THIS ONE’S BEEN a long time in coming. Ten years, to be exact. But today, my ninth novel, Redemption, became fully available on Amazon.com (the e-book hit last week, the trade paperback was released today).
My second novel, Sacrifice, originally came out in a limited hardcover edition a decade ago, back in 2007… and as soon as that book was released, I wanted to revisit the world of reporter Joe Kieran, Alex, the troubled teen girl who could talk to the dead, and the Curburide demons they fought against. But when Sacrifice and its prequel, Covenant were given wide release to bookstores in mass market paperback in 2008-2009, there was not interest at the time from the publisher in continuing the series. Leisure Books wanted new standalone novels which are easier to sell in horror, especially when older books tended to disappear from bookstore shelves before the sequels were released. So rather than write Redemption in 2008 and 2009… I wrote The 13th. And Siren.
Year after year, I put off writing Redemption. Until the end of 2015. When my editor at Samhain Publishing was let go, and it became clear that the publisher’s horror imprint would soon follow him, I decided that, for better or worse, I’d go ahead and write the novel I had been wanting to write. Didn’t know where it would end up. But that didn’t matter anymore. I just wanted to finally tell the story of what happened after Sacrifice, for myself if nobody else. So… that’s what I worked on last year. Last summer, I pitched a draft of the book to 47North, the current publisher of Covenant and Sacrifice, the first two books in the trilogy. And… as I expected… they passed on it. They’ve focused more and more on science fiction of late (their company Christmas card showed all the editorial staff brandishing light sabers, which I think gives a good indication of their focus! It’s not horror.)
Rather than search for another independent publisher, I decided to release the novel on my own Dark Arts Booksimprint — the first book of mine that has not going through the traditional publishing system. And I decided to do another unusual thing — I decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help promote the book and get signed copies into the hands of fans. I recorded this video for the Kickstarter to explain why:
I launched the Kickstarter page the weekend after Thanksgiving… and ever since then, I have been neck-deep in this book! Suddenly I had real deadlines again! Promoting the Kickstarter, doing final writing and edits, finally pushing it off to press, and then, over the past week, signing and mailing over 100 signed books out to all of the campaign’s supporters was all-consuming. It was definitely a successful campaign, and I am hugely grateful to all of the friends and fans who supported it. The campaign even contributed to the book’s content itself — two of the “rewards” were for people to become characters in the book… which led me to write a couple scenes that augmented and tied things up better than I had done originally. So the campaign supporters ultimately made the novel better.
I also reached out to Edward Lee in December, one of the masters of modern horror, and asked if he’d take a read of the book, and if he liked it, maybe give it a promotional blurb. He agreed, and I crossed my fingers and held my breath that he’d like the book. What he came back with… floored me. One of the best blurbs I’ve ever gotten for a book. Here’s what he wrote:
“Redemption unfolds as horror-hero Joe Kieran’s finish-line sprint down the last leg of Everson’s addictive occult storyline of blood-gushing demonic machinations, cursed existential characters, and abominations incarnate. Everson is a MASTER of the hardcore; he’s the rare kind of writer who’s so good you can’t proceed with your day until the book is finished. No matter what you have planned, forget it; you won’t bother until you’ve turned the last page. (I missed a playoff game because of this book!) Everson kicks out the jambs in this gory story of haunted religious missions, mind-boggling sex-rituals, and jaunts into Hell (and let’s not forget the communal demonic toilet!) The Little Mermaid this ain’t. This is balls-to-the-wall, no-fucking-around hardcore horror that hits the reader with the impact of a bucket of hot blood and innards in the face. Read it!” – Edward Lee, author of Haunter of the Threshold and “Mr. Torso.”
They just don’t get better than that! We truncated a one-sentence version for the cover, but I wish I could have printed the whole thing there!
So all that brings us to now, the first week in February. It’s been a non-stop marathon since Thanksgiving. Especially since the Samhain Horror Line DID officially fold last month, and I found myself working to republish my former Samhain books alongside working on Redemption.
But now that all of the Kickstarter books are in the mail… today was the day to finally push the final “publish” button.
You can now find Redemption, if you want it. And lord knows we all need some, right?
When I was first writing Covenant, geez – 20 years ago now, back in the mid-late ’90s – I never expected it to spawn a trilogy. Hell, there were a couple years that I shelved it and never thought I’d even finish the novel at all, let alone see it published in multiple editions and multiple languages. But now, the cycle is done. A long unfinished chapter written. I’m personally happy with the way it all works out.
I hope readers are too.