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Group Reads: Guest Author Invite > NightWhere by John Everson *Spoilers*

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Jason (Darkfiction) | 4564 comments John Everson's novel Covenant was nominated and won the Bram Stoker Award for best first novel. Since then, he has gone on to publish five more novels, that I'm aware of, including Sacrifice, Siren, and our guest author group read NightWhere.

NightWhere is a frightening romp through the underground sex scene. I'm only about halfway through it, but I gotta say that this book is not only frightening but also fascinating. It's like Hellraiser taking Fifty Shades of Grey and tying it to the wall with chains and a ball gag and whipping the hell out of it.

So, I'd like to thank John for joining us for our second guest author group read.

Feel free to ask John your questions. We at Horror Aficionados only ask that you respect the author with your words. He's a busy guy and doesn't need to be insulted while taking the time to join us.

Oh, and John, feel free to correct me if I got any information above wrong.

message 2: by Tressa (last edited Oct 01, 2012 01:43PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23558 comments Thanks for setting this up, Jason.

John, thank you for stopping by HA this month and discussing your new book. I look forward to reading it.

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Hi Jason and Tressa (and everyone!)

Thanks for having me, and giving NightWhere a group read -- and in the perfect month for it, October! I'm really looking forward to hearing what the group thinks, and to answering any questions that anyone has.

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Char | 16111 comments Mod
I think this one looks good. : )

Thanks, to HA, John and Jason!

Jason (Darkfiction) | 4564 comments John, in the first paragraph of the acknowledgements you mention that you had the idea for this novel before finishing the final draft of Covenant, your first published novel. What was the inspiration behind NightWhere?

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments You know, honestly Jason, I don't remember! I remember talking about the idea for NightWhere to Charlee Jacob at the World Horror Convention in Chicago back in spring 2002. I had some trepidation about attempting to write such a book and she encouraged me to do it (obviously, I didn't listen to her right away!)... if I had already been mulling the concept for awhile early in 2002, the origin may go back as far as 2001! Given that I rarely remember what someone said to me an hour ago, I really don't have a clue what sparked the initial idea of NightWhere, though I am sure Anne Rice's Exit to Eden and Beauty trilogy provided some inspiration -- I had read those books in the late '90s, and I remember being fascinated with the idea of her secret island sex clubs. Of course, when I created my own version of such a thing, it took a much darker turn...

Bill (Shiftyj1) | 4908 comments Mod
Hi, John! Thanks for doing this for the HA crowd. This book looks great and a perfect October read. I look forward to it and can't wait to get started!

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Jason (Darkfiction) | 4564 comments My memory sucks, too, John. LOL

In NightWhere we don't waste much time getting into the underground scene. While reading the beginning I found myself thinking about horror and its longtime close relationship with sexuality.

What do you think makes horror and sex work so well together?

Bill (Shiftyj1) | 4908 comments Mod
Jason wrote: "What do you think makes horror and sex work so well together?"

Good question.

John, did you have to do any creepy research on the club scenes for your book? (or non-creepy research for that matter) : )

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Easy one first... While it'd be more interesting to be able to say I spent several months visiting dungeons and sex clubs all across America to cop er get a feel of the scene... I'm afraid the truth is far more mundane. I'm aware that the communities exist, and I've read the occasional story about them. But I'm afraid NightWhere is pretty much all imagination. I didn't get to "test drive" any exotic lifestyles while I was working on it.

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments What makes horror and sex work so well together?

I think there are a couple things that feed into that. First, when we're intimate with someone, we are at our most vulnerable. So I think it stands to reason that people can develop some fears and phobias surrounding it. We want it - oh yeah, we want it! - but every time you drop your pants, you risk having someone do the unexpected, and cut your balls off (if you're a guy). It takes a lot of trust to get naked with someone else.

