This is where I write about writing...and other random nonsense.

If you'd like to read some of my fiction pieces, click on My Writing. I'd love to hear what you think.

You can find me on Instagram & flickr as tomwrote, as well as Goodreads. I'm on twitter @tomwrote and every now and again on facebook as plain old Tom O'Brien.

Review my story and get a Free Book

The Uncommonly good people at Fighting Monkey Press have a new collection of spooky tales coming out on the 20th of this month. There's one of mine, The Silent Treatment, in there along with other great stories. 

If you would like a free digital copy of the book, called Uncommon Evil, all they ask for is a review on Amazon, Goodreads or wherever you like. 

Once your review is online I will send you the link to the collection.

If you’re interested, just let me know where to send a copy of my story to get started. 

Review: The Complete Maus

The Complete Maus The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As powerful and moving as I expected it to be, and even more horrific in moments. I can see why it won the Pulitzer and it's right that it did so. The art is effective without necessarily soaring other than in a few impressive moments but this story is about the emotional truth more than anything else.

The framing device of the writer interviewing his father for his story works exceptionally well, the mice/cats metaphor works perfectly, even the acknowledgement of the gap and life changes between Book I and Book II adds depth to the already multilayered story.

I'm not a big reader of non-fiction, particularly in comics, and had parked this book, for years, in a place that seemed more like schoolwork than anything else but the sheer quality of the work and importance of subject matter elevate it beyond any other concerns.

View all my reviews

Uncommon Evil Update

The collection is available for preorder on https://www.amazon.co.uk/UnCommon-Evil-Collection-UnImaginable-Anthologies-ebook/dp/B078TNLQZ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516457942&sr=8-1&keywords=Uncommon+evil

My story, The Silent Treatment is a about a woman who loses words, their meaning, their use. She's afraid and worried for the future, for her marriage and for her daughter. But is there more going on than she knows?

Uncommon Evil

Those fools - I mean good people - at Fighting Monkey Press have accepted a story of mine for their next anthology. Having The Creaser in their Uncommon Lands collection was such a great experience I'm looking forward doing it all again.

Uncommon Sale

There's a sale on some great books from one of the best indie publishers around, Fighting Monkey Press. (I may happen to be in one of them)

Or just go to:

Writing: Knife

I stepped forward so his knife dug into my gut. The pain was stunning. High and white as skin broke and flesh tore. Then dark and howling red as the blade lodged inside me, ripping a pathway through my organs.

Confusion replaced cockiness on his face. I was the victim. He was the thief. Victims weren't meant to impale themselves on the threat knife. Not meant to grab their assailant and lock them together.

'I needed this,' I said, close as a kiss. Hugging him, I knotted my fingers behind his back, sealing the stab between us. His aftershave stung my nose as I felt my stubble scratch his skin.

I tilted my head back and called out loud enough for anyone to hear. It was a noise, not a word, but it broadcast fear and distress on the quiet city side street that no one could ignore.

The distress was real. My head lightened as I held him close. He swore and staggered and tried to untangle himself but we were slickly knotted. There must be so much blood. My instinct was to put my hand to it but I couldn't let him go.

Bile rose. I leaned my head forward onto the shoulder of this man who had selected me from the flock of commuters headed home. Once separated from the safety of the group he had strode past me, then turned, blocking my path, pointing a weapon. For what? Money, my wedding ring, credit cards, phone, my ready meals for one?

I never found out.

Whatever he had planned, this is what he had.

I had a flutter of panic that I could die. I clung tighter as I heard shouts on the street. My call had been heard. Footsteps, running. Voices. Some hesitant, others forceful, all closing, rising. Someone on the phone to the police. I could hear but not see. Under the streetlight my bloodied dance partner filled my vision. His squirming told me they were close. My fingers tightened behind his back as my legs weakened.

'Thank you,' I said, as we were untangled. He had taken control from me. It had been the only thing holding me together. I stole it back from the tip of his blade.

On the cold ground I looked down to see that my hand had finally found the blood. It pooled and sucked around the knife but all I could see, as my eyes closed, was my wedding ring.

If I woke my guilt might be bearable. She had been taken, not me. I would not ask why anymore. On a quiet street on an ordinary night, a stranger with a short steel knife had shown me there was no why.