Author and Scriptwriter

'Among the most important writers of contemporary British horror.' -Ramsey Campbell

Friday, 18 September 2015

The Lowdown with... James Everington

James Everington mainly writes dark, supernatural fiction, although he occasionally takes a break and writes dark, non-supernatural fiction. His second collection of such tales, Falling Over, is out now from Infinity Plus and he has had work published in The Outsiders (Crystal Lake), Supernatural Tales, Morpheus Tales and Little Visible Delight (Omnium Gatherum), amongst others. A monthly serial, The Quarantined City, is being released during 2015 by Spectral Press. And he tweets.

1.    Tell us three things about yourself.

I am a proud supporter of the Oxford comma (see below).

My own personal Holy Trinity of writers who have inspired me in my own writing would comprise of Ramsey Campbell, Shirley Jackson, and Robert Aickman.

I created The Headington Shark Appreciation Society on social media. If you dont know what the Headington Shark is, youre about to perform one of the more momentous Google searches of your life.

2. What was the first thing you had published?
It was a short story called Home Time which was accepted by Morpheus Tales. I think it was the third time Id submitted a story; I jumped up onto my feet, shouting wahoo, and then felt sheepish when I realised Id scared the cat.

3. Which piece of writing are you proudest of?
Most recently, a serial novel being published by Spectral Press called The Quarantined City. Its the longest thing Ive had published, and the most ambitious structurally and in terms of the fictional ideas I was playing with. Its still got elements of horror and the uncanny within, but merged with elements of Borges and Camuss The Plague too. And a host of other stuff. Despite the heartache and hair pulling writing it, it was strangely enjoyable too. I already miss the place

4. and which makes you cringe?
Stuff I wrote starting out. I wrote a kind of Martin Amis with all the shite bits of Martin Amis but none of the good bits novel whilst at university. And poetry. God, the poetry; genuinely cringe-worthy.

But its all good, you know - the band Rilo Kiley have a line in one of their songs All your failures are training grounds, which should be every writers motto. None of its wasted. Case in point: that bad Amis-y novel? It had a repeated sentence in its final scene, which I recently used in a totally different way in The Quarantined City. One sentence, out of literally thousands, and I found its proper home over a decade later. Writings weird, sometimes.

5. Whats a normal writing day like?
Ive got a ten month year old daughter, I dont have a normal writing day. Or a normal anything, anymore. I try and grab writing time when I can; Im lucky in that I dont have any set routines or pernickety habits, I can write pretty much anywhere, anytime. I normally listen to music whilst I write, unless Im at the editing stage. In the course of answering this question, Ive listened to songs by Wolf Alice, Massive Attack, and RL Burnside.

6. Which piece of writing should someone whos never read you before pick up first?
Probably Falling Over, my collection of horror and weird fiction from Infinity Plus. Its got stories about ghosts, doppelgรคngers, the Black Death, scary kids, and the duplicitous UK tabloid press inside its pages.

Oh and one about dogs; everyone loves dogs, right?

7. What are you working on now?
A horror novella called Paupers Graves. Its a relatively straight horror story, set in a real graveyard in Nottingham where I live. Theres a natural sandstone hollow and a few centuries back they decided to use it to bury rich folk in fancy tombs carved into the rock. But it was too unstable so they hastily backtracked and used it to bury paupers in; so-called guinea graves. The poor sods are buried twenty under a single stone. So Im using it as a setting for a story about the dead, austerity, and the relationship between the poor and the rich. Should be out next year.

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