Another reason they work well together, is the classic "crime and punishment" scenario that is at the core of a lot of horror stories. Call it the "Poe" factor. You almost never see a husband and wife having sex in a horror story and then one of them gets slaughtered. Usually it's premarital sex... or cheaters. Or someone with a prostitute... As readers, we are treated to a bit of a prurient thrill seeing the somewhat illicit sex, but then our moral codes are also appeased when the "non-married" fornicators are punished for their "transgression."

I think both of those play into why sex and horror work together. And there's a third reason too -- horror tends to draw a larger male audience than female, at least to movies. And let's face it, boys do like to see the boobs...

message 12: by Brett (last edited Oct 06, 2012 10:49AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brett (battlinjack) | 863 comments I'd give anything to be able to attend the opening for your new novel John, but I predict you'll have a good crowd and that NightWhere will sell like the proverbial hotcakes. I know I'll have a copy in my hands as soon as I can.
Congrats on your latest work.

Karie | 13 comments John, just finished NightWhere and I have to say I liked it. I've never read such a gruesome book before. During some parts, like the "rabbit run", I had to put it down. I mean that as a compliment.

I am wondering if you ever thought of switching the roles with Mark and Rae? By making Mark a bit of a doormat I felt sorry for him but he was also a little pathetic. Maybe that's just reading from a woman's perspective, I don't think Rae would of put up with so much cheating if the roles were switched.

Thank you for the great read.

message 14: by Bill (last edited Oct 06, 2012 11:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill (Shiftyj1) | 4908 comments Mod
Half way thru and really liking it.! Excellent so far!

I have read some articles that described your body of work as "erotic horror" and also compared Nightwhere to 50 Shades. How do you feel about genre labels attached to your books? How do you feel about being compared to such a mainstream BDSM novel? I have not read 50 Shades, but I have got to believe that your novel is a bit more extreme than most soft porn floozy housewife fiction books.

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Hey Brett - the launch party was fun! We had about a dozen people, gathered in a basement room of a horror memorabilia store filled with horror photos, posters and monster busts. I brought a cooler with Newcastle Werewolf Red Ale, and read a couple chapters from NightWhere, as well as my short stories "Pumpkin Head" and "The Right Instrument." Afterwards, we all talked kind of Q&A style for 30-40 minutes and then I went back upstairs to sign a couple copies and do an interview with a college journalism student. It was a neat night!

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Hi Karie- thanks for sticking with it! The rabbit run was a grue-y (but kinda fun!) scene to write :-) Wouldn't want to live it though!

As for switching Mark and Rae? No. I never considered that. The thing that fascinated me about this couple was the whole submissive/cuckold aspect to Mark. There is a whole subculture of men who follow that aspect -- whatever the woman wants, they give her. That's where Mark came from for me. But he's also not simply a doormat... he truly loves her, and wants her happiness above all else. There's a selfless love to that which I find laudable and interesting. Yet, the darkside that it brings almost speaks against the very premise so many of us subscribe to: "love is all you need... love conquers all..."

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Bill -

Thanks! I'm happy to have NightWhere notched as "erotic horror" because I truly think that's what it is. I'm not opposed to labels, because I think they can help those looking for a specific type of book find it.

The "50 Shades for the Horror set" label is a little trickier -- I think it's great if the novel is compared to 50 Shades because I think that might actually get some mainstream audience who were tantalized by the BDSM aspects of the 50 Shades novel to look at NightWhere. That said... mine is not exactly a mainstream novel. So I'm not sure if that comparison is a good thing or bad, because I'm not sure how many of the 50 Shades audience would get into it vs. pitching it against the wall as they cringe and cry out "What the F***! is this Sh**!?"

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Bill (Shiftyj1) | 4908 comments Mod
Just finished. Sick, Twisted and Intense...Excellent! The ending leaves a lot to the imagination. Any plans to continue the story of NightWhere?

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Thanks Bill!

Everyone seems to be asking if I'm planning a sequel. I certainly had no plans to write anything more in the NightWhere world when I finished the novel last year, but given the number of requests already... I' have considered it a little. Have to finish two other things I'm contracted for before I can really think about it though, if I do decide to move forward with something.

