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

Monday, February 28, 2011


EVERY SHALLOW CUT received a starred review in Publishers Weekly today. Check 'er out, friends.
"Lovers of gritty noir will devour this stand-alone from Piccirilli (Shadow Season), a pulse-pounding account of a writer's descent into despair and violence. The unnamed narrator's wife has left him; he feels guilty about their decision to have an abortion; and his once-promising literary career, which netted him several awards, has petered out. As the story opens, he's a homeless drifter, alone except for his dog, Churchill. When three punks attack him on a Denver street, something snaps and he fights back, seriously injuring his assailants. He pawns his few remaining possessions from his late parents and uses the cash to buy a gun, before traveling across the country to seek out his brother in New York. On his tortured odyssey, he revisits parts of his past in an effort to tease out some sort of meaning. Piccirilli makes his fall from grace utterly convincing and his emotional rage all too understandable. (Apr.)"

Sunday, February 27, 2011


My pal Patrick Lussier's new film DRIVE ANGRY hit the screens on Friday. This movie is pure action-packed grindhouse gore galore, a total rip-snorting speed demon of a flick. The trailers have done everything but crabwalk backwards to hide the fact that this is a supernatural pure 8-valve horror-grinder. The trailers imply it's another Gone in Sixty Seconds or Fast & the Furious kind of whiz-bang on wheels picture, but don't be fooled. DRIVE ANGRY gives you the cars and the crashes but you also get buckets of blood, hot naked chicks by the barrel, ten million bullet casings and shotgun shells, and a face full of hellfire.

The film follows the adventures of Milton (Nicolas Cage), a badass who recently escaped from the meanest prison of all...Hell! He's returned to earth in order to chase down the Satanic cult that's murdered his daughter and stolen his newborn granddaughter to sacrifice under a full moon in an abandoned Louisiana prison yard. Why? Who the fuck knows or cares? This is a grindhouse picture, baby. You just strap in as best you can, prop your feet up on the dashboard, and try not to take a header through the windshield.

Along the way Milton hooks up with Piper (Amber Heard), a badass chick with a heart of gold, who just happens to have an amazing right cross and doesn't take shit offa nobody. Together they tear up the road in her super-hot (like her) black Charger and kill about a thousand cultists in a variety of heinous ways while trying to stay ahead of the bad guys, the cops, and the Accountant (William Fichtner), a suave representative of Hell sent to retrieve Milton's soul and balance the books.

You'll especially love all the gorgeous muscle cars and the various wicked crashes, the shotgun blasts to the heads, guts, and kneecaps of various crazed villains, Tom (THE MAN) Atkins as a sheriff out to stop Milton at any cost ("Aim for their tires, and when I say tires, I hope you all understand me to mean their heads"), and William Fichtner as the Accountant. He's the ultimate in cool and hilarious to boot.

And for an extra couple bucks you get all of this in 3D. Unlike other flicks which are converted to 3D after the fact, director Lussier films to take full advantage of the digital format so that you not only get razor-sharp shit flying at your eyes all the time but a real depth of focus to the film with the ongoing effect. This movie doesn't just come after you, you fall INTO it.

So all you fans of grindhouse, go now and fly your colors and loudly pronounce your love of badass flicks like this. Rip-roar and do 110 down the highway (but drive safely) to see DRIVE ANGRY.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Every Shallow Cut

My new noirella EVERY SHALLOW CUT is due out from Chizine Pubs on March 15th. You can order a paperback, signed limited hardcover, or ebook here: http://chizine.com/chizinepub/

Some nice advance reviews/blurbs have come in over the past couple of weeks.

"Written in the sparest prose, Every Shallow Cut can easily be read in 90 minutes—and it should be. Doing so makes Piccirilli's matter-of-fact portrait of utter despair more compelling and drives home its austere beauty. Inspired by current economic hardship and possibly by his own worst nightmares, Piccirilli dedicates the book to readers who share such fears. Ninety minutes spent with Every Shallow Cut will sting for years."—Thomas Gaughan, Booklist

"Sometimes we write in blood, sometimes in tears, and in EVERY SHALLOW CUT Tom Piccirilli has done both. It's a book that is profoundly moving and astonishing, his most vulnerable, shining, stunning hour."–Ken Bruen, author of The Guards and London Boulevard.

"It's the rare and gifted writer who can convincingly relate abject despair and be funny without diluting the impact."—Eddie Muller, Founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation.

"Every Shallow Cut is bloody brilliant. So many emotional wallops in so few pages."—Sarah Weinman, Crime fiction columnist for the LA Times

"I love the writing here. It is stripped down to a kind of Charles Willeford-Charles Williams simplicity that is all the more effective for its bluntness and accessability. The dialogue is dead-on....Tom Piccirilli has written many fine books and stories but at this point in his career, for me anyway, I would call Every Shallow Cut his masterpiece."–Ed Gorman, author of The Day the Music Died.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

While the World Freezes

Baby, it's cold outside. We've had a balmy autumn and winter thus far, but last night we hit negative numbers and still haven't come out of them. It would make for good writing time except a new story I just started takes place in summer, and I just can't even remember right now what summer feels like.

So while the world freezes, here's a bit of what's been happening here:

My noirella FRAYED is now available via Amazon Kindle. Thi sis one of my earlier attempts at writing an offbeat crime story at the novella length, with some slight (possible) brushes of dark fantasy.

From the jacket:

“Are you the one who helped him kill the angel?”

Twenty years of repressed anger and memories. A bitter knot of hatred that binds and divides two friends. The dark secret that fuels and devastates them both.

“He killed it. I only helped him to bury it.”

Eddie's doing his best to get by, but every day the good fight just gets harder. And now there's a new burden to shoulder. Gray - his best friend and nemesis in literature, romance, and life - has landed in a bizarre mental hospital, known for its radical treatments, because Gray couldn't bear the weight of an unspeakable trauma. The last time they met, Gray almost killed Eddie, but it seems that all is finally forgiven. Tonight, there's a wild hootenanny up at Gray's house. The nuthouse. And Eddie's invited.

A new interview with me is now up at Spinetingler, focusing on the e-publication of NIGHTJACK.

Another nice review of NIGHTJACK can be found HERE.

The one and only Ed Gorman had some generous comments for my upcoming noirella EVERY SHALLOW CUT, due out in March from Chizine Publications. Ed states: "I love the writing here. It is stripped down to a kind of Charles Willeford-Charles Williams simplicity that is all the more effective for its bluntness and accessability. The dialogue is dead-on....Tom Piccirilli has written many fine books and stories but at this point in his career, for me anyway, I would call Every Shallow Cut his masterpiece."

Here's the product description of EVERY SHALLOW CUT: "He's nameless, faceless, and has nothing left to lose - and now he has a gun! Alone except for his beloved bulldog, Churchill, a man who's failed at his career, his marriage, and his own simple hopes makes his way across the American landscape and the spectacle of his own bitter past, heading home to his brother when he knows there's no home left for him. Tom Piccirilli brings us a story for our current struggling times, taken directly from a broken heart. It is full of realism, grit, and a depth that gives voice to the fears most of us can barely imagine. The terror of loss, the overwhelming dread of failure, the horror of missed-out, mediocre dreams. And the all-too average explosive rage."

Also: Still doing critiques for those who are interested. $250 for 5-10 single-space critique of a full manuscript or $50 for up to 40 pages of a short story, novella, or opening chapters of a novel, 2-3 page critique. Drop me a line here or at PicSelf1@aol.com.