Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tom & Michelle: The Comeback Kids

Ace crime writer and all-around good joe Tom Piccirilli and his wife Michelle Scalise-Piccirilli had one tough week. Michelle ended up in the hospital after a heart attack, undergoing surgery to insert a stent. Just as she was beginning to get back on her feet, Tom made his own trip to the hospital with soaring blood pressure and some concerns about his heart. In other words, these folks have had a bucketful of misery tossed in their faces, just in time for (yep, you guessed it) tax season.

The good news is they're both home now, taking some serious steps on the road to recovery. Tom tells me he's already dropped twelve pounds, and that he and Michelle have started adjusting diet, exercise...the whole nine yards. Of course, Pic also passed on some hilarious tales about his night on the ward, which is what I'd expect of the guy. The big bruiser didn't get any sleep in a hydraulic bed that kept kneading him like bread dough -- and I'll bet listening to those Bonanza reruns while he dozed didn't help.

But that's all in the rearview now. Tom and Michelle are survivors. I know that together they'll move forward and do just fine, even if the road is rough. But the whole deal set me thinking, too. After all, Tom's one of my best buddies -- more like a brother, really -- and I wanted to do a little something that would make the coming week a lot better than the week before.

But what? Well, I could buy Pic a get well card and send it his way, but in the longrun that didn't seem like the right thing to do. After all, it's not like Tom's the kind of cat who keeps a scrapbook or anything. Then it hit me. Instead of sending Pic a card, I'd yank my plastic and order some Tom Piccirilli books online. Fill in my collection with a few of the titles I don't have. Help make Tom's sales numbers climb. You don't need to be a writer to understand that sometimes that kind of jolt just might be the best medicine of all for a guy like Mr. Piccirilli.

If you've enjoyed Tom's work, you might consider doing the same. He's one of the best noir writers going, and his novels hit on all cylinders. So hit Amazon. Or Barnes & Noble. Or the independent bookseller of your choice. Do a little bit to make the big guy smile. Hey, I bet Tommy watches those numbers (most writers I know do that, even if they won't admit it). And while you're at it, spread the word. Blog, Twitter, Facebook...all that stuff. After all, last week was rotten for Tom and Michelle -- the way I see it, we've got a fistful of days (plus two) to make this one great.

'Nuff said. I've got my plastic in hand. Time to get the ball rolling.