Friday, September 26, 2014

Mini-Interview with Tom Piccirilli

Tom Piccirilli is a writer of horror, thrillers and crime novels.

Back in the 1990s, Tom and I used to correspond a lot. His enthusiasm for writing is contagious. He is a true writer, dedicated and always learning, a real craftsman. He is one of those rarer writers who understands that stories are about people first and foremost. His characters are interesting, different, tragic and sympathetic. He lets them tell their story and the reader is pulled in.

I just finished reading A Choir of Ill Children, one of my favorites, filled with interesting characters and poetic writing. With 25 novels and uncounted short stories sold, I believe he has mastered, and continues to master, the art of the written word.

He is also a poet with a brand new poetry collection just out, Forgiving Judas, from Crossroad Press.
 I just read it and highly recommend it.

Here are his answers, brief but eminently wise, to the four writerly questions I always ask.

1. What are you currently working on?
A novel that's as much a family drama as a murder mystery or a revenge story.
2. How does your work differ from other writers in the genre(s)?
Hopefully they'll dig my characterization and voice more.
3Why do you write what you write?
Crime fiction is an older man's game. Horror and fantasy are a young man's bag. You create a world instead of working in the real one.
4. How does your writing process work?
I write until I find myself a quivering mass of jelly.

Bio: Tom Piccirilli is the author of more than twenty-five novels including A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN, SHADOW SEASON, THE COLD SPOT, and THE LAST KIND WORDS.
He's a four-time winner of the Stoker Award, two-time winner of the International Thriller Award, and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and twice for the Edgar Award. Marilyn Stasio of The New York Tims Book Review called THE LAST KIND WORDS, "A caustic thriller...the characters have strong voices and bristle with funny quirks." New York Times bestselling thriller writer Lee Child said of Tom's work, "Perfect crime fiction...a convincing world, a cast of compelling characters, and above all a great story" And Publishers Weekly extols, "Piccirilli's mastery of the hard-boiled idiom is pitch perfect, particularly in the repartee between his characters, while the picture he paints of the criminal corruption conjoining the innocent and guilty in a small Long Island community is as persuasive as it is seamy. Readers who like a bleak streak in their crime fiction will enjoy this well-wrought novel." Keir Graff of Booklist wrote, "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." And Kirkus states, "Consigning most of the violence to the past allows Piccirilli (The Fever Kill, 2007, etc.) to dial down the gore while imparting a soulful, shivery edge to this tale of an unhappy family that's assuredly unhappy in its own special way."
Tom Piccirilli and his wife Michelle Scalise

Much thanks to Tom for doing this interview for my blog!

Wendy Rathbone, author of Letters to an Android, Pale Zenith, and more.

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