Guest Blog: Brit Grit – Killing and Community by Darren Sant

In November Near to the Knuckle turned 4. We celebrated by throwing an online party the only way we know how – lots of great fiction! In fact we had 13 stories over spread over 2 days. It meant a lot of hard work for Craig who posted, formatted and edited the stories. For myself the work was audio reading and uploading. However, it’s not really hard work when you love something is it? Believe me it’s hard reading aloud stories that talk about shaving nut sacks without laughing out loud. Thank YOU for that Karl Kowesky with G-String Gangsters.

Although we offered prizes all of the people who contributed, most of whom are regular contributors to the site, didn’t do it for the prize they did it for the love of writing and the sense of community they feel in our group and on our site. That’s really what I want to talk about. I know I speak for Craig also when I say that’s one of the things that drives us. Not just the love of the fiction but the sense of belonging and kinship, friendship we feel in our little online bubble.

Many of the writer’s I know best write about terrible events. Crimes that would shock communities and destroy families. Yet, from imaginations that can conceive such things come the warmest hearts. Aidan Thorn, a writer who I count as friend, as well a fantastically talented chap has been the driving force behind a charity anthology that has a group of which I am a member. I’ve seen some of the finest talents donating long stories to this project because they care for the lady it is in support of. Most of them have never met her but they’re damn decent human beings and think nothing of giving their time for a most worthy cause. I feel privileged to belong to this community of great people even though when they pick up a pen every one is a cold blooded killer!

(This post appeared at OUT OF THE GUTTER ONLINE)

A Story For Sunday: Friday The Thirteenth by B.R. STATEHAM

near to the knuckle‘He turned around and glanced at his partner.  The monstrous goon was standing directly in front of the burning headlights of the Ford Mustang, big mitts for hands stuffed into the pockets of his slacks, and fully outlined like some black silhouette of a nightmare.
He smiled at that thought.
It was Friday the 13th.’

Read the rest here at Near To The Knuckle.

Recommended Read: The Bastard Hand by Heath Lowrance

the bastard handI first read Heath Lowrance’s The Bastard Hand in 2011, when it was first published by New Pulp Press. Here’s what I said then:

The Bastard Hand by Heath Lowrance grabs you by the lapels and drags you on a wild, wild bar crawl that leaves you battered and bruised at the gates of hell. Like Jim Thomspon jamming with Robert Johnson and Nick Cave on the eve of the apocalypse.”

Re-reading it last month, I would say I liked it even more than the first time. Highly recommended.


Short, Sharp Interview: Libby Cudmore

The Big Rewind CoverPDB: What’s going on now?

Right now?  At this moment?  I’m drinking coffee in my kitchen in my dinosaur hoodie.  But overall?  My debut novel, The Big Rewind, is just about to be released, and I couldn’t be more excited.


PDB: How did you research The Big Rewind?

In researching The Big Rewind, I really started going through my music collection.  All the chapters are named after songs, so I had to have a wide variety of genres and artists.  I reference everything from the Spice Girls to Steely Dan.  There were a lot of mornings spent with my headphones on, just going through albums and Spotify playlists and mix CDs.


I also spent a lot of time in New York, just taking in what was happening there.  But I wanted to capture how I felt about living in New York when I did, so I went back through old notebooks and journals I kept when I was there, and made notes about what I had seen and experienced.


PDB: What were your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programmes of 2015?

My favorite song of 2015 was “Hot Traveler” by Failure from their album The Heart is a Monster.  I saw them at this little hole-in-the-wall venue with my best friend/writing partner Matthew, and was just completely mesmerized.  It’s music you feel in your chest; it’s dark and beautiful.


PDB: Is location important to your writing?

Location is crucial to my writing.  New York changes so quickly these days, and in creating the Barter Street district where my story takes place, I was able to write about the New York that I knew and loved.  But even as I was writing, the Grey’s Papaya in the village, which had been there forever, closed, so I had to go back and change a scene where a character mentions going there.


LCudmorePDB: What’s next?

I’m working on a new novel, as well as a few short stories.  I’ve also become re-obsessed with vinyl, so I’ve been live-tweeting pieces of my collection every weekend, with the hashtag #RecordSaturday.  I’ve done The Vapors, Oingo Boingo, The Smiths and the Flashdance soundtrack.  I’ve got some great, weird vinyl.


LIBBY CUDMORE worked in video stores, bookstores and temp agencies before settling down in Upstate New York to write. THE BIG REWIND is her first novel, and her short stories have appeared in PANK, The Stoneslide Corrective, The Big Click, Big Lucks, the HANZAI JAPAN anthology and others.

Recommended Read: After You Die by Eva Dolan

after you dieDI Zigic and DS Ferreira are back for a third outing in Eva Dolan‘s marvelous After You Die.

The mother of a disabled child is stabbed to death and the child is left to starve.  Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit are called in to investigate the murder and in the process DI Zigic and DS Ferreira uncover a lot of dirty secrets in a seemingly close-knit community.

Once again, Dolan paints a realistic and uncomfortable picture of the darker sides of British life but with After You Die the pacing is even tighter than in her previous books and she has produced a gripping, contemporary murder mystery that is highly recommended.



PULPLOGO (1)My beloved in Ziggy—transplendent be his name!—there are some troubling trends of late in our nation. Despite the ubiquity of our faith—it’s rare to see anyone not wearing a lightning bolt, admittedly, whether on a chain around their neck or in a discreetlapel pin—I am hearing reports from the periphery of our great lands that give me pause. Not since the great Pope of Pop laid his head down for the interval of rest has there been such dissension, or at least not since the great Reformation when we reconciled the Duke with the Starman and all was hunky dory once more from Colorado’s coast to the great basin of Beijing, cool as the ocean that is our heart.’

Read the rest here at PULP METAL MAGAZINE.