Quick Fire At The Slaughterhouse: Interview With Craig Douglas

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Craig Douglas is the unsung hero behind the Near To The Knuckle anthology. Darren Sant of course is also involved and the two make a fine team. But if it weren’t for men like Craig there would be no anthologies. The quiet unassuming force behind the brilliant collection of stories by the likes of Paul Brazill, David Barber, Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw, B.R Stateham, Graham Smith, Alan Griffiths, yours truly and many more, met me at The Slaughterhouse where we talked about how close it gets and pebble dashed walls.

Tell us about the Near To The Knuckle Anthology.

GlovesOff_300x187 photo GlovesOff_300x187_zpsdb4edd92.jpgIt was something we’d been thinking about for a year. It was in its embryonic stage early last year and we only started to take it seriously when we began to see the flood of talent that submitted work to Near2theKnuckle. We saw many other anthologies on the market, but the main anthology that inspired us had to be the Radgepacket series which I and Darren both have stories in several of these. They set the standard and we aimed to achieve a similar level, though not in print as we don’t have the capital for that sort of venture. It’s going to be an electronic anthology filled with works that scrape the skin off knuckles and chins. We found it difficult to select the apropriate work in a whole array of talent. We had a criteria that the work should fulfil and that it should be Close to the Bone, Near to the Knuckle, as sharp as a snapped tooth, as gritty as rocksalt and keeps you guessing.

How close do you think it gets?

We have to stick to moral ethics here and we went as close as we as editors felt necessary. Now some people would go too far and we have an unspoken code of decency…. I think we’ve gone as close as the authors dared go. As I said we are normal people and we have boundaries though there was one short story I was hoping to get into the anthology and it involved a man being buggered in prison in the first paragraph. Darren objected and said it was for the main site. I thought it would have been ideal. I think we’ve gone pretty damn close and it’s like we’ve rapped our fists against a pebble dash wall.

Who made the pebble dashed wall?

That was probably Daz as I couldn’t have made a pebble dash wall. The closest I get to pebble dashing anything is on the toilet after nine pints of Stella and a Curry.

Is there a particular quality to the stories in the anthology that you believe makes it a good read?

They tell a story that’s as honest as the dog on the street when it cocks its leg to a lamp post and pisses on it. It’s as honest as the steam that rises from the piss. It speaks of the dark corners of society, of those people we know or those people we hear about, often in street folklore. They take the reader on a giddy ride to a sharp and violent end, usually in explosive muscle rendering circumstances or as silent as the pox.

The stories should resonate in the readers’ mind and after reading them. They will look upon people in a different light, they might even question them or themselves…. what if? Would I do that? Could I?

Craig thank you for a tight and sharp interview.

CDouglas_230x280 photo heed_zps4d6ef251.jpgLinks:

Visit Craig’s blog at Gritfiction.com

Get a copy of Near to the Knuckle presents: Gloves Off at Amazon UK or US

And if you’re not into formatting your own manuscript for Kindle or Smashwords, Craig offers a quality conversion service at amazingly reasonable rates at Gritfiction.com here.

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7 Responses to Quick Fire At The Slaughterhouse: Interview With Craig Douglas

  1. Graham Smith says:

    Top interview both.

    The anthology really does bruise and bloody the knuckles and I am well chuffed to have been included.

  2. AJ Hayes says:

    Damn fitting that I opened my Kindle just now and was looking at the bloody fist cover for Gloves Off when I thought “Gee, better check my e-mail” and there was Richard’s notice of a new Quickfire. I’ll be reading GO this afternoon. NTTK has been a favorite of mine for a long time and Daz and Craig are top men. Guys who are not a bit afraid to push that famous “envelope” to get new writers and established ones out in the eyes of the reader.
    I’ll let ya know what I think in a bit. (I suspect I’ll like it — a lot.) Good job, guys and about time.

  3. Darren Sant says:

    Thanks so much Richard. Craig pushed me so hard and helped make some of braver decisions. There would have been no anthology without Craig’s hard work.

  4. Sounds like it pushes pretty hard. I’ll have to check it out.

  5. PaulDBrazill says:

    It’s a great collection and I’m chuffed to be involved. Craig is a splendid writer of dirty realism. Check out A Scattering Of Ashes. http://pauldbrazill.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/top-tips-recommended-reads-6/

  6. I must have missed Richard’s email for this Quickfire.

    Like the others, I am totally chuffed to be in this anthology.

    Gritty, hard-hitting, every story sends the senses spinning… the end of each story a welcome ‘bell’ for the reader to retreat to his or corner for a moment before the next round. Some of these quite literally took my breath away!

    I am honoured to be part of this envelope-pushing venture.

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