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

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Book Sale, Baby

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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?