Tom Pine’s heavy “joisey” accent belted through the phone that day we talked shop about naturist fiction. It must have been around 2009 or so, shortly before I made the decision to publish my first novel, Co-ed Naked Philosophy, on my own. I had reached out to Tom for advice, and he had plenty of friendly comments to give, about everything from anatomical vocabulary, to how sexy is too sexy, to how to market books. Tom was born in 1946 and passed away from a sudden heart attack on April 6, 2019.
I have great respect for Tom and his work, and I consider him to have been the leading pioneer in our field of naturist fiction. His wildly inventive and prolific output included sci fi, dystopia, contemporary fables, vampires, coming-of-age, children’s literature, you-name-it – even a guide to writing. His novels are available on Amazon and other distributors; however, most of his stories are to be found only on the site he ran for many years, TNTN (The Naked Truth Naturists) – and this is a concern I have: given that it is a password-protected site, I’m not sure what’s going to happen to those stories. They are a treasure that should somehow be made available. There are stories by other writers included on that page as well. Fortunately, Tom’s wife Marilyn is keeping the TNTN site going, and has posted a page called “In Memory of Tom” (which may not be accessible without a password – you can register on the site’s main page). If you register and would like to sample one of Tom’s outstanding stories, I recommend “The Mermaid of Mohassett Rock,” “Tolerance,” and “Beauty Fades, but Love Endures.”
Tom’s great labor of love, the monthly The Naked Truth Newdsletter that he produced for nineteen years, resides in the inboxes of hundreds if not thousands of subscribers. One of the highlights of this monthly bulletin was his movie reviews, which he ended with a given number of “bums up.”
The Naturist Society’s Professors and Researchers Special Interest Group Newsletter #73 (August 2019) provides a list by issue of the movies that Tom reviewed. They ranged from classic nudist exploitation films such as Elysia: Valley of the Nudes to mainstream films that included nudity such as Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan. It was the same group’s Newsletter #72 (which gives a date of February 2019 but was distributed in May), that provided an obituary for Tom. Parts of that obituary are quoted in the current issue of N magazine (38.4). Here is a quote from the obituary, which was written, I assume, by Paul LeValley: ” His many books include the Father Al trilogy, which sends a naturist Catholic priest careening through new worlds in outer space. He always seemed cheerful. And above all else, Tom stood for decency. If the medieval theologians were right that we will all be naked in heaven, then Tom is in a happy place.”
Tom loved to visit Gunnison Beach in his native state of New Jersey, with his wife Marilyn, also a naturist. In later years they retired to one of the naturist communities in Florida and traveled frequently. Tom was interviewed on the popular The Naturist Living Show podcast on the subject of Christian naturism, and I interviewed him as well in my Disrobing Suspense series with naturist fiction writers. In that interview, Tom stated the following about his approach to writing naturist fiction: “I’m always considering possibilities that could occur in everyday life. Sometimes a character discovers being naked is the way to go all by him/herself; sometimes it’s as a protest; sometimes circumstances put him/her in a naked state; sometimes a character meets someone who lives naked and wants to know why, leading to his/her uncovering. Rather than a great ‘ta-da!’ moment, I usually try to keep it natural. After all, I’m trying to champion the cause, not shock the reader completely.”
This post is written with much love for Tom, and for his family, friends and many fans.