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Bill (Shiftyj1) | 4908 comments Mod
The readers have spoken! Thank you for an excellent novel! It must be a good feeling as a writer to have so many people enjoy your work and wish for you to continue your stories. I look forward to reading more of your novels. I bought The 13th and The Pumpkin Man a while back and need to dive into them. Thank you again for a great book and for participating in the Guest Author Invite at HA!

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Ha! It is a good feeling :-) This book has gotten way more positive feedback than I expected given the subject matter, which is really cool, since I was nervous about how it would be received. Thanks for having me on HA, and for checking out the book. If you get a chance, please drop a quick review of it on Amazon or here on Goodreads... I'm really hoping a broader group of readers discover this book over the coming month, and those reviews always help.

And do let me know what you think of THE 13TH vs. NIGHTWHERE. To me, one sort of paved the way for the other... but l'm curious what readers will think who came to NIGHTWHERE first and then read THE 13TH.

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Bill (Shiftyj1) | 4908 comments Mod
Thanks, John. Will do.

Jason (Darkfiction) | 4564 comments John, two things I really enjoy when reading your work is the prose, which has a really great flow in my opinion, and your characters. As an example of the latter, I really enjoyed the progression of Rea's obsession with the Red and Black of NightWhere.

I was wondering who you're influences are? What writer or book made you want to write?

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Thanks Jason! I think most writers probably have a lot of influences... probably many that they don't even know of themselves. I don't think I write anything like them, but three of the authors who probably influenced me early on in my teens to want to "tell stories" are Richard Matheson and Roald Dahl -- for their great plot twists -- and Stephen King for his plots and amazing characterizations. A little later on, in my 20s I really got into Clive Barker and Anne Rice, who both are amazingly descriptive writers. And Nina Kiriki Hoffman, who simply has a magical voice and wonderful characters.

Over the past 15 years though, the writer who has probably influenced me the most is Edward Lee. His characters are always fun and quirky and his plots are like literary rollercoaster rides. Most of the time when I pick up a Lee novel, I can't put it down until I finish. With a couple of his books, once I cracked the covers I've chucked everything else I planned for that afternoon and just read start-to-finish in a single day.

Chris (flahorrorwriter) | 4297 comments Good stuff, John...I'd read NightWhere in digital months ago (review posted here) but wanted to say I enjoyed reading your answers to the questions here...and Lee is awesome, isn't he? He's been one of my favorites for many years, as well as an influence...

Melissa Thank you, John, for taking the time to discuss NightWhere with the HA crowd! :-D

I am sorry to say that I may be one of the few people who did not enjoy the story. It did start of strong, for me, the seemingly loving couple who had an itch to scratch by swinging, but it quickly digressed for me once Rae showed her true colors...Red/Black. I found your male protagonist to be weak and pathetic...something I personally find repulsive while I found Rae to be unlikable...a user. Not liking the couple I'm sure colored my view of the storyline. At first, I too thought that Mark loved his wife so much that he would do anything to make her happy, but then it became a testament to his insecurities and was no longer 'love' but his need to NOT have made a bad choice. That's not love...that's self-obsession.

To be quite honest, I found it pretty accurtate in regards to the fetishes some people have...the ones where they most be the dominant or be dominated. And I wasn't sickened by the acts just felt a deep sorrow for their need. BTW, I am happy to hear you didn't do any 'research' in regards to some of the fetishes in your book, but then it does make me wonder about your imagination! :-D

So, for me, I am sorry I didn't care for NightWhere, but I do look forward to purchasing and reading more of your work. Since as I mentioned before, I wonder about your imagination...THAT'S a good thing in MY book!!

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Thanks Chris! Lee is awesome. I wish I had his knack for making books read like carnival rides! I try... but I know I don't hold a candle...

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Hi Melissa - thanks for giving the book a read, and sharing your reaction!

