S. E. Tomas

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S. E. Tomas is a forty-year-old panhandler in downtown Toronto. His current book ‘Crackilton‘ was based on his experiences with crack addiction.

Tomas has a most unusual form of book promotion. He has ongoing addiction problems, self-published his life story, and now where he used to beg for money for crack cocaïne, he sells copies of his book and ekes out a living at it too.

S.E. TomasTomas’ unusual form of book promotion method has even got the attention of members of the media. A major publisher offered him a book deal, but he rejected it. He also had a job offer to become a creative writing instructor but he rejected that too.

S. E. Tomas can be found in downtown Toronto on a self-made book stand, selling copies for $20.00 each.

Tell us about your background. Who you are, where you are from?
I’m from Edmonton, Alberta. I was a carnival worker for twenty-two years before I wrote this book.

What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the readers will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the reader?
Basically, by reading this book, I hope that the readers will gain a better understanding of how a crack addict really thinks.

Crackilton-by-S.E.-Tomas
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What prompted you to be an author and did you have a specific inspiration in mind?
I never had any plans of being an author. My current girlfriend, who edited this book for me and who the character Christine is based on, is the one who urged me to write this book. When I came clean with her about my crack addiction, she thought that the story was unique–especially in terms of how I supported my habit–and that it would make a good novel.

Were you influenced by a certain person, artist, or genre?
No.

If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why?
I’m not a reader, so I have no idea.

Tell us about your book and what inspired you.
In ‘Crackilton,’ which is my first novel, the main character, Jim, who’s based on myself, hides his crack habit from his girlfriend. So not only is this a story about drug addiction, it also shows the types of behaviours that a crack addict exhibits when he’s hiding his drug use from his significant other.

As I mentioned earlier, it was my girlfriend who urged me to write this book, so I guess that she was what inspired me–and the fact that she stayed with me and supported me, despite everything that I put her through.

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