Guest Post: Shouting About Trying To Be So Quiet by James Everington

ttbsq-cover-kindlev2_orig-2James: Hi James, how’s it going?

James: Uh, who’s this? What’s going on?

James: It’s an interview, remember? To promote your new mini-collection, Trying To Be So Quiet & Other Hauntings.

James: Uh…

James: You remember, for Priya’s blog. I mean, you are late doing it so you might have forgotten.

James: Are you… Is this Priya?

James: Do I sound like Priya? I’m you.

James: You’re me?

James: You.

James: Me? But… Why are, uh, you interviewing me? Where’s Priya?

James: She’s a Locus and Shirley Jackson Award nominee, James, she’s not got time for this shit. You’ve got to look after yourself in this game. You’ve already wasted half a page talking to yourself rather than promote the book.

James: Me?

James: You.

James: You, more like.

James: Me?

James: You.

[beat]

James: Look, let’s just start again. So, you’ve written this book Trying To…

James: Wait, aren’t I meant to be asking the questions?

James: You?

James: Me. The one in bold.

James: Jesus, okay, whatever. You ask the questions then.

[beat]

James: Uh, well, I’m not quite sure what…

James: You’ve not got any questions?

James: So, um, what’s the book about?

James: That’s it?
[beat]

James: Okay, fine. Well, uh, it’s about death. Ghosts. The supernatural as a manifestation of grief…

James: That sounds quite good that bit, actually.

James: Does it? The manifestation bit?

James: Yeah. You write about that a lot, don’t you? A hell of a lot. How come?

James: Well, death comes to us all.

James: That’s it?

[beat]

James: Some trite stock phrase? Everyone knows ‘death comes to us all’ you twat; everyone. They don’t all write weird crap about it. I mean we’ve got [riffles pages] dead wives, dead parents, dead lovers. Floating skulls that are probably solipsistic ‘all in his mind’ bullshit rather than being real, maybe a zombie, possibly ghosts. Plus that odd bit about someone sticking their hand in a pan of boiling water to feel pain. It’s not normal, is it?

James: You can talk.

James: I wish you would. How’s the song go? ‘Aint it just like the night to play tricks when we’re trying to be so quiet’. It’s all a trick isn’t it? A distraction. All this jokey interviewing yourself bullshit. A way to avoid talking about what really scares you.

James: [quietly] Me?

James: [quietly] You.

[beat]

James: Yeah. But it is death. It is trite stuff that everyone knows. Not my own death—I mean, that does scare me, and I write about that fear too—but the death of those around me. Those I love. It’s so… It’s coming, you know? I’m sitting here, typing this, listening to LCD Soundsystem and drinking a beer, having a chuckle to myself at this interviewing myself gag, and it’s coming. The death, the pain, the grief. One day, something will happen—a phone call, a doctor’s pause before answering, a sound from another room—and everything will be upended, everything will be different because someone I love will be gone from the world. That’s coming for me.

James: [quietly] Me?

James: You.

[beat]

James: But it hasn’t happened yet, not really. Part of the reason I didn’t want to talk about this is because I feel like such a fraud. I mean, I’ve known people who have died. A classmate at school, a friend at university, grandparents…. I’ve know death, I’ve know grief. But not to the extent of… how did you say it? “Dead wives, dead parents, dead lovers.” Not that yet. I’m a fraud. I’m using the inevitability of death to pretend I’ve already experienced it.

James: But they’re stories; it’s not all about you. You’re not trying to flog people your diaries. Try and sell them the stories. You might think yourself a fraud but you don’t think the stories are false.

James: Look, I’m not going to do the normal thing of bigging up the plot or horror tropes or anything like that…

James: [quietly] Jesus…

James: I’m just going to say these stories are my attempt to cope with the knowledge of loss, the inevitability of it. Because that’s what horror fiction is, to me: not the blood or the monsters or the disemboweling. But the attempt to shape, to pre-empt and so somehow cope with the worst things that will happen to us, before they occur. They’re my attempt to live with that knowledge.

James: Did it work?

James: Nah.

James: I mean, I think you might need to sell it a little bit more than that. Just something, some hook…

James: Is this you trying to lighten the mood again, now I’ve bared my soul? Is this another of your tricks?

James: Me?

James: You.

James: Wait, aren’t I meant to be asking the questions?

[beat]

[simultaneously]:
James: So, where can people buy Trying To…?
James: So, has it got any good reviews or…

[beat]

[simultaneously]:
James: After yo…
James: You go first…

[beat]

James: Uh, well, Tracy Fahey said the title story was “quiet, stealthy, and throat-achingly sad” and Gingernuts of Horror said it was “an exemplary example of ability for quiet horror to chill a reader to the core” and… god, I hate all this self-promotion stuff. I was more comfortable talking about how terrified I am by the meaningless and inevitability of dea…

James: You’re not really though are you?

James: [quietly] No

James: So, you asked about where people could buy Trying To Be So Quiet…

James: That was just an excuse to stick an Amazon link in to be honest.

James:I mean, I think you need to shout about it a bit more. Say ‘hey folks, you can buy…’

James: Me?

James: For once, no.

James: I’m not sure this has gone very well. The Sinister Horror Company aren’t going to be happy; they’re the publisher and you’ve not even mentioned them once.

James: We could try again?

James: Okay

James: So, uh. Hi James, how’s it going?

James: Wait, aren’t I meant to be asking the questions?

****

 

James EveringtonJames Everingon is a writer from Nottingham, England who writesis dark, supernatural fiction, although not necessarily ‘horror’ in the blood and guts sense. He prefers to explore the unexplained, the psychological, and the ambiguous in his fiction. His cites his main influences as writers like Ramsey Campbell, Shirley Jackson, and Robert Aickman.  He drink Guinness. More information about James and his work can be found on his blog.

Sinister Horror Company

 

The Sinister Horror Company was established by childhood friends Daniel Marc Chant and Justin Park in 2015. Its catalogue varies from unsettling modern gothic to the soul-crunchingly bleak extreme. It prides itself on daring to be different without compromising on quality.

 

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