"You can't help being tickled" – The Guardian

For a short time, I'm giving away six extra chapters of Perpetual Astonishment. Just let me know where to send them.

The Deleted Scenes of Jonathon Fairfax

Hello and welcome

Christopher Shevlin stuffed shirt

I formally welcome you to my website

Thank you for visiting my website

I'm the author of The Perpetual Astonishment of Jonathon Fairfax and its almost-finished sequel, codenamed The Something Something of Jonathon Fairfax.

If you've read PAJF, as I call it, then thank you very much. You've helped me in my quest to make a living from writing things that I like.

Now, how can I help you?

Would you like to know more about Perpetual Astonishment?

Cover art for The Perpetual Astonishment of Jonathon Fairfax

I launched PAJF four years ago with an apologetic note on Facebook. Since then, it has slowly changed my life, selling around 35,000 copies in all and still going at a rate of around 500 a month.

A surprising lack of failure

I had just come to terms with its failure when it took off quite unexpectedly around the end of 2013. In 2014 it made me a living wage. I didn’t live on it though. Instead I saved the money and did a lot of freelancing, hoping I’d be able to make enough to get a mortgage before London became insupportably expensive.

I didn’t manage it. And I got very ill trying. After a few months, I realised I wasn’t going to get better soon. So I decided to go to Berlin for a bit, get better and write a sequel. I have now just about managed those last two things.

(Soon there will be a link here, and you'll be able to read more about PAJF, if you want to.)

Would you like to know more about the sequel?

This is where I find out whether I can become a more or less full-time author. I have now finished the third draft of the sequel to PAJF and have handed it over to a band of brave – foolhardy even – volunteer test-readers. I’m hoping to do another draft soon and will probably launch it just in time for the post-Christmas lull.

The emptiness of the top floor

It’s set five years after PAJF, and Jonathon is back in London, trying to adapt to a dispiriting corporate job. One day he discovers an empty floor in his building, and this soon drags him – and Lance – into a rabbit-hole of murder, betrayal and flip charts.

Read the first chapter. (Soon this will be a link.)

Vote on your favourite title, or suggest another. (Soon this will also be a link.)

The sequel to the Perpetual Astonishment of Jonathon Fairfax

Would you like something short to read now?

Here are some short things you can read, which some people have liked. (The Gdansk one is the longest.)

On being chased out of a Helsinki graveyard by a squirrel
Have I ever told you about the time that I was chased out of a Helsinki graveyard by a squirrel?[...]
London Coffee Places and the Death of the English Language
Have you ever seen that episode of the Twilight Zone where a man finds that words are gradually being replaced?[...]
Labour schmaving
It occurred to me while using the automated self-checkout machine in Tesco today that I patiently accept a degree of[...]
Four ages of the beard
My beard began about two and a half years ago, and has passed through four ages, as I believe all[...]
The Black Knight and the Dragon
This is the first of the two "other stories" from King Moonfred and his Knights and Other Stories. Cover page  [...]
I went to Gdansk and all I got was this lousy short story
Actually, the story isn't all I got – I also got a ton of good memories. I've just come back[...]

Normal service will be resumed shortly

Actually, