman, James A. Moore, and many others.

Leading off with the controversial novella Fuckin’ Lie Down Already and concluding with 45 of the author's most acclaimed poems, Futile Efforts is an incredible collection of horror and suspense. Whether you're experiencing Piccirilli's compelling writing for the first time, or you're a long-time fan and collector, this is a must-have addition to your bookshelf.

"In this disturbing, often grotesque and ultimately mesmerizing collection, Piccirilli reprints 17 stories and 45 poems. Although the star-studded introductions are a nice bonus, Piccirilli's stories are the selling point, and all are standouts. 'An Average Insanity, a Common Agony' is an emotionally devastating tale of a man trying to do the right thing for the sake of an innocent creature. 'Alchemy' tells the story of five emotionally stunted people whose discovery of a dead body lets them visit their own dark places ('They weren't frightened [by the sight of the corpse]. None of us were. It broke up the monotony'). 'With an Ear for My Father's Weeping' manages to be both touching and hysterical. Piccirilli's unique mix of gore, violence and a literate style bordering on the lyrical help make this collection one that horror fans will relish."— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

DEEP IN THAT DARKNESS PEERING - limited edition collection, 500 pages of fiction & poetry, signed by the author, the late great Richard Laymon, Poppy Z. Brite, and artist Chad Savage - $30

"As a short story writer, Piccirilli proves himself a master of the snap shot, of the slice of life--he plunges you headlong into various worlds, makes his points, then ushers you out, leaving you to reflect on what you've experienced. To help pull this off, his stories have to be utterly convincing, which, for the most part, they are. Whether writing about Lovecraftian horrors ("Inside the Works"), supernatural noir ("Familiar Child"), or crafting a story for a shared theme anthology ("Of Persephone, Poe and the Whisperer" or "Broken 'Neath the Weight of Wraiths"), Piccirilli makes you feel as though you're looking over someone's shoulder rather than reading a story--his prose has an accessibility that belies the deeper nature of his work as a whole. As Ed Gorman once said, he's "a great storyteller, one of those people who seizes you by the throat and just doesn't let go." In addition to a number of memorable stand-alone short stories and poems, the book also features ten pieces in Piccirilli's popular "Self" series, which he uses as vehicles to provide a unique take on a variety of myths and legends. Throw in an informative, wide ranging interview with the author conducted by horror great Richard Laymon, and you have a truly memorable collection."--Hank Wagner, Cemetery Dance

THE LAST DEEP BREATH - limited trade paperback edition noirella, signed by author, introduction by director Patrick Lussier - $20

"The Last Deep Breath is an absolute gem of a crime novel, with prose so dead-on and moving, you'll be laughing and gasping, often in the same sentence. Tom Piccirilli is already one of the big guns in crime fiction, and proves here that he may be the heir to Elmore Leonard."--Jason Starr, author of PANIC ATTACK, THE CHILL

THE NOBODY - limited trade paperback edition noirella, signed by author, introduction by Norman Partridge, who did the introduction - $30

"Can't live with 'em but, as I discovered when I read this remarkable novella, you can't live without 'em. Part vigilante procedural, part hard-boiled PI yarn and part examination-of-post-loss-survival weepie,THE NOBODY is Tom Piccirilli at his uncompromising best. The dialogue is so crisp it's like Leonard on speed, and the second and third pages are the literary equivalent of being hit in the face with a shovel. A roller-coaster ride? You bet. A page-turner, even? Yep, no question. A palpable atmosphere, larger-than-life characterization and impeccable plotting? They're all there."--Peter Crowther

Signed paperbacks - $9 each - including THE COLDEST MILE, NOVEMBER MOURNS and A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN

SALE ENDS on OCTOBER 1st, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fuckin' Lie Down Already

My early noirella FUCKIN' LIE DOWN ALREADY is now available for digital download from either Crossroad Press or through Amazon Kindle.

With an introduction by the brilliant Jack O'Connell, author of Box Nine, Word Made Flesh, and The Resurrectionist. Cover art by the amazing Caniglia.

Description: Clay was an honest New York City cop driven to bring down the mob and make his city a little safer, even when it seemed like nothing he did made any difference. He always played by the rules until a two-bit junkie hit man destroyed his family and left him for dead. But Clay won't let himself lie down until he gets one last thing: revenge.

