Tag Archive for tom piccirilli

A Little Shelf Porn

I’ve been working to turn my office back into a creative space. Ever since my iMac croaked, it’s become a catch-all for books, paperwork, and other junk we don’t know what to do with around the house. I’d get in there to do my weight lifting, but that’s about it.

That needed to change.

One of the first things I did was clear up some shelf space and put up a bunch of books that had piled up here and there. Here’s what that new section looks like:

I’ve got work in several of those books. It’s not all of them by any stretch, but it’s nice to see a lot of them in one place. It’s been a nice kick in the ass.

The original Restore from Backup were contributor copies from the first printing. I haven’t been to a con in ages, so they’ve been sitting around, waiting for homes. (I need to get a copy of the new edition from Crossroad Press up there with them.)

The two The Burning Maiden anthologies include “A Family Tree, Uprooted” and “One Night on the Road to Charleston.” I’m not sure there will be a third, but I’m on board if those stars realign.

Jump ahead to Athena Voltaire Pulp Tales, an anthology featuring Steve Bryant’s comics heroine. It was fun being able to play in her world a bit.

Next up, Needle includes one of my crime shorts, “With This Bullet.” It’s more like a small anthology than a magazine, and I was in some great company with this one.

Then there’s the original edition of The Pack: Winter Kill. The later edition and a few copies of the sequel, The Pack: Lie with the Dead, will be joining it shortly.

It all makes me wonder why I hadn’t put it all together earlier, as shelves like this are important to writers. Sure, part of it is ego, but it’s easy for some of us to forget what we’ve done. I’ve been kicking around the idea of assembling a collection, and I wonder whether I’ve got enough material to pull it off. This is a good reminder that yeah, I probably do.

I’ll never forget the time Brian, Mikey, Coop, and I saw Richard Laymon’s shelves way back in 2001. We were still dumbass rookies at the time, and we thought, goddamn, wouldn’t it be nice to have a setup like that? His output and work ethic was incredible, and really something to aspire to.

Many years later, John joined us and we did it again at Pic’s place. We saw his office and the old PC I’d sent him (I couldn’t believe it was still running), and we had this weird mix of writer’s envy and fanboy enthusiasm as we ran our fingers across the spines of his work, traversing the genres of horror and crime and weird Western. We quoted Self, one of his coolest characters, and marveled at his output.

(Credit where due: by then my man Brian was pretty close to having shelves like that, if he wasn’t already there. Goodonya, brother.)

There’s both fondness and a little pain in the memories of those days in LA and Colorado, but it’s good this simple shelfie brought them to the surface. It reminds me it’s not too late to keep building out that shelf. Life’s done its thing, as it often does, but I’ve gotten a few things squared away and the creative muscles are stretching and reawakening.

Onward I go, one piece at a time.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Help Tom Piccirilli Crush Cancer

Our friend Tom Piccirilli needs help.

Last week, doctors discovered a large tumor on his brain. As I write this, Tom is undergoing surgery to remove the tumor. He will have a long recovery and cancer therapy ahead of him, and there is little doubt the bills will quickly overwhelm whatever insurance he and his wife may have.

Tom and Michelle

Pic and his wife, Michelle Scalise

Tom is a great writer and a hell of a guy. A number of writers—myself included—look to Tom for advice and guidance in our work and our careers, and he is always happy to provide it. We’ve hung out at cons, we hang out online, and he and his wife were gracious enough to take my family on a tour of Estes Park and the Stanley Hotel when we visited Colorado one year.

If you’ve ever considered picking up Tom’s work, or if you’re looking for something in the horror or crime/noir genres, now’s a great time to make a purchase. His electronic publisher, Crossroads Press, is currently giving all proceeds from the sale of Tom’s books directly to Tom. If you shoot over to their website, you’ll find links to Tom’s entire Crossroads catalog in various formats. You may also want to drop by his Amazon Author Page, where his current books are available in both electronic and print editions. His most recent novel, The Last Kind Words, is a good place to start with Pic’s work.

If you would like to donate directly, Tom’s niece has set up an IndieGoGo page. With IndieGoGo, all donations will go to Tom to help defray the costs of medical bills. The campaign has already raised $10,000 in 24 hours, which is amazing. Every donation counts and would be greatly appreciated.

Our thoughts our with you, Pic. Get well soon, brother.

Update: Great news out of Colorado! Michelle has posted to Pic’s FB page that he’s awake and recovering in the ICU and already cracking jokes with the nurses. So glad to hear this. Keep it up, Tom!

Update 2: Michelle reprots things may be tougher than expected for Pic’s recovery. However, there are now two more ways you can help them with medical bills so they can concentrate on the physical and emotional recovery:

Publisher Warren Lapine is donating 200% of the October proceeds from the anthology Fantastic Stories of the Imagination to Pic.

ChiZine Publications is donating 100% of the proceeds of Pic’s Every Shallow Cut eBook.

Support a great guy and get yourself a good read. It doesn’t get much better than that. I love seeing the lit community pull together for one of their own like this. Very cool.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

A Visit to the Overlook Hotel

Way back in 2003, the Wife and I were in Denver and we took a side trip to visit Tom Piccirilli and Michelle Scalise. We got together in Estes Park, where Michelle took us on a brief tour of the Stanley Hotel, made infamous for its role in the creation of Stephen King’s The Shining. King named his version of the hotel The Overlook, and it later appeared in the TV miniseries version of The Shining.

It’s a cool place, and while it’s not near as remote as it appears in The Shining, once you get up to the hotel itself you can’t shake the creepy vibe the fictional history lends it. As we were walking out, I ran out onto the edge of a walkway out front and snapped a couple pictures of the front of the place, including Tom, Michelle, the Wife, and the Midget (barely a toddler at the time) coming toward me. I caught a few that I thought looked great, including one I thought would make a nice picture for the office. The sun wasn’t quite in the right place and the focus on the family & friends could have been better (it was just a simple point-and-shoot camera), but it was mine and I was happy with it.

Then I promptly lost the picture. I was juggling systems and hard drives at the same time, I procrastinated making prints, and before long the pictures disappeared. I was fairly certain I screwed up and deleted one of my backups that may have included those pics, and I figured that was that.

Flash forward five years. I’m digging through a box of junk and I find a CD labeled “laptop backup” and dated back to ’04. It had pictures on it, so I imported them to iPhoto. Over time I’ve been going through and sorting them out, tagging them, and so on, when I stumbled across a picture of the elk from Colorado.

Dare I hope?

I scrolled through the pics and boom! Found her:

Guests check in... but they dont check out!

Guests check in... but they don't check out!

It made my day. I hate losing pictures, but I missed this one and I have no idea when I’ll be able to get out to visit Colorado again. Even if I did go out there and reproduce it with better light and my new camera, it wouldn’t have the same magic attached to it. I still procrastinated on buying a print, but believe me, I’ve got backups!

Now that I’m getting ready to send Tom a copy of my book, I thought he and Michelle would like a copy of the picture. This morning I uploaded it to Flickr, ordered a copy, and the Wife picked it up while she was out grocery shopping. I finally have a hardcopy in my hot little hands.

Of course I forgot to tell her to pick up a picture frame, so now it’ll probably get buried on my desk and collect dust for another year or two.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.