Dave Jeffery has been writing and publishing through small presses for 17 years, primarily in the horror and supernatural genre, but has also released contemporary work based on themes of mental health and illness.
His current release is CaTHEDRAL (Demain Publishing) which is set after a mutant strain of meningitis has wiped out most of humanity but those that remain have lost their hearing. It is the second book in the A Quiet Apocalypse series. CaTHEDRAL recently received a 5-star review from IndieMuse reviewer Richard Martin. It’s currently #1 on the IndieMuse Top Horror Charts (for Short Reads) which is set to be released publicly on 3/31/21.
So I gotta ask…what’s the significance of the lettering sequence in CaTHEDRAL? The first a is lowercase on the cover while the rest of the title is capitalized. Both CaTHEDRAL and the next book in the series (THE SaMARITAN) have this in common.
The design is by Adrian Baldwin and we were looking for a logo that left the reader off kilter and questioning convention, the same way that losing a sense would have people trying to make sense of a skewed world.
Can you share with us something about CaTHEDRAL that isn’t in the blurb?
There are several Easter eggs in both CaTHEDRAL and A Quiet Apocalypse that require the reader to read and think about certain aspects in order to find them. I could tell you what they are but that would spoil the fun, right?
What is the significance of the title?
CaTHEDRAL is the name of the town where the new society has established itself. In reality, it is a small, walled community at the center of Birmingham. The city is named after St. Phillip’s, the old cathedral, where the first survivors congregated to build their new world.
As a society the people of CaTHEDRAL must adhere to a set of laws and mandates that are designed to put community first. There is no room for individuality and deviating from this core philosophy leads to ritualized corporal punishment, or worse.
What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
The key challenge was to make sure that CaTHEDRAL stood up against A Quiet Apocalypse, the first novella in the series. In terms of public and critical reaction, there is strong consensus that it is a unique and ultra-real story, and I wanted to make sure this aspect continued in CaTHEDRAL. It’s a great relief knowing that nearly all of the early reviews cite that I have achieved this aspect.
Do you want each book in The Quiet Apocalypse series to stand on its own?
Absolutely! One of the interesting things about writing this series is the first person point of view. While this might not be to every reader’s taste, it does force them to only see the world through a small lens—that of the protagonist—but also means that the world may be the same in each book, but the perspective and experience of it will be very different. What this means is that, from a writer’s perspective, you can write these books as though no others exist, and the timeline is deliberately ambiguous to facilitate this element of the story.
What does literary success look like to you?
I think the important thing to make clear is that I do not write for fame or fortune, I write because it is part of who I am and I have found that I’m intolerable when I’m not able to do it. I did try to stop writing many years ago and let’s just say it’s an experiment I’ll never try again because I failed miserably!
So, for me, literary success is about what readers think of what you do, and it’s always amazing when they get in touch and say that they found a connection with something you have written, or it has made them think or (shock, horror) they’ve been entertained for a day or two. It’s always nice to be acknowledged by peers, but it’s the feedback from readers that tends to make me think, “Yeah, perhaps I do know what I’m doing most of the time.”
What are you reading now?
I’m currently reading A Different Kind of Light by Simon Bestwick. It’s a dark but beautifully written novella and I urge people to go and check it out. Bestwick is a quality writer and one of the UK’s best in my opinion.
If you could cure a disease, what would it be?
Cancer. That disease fucking sucks. As a species we need to do everything in our intellectual and financial power to beat it.
Would you rather live in a haunted mansion or live in a un-haunted cottage?
An un-haunted cottage. I can bring my own ghosts if needed.
Tea or coffee?
Tea. Strong. Preferably from Yorkshire.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
The SaMARITAN—the third book in the A Quiet Apocalypse series—is currently with Demain Publishing and I’m awaiting edits. As for a release date, watch IndieMuse for an announcement coming very soon.
I’m just settling down to write the sixth book in the Beatrice Beecham YA supernatural/mystery series. The Devil Device is coming out through Crossroad Press next year. Think Nancy Drew meets Stranger Things and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what the series is all about.
Thanks, Dave, for stopping by IndieMuse and congratulations on the strong review for CaTHEDRAL from both our reviewers and curators!
Readers can check out the author’s official IndieMuse page HERE.