Praise for Fuckin' Lie Down Already:

Jack Ketchum, author of RED and THE LOST: "This is a small masterpiece. It's said that the devil's in the details and Tom got all the details exactly right. I always said Pic was one to watch. Fuck watching. He’s utterly there. A voice to listen to and learn from."

Ed Gorman, author of THE POKER CLUB, THE AUTUMN DEAD and THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED: "Short, tight, effective crime fiction. My kind of writing."

Bill Pronzini, author of SPOOK and STEP TO THE GRAVEYARD EASY: "Hard, hard, hard noir, very well done."

Al Sarrantonio, author of Moonbane and Orangefield: "A potent mix of GoodFellas and the classic 1950 Edmond O'Brien film D.O.A. A pedal-to-the-metal cops and mobsters roller coaster ride— this story delivers!"

This book is available in MOBI (Kindle) EPUB (Sony / Nook) PDF (Adobe) and PRC (Mobipocket) formats. Please choose your preference from the drop-down menu below before proceeding to checkout.


FLDA has a fairly inglorious history. The original publisher, Endeavor Press, lost their first printer thanks to the title, who refused to print up copies of the chapbook despite the bulk of their production being nudie cookbooks. And yes, I'm dead serious here. Nudie cookbooks. Send one of those to your Aunt Tilda for X-Mas.

Shortly after publication Endeavor folded up shop and the title's been a difficult find ever since. It is included in my latest massive short story & poetry collection FUTILE EFFORTS, but if you don't want to spend the cash for a 500 page limited signed hardcover edition, then here's an alternative.

Also: Upon FLDA's initial release I received a dozen or so emails from women who wagged their virtual fingers in my face and refused to read the novella because they suspected it had something to do with rape. I assure you it does not. And I really need to say to you ladies that if "Fuckin' Lie Down Already" instantly makes you think of being ordered to bed against your will, then you are definitely hanging around with the wrong bad boys.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reaching: Finding a Direction

So I'm about 5k words into my new novel BLUE AUTUMN. I'm already jumping around, writing piecemeal–a section here, a bit of dialogue there, a paragraph to fit in someplace toward the end. It keeps the work flowing but it scatters me all over the place. I have to consciously dial myself down, try to get into the zone, kill off the distractions.

This one is something of a new direction for me, I suppose, although it's full of themes I've used before. But the atmosphere and attitude are a little different. More honest in some ways, more reflective in others. It's odd to take a different storytelling position after all these years. It's a reach but I'm not sure in what direction. Am I reaching farther? Or higher? Or just out that way instead of out the other way?

What's the damn thing about? Good question, glad you asked. I've been trying to come up with an answer, and I'm still not quite there.

The basic set-up: Eight years ago, 17-year-old Dash was waiting at a train crossing when a car whipped around him trying to beat out the train. It didn't make it. Everyone in the car–including Dash's sister, his girlfriend, and his best friend, died. Torn by the question of just what they were all doing together, and where they were rushing off to, and why his best buddy was stupid enough to cross the tracks, Dash starts coming apart. A Golden Gloves boxer, Dash kills a guy in a bar fight and winds up in prison. Five years later, he's released, returns to his hometown with his cell mate, a former hitman, and begins a search for the truth, if there's even one to find.

So, BLUE AUTUMN is a mystery, except it isn't really. It's a crime novel, except it isn't. It's got action, except where there's the lovey-dovey stuff. It's a treatise on first love, except when it's one on hate. It's about friendship and family, and the warmth they bring us, and the pain. In other words, it's about all the shit that most books in the world are about, except for me it's something of a new recipe for the stew.

It was easier to make something up than try and put truth into perspective. To really look at it, head-on and from the side and from the back, and figure out how I'd been affected, and what it meant to me in the short and long runs.

I've said before that horror was a young man's game, (so far as my own career seemed to be concerned). Horror was about fear skulking up ahead, around the next corner. It lays wait in the shadows, unknown, sometimes unknowable, often fantastical. Because the only thing that might scare a young man is the unknown.

