Eryk Pruitt

DIRTBAGS — a novel

The blame for a county-wide murder spree lies at the feet of three people broken by a dying mill town: Calvin, a killer; London, a cook; and Rhonda, the woman who loves them both. Neither they, nor the reader, see the storm brewing until it's too late in this Southern Gothic noir (or Southern neo-noir) that adds a transgressive, chicken-fried twist to a story ripped straight from the pages of a true crime novel or an episode of Dateline NBC.

Calvin Cantrell searches for meaning in life and believes he stumbled across it when approached by Tom London to murder his meddling ex-wife. However, Calvin discovers things about both himself and Corrina London during his trip to Dallas to do the deed - things that have horrible repercussions to himself and the small town from which he hails. Meanwhile, Tom London feels the noose tighten as both the local Sheriff and his current wife begin putting together puzzle pieces after Corrina's horrific murder. And could Rhonda Cantrell's disastrous luck with men do more damage to the community than her serial killer husband or philandering lover? So often, literature offers us a glimpse of where humanity succeeds.

This is not that story.

My completed, 70,000-word novel is intended for readers who enjoy both noir and Southern literature. I hope to appeal to the same market as Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone), Tom Franklin (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter) and Jim Thompson (The Killer Inside Me).

I am a screenwriter, author, and filmmaker living in Durham, North Carolina and my short film "Foodie" has top awards at film festivals across the United States. My short fiction has appeared in The Avalon Literary Review, Speculative Edge, Mad Scientist Journal, and Pantheon Magazine to name a few. I have several selections appearing in upcoming anthologies as well. When I am not writing, I am very involved in my community's film and theatre scene. A full list of my credits can be found at

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time.