There’s a blog chain going around called “The Next Big Thing.” The idea is, each writer answers some questions about their next big project… and lines up more authors to do the same, encouraging people to discover other authors’ books and blogs. My friend – and amazing werewolf-oriented thriller author W. D. Gagliani did one of these last week, and tagged me. I’ve tagged four more authors (see the bottom of this blog). So here are my answers:
Violet Eyes. And that’s also the final title, since the cover art has already been created by the publisher (see below)! The novel was contracted back in February based on an outline and a completed version of the prologue (which originally appeared as a short story in my collection Creeptych).
I literally am finishing the last edits on it and turning it in tonight, after I finish this blog.
People are really creeped out by spiders… I wanted to play with that! I outlined the novel about three years ago, but at that time, Leisure Books already had a series of “spider” books from Sarah Pinborough, so the project was put on hold for awhile. In the meantime, I turned the outlined prologue into a standalone novelette for my Creeptych “bug” short stories book.
Violet Eyes is a horror /sci-fi thriller. (My spiders have been genetically altered for a nefarious purpose…)
Every time I start a project, I try to find some photos of people who my characters might look like (so I describe them the same way throughout the story).
When I started writing Violet Eyes and was looking on the web for someone who matched the vision I had for Rachel in my head, I found this photo of Katie, and knew she was the one!
Rachel’s boyfriend, Terry, could be played by Christian Bale and her ex-, Anders, should be portrayed by someone like a young Nick Nolte.
Rachel Riordan moves to a small town near the Everglades to escape her abusive ex- and start a new life… but she soon finds there are things that can bug you even more than a bad marriage. Things that can bug you to death…
Violet Eyes will be published by Samhain Publishing in October 2013. This is my seventh novel, and my second book for Samhain, who published NightWhere, my current novel, in October 2012.
It took me about eight months to write Violet Eyes, though there were a couple months in there that I didn’t work on it. I started it in March, and finished the first draft in October. That’s been about the usual writing time for my novels — I start them, work on them a couple months, get pulled off in other directions for a few weeks, and then come back and force myself to dig in for three-four months to really drive through the rest. I’ve spent the past month editing the manuscript so I could turn it in the week of Thanksgiving.
Honestly, I don’t know – I’m sure there are lots of other books out there that deal with spiders and other creepy insects… but I haven’t read them!
When I was a kid I saw a movie called Kingdom of the Spiders starring William Shatner. There’s a scene towards the end that shows an entire town covered in spider webs. That image has been stuck in my head for over 30 years, so I figured, I should do something with it!
Plus, my wife Geri still asks me to kill spiders for her.
Violet Eyes starts out with a quartet of college kids essentially recreating The Blue Lagoon on an abandoned Key off the coast of Florida… but only one of the two couples returns from their erotic vacation, after they’re attacked by flesh-eating spiders and swarms of fiercely biting flies. It would have been all good if the creatures had continued to be quarantined on the island… but then there wouldn’t have been a novel!
Samhain finished the cover art a couple weeks ago based on a scene from the book before I actually finished writing it! Here’s what it’s gonna look like:
I hope you’ll keep an eye out next fall for Violet Eyes. In the meantime, check out the blogs of the other authors I’ve tagged as part of “The Next Big Thing.” Their blogs should go live around December 3rd:
P.S. Gifford, author of The Curious Accounts of the Imaginary Friend and Dr. Offig’s Lessons from the Dark Side: http://paperbacktheweirdcrap.blogspot.com
Cynthia Pelayo, author of the innovative macabre fiction collection Loteria, as well as editor of Burial Day Books: http://www.burialday.com/blog/
Gord Rollo, author of The Jigsaw Man and Valley of the Scarecrow: http://gordrollo.com/
Armand Rosamilia, author of Dying Days and Highway to Hell: http://armandrosamilia.com
Lucy Taylor, author of the Bram Stoker Award-winning novel The Safety of Unknown Cities and Unspeakable and Other Stories: http://www.lucytaylor.us
And my inviter:
W. D. Gagliani, author of the Bram Stoker Award finalist Wolf’s Trap and Wolf’s Edge: http://www.wdgagliani.com/blog.htm
Message for the tagged authors and interested others:
Rules of the Next Big Thing
***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.
Be sure to line up your five people in advance.