But crime–and by extension dark mainstream fiction, if there is such a thing--is about fear coming up from behind you. You recognize it. You've seen it before. It's about your mistakes, and regrets, and disappointments, and failures. It's places you've been and hated, women you've loved and disregarded, friends you've lost, family members who've left and died. It's the known. It's the well-known, the completely known. It's what you can't get out of your head.

So that's where I'm at, starting a new page, still trying to figure out in which direction I'm moving, with or against the current of my own history. Can you believe I actually just paged through my high school yearbook? Holy fuckall. I feel myself growing more maudlin. I just hope to hell I can keep it out of the novel, or turn it to my best advantage. The reach is on, the reach is in, I'm extended, now to see what it is I pull back in with me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


THE FEVER KILL is now available on Kindle, along with SHORT RIDE TO NOWHERE and all of my Bantam titles.

We've all heard that e-books is the most rapidly growing aspect of publishing. My wife loves her Kindle, and apparently so does everyone else who owns one. Other folks seem to be willing to go to the stake and burn alongside their printed paperbacks before they'll ever go digital. I had to think of a world without physical books in it anymore,w hich seems more and more likely nowadays. Even if publishers are willing to print them and readers are willing to buy them, bookstores are drying up everywhere. B. Dalton's is gone, Waldenbooks is gone, Borders is hanging by a thread, B&N is up for sale. Indies are having a harder and harder time of it. Where would we even go to buy books anymore? What would the outlets be?

Where do you fall on the topic? Are you a Kindle/Nook lover who enjoys saving space on the shelves? Or are you a Luddite who's hating this new technology that's rocking the bibliophile's world?

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Crease is going back to his quaint, quiet hometown of Hangtree. It’s where his father the sheriff met ruin in the face of a scandal involving the death of a kidnapped little girl and her missing ransom. It’s where crease was beaten, jailed, and kicked clear of the town line ten years earlier.

Now Crease is back. He’s been undercover for so long that most days he feels more like a mobster than a cop. He doesn’t mind much: the corrupt life is easier to stomach than a wife who can’t understand him, a son who hates him, and a half-dozen adopted kids he can’t even name anymore. He’s also just gotten his drug-dealing, knife-wielding psycho boss Tucco’s mistress pregnant. A fine time to decide to settle old scorers and resolve a decade-old mystery.

With Tucco hot on his tail, Crease has to find his answers fast. Who kidnapped little mary? Who really killed her? Was his own father guilty? And what happened to the paltry fifteen grand ransom that seems to spell salvation to half the population of Hangtree? The town still has a taste for his blood and secrets it wants to keep. Crease has a single hope; a raw and raging fever driving him toward the truth that might just burn him up along the way.

"A wondrous blazing talent... Intense and astonishing!" --From the introduction by Ken Bruen

"It's the rare crime novel that pulsates with the nightmare intensity of THE FEVER KILL. Piccirilli pulls it off masterfully." --Charles Ardai, editor of the Hard Case Crime series

"THE FEVER KILL is a rattlesnake-mean noir... powerful, hard-hitting, fearsome stuff." --Ed Gorman

This book is available in MOBI (Kindle) E-PUB (Sony / Nook) PRC (Mobipocket) and PDF (Adobe) Formats. Coming soon to Amazon Kindle.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Last Kind Words

Preliminary cover art for my next novel. What do you think, gang?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dead Mower Dreams

My new column "Dead Mower Dreams and the Weeds of Boo Radley" is now up at the Mulholland Books site: http://ow.ly/2rPIt

It's my take on life during the recession, battling a mid-life crisis (and losing), and trying to navigate through the ever-changing world of publishing and willful illiteracy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

4 Upcoming Anthos

Pleased to report the full table of contents of Ellen Datlow's upcoming anthology SUPERNATURAL NOIR. Very proud to have my tale appear besides the work of so many uber-talented folks.

SUPERNATURAL NOIR, edited by Ellen Datlow
Introduction Ellen Datlow
The Dingus by Gregory Frost
The Getaway by Paul G. Tremblay
Mortal Bait by Richard Bowes
Little Shit by Melanie Tem
Ditch Witch by Lucius Shepard
The Last Triangle by Jeffrey Ford
The Carrion Gods in Their Heaven by Laird Barron
The Romance by Elizabeth Bear
Dead Sister by Joe R. Lansdale
Comfortable in Her Skin by Lee Thomas
But For Scars by Tom Piccirilli
The Blisters on My Heart by Nate Southard
The Absent Eye by Brian Evenson
The Maltese Unicorn by Caitlín R. Kiernan
Dreamer of the Day by Nick Mamatas
In Paris, In the Mouth of Kronos by John Langan

Look for the antho at some point next year. I'll, of course, report when I have more info.

