Thursday, 28 July 2016

A partial & subjective list of the influences, inspirations and random thoughts behind The Quarantined City:

The short stories of Charles L Grant
My Name Is Red, Orhan Pamuk
Twin Peaks
The decades old associations of the smell resulting from an accidentally smashed jar of paprika
A school trip to Eyam circa 1985
The short stories of Jorge Borges
The experience of deja-vu
The baby from Trainspotting
Under The Volcano, Malcolm Lowry
My stag do, Cork
Six Characters In Search Of An Author, Pirandello
My cat (George)
The Strange Case Of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
The second-hand book-stall in the covered market, Oxford
The Dark Tower novels, Stephen King
What I think A Tale Of Two Cities is about, despite having never read it
The arboretum park, Nottingham
Invisible Cities, Calvino
Gremlins
Friends (no, really)
The drawings of Escher
It Only Comes Out At Night, Dennis Etchison
The music of Mogwai
Descriptions of real-life ‘near death experiences’
L’Auberge bar (Le Crotoy, France)
Weekend break to Rome
Memento Inception
The Double, Jose Saramago
The feeling of disorientation when visiting somewhere you've never been before, where the layout of the streets makes little sense
Auto De Fe, Elias Canetti
The Beautiful Strange, Shirley Jackson
The Exorcist, William Peter Blattey
The experience of deja-vu
Desolation Row, Bob Dylan
Northern Exposure
What happened to me the day my drink was spiked
The Plague, Albert Camus
Hard-Boiled Wonderland & The End Of The World, Haruki Murakami
The Orphanage
Ultraviolence, Lana Del Ray
The novels of Philip K Dick
Hempel’s Ravens paradox
The short stories of Ramsey Campbell
My hazy & no doubt woefully inaccurate understanding of modern physics & cosmology, especially quantum entanglement & parallel universes 
The City Of Glass, Paul Auster
The Information, Martin Amis
The lines from TS Eliot's Four Quartets I can remember 
Black Flowers, Steve Mosby
One specific scene in The Shining
Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
Ghost Story, Peter Straub
That drawing which is a young girl looked at one way, and an old woman the other
That drawing which is a rabbit looked at one way, and a duck the other

Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Quarantined City reviewed at Dark Musings

Many thanks to Anthony Watson who reviewed The Quarantined City on his Dark Musings site:

"All that has gone before is masterfully tied up in a brilliantly constructed conclusion. There is great joy to be had as each revelation is made; as each of the perplexing riddles seeded throughout the narrative are answered; as sense is finally made of the skilfully created confusion... It’s a masterclass in technique...I was blown away by The Quarantined City, loved its structure and its intelligence."

Monday, 18 July 2016

Edge-Lit 5: After

On Saturday I went to Edge-Lit 5 and had a wonderful time, as always. The whole day passed in much of a blur, so this post won't be as detailed as Mark West's latest Convention Report: he's a man who seems to remember everything that happened. Maybe the fact Mark doesn't drink helps...

Mark West, me, Peter Mark May
(photo by Peter Colborn)

But my post is a few impressionistic snapshots of what I remember from the day:

Sitting opposite someone on the train who was reading a Sarah Pinborough book so I was convinced they were 'one of us' and I almost struck up conversation... but no, they got off at Long Eaton. Poor sod.

The launch for Trying To Be So Quiet (alongside Tracy Fahey launching her new collection and Exaggerated Press launching the Darker Battlefields anthology) seeming to go really well from what I could tell - I signed and sold a few books, so that was a good sign...

Buying some excellent looking books, including both those that launched alongside mine, The Grieving Stones by Gary McMahon, and the Hauntings anthology from NewCon Press

Good friends Mark West, Phil Sloman, Ross Warren, Lisa James, Steve Byrne, Kit Power and many more responding to my 'recent exciting review' in that most British of ways: by taking the piss.

Realising anew each time I signed a book (or in one case a contract) how truly shit my handwriting is.

Sitting discussing horror, ghosts and the past with Victoria Leslie in the sun while eating a delicious chorizo sandwich and fries from The Quad... only to hear Victoria repeat some of my bumbling ideas in her Supernatural Fiction panel later. She gave me credit for them though :)

The look of indignation on Steve's face when informing me they didn't serve beer before 11am...

Simon Bestwick continuing an animated political discussion we'd had online in the front page of his novel Hell's Ditch when he signed it for me. Still not convinced, Simon :)

My first mediocre convention curry. I blame Brexit.

Meeting friends old and new; and despite the risk of missing someone I'm going to list who I remember because these things really are about the people. So as well as the above, shout outs to: Priya Sharma, Peter Mark May, Holly Emma Ice, Dion Winton-Pollock, Andrew Hook, Nina Allen, Cate Gardner, Gary Couzens, John Travis, Johnny Mains, Ian Whates, Amanda Rutter, Terry Grimwood, Richard Farren Barber, Anthony Cowin, Ray Cluley, Roy Gray, Adele Wearing, Angelina Trevena, Gary McMahon, Steve Shaw, Yvonne Davis, Theresa Derwin, Greg James, Gary McMahon - with some of you it was all too fleeting a chat. Lets's rectify that over a pint that at the next one, okay?

