41 writers. One cause. We've rallied a platoon of crime, western, thriller, fantasy, noir, horror and transgressive authors to support PROTECT's important work: lobbying for legislation that protects children from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

Powerful stories from George Pelecanos, Andrew Vachss, Joe R. Lansdale, Charles de Lint, Ken Bruen, Chet Williamson, James Reasoner, Charlie Stella, Michael A. Black, Wayne Dundee, Roxane Gay, Ray Banks, Tony Black, Les Edgerton and 16 more, with 100% of proceeds going to PROTECT.

Friday, October 28, 2011

a little about... Thomas Pluck

I am one of the editors of this project, along with Fiona Johnson and Ron Earl Phillips. I worked on the e-book design and the writer-wrangling work of getting permissions and contracts taken care of. My story "Little Sister" was written for the challenge, and appears in the anthology. 

What inspired you to write this story?

I read an article about Living Water for Girls, an Atlanta charity which rescues young women trapped in sex trafficking and exploitation. The stories were heartbreaking, and so many the same: a girl is kicked out of her home during the arguments of early adolescence, left to fend for herself on the street; a young man tells her she's beautiful, she can stay with him, and she thinks his bed is better than the cold street, and she wakes up in a nightmare. Beaten and trapped, raped, and emotionally abused until she thinks all she is good for is turning tricks for her pimp. It enraged me, and the stories of women who clawed their way out of it gave me hope that someday we'd never use the words "child prostitute," but instead realize this is the face of modern slavery.

What makes this cause important to you?
The gorilla in the room that we choose to ignore is that our prisons are full of abused children who've grown to learn that their own pain is the only pain that matters. 25% of women are sexually abused. And those are the ones who admit it. The abuse of power is the common thread throughout human history, and nothing defines evil more than an adult abusing a child, physically, sexually or emotionally. We've become a society where bullying is said to build character. Would you spit on a newborn child to get him ready for the trials of life? The strong will always have an advantage over the weak. Civilization is meant to impose fairer laws over the brutality of nature. If we look away and ignore it, we cannot call ourselves civilized.

Tell us a bit about yourself and where we can find more of your writing.
I write what I call "unflinching fiction with heart." Sometimes that's crime fiction, sometimes it's noir, other times it's just character-driven stories where we see what fuels someone's intensity. On occasion I write humor. I'm a computer administrator by day, and I practice mixed martial arts and strongman weightlifting in my spare time. I've endured punches to the crotch to assist in teaching women self-defense. When I support something, I go all the way.

My writing can be found at www.pluckyoutoo.com and has been published in Pulp Modern, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Beat to a Pulp, The Utne Reader, Crimespree Magazine, Shotgun Honey, and The Flash Fiction Offensive, among others. I have work upcoming in Plots With Guns, Needle Magazine, Crimefactory, and two anthologies, Beat to a Pulp: Hardboiled and Luca Veste's Off the Record.

I also like the odd cheeseburger and the craftiest beer I can find.


  1. Tommy - whatever you write makes me want to cheer! such strong and true words...breaks my heart. Thank you for doing all of the hard, tedious work for this project. xx

  2. You're a fine man with a big heart, Thomas. Great work by you on this and it's great to get a little bit more inside your head.