Also: Bev Vincent had a little more information about the upcoming anthology SPECTERS IN COAL DUST, edited by Michael Knost. I hadn't heard who else was slated for the book, but Bev reports that besides me and him, the lineup will include Gary A. Braunbeck, Christopher Golden, Steve Rasnic Tem, Elizabeth Massie, Lee Thomas, Ronald Kelly, William Meikle, Nate Southard, Joshua Reynolds, Barbara Jo Fleming, Brian J. Hatcher and Michael Bracken. To be published this fall.

And: just received the gorgeous chapbook of Joe Lansdale's DREAD ISLAND, which is being used to promote CLASSICS MUTILATED, a new antho line coming from IDW. My tale "Benediction," about a hitman forced to deal with witches and a succubus in the form of Jayne Mansfield, will appear beside such fellow contributors as Joe Lansdale, John Shirley, Nancy Collins, Mike Resnick, Kristine Rusch, Thomas Tessier, Marc Laidlaw, and Rio Youers.

From the product description: "Monster Lit meets Remix Culture in IDW's all-new, all-original story collection by top talents from horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy scenes. IDW's first foray into genre prose takes the formula of "literary classic/historic figure + supernatural element" and drives a stake through its heart with fourteen brand-new stories, all written specifically for this collection, that transform the so-called Monster Lit movement in ways the mainstream could never imagine. Notable characters include Huck Finn, Capt. Ahab, Billy the Kid, Emily Dickensen, Jim Morrison, Edgar Allan Poe, and Albert Einstein."

Speaking of Joe Lansdale, he'll be editing a reprint anthology of supernatural/horror/crime/noir fiction entitled CRUCIFIED DREAMS. All I know about it so far is that it'll be out from Tachyon in early '11 and feature fiction by the likes of Joe Hisownself, Harlan Ellison, and David Morrell. He's taken a reprint of my novella "Loss," a noir-ghost story fusion that spotlights a talking monkey and the real creator of aluminum foil.

Here's the product description I nabbed from Amazon: "Crossing noir with the supernatural, this luridly visceral anthology attacks polite society and plunges into the unthinkable horrors lurking in its underbelly. Searching for some beauty in a time of increasing poverty and neglect, the desperate are all the more menacing, and in a brief moment, ordinary people turn into something far less human. Offering stylish yet savage tales of private dicks, serial killers, lurking demons, and femme fatales, these surreal and often bloody tales provide glimpses into sinister worlds that mirror our own. Boasting an intriguing assortment of stories from celebrated authors such as Harlan Ellison, David Morrell, and the infamous editor himself, each gritty and sensational undertaking proves that being human is a far cry from being civilized."


Also, I just returned the line edits for my next novel THE LAST KIND WORDS to my editor at Bantam. Man, these people have some eagle eyes and caught a ton of small (and not so small) errors on my part. Big-time kudos to the editors and copyeditors who go all out to make the authors look so damn good.

LKW looks like it's slated for an April '11 release in trade paperback.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Short Ride to Nowhere

Now available for the first time anywhere: A new digital noirella from Crossroads Press.

Product description:

Jenks and Hale aren't friends, partners, or even next door neighbors anymore. Not since they each lost their jobs and had their homes foreclosed. Not since they lost their wives and kids and whatever stability they'd fought for in the world.

Adrift on the streets of New York, Jenks' dark path seems to parallel Hale's step by step. After Hale is found nearly dead beside the corpse of a nine-year-old girl, and soon after commits suicide in a mental hospital, Jenks decides to find out just what the hell happened.

What happened to Hale and the girl, what happened to the wayward American Dream, and what happened to his youth and forfeited hopes.

Because whatever happens to Hale happens to Jenks just a few months later.

This book is available for $4.99 in MOBI (KINDLE) - EPUB (Sony/Nook) - PDF (Adobe) and PRC (Mobipocket) formats. Please choose your preference from the dropdown menu below before proceeding to checkout.