Friday, 15 July 2016

The Quarantined City reviewed by The Guardian

The Quarantined City was reviewed today... in The Guardian. THE Guardian. Fucking hell.

Even better, it was a good review. A great one in fact - I'm slightly gobsmacked. After comparisons with a number of my favourite authors and inspirations, it ends like this:

"The triumph of Everington’s first novel is that, while hinting at lofty literary precedents, it cumulatively takes on an unsettling voice all of its own." The Guardian



Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaBarnes & NobleKobo;AppleSmashwords
Paperback (ISBN: 1533255660): Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaCreateSpace


Thursday, 14 July 2016

Trying To Be So Quiet - Ebook Release

Trying To Be So Quiet is released as an ebook today (UK | US); the  limited edition hardback is also still available from the publisher, Boo Books.

I'll be doing a reading from the book as part of a launch event at this Edge-lit 5 this Saturday.

The blurb and a few review quotes are below...

"...a deeply moving story, emotionally charged,with a powerful and rich narrative, it is an exemplary example of ability for quiet horror to chill a reader to the core." Gingernuts Of Horror.

 "I really enjoyed this short, condensed novelette, which is packed full of bitterness and yearning, defeatism and aspiration. It’s what loss actually feels like... It’s a fine piece of work." Gary Fry

"I literally had goosebumps when I finished reading" Anthony Watson, Dark Musings

Trying To Be So Quiet by James Everington, with an introduction from Simon Bestwick.

The day they buried her was the first day Lizzie’s death seemed real…

With death comes a journey: a journey of silence, of ghosts and not-ghosts. Life begins to break, the cracks appearing, the meaning lost in the static of existence. And you find out whether you can come to a resolution with the absolute…Trying to be So Quiet 
is an incredibly powerful story of bereavement, of mourning, of finding something amidst nothingness.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Recommendation: Gateways To Abomination by Matthew M. Bartlett

Gateways To Abomination is a deeply unsettling collection of short stories all set in the New England town of Leeds. Some of the stories here are almost self-contained narratives, whilst others are vignettes adding atmosphere and depth to the setting. And the setting really is key to this book. Leeds is a place of devilry, strange crimes, fetid secrets. The corruption is in the air-literally, as in story after story Bartlett’s protagonists stumble across the strange, infectious voices of WXXT, a local Leeds radio station…

The power of the book is thus one that builds cumulatively as you read; unlike most short story collections this is one that demands to be read from front to back rather than cherry picking if you want to get the full effect. Reoccurring imagery, characters and themes link the stories together but Bartlett cannily ensures things don’t dovetail together too neatly. The gaps and caesuras, the static between the voices on the airwaves, do just as much to build the dread as what is present and audible.

Bartlett’s narrative voice is matter of fact as he presents his horrors, which makes their ambiguity all the more effective. There’s some disturbingly effective imagery here but this is no gore-fest, it’s more restrained and frightening than that. 

A fine horror book then: weird, distinctive, creepy and darkly humorous. If you want to tune in to Gateways To Abomination you can do so here (
UK | US).

Saturday, 9 July 2016

The Quarantined City - Out Now

So, the complete story can finally be told. 

The Quarantined City is out now from Infinity Plus, who I couldn't be happier working with again. Big thanks to Keith Brooke for taking on the book, his spot-on editing, and for the excellent cover.

It's a book I'm very proud of, despite it's troubled pre-Infinity Plus life. It's my first novel, technically, although it was never written as such. I hope readers enjoy finding out he secrets of Fellows, the reclusive writer Boursier, and the quarantined city itself as much as I enjoyed writing it. And it was a genuinely enjoyable book to write, my unnamed city being a space where so many of my favourite literary ideas could be set loose.



Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaBarnes & NobleKobo;AppleSmashwords
Paperback (ISBN: 1533255660): Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaCreateSpace

The Quarantined City: sealed off from the outside world, with only the sight of the ocean to remind its inhabitants of life beyond. No one knows why the city has been quarantined and conspiracy theories abound.

But for Fellows life continues largely as before. He walks the streets, hunts out rare books; the sun continues to shine and the gulls circle above.


There’s the small matter of the ghost haunting his house, but Fellows doesn’t let himself think of that.


But when he tracks down a story by the reclusive writer known as Boursier, his old certainties fade as he becomes aware that the secrets of the city, the ghostly child, and the quarantine itself, might be more connected than he thinks.

Reviews:

"...There is an edge of Murakami here, we are in a world just slightly skewed from our own but all the more foreign for that. Everington has a crystal clear prose style, reminiscent of J G Ballard but, like China Mieville, twisted toward the gothic..." Damien G Walter

"There is a wonderfully surreal quality to this story so far... the writing skill here and the narrative hooks are enough to keep readers coming back to see how it will all play out." The Geekiary

"This is the kind of thing Everington does better than just about anybody: the sense of contamination across the author-reader lines, the suggestion of the double... the nameless disquiet. We have our horror authors who focus on cosmic terror, who focus on physical distress, who focus on moral revulsion, but Everington is one of the few horror bards of unease—that prickling sensation that something must be wrong, even if you can’t pinpoint it—and this story, a kind of liminal horror, is proof." Lauren James