Friday, 23 July 2010


At the beginning of the year, Allan Guthrie gave me a book. Thought I might enjoy it. How right he was.

By Donald Ray Pollock, Knockemstiff is probably my favourite collection of short stories ever.

I wrote a review of it here; some of you may remember.

I also emailed Don to thank him. Very graciously he got back to me. Said he'd been reading a novel by someone called Frank Bill. 'Damn, he certainly out-grits me'.

Now grit's not everything and Knockemstiff has so much more than rocks and hard places.

Even so, I had to check Frank out and I'm so glad I did.

Turns out he's been a busy man. It was easy to get to read his stories as many are available for free on the net. Go check yourself, you won't regret it.

Looks like he's the King of Hillbilly noir. I hope that many flock to join his kingdom.

A good place to start looking would be his blog, House Of Grit over at:

Tag line? I don't waste words, I write them.

Great news is that Frank had his novel 'Donnybrook' accepted this week. Great for him so he can write with fewer of life's pressures (I hope) and great for us as we'll be able to read it. You don't buy a copy when it's out, don't blame me.

Which brings me to the new Needle banner at the side of the page.

Frank's in Issue 2 and so am I. Looking at the company I'll be keeping, looks like I'll need a life-preserver and some arm-bands, but I'm proud as anyone could be to see my name up there.

The second issue of Needle will be out shortly. Don't buy that one and you might be in the wrong place right now.

Frank appeared a while ago in a column over at Spinetingler as part of a series called 'Conversations With The Bookless.'

One of my favourite things of late is to see the comment 'Bookless No More' on their pages or on a tweet somewhere. Remember that ringing bell in 'It's A Wonderful Life'? Yes, it's just like hearing an angel has got their wings.

Stephen Blackmoore heard the bells recently, too. He's mentioned some of those in the series over at:

I was interviewed as part of the series earlier in the year. That's at:

Point of this all is, Spinetingler have managed to pick a hell of a bunch of writers to interview. Their fingers are so tightly on the pulse that they're practically piercing the skin.

It's a great site altogether, one I frequently visit.

Apart from the excellent and, almost soothsaying, 'Bookless' it is updated frequently with work that is worth seeing.

Reviews, stories (and writers are actually paid there - how's about that then?), competitions, news, links and awards make it one of the best around. Keep in touch with them and you'll get to feel the pulse without too much effort.

Congratulations on them for helping another up and comer get a book deal.

Lets hope there are more wings to be given out soon.

Makes me want to return to my novel after a short break for short story work, getting married and a list of excuses that I won't bore you with.

Check out the Tinglers at:

to find out what I'm talking about.

I'd like to thank them here for their support.

And Shabba to you all.

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