Over the next few weeks I'll be making several of my out-of-print and rarer novels available via Crossroads Press in Kindle, PDF, and other various formats. Some will also be released as audio recordings. As a self-professed Luddite this is all new territory for me. Let me know what you kids think of it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

You'd Better Watch Out

That's the title of my latest noirella (with incredible kickass artwork by Andrew McKiernan), due to be published in Festive Fear. Info below:


The fear returns and this time it’s worldwide! Anthology of original dark stories set around the Christmas period. Tales that will encourage you to check and recheck doors and windows are securely locked, that you know exactly what ingredients went into the punch before taking a sip, and evokes a heart murmur every time you hear, "Merry Christmas!"

Gift bearers:
Christopher Conlon - Christmas Night
Steve Cameron - Ghost of the Heart
Paul Kane - Humbuggered
Tim Curran - That Olde Christmas Spirit
B. Michael Radburn - They Own the Night
Ellen Shaw & Wayne C Rogers - Givers & Takers
Scott Tyson - Dear Santa
GNBraun - Santa Akbar!
Matthew R. Davis - Debutante
Adrian Chamberlin - Winter Sun
Daniel I Russell - It Comes But Once a Year
Alison J Littlewood - Cold White Fields
Lee Thompson - A Bell Ringing in the Empty Sky
Tom Piccirilli - You'd Better Watch Out

Now available to pre-order through the Horror Mall: https://www.horror-mall.com/FESTIVE-FEA ... 21016.html

Cover art by Daniele Serra
Internal illustrations by Andrew McKiernan
Limited to 200 soft covers
Only $15.95
Released this December


New blog by me up at The Book Trib: "Neverending Puberty and Ongoing Mid-Life Crisis Duke it Out for My Soul and Career." http://booktrib.com/?tag=tom-piccirilli

You can check out my tale "Husks and Formless Ruins" for free online at: http://www.thehorrorzine. Drop a line and let me know if you enjoy it.

Ed Gorman weighs in on my noirella The Last Deep Breath. He says, in part: "Tom Piccirilli has given us a small but absolute masterpiece that is the kind of work that all neo-noir should aspire to."

New interview with Bill Pronzini, creator of the Nameless Detective series, up over at The Big Adios: http://thebigadios.yuku.com/topic/1223

Norm Partridge has some generous words about my work in his latest blog. http://americanfrankenstein.blogspot.com/2010/07/dedication-day.html

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thrillerfest & THE COLDEST MILE

Just got back from Thrillerfest in NYC, a conference I’d never attended before but will certainly be heading off to again. What a great bunch of encouraging, embracing folks. The big news was that THE COLDEST MILE won a Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original, so wha hoo for that (...and yes, just let me repeat, wha hoo).

It was especially great to meet the hardworking Bantam/Random House Publishing team, whose efforts I appreciate in the extreme. So a big shout-outs to:

Gina Centrello, President and Publisher of the Random House Publishing Group; Kim Hovey, Associate Publisher of Ballantine Bantam Dell, Libby McGuire, Publisher of Ballantine Bantam Dell; Kristin Fassler, marketing; Theresa Zoro and Susan Corcoran, publicity; Kate Miciak, Editorial Director, Jennifer Hershey, Editorial Director, and Randall Klein, editor, who promised he would catch me if I stage-dived into the audience, despite the fact that I would have flattened every vertebrae in his spine. And of course to my editor Caitlin Alexander, who actually started green-penning my speech at the banquet table. Is this a woman who takes her job seriously or what?

Terrific to see old friends and meet new ones and discover email pals in the flesh, including John Schoenfelder, Chris Golden, Doug Clegg, Nate Kenyon, Matt Schwartz, Linda Addison, Hank Wagner, Dave Sakmyster, and John Rector.

Another real high point of the conference was finally getting a chance to meet two of my fave Jasons–Jason Pinter and Jason Starr. Two incredible writers of noir/hardboiled/thrillers and two terrific guys. Rock on, buds.

Other incredible folks I wish I’d had more time to spend with included Joe Finder, Joe Moore, Larry Light, Laura Caldwell, MJ Rose, Steve Berry, Heather Graham, and the master himself Ken Follett. But just being in their very presence and listening to them on panels was inspiring in ways I can’t fully explain.