I will tell you, as I was writing the book I worried a bit about how readers would take Rae and Mark's relationship, and I have gotten some flack for Mark being a foolish doormat. That said, I know guys like Mark - and women like Rae - exist, and with the right situation, they can really complement the other and fulfill each other (even if it's in a completely unconventional way). Naturally, in a horror novel, my approach was more: ok, what happens to this kind of already twisted relationship when they each get more of their dream than they can really handle...? I have always been fascinated by the obsessions that drive people "down the rabbit hole" - whatever that rabbit hole might be.

I would be the first to say that this is not the sort of story that everyone would want to read. So, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the tale, but I'm glad to hear you'll one of my other books a shot.

Imagination can take you safely anywhere :-)

Melissa John, I am very excited you took the time to respond to my words. I am in awe of writers!! :-D

Thank you!!

Chris (flahorrorwriter) | 4297 comments Melissa wrote: "Thank you, John, for taking the time to discuss NightWhere with the HA crowd! :-D

I am sorry to say that I may be one of the few people who did not enjoy the story. It did start of strong, for m..."

Melissa, if you have the chance to get your hands on Covenant and Sacrifice, do so. Excellent novels!

Daniel (dward526) really enjoying this story. About 50% through.

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Hey Daniel - just saw your review. Would love to know more about what didn't work for you on the ending. Somehow it sounds like the last half went downhill for you?

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J (blkdoggy) | 164 comments Hi John, loved the book, it was one of those stories that I hated to put down, could not wait to get back to it. Reading over the comments from the other readers I felt sorry for Mark, felt he was just a shmuck in love with his wife and wanting her to be happy. Yeah, did find him a little wimpy towards the end, but people are sometimes blinded in relationships, and sometimes you do find that the other person you are with was not who you thought they were. Also saw a side of it where a person gets addicted to something ( In Rae's case , NighWhere) and leaves everything else behind. Story also brought back some memories of Hellraiser the movie. Good stuff.

Jason (Darkfiction) | 4564 comments I agree, Jorge. People will complain that Mark is a little wimpy, but I think that they might be missing the point of this story a little. People in love often do stupid things thinking that they can "rescue" their loved one from the thing they are letting destroy them, which is always a mistake.

Love is blindness. And it can be a terrible thing when you can finally see the real person you are with.

Melissa Chris wrote: "Melissa wrote: "Thank you, John, for taking the time to discuss NightWhere with the HA crowd! :-D

I am sorry to say that I may be one of the few people who did not enjoy the story. It did start ..."

Will do, Chris!! :-D

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Thanks Jason - you summed up my intent with Mark perfectly.

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments And thanks Jorge - glad to hear you enjoyed the novel that much! My goal as a writer is to spin a story that makes people really want to keep turning the pages. So it's always cool to hear when your story DOES in fact have that effect on a reader :-)

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Bill (Shiftyj1) | 4908 comments Mod
I finished Nightwhere a while ago, but have been thinking about it quite a bit lately. The blood/body farm with the blood curtain that conjured or created the "black" was frickin cool. I know I already voiced my anticipation regarding a sequel, but wanted to throw it out there again. Can't let that story line die...it's too good!

P.S. Thanks again, John! Excellent novel!

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Thanks Bill! I suspect I will revisit the world of NightWhere in some way again... though not in the next couple months (other commitments!) Glad you enjoyed it and that it kept ya thinking about it long after you finished. There's probably no higher compliment than that.

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Hey everyone - Just wanted to thank Horror Aficionados for making Nightwhere a special October read last month. I really enjoyed hanging out here on the thread and discussing it with you, and hope more of you than not enjoyed the book!

And if anyone else is still reading it, please do comment in this thread - I'll pop back in!

Hope you all had a great Halloween!

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John Everson (JohnEverson) | 129 comments Bad Moon Books is issuing a limited hardcover edition of NIGHTWHERE in September - but they're only printing as many copies as there are pre-orders. I thought I should post about it here because they'll only be taking orders for another week or two. So if you're interested in getting a signed limited edition of this Bram Stoker Award-nominated erotic horror novel... check out the link here:


Jason (Darkfiction) | 4564 comments Awesome! Thanks, John!

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