I was going to kick off a new series here on October Country today, but things have a way of changing when you least expect it.
Just ask Tom Piccirilli.
A few days ago, Tom announced that he’s been diagnosed with brain cancer. He’ll be undergoing surgery today to remove a tumor the doctors estimate is roughly the size of a tennis ball.
He’ll have a long and difficult recovery ahead, a recovery that will be both aided and hampered by radiation and chemotherapy.
I’ve seen cancer at work – not in me, but in my father and in plenty of people around me. It’s a tough disease. Even when it’s gone, it lingers. The possibility of it popping up again is a shadowy threat that never really goes away.
I’ve never met Tom Piccirilli. I’ve exchanged emails with him. I’ve posted on his Facebook page. I’ve reviewed his books and interviewed him (via email) about his work.
I get the impression he’s one tough SOB.
Here’s a guy who is one of the most supremely talented writers working today, a guy who the major publishing houses should be falling all over themselves to sign. But he’s had to scratch and claw for every ounce of recognition he’s received. Most people read a Piccirilli book and they’re hooked – the challenge has been getting the books in their hands.
As tough as that battle for recognition has been, the fight he’s got on his hands now is far tougher. His recovery is going to be both difficult and expensive. There’s a way we can help him on both fronts.
Here’s a link to Tom’s work at his digital publisher, Crossroads Press. They are giving up their percentage of sales on Tom’s material so he’ll get 100% of what is spent there, an amazing and generous gesture on their part. You can also donate to the IndieGoGo fundraiser that’s been set up on Tom’s behalf. And, of course, you can check out his page at Amazon.com.
Buy some of Tom’s books and share them with people who’ve never read his work. Stuff your e-reader full of that unique Piccirilli goodness. Let’s greet Tom on the other side of this thing with some heavy financial ammunition and a legion of new fans.
If you’re the praying kind, send some prayers Tom’s way. Especially today. If you’re not, good thoughts will do just fine.
And Tom? Get well soon.