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Tom Hogan is an author and screenwriter based in Austin, TX. Left for Alive is his first novel. He is also the screenwriter for The Devil’s Breath, a noir thriller set in Auschwitz. It was a finalist at the Napa Valley Film Festival and semi-finalist at the Austin Film Festival.

Tom’s past writing experience has been on the non-fiction side. He is the co-author (with Carol Broadbent) of The Ultimate Startup Guide:  Marketing Lessons, War Stories, and Hard-Won Advice from Leading Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors. The book highlights the lessons Tom and Carol learned as principals at Crowded Ocean, a marketing firm that has launched over 50 Silicon Valley startups.  He has also written extensively for travel books, political journals, and Newsweek.

Professionally, Tom has split his career between academia and technology marketing. He was a lecturer in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Santa Clara University and UC Santa Cruz. He joined Silicon Valley in its infancy, where he was the original creative director at Oracle. Moving into the VC (Venture Capital) world, he was a co-founder of Crowded Ocean and now advises startups in Silicon Valley and Austin.    


One of the early readers described Left for Alive as “The Big Chill meets Reservoir Dogs.” On the Big Chill side the book profiles a fascinating group of characters—ex-cons, Vietnam vets, political radicals on the run, and their mysterious leader. The Reservoir Dogs part is the ongoing mystery surrounding a series of violent acts, some of them sexual in nature, that binds the group together.

It is Northern California in the early 70’s. An investigative reporter is on the trail of radical attorney Donna Fairchild, missing for three years. But her investigation leads her to a group of ex-cons and political refugees (Fairchild perhaps among them) living in an abandoned lumber camp. The group includes The Gimp, the wheelchair-bound owner of the local bar and unofficial mayor of the mountain; Lucky, who doesn’t have an honest bone in his body; William, a disbarred professor; Clark, who no one has ever heard speak; Carol, the investigative reporter; and Josh, the mysterious figure who has brought them all together.

Carol’s investigation broadens from Fairchild to this group, with special focus on Josh. Why do the police interview him after every local rape? What is his relationship to Fairchild—and to the Vasquez murder? Where did he get the money to buy the camp—and much of the mountain? And where does he disappear to every six months, returning battered and bloodied?

 Binding this group together—historically and currently—is a series of violent events, including a rape and a murder. As these assaults increase in complexity and number, the mysteries surrounding Josh and the group are resolved in a shocking, violent finale.



“A tour de force from a first time author. Not often I feel like that.” 

Tim Sawyer


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2019 © Tom Hogan

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