Lastly, I’d like to give a special word of thanks to David Morrell, who’s a true literary hero of mine. Not only did he start the Thriller Writers organization but he’s always gone out of his way to offer advice and encouragement my way. Sitting and talking with him and learning craft at the knee of such a fine gentleman means more to me than I can possibly say. Although I didn’t actually take the time to dedicate my Thriller Award to anyone while I was on stage, if I may do so now, I humbly dedicate it to David Morrell.


Other stuff:

Only 20 trade copies left of THE LAST DEEP BREATH. Hardcovers have long since sold out. Last chance to nab this bad boy.

My huge new collection FUTILE EFFORTS is due to ship soon from Cemetery Dance. Last chance to pre-order and save.

Shroud Publishing is doing an extremely limited second run of my novella ALL YOU DESPISE. Only 50 copies, but you'll get the same sig sheets signed by me and Brian Keene, who did the introduction.

A lengthy three-way interview with Norman Partridge, Gary Braunbeck, and me own self. Enjoy.

Here's the cover art for the German edition of Shadow Season...Der Geruch Von Blut...The Smell of Blood. Due out in early December.

Brian Lindenmuth of Spinetingler wrote a brief review/article on my recent noirellas.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Raven's Tree Jewelry

My wife Michelle's back to making fine hand-crafted jewelry, which she finds very therapeutic. Tons of new stuff listed. Plus, she's doing a shipping sale. $1 anywhere, no matter how many pieces you order! Quotes from Poe, Plath, Wilde, Baudelaire...gothic images, etc. She does book covers, personal images, pets, you name it.... Check it out.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Last Deep Breath & Thuglit

Here's the finalized cover layout for THE LAST DEEP BREATH. A big shout-out of thanks to Daniele Serra, for doing such a fantastic noirish job with the artwork, and my pal Patrick Lussier, who wrote a humbling introduction for the novella. (And just wait until Patrick's next movie DRIVE ANGRY hits theaters, starring Nicolas Cage. It's a throwback to 70s road rage/evil car on the road flicks and it's going to rock us all).

Also, keep an eye out for:

Blood, Guts & Whiskey Edited by Todd Robinson. Kensington, $14 paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7582-2268-8 Twenty-four gritty, violent stories of the mean streets slug their way through a third volume mostly culled from the Web zine Thuglit (after Hardcore Hardboiled and Sex, Thugs, and Rock & Roll). Max Allan Collins's concise yet wide-ranging introduction traces the tough guy school of short crime fiction from Hammett writing in the pulp Black Mask up to the current generation riffing off the films of Tarantino. Highlights include the Derringer Award–winning “The Cost of Doing Business” by Mike Penncavage, and a fistful of tales appearing for the first time anywhere from the likes of upcoming noir stars such as Dave Zeltserman (“Bad Move”) and Tom Piccirilli (“The Return of Inspiration”). For dedicated fans of the genre, this anthology is worth the money just for “Death of a Rat,” a prison yarn found in the files of the late Edward Bunker (aka Mr. Blue in Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs), iconic author of No Beast So Fierce. These stories are as bleak and exciting as a cold rainstorm. (June)--Publishers Weekly

Hell, never expected to share a TOC with the great Eddie Bunker! Very proud to be a part of this anthology. If you dig hardboiled/noir fiction and haven't already tried the previous two anthos edited by Todd Robinson, go now and do so.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Clown in the Moonlight

My first horror tale in a while "Clown in the Moonlight" went up for sale today from Digital Darkside/Delirium. It's available in two formats:

Hope folks dig this one.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Update #2 - Professional

Received the news that two of my novels are up for a Thriller Award in the same category! Is it wrong that I want to tie with myself and win twice? Probably just proves I'm a greedy bastard.


