When I first heard about author Tom Piccirilli’s diagnosis of brain cancer, my heart sank to my stomach. Not only is he one of the most talented authors to ever emerge, first onto the horror scene, and lately, more on the crime fiction front, but he’s also just such a nice guy. Reading about something like this happening to one of your idols is like getting a sharp punch to the gut. His wife, Michelle, is updating his Facebook account to let his family, friends, and readers know how he’s progressing, and we’re all hoping and praying that he beats this thing and that his treatments go well.
In the meantime, there’s a lot you can do to support Tom. If you haven’t read his work, I urge you to buy as many of his books as you can to support him and his family throughout this intensely difficult time.
Dark Regions Press is promoting one of his books, his new novella, The Walls of the Castle, and I wanted to make it the focus of this week’s Friday Fright Feature.
In the labyrinthian maze of endless corridors, annexes, and wings of the enormous medical complex known as The Castle prowls a grief-stricken man determined to redeem himself and bring justice for those victims incapable of doing it for themselves.
During the four months that his son lay dying, ex-con Kasteel lost his job, his wife, and nearly his mind. He became a fixture at the Castle, a phantom prowling the halls in the deep night, a shadow of his former self until he faded from sight and was forgotten altogether.
Now, without any life to return to, he takes it upon himself to become the Castle’s guardian. He lives off the grid hiding among the hundreds of miles of twisting passages, rooms, offices, and underground parking structures. Despair, confusion, and terror are the natural state and trade of any hospital: Not only must the patients endure disease and infirmity, but others are victims of physical and sexual abuse from the outside world or from cruel security guards.
The Castle was originally a colonial Dutch settlement: a village that grew into a town which grew into a city and at last became a hospital. Kasteel has lost his very identity to this place, taking for himself the original Dutch name for “Castle.”
Kasteel sleeps in empty operating theaters, sneaks food from the cafeteria, hacks into computers, and is privy to both staff and patient files. Using his skills as a burglar he tracks down the attackers, the deceivers, and the killers.
In the psychiatric wing’s day rooms and gardens long-suffering patient Hedgewick is Kasteel’s only friend. Hedgewick sees his father’s ghost and claims to fight in a gladiatorial arena while the hospital guards bet on the winners. Kasteel and Hedge often meet in the Fool’s Tower, a ten-story high steeple once used to quarantine yellow fever victims a century ago, overlooking acres of gardens. A place where family members go to pray for their loved ones, and the distraught often commit suicide.
But a new name is now whispered in the Castle: Abaddon, the ancient name for the angel of death. A brain-damaged woman has visions and speaks only to Kasteel. Abaddon is a killer, a man lost to the Castle like Kasteel himself, wandering the corridors searching out victims. Even as Abaddon hunts the innocent, Kasteel hunts Abaddon, eager for a final showdown that may at last set him free.
An atmospheric yet action-packed, mature psychological thriller that is part examination into the bonds of family and part treatise on the nature of identity, THE WALLS OF THE CASTLE explores the deepest areas of what makes us who we are. With a noir sensibility and complexity of character, the novella is a hybrid psychological thriller that’s part suspense tale, part family saga, and part literate mystery.
About the Author:
Tom Piccirilli is an American novelist and short story writer. He has sold over 150 stories in the mystery, thriller, horror, erotica, and science fiction fields. Piccirilli is a two-time winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for “Best Paperback Original” (2008, 2010). He is a four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award. He was also a finalist for the 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Award given by the Mystery Writers of America, a final nominee for the Fantasy Award, and he won the first Bram Stoker Award given in the category of “Best Poetry Collection”.
Find out more here.
Dark Regions Press has also created a dedicated page on their website to let readers know what they can quickly and easily do to support Tom:
1. Order Tom’s new novella The Walls of the Castle, first book in their new Black Labyrinth imprint. 20% of hardcover proceeds will be donated to Tom.
2. Re-tweet this tweet on Twitter.
3. Share this photo on Facebook.
4. Read and share Tom’s blog on Brian Keene’s website.
5. Tell anyone you know who appreciates Tom’s work to hop on his Facebook and send him their thoughts:
6. Download The Walls of the Castle by Tom Piccirilli press kit to get banners, press releases and other information to help spread the word about the book.
Thank you all for your continued support.