Interview with James Everington

What are your five favorite books, and why?
Impossible to pick just five, but off the top of my head:

1. 'Alone With The Horrors' - Ramsey Campbell. The greatest horror short story writer of the last fifty years.
2. 'The Haunting Of Hill House' - Shirley Jackson. The best haunted house story I've ever read.
3. 'Dance Macabre' - Stephen King. His non-fiction book about horror. Had a huge impact on me...
4. 'Animal Farm' - George Orwell. I always feel so sad at the end of this one.
5. 'The Robber Bride' - Margaret Atwood. A fantastic author; this is maybe the one of hers I like best.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
The Kindle. The battery life on anything else is too short for the amount I read...
What's the story behind your latest book?
Falling Over, the book, started with Falling Over, the short story -often when I finish a story I never want to see its ugly face again, but Falling Over was different. I felt kind of good about it after finishing it, and still think it contains some of my best writing. It's a story about a group of isolated students who suffer strange falling accidents and are seemingly replaced by their odder, less emotional -or just more grown up? - doppelgangers when they return from hospital. Or so the narrator thinks, anyway, but it might be he who has fallen through the cracks instead.

And so as I read through my other tales that I might include, I started picking other 'falling' stories.
What are you working on next?
Other People's Ghosts - my take on the poltergeist theme, and especially the idea that these 'noisy spirits' are in fact manifestations of peoples' inner turmoil and stress.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Making curry.
Eating curry.
Drinking beer after eating a too hot curry,
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I remember it - with a shudder. It was some toss about an organ transplant which took over the person who had the operation... I might even still have the draft somewhere.

When I die, burn my papers.
Why is dark fiction important?
Because it scratches an itch that other types of fiction can't reach... Maybe not everyone feels that itch or has it keep them awake at night, but I think a sizable group of people do and always have done.

Dark fiction has always been, for me, a way of exploring various emotional and philosophical ideas - I know that sounds pretentious and wanky, but I stand by it. How do we know what's real? How do we define ourselves against the 'other'? Why does the dead and buried past have such a hold over us? If such questions run through your head when you're trying to sleep, you're feeling the itch. And far be it for me to tell you what to read, but I don't think Dan Brown is going to cut it somehow.
What scares you most in fiction?
I'm not a big fan of the gore, gore, overt violence and more gore school of horror writing - not out of any moral squeamishness, just because I don't think it works very well artistically. I'm more of a creeping dread man myself.

I like the kind of horror writing which starts with a nagging sense that something is wrong, and that off-key feeing is built upon the author. And I like it when this wrongness is not necessarily just a monster or psycho running amok (although monsters are cool), but represents something wrong in the character's psyche or how the reader thinks the world is. Basically I like a good mixture of creepiness, blood, and pretentiousness...
Describe your desk
It's a bog standard desk with at least four of these things on it at any one time:

1. A biro with no ink
2. A cup of coffee
3. An ipod with Bob Dylan queued up on the playlist
4. My latest half finished weird fiction short story
5. A sleeping cat
How different would your writing career be without social media?
Very different – a lot quieter, in both good ways and bad. Good because all the time spent on Twitter or writing blogs or XYZ eats into my actual writing time. But without social media, I wouldn't have meet all the great people – readers, writers, editors, publishers, nutjobs – who I have, so more than likely I wouldn't have a 'career'. And I doubt I'd have found a publisher for Falling Over so easily without social media.

Lots of people have helped me, in both small ways and big, and I hope I've helped a few people in turn.
What do your fans mean to you?
Basically, they are the *best*.
Published 2013-09-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Shelter
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 16,780. Language: English. Published: September 18, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
It’s a long, drowsy summer at the end of the 1980s, and Alan Dean and three of his friends cross the fields behind their village to look for a rumoured WW2 air raid shelter. When they find it, the strange and horrifying events that follow will test their adolescent friendships to breaking point, and affect the rest of their lives... A horror novella of 15.5k words.
The Other Room
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 54,200. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
The Other Room is a collection of weird horror fiction, containing twelve stories of the uncanny and the surreal. Influenced by writers such as Ramsey Campbell, Shirley Jackson, and Robert Aickman these tales, like all good horror stories, are as much about the psychology of the protagonist as the fate that awaits them.