Author interview: James Everington

How did you become interested in short stories?
By reading great ones; the first book of short stories I remember really impressing me was 'Dark Feasts' by Ramsey Campbell. I got it from a second-hand bookshop in Cleathorpes (small town on the Lincolnshire coast) when I was about fifteen and think I read about half of them in the back-seat on the ride home with my parents. 'The Companion', what a story!

So when I started writing, that's what I wrote. I kind of had this naive idea that that was what writersdid, even those who wrote roaringly successful novels. And in fact even now I struggle to think of any great author that didn't at least dabble in short stories.

As an author, do you think writing short stories is worthwhile?  Why?
Short stories are pretty much all I write (I wrote a novel when I left university; it was a wannabe Martin Amis piece of rubbish). If you're asking are they "worthwhile" from an artistic point of view, then yes absolutely. There seems to be a view at the moment that they are, at best, truncated novels, but I absolutely refute that - they are an art form in their own right. Whenever I discover a new author, I always check to see if they have any short stories available.

If you mean from a commercial point of view, then I've no idea! But on good days I hope that technology like the Kindle will lead to a resurgence in the short story market. I've found some good ones out there by self published authors, and that helps me keep the faith.

What types of short story promotion have worked for you?
I think submitting to small press magazines, even for exposure only, is a good way to start - getting a string of rejections is good for a writer; builds character. Polish them, and then when you start getting acceptances you know you've written something good. Most of the short story magazines have amazingly high standards. And most likely you'll still have the rights to the stories, so then start collecting to them in self publish ebooks or whatever. 

That, and places like Kindleboards are pretty good to hang out on. Plus, this blog I'm sure!

What types of short story promotion have not worked for you?
Hard to say; sometimes I blog and post loads and have hardly any sales; other times I do less and have more sales. The trend seems to indicate if I do nothing all day, I'll be on the best-seller list within a week.

Do you consider 99 cents to be a fair price for a standalone short story?  Why or why not?
Yeah of course; for a good one. A good short story I'll read many times in my life, savouring it. So it's worth, you know, more than what I pay for an ice cream from a tinkling van. And I like knowing I've helped a fellow author, in whatever small way.

Check out James' short story:  On Amazon

Go say "hi" to James: On his blog


  1. Hi - cheers for putting this up Alain.

  2. My pleasure. It has been really neat getting to know all these short story writers from all over the world.

  3. Great questions and answers, well done, you two.

    I too write short stories and my collection is available on kindle. Alan, I will try to get in touch with you :-)


  4. I think that short stories will make a comeback, thanks to self-published authors.

    What was it King said? Something about a novel is like a relationship, but a short story is a kiss in the dark.

    Great line. That is, if I got it right.

  5. Thanks James! This was fun to read.

    Michelle, I hope you're right. I think so, and as an indie short story writer, I'm kinda counting on it. :)

    Shana Hammaker
    Twelve Terrifying Tales for 2011

  6. Haha! I like that quote.

    Reminds me of a cheesy smut novel I once read. There's a power outage and the chick is stuck in the elevator. Enter the sexy fireman to come rescue her in the pitch black elevator. Somehow they end up doing it in like 3.5 minutes and then they go their separate ways without ever seeing each other's face. He later is able to recognize her by her kiss.

    All extremely realistic.

  7. I enjoyed reading that: thanks James and Alain. I also loved Michelle's quote about a short story being "a kiss in the dark"; I think that perfectly captures the essence of a short story - brief but intense.

  8. Hi - yeah I've read that King 'kiss in the dark' quote somewhere too. Haven't thought of it for years, but you're right, it's a good description.

    Glad people liked this interview!


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