Best Hard Cover Novel:
VANISHED by Joseph Finder
LONG LOST by Harlan Coben
FEAR THE WORST by Linwood Barclay
THE NEIGHBOR by Lisa Gardner
THE RENEGADES by T. Jefferson Parker

Best Paperback Original:
SHADOW SEASON by Tom Piccirilli
URGE TO KILL by John Lutz
THE COLDEST MILE by Tom Piccirilli
NO MERCY by John GilstrapBest

First Novel:
FRAGMENT by Warren Fahy
DEAD MEN’S DUST by Matt Hilton
DRACULA: THE UN-DEAD by Dacre Stoker
RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL by Jamie Freveletti

Best Short Story:
A STAB IN THE HEART by Twist Phelan
ICED by Harry Hunsicker
BOLDT’S BROKEN ANGEL by Ridley Pearson

Big-time congrats to all the nominees!


Also, SHADOW SEASON has been nominated for a Spinetingler Award. Voting is open to the public, so take a minute and go vote for your favorite novels, short stories, graphic novels, etc.


Some more extremely generous blurbs have come in for THE LAST KIND WORDS, tentatively set to be released in May '11:

"For the first time since The Godfather, a family of criminals has stolen my heart. A brilliant mix of love and violence, charm and corruption. I loved it."—Nancy Pickard, author of THE VIRGIN OF SMALL PLAINS

"You don't choose your family. And the Rand clan, a family of thieves and killers, is bad to the bone. But it's a testimony to Tom Piccirilli's stellar writing that you still care about each and every one of them. THE LAST KIND WORDS is at once a dark and brooding page-turner and a heartfelt tale about the ties that bind. Fans of Lee Child will love this hard-boiled, tough-as-nails novel."--Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of FRAGILE

"There's more life in Piccirilli's THE LAST KIND WORDS (and more heartache, action, and deliverance) than any other novel I've read in the past couple of years. Nobody in crime fiction is doing a better job than Tom Piccirilli right now. Simple as that."–Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award-Winning Author of THE LOCK ARTIST

Update #1 - Personal

As many of you already know, my wife Michelle suffered a heart attack at 3:30am April 1. Paramedics couldn't have arrived any quicker and they immediately zipped her off to the new Medical Center of the Rockies, where she was met in the ER by a crack cardio team. They ran a line up through her femoral artery and put a stent in to clear a blockage. She was in the ICU for two days before being moved to her own room for a half day.

She's now home relaxing, doing excellent, and recuperating quickly. She's on several medications and tires easily but she's making an ultra-speedy recovery. The tough part for her is that she's had to quit smoking and we're now on a heart-healthy diet. No more of the shit I usually eat. This has been a big wake-up call all around (already lost 6 lbs just not pigging out the way I normally do).

Thanks to everyone for their prayers, well-wishes, cards, flowers, books, and wonderful thoughts. It all means a lot to Michelle and just as much to me.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Update - More Kind Words for the Last Kind Words

So what the hell have I been up to, you ask? Fair question. Like most of you I've been working my ass off but still winding up falling farther and farther behind. This economic crisis coupled with my mid-life crisis are dovetailing nicely to inspire me to writing darker and nastier noir.

Finished off three more novellas that will be out over the next year or so. More on those when the info becomes available. Started a new novel, began revising an old screenplay, and knocked out a couple of short projects here and there, but I still feel like I'm clawing my way up the side of an icy cliff. I could go on about the pain of ripping your guts out and smearing them on the page day after day, but rather than bitch about my usual neuroses and travails, let's jump to the good stuff.

Two major blurbs have come in for my next novel, still tentatively titled THE LAST KIND WORDS, and now tentatively set for release in May of '11. (Everything is so damn tentative, eh?)

First up is the extremely generous comments of one of your favorites and mine:

"Perfect crime fiction...a convincing world, a cast of compelling characters, and above all a great story."--LEE CHILD

Yes, Lee f'in Child, baby!

The first Child novel I read was ECHO BURNING, followed soon after by THE ENEMY, which made me a staunch lifelong fan. Some people bitch about THE ENEMY because it's a throwback to Child's erstwhile iconic hero Jack Reacher's past as an MP. Reacher's still in the Army and we finally find out exactly why he left. I picked up the novel in an airport bookstore and read it cover to cover during a flight from New York to Colorado. Despite bad weather and lots of turbulence my concentration, flimsy during the best of times, couldn't be broken from the story. Since then, I line up on the day of release for each and every new Reacher book. If you haven't already picked up his latest GONE TOMORROW, do so asap. It might very well be Lee Child's best.

