FIVE DEATHS, DARK EROTIC covers revealed… and… how I spent my summer vacation not getting hit by a tornado.

Five Deaths Seven Songbirds

THE BIG NEWS FOR THIS MONTH is that my 13th novel Five Deaths for Seven Songbirds has been put up for pre-sale on Amazon, B&N, Kobo etc. and the cover revealed. Click on the cover image to see a larger version!

The release date for the book is the numerically perfect 2-22-22, so it’s still a ways off, but I can’t wait until it is finally available and people can read it. This book is my homage to Italian giallo films; these are horror-crime-whodunnit thrillers that were first introduced in the ’60s by Mario Bava and really popularized in the early ’70s by Dario Argento. They more or less faded out in the ’80s, but there are scores and scores of them that were made from 1965-1985, and I think I own 75% of them on DVD or Blu-Ray.

Probably the coolest thing that has happened to me all year is that I actually received a note of support for the novel from Sergio Martino, the director of some of my favorite giallo films, including All the Colors of the Dark and The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh. I sent him the manuscript last month, and he sent me the following to use to promote the book:

I read this story with ever-increasing interest. The dynamics and tension felt reminiscent of my thriller films from the 70s and 80s, which have been appreciated by many American directors such as Quentin Tarantino. It would make a great film for lovers of the genre. Ottimo intrigo! Enjoy the read everyone!
–Sergio Martino, director of All the Colors of the Dark and Torso

On top of that, Troy Howarth, who has literally “written the book” on the giallo film genre, sent me a quote as well:

“Intricately plotted in the classic giallo style, with plot twists and murders galore. John Everson has written a thriller that is sure to appeal to devotees of lurid Italian mystery thrillers.”
–Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films

You can read a longer description on the Amazon or Flame Tree pages for it, but here’s a quick summary of the novel:

Somebody is murdering the Songbirds…
When Eve Springer arrives in Belgium to study with the world famous Prof. Ernest Von Klein at The Eyrie, an exclusive music conservatory, it’s the fulfillment of her lifelong dream. But that dream is soon to become a nightmare. When the star of the school’s piano program is strangled with a piano wire, Eve takes her place in the school’s famed jazz combo, the Songbirds. But one by one the other Songbirds start turning up dead, each murdered with a musical instrument and Eve finds herself in deadly danger.
Who wants the Song to end … and who will be next to play their last note?

One more cover reveal!

ON JULY 28, FESTA VERLAG in Germany is releasing a collection of my short fiction called Dark Erotic. This is all material that has been previously published in English – a lot of the stories are from Cage of Bones, Needles & Sins and Sacrificing Virgins – but this is the first time those stories have appeared in German.

“Field of Flesh” leads the book off and the collection also includes “Bloodroses,” “Pumpkin Head,” Sacrificing Virgins,” and “Letting Go,” among others. The book is only available to Festa’s book club subscribers, and is limited to 999 autographed copies (I signed signature sheets to insert in it a few weeks ago). Can’t wait to hear what German horror fans think!

This is my first release in Germany in five years, Festa previously released The 13th, Siren (as Ligeia) and NightWhere. Here is a picture of those books and the signature pages I signed for Dark Erotic:

Back to Flashback at Last!

I HAVE REALLY MISSED connecting with friends and fans at horror conventions for the past two years, and in just six days, I will FINALLY be back at my favorite Chicago event – Flashback Weekend Chicago Horror Con. I’ve had a table at Flashback every year for about a decade now, and having it cancelled last year was like cancelling summer!  I am so looking forward to being back, and this year they are having reunions of the Halloween and Saw casts, as well as a couple of the supporting actors from Aliens, Svengoolie, Meatloaf (!) and a bunch of other cool stars and events. If you’re anywhere near Chicago, I hope to see you there next weekend!

Summer Is Slipping Away…

IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE that the summer of 2021 is more than half over. It seems like the days fly by ever faster… even though I still don’t leave the house that much! Although, just a month ago, the house nearly left me: just after 11 p.m. on Father’s Day, a level 3 tornado ripped through my neighborhood, ripping up trees, roofs and houses just a few blocks away from my house. We went to the basement when the tornado sirens went off, but I learned later, by the time we took cover, if we’d been three blocks north, we probably already would have had a tree through our roof… like the neighborhood fire station did!

Luckily, while there was a long path of devastation very nearby, we escaped with just one snapped tree branch in the backyard.

Aside from avoiding tornados this summer, I’ve spent a couple dozen hours over the past few weeks literally… digging a ditch. The back fence line of our yard has a gravel bed that runs the full length of the lot, which is supposed to facilitate drainage from heavy rains and neighbors’ sump pumps, but over the past 20-30 years, it has become clogged with mud. Useless. So… foot by foot, I’ve been digging it out, rinsing the rock in a wheelbarrow until all the mud and roots and twigs are removed, and replacing it on a new plastic barrier. It’s been great fun… not.

I’m about 2/3 done with the project and don’t know if I’ll finish the whole thing this year. But… over the past few days while on my summer “staycation,” I got it to the point that it looks good from the vantage of the house (you can’t really see the section that I haven’t done because of bushes and trees).

For the next few weeks, I’m going to take a break from gravel washing and get back to focusing on writing. I’ve started work on a new novel, and I want to see how it goes. I’ll write more about that when… I’ve written more of it!

About John Everson

John Everson is a Bram Stoker Award-winning horror author with more than 100 published short stories and 14 novels of horror and dark fantasy currently in print. His first novel, Covenant, won the Bram Stoker Award for a First Novel in 2005. His sixth novel, NightWhere, was a Bram Stoker Finalist in 2013. Its sequel, The Night Mother, was released in June 2023.

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