Monday, July 01, 2024

My new book Haunts is available today!

Unpacking Copies of Haunts (27/6/24)
[photograph: Bronwyn Lloyd

The official publication date for my new collection of short stories, Haunts, is today, Monday 1st July, 2024.

Cover image: Graham Fletcher (by courtesy of the artist) /
Cover design: Daniela Gast (2024)

As you can see, it does bear a certain resemblance to my previous collection, Ghost Stories, also published by Lasavia Publishing five years ago.

Cover image: Graham Fletcher (by courtesy of the artist) /
Cover design: Daniela Gast (2019)

Once again, it's been a great pleasure to work on the book with the Lasavia team: editor Mike Johnson, and designers Daniela Gast & Rowan Johnson. Again, just like last time, I owe a big thank you to Graham Fletcher for the use of his cover image, and (as ever) to my brilliant wife Bronwyn Lloyd for invaluable advice at every stage. Thanks, too, to Tracey Slaughter for her comments on the typescript at a crucial point of the process.

So what is the book about? The easiest thing might just be to quote from the blurb:
'As Jack Ross stated in his latest collection Ghost Stories, ‘We’re most haunted by that which we’ve worked hardest to deny and eradicate from our lives.'
- Brooke Georgia, Aubade (2022)
What do we actually mean by the word haunt? In this new set of stories inspired by the term, Jack Ross invokes a series of his favourite haunts via voices from the past, beginning with Samuel Butler’s Erewhon and concluding with Emanuel Swedenborg.
In between he visits with Irish ghost-story maestro Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, along with others ranging from James Joyce to H. P. Lovecraft – not to mention Scheherazade herself, creator / narrator of The 1001 Nights.
Most importantly of all, perhaps, he tries to settle accounts with his own father, the architect of a vast entangled empire of native bush and weeds at the back of their suburban quarter-acre section in Mairangi Bay.
The book ends with the novella Cartographies of the Afterlife, an exploration of the penumbra between life and death, based on accounts from recent visitors.
In the immortal words of Bette Davis: ‘Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night.’

Jack Ross is the author of six poetry collections, four novels, and four books of short fiction. His previous collection, Ghost Stories (Lasavia, 2019), has been prescribed for writing courses at three local universities. He’s also edited numerous books, anthologies, and literary journals, including (most recently) Mike Johnson’s Selected Poems (2023).
He blogs at

Brooke Georgia: Aubade (26/3-17/4/2022)

The quote featured above comes from the catalogue for Brooke Georgia's solo exhibition Aubade, at Public Record in Ponsonby.

Another vital question is how you can obtain a copy of the book? We're planning a booklaunch a bit later in the year, but in the meantime, if you'd like to order one online, it's available from the following websites:

Should you buy a copy? Well, obviously, that's between you and your conscience, but I'll conclude by quoting a few extracts from the Lasavia manifesto, written by Waiheke poet and novelist Mike Johnson:
‘When Leila Lees and I first considered establishing Lasavia Publishing, less than one in a hundred manuscripts submitted to publishers reached publication. ... Manuscripts submitted to publishers were, and still are, routinely returned unopened. ‘Mechanisms of exclusion’ as Foucault called them, are rife in the present publishing climate, particularly in New Zealand.

... Publishers distrust the wild card, that which might put readers too far out of their comfort zones, as if comfort was somehow the purpose of literature. Both writers and readers lose out. Real grass roots work is lost or supplanted by celebrity culture. Only indy publishers, who don’t have to carry the overheads of big publishers, will be light enough on their feet to thrive in the new publishing environment."
Recent books issued by Lasavia include Max Gunn's Paybook, a novel by Graham Lindsay; Aucklanders, a collection of stories by Murray Edmond; and Mike Johnson's own Selected Poems, fruit of five decades' work in the medium.

Isabel Michell: Luigi checks it out (1/7/24)

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