Now, onto another literary hero of mine, and I ain't kidding. This man has set the bar so high that the rest of us mooks can only gaze up at it aghast the same way I used to stare up at the rings in high school gym.

"Tom Piccirilli is clearly a writer to embrace now before he becomes huge. In THE LAST KIND WORDS he takes us inside a mutated family of crooks and unleashes a stunning story that ranges far afield at times but never truly leaves home, a place where shadows grow in every corner. It’s superbly told, with prose that doesn’t mess about or flinch from evil and characters who are best known from a distance."–DANIEL WOODRELL

Daniel Woodrell is one of the very best writers we've got, period. Not just of crime fiction, but of fiction. I said it, you heard me say it, so let me say it again. Daniel Woodrell is one of the very best writers we've got. If you've never read him, then shame on you. Right now God is pointing his fiery sword at your heart and judging you fiercely.

This is the man who wrote WINTER'S BONE, THE DEATH OF SWEET MISTER, TOMATO RED, GIVE US A KISS, WOE TO LIVE ON. What's been noted as Appalachian noir but is in reality so much more. He takes us into the backwoods and presents us with tales of strife, struggle, family, and crime that absolutely everyone can relate to. The film version of WINTER'S BONE recently premiered at Sundance and won acclaim and prizes and, most importantly, distribution. Cannot wait to catch this adaptation of one of my favorite novels of all time. Busted Flush Press will be reprinting some of his rarer novels over the next year or so, but do not wait. Order whatever you can as soon as you can. Seriously, you will thank me and I will bask in your thanks and we shall all rally and be thankful together for the abiding genius that is Daniel Woodrell.

Also from the feather in the cap department: My man KEN BRUEN states here that his favorite character in crime fiction is my protagonist Crease from THE FEVER KILL. Read and enjoy. Ken's next Jack Taylor novel THE DEVIL won't be out in the US for quite a while, so do what I did and order it from THE BOOK DEPOSITORY so you can nab the UK version due out in April.

So gather round, my friends, and let us praise the work of Lee Child, Daniel Woodrell, and Ken Bruen together. It is right to give thanks, or don't you already know that?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sharing the Sweetness

First blurb has come in on my next novel, due out in late '10.

"A modern noir master, Tom Piccirilli's usual propulsive prose and relentless storytelling are on display in THE LAST KIND WORDS, but it's his sense of relationships and the haunting power of family that lifts his writing beyond others in the genre. A swift-moving and hard-hitting novel, THE LAST KIND WORDS reads as if it's being whispered to you in a dimly lit bar where violent men, tough women, and powerful ghosts flicker in the mirrors."

Michael Koryta
Edgar-nominated author of SO COLD THE RIVER

A big shout-out of thanks to Mike for taking the time to read the galleys. If you haven't read Mike, do so asap, there's a well-deserved growing buzz about this masterful author.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Last Deep Breath

Published by Tasmaniac Publications
Introduced by Patrick Lussier
Artwork by Daniele Serra

The story follows Grey, a drifter on the search for his foster sister, who showed up for the first time in ten years with a knife in her side, then vanished without a trace. Grey winds up in Los Angeles dealing with manipulative actresses and scummy agents, hoping to find some clue as to what happened to her after she dropped out of a porn career he didn't know about.

"By now I'm convinced that Tom Piccirilli is genetically incapable of delivering a tale that's anything less than immaculately conceived and beautifully rendered. The Last Deep Breath is the latest evidence, a tough yet tender noir that cuts to the heart of what sibling bonds are all about. It ricochets around like a bullet in a cinderblock room - you can never be sure where it's going to go, but you know it's probably going to hurt before it's done."--Brian Hodge, author of Wild Horses, Mad Dogs.

"The Last Deep Breath is an absolute gem of a crime novel, with prose so dead-on and moving, you'll be laughing and gasping, often in the same sentence. Tom Piccirilli is already one of the big guns in crime fiction, and proves here that he may be the heir to Elmore Leonard."--Jason Starr, author of Panic Attack, The Chill.

180 signed soft covers - $14
26 lettered hardbacks - $80

Reserve your copy now! Order direct from Tasmaniac (bugme@tasmaniacpublications.com) and you'll receive free shipping within the US and AUS. Also available from Horror Mall (US) and Jeff'N'Joys (UK).