NightWhere is the November selection of the Samhain Horror Book Club!
This means until this Friday, November 16th, you can get the trade paper edition or e-book copies for 40% off.
Just visit www.samhainpublishing.com/bookclubs/
I’ve been really excited about this novel over the past few weeks, because NightWhere has gotten a string of amazing 5-star reader reviews on Amazon and Goodreads as well as from regular ‘zine and website reviewers.
Last month, Paul Goat Allen wrote an amazing review titled NightWhere is a Dark, Decadent, and Deeply Disturbing Masterpiece on the Barnes & Noble Book Club Forums.
The review opens with a great image: “I’ve likened the impact of reading certain horror novels to being sucker-punched by a brass-knuckled fist, slapped in the face, and getting kicked in the groin by a steel-toed boot – but reading John Everson’s latest release, NightWhere, was so much more… it was like being brained by a wrecking ball! The intensity – and audacity – of this narrative is just skull crushing.”
Hellnotes posted a review last week that said “John Everson has written what I already consider to be a true classic in every sense of the word. The author has invited the reader on a journey into the depths of Hell, knowing that once the last page is turned, the individual (man or woman) will never be the same again. I kid you not.”
Dreadful Tales did one of the first reviews of the book and called it “a batshit crazy, hot, wet ride into hell!”
Sizzling Hot Book Reviews said: “While it is bloody, a bit gory, very shocking, and might give you unusual dreams – NightWhere is also very gripping. I can’t seem to get a lot of scenes out of my head and that’s not just the gory ones that made me gasp. I do highly recommend NightWhere. It has opened my eyes to a new author for sure.”
Dark Haven Book Reviews gave NightWhere a glowing review despite the reviewer admitting that she generally avoids horror at all costs! She went on to say this: NightWhere is a darkly erotic, deeply disturbing and hauntingly engaging tale that took my breath away – literally – and now weeks after I’ve read it, still pops into my psyche. I almost wrote above that NightWhere was ‘a hauntingly beautiful tale’ but that wouldn’t be accurate. This tale of heightened eroticism, degradation, masochism, graphic violence and often horrific imagery is the proverbial scrape across a chalk board or the fingernail stroke down one’s spine that elicits an aching twinge and shudder; and, weirdly, leaves you wanting more. NightWhere may not be ‘hauntingly beautiful’, but it’s a hell of a good read.
Dark Arts Magazine said this a couple weeks ago: “NightWhere is a demented journey into the most vile and disturbing depths of the human soul… This is easily the best novel Everson has crafted. Having read much of his work, this was the quickest read with the most relatable characters and a plot that kept with some interesting twists leading to an ending that will leave you cursing at the pages in a good way. As you are left with an ending cursing for more, begging for more of the pain.”
Not Now… Mommy’s Reading said “NightWhere can best be summed up in two words – FREE. KEY.”
The review went on to say: “I am a hardcore horror fan. I’ve read the likes of Edward Lee and Richard Laymon and not blinked an eye. *brushing my shoulders off However, there were several times during my reading of this novel where I had to put down my Kindle and look around like, “WTFD?! (What The Front Door?!). Yeah – it was that disturbing. The thing I’d like to applaud Mr. Everson for though is where other authors in the horror genre have seemed to forget the art of the telling of a damn good story in favor of grossing the reader out – Everson takes the reader by the hand, leads them to bed, pulls the blanket under their chin and then sits back and tells a story that is so entertaining, so gripping you are instantly drawn in and kept there for the duration.”
Naturally, I’ve been blown away by the reception the book has received, and just hope in the coming weeks that readers keep finding it… and enjoying whatever crazy attraction it holds!