Thursday, 25 July 2013

GUEST BLOG: Thomas Pluck

I'm headed to Scotland for holiday, and I want to thank Tony Black for giving me fair warning. Seems you part of the world can be a mite dangerous, just like mine. I hail from SopranoLand, New Jersey, what some call the armpit of the States- and that's fine, because the best way to reach the heart is right under the arm, if you carry a blade.

And I do, though we'll call it a pen. And there's nothing I like more than getting deep to the heart of things, the side we like to hide, the thoughts we'd rather forget. There is evil in the world; I prefer fiction that acknowledges it and explores the decisions that send people down that left hand path, telling themselves that what lies at the end of that road is worth the bloody shortcuts and the trodding upon of fallen comrades that got them there. Evil is not the mystery we wish to think it is; it is a collection of choices and the excuses we make for them, and I explore that in my debut collection.

Steel Heart collects ten of my most popular stories. Two starring Jay Desmarteaux, an ex-con who served 25 years for his own collection of bad choices, who still fights to decide what path he will take each day. Another with Denny the Dent, the hulking manchild who lives in a Newark junkyard and metes out his own brand of street justice. A Vietnam Vet trying to connect with his son before it is too late. A Harlem mother who fears no evil as she hunts her missing son. And a wise-cracking P.I. who takes on the biggest mystery of them all.

Each character finds themselves making a decision that will weigh heavy on their heart. In the afterlife of Egyptian mythology, your heart is weighed against a goddess's feather to decide if you are worthy of rebirth or deserving of annihilation. In these stories, the answer may seem clear, but it is never easy. For me, a story lingers like gunsmoke when it makes you consider such a choice yourself. Wondering whether it will leave you with a heart of steel, or just a heavy, steel heart.

Steel Heart: 10 Tales of Crime and Suspense is available from all the usual e-book retailers:
Kobo, through Watchung Booksellers
Amazon for Kindle UK
Amazon for Kindle US
Barnes & Noble for Nook
Smashwords, in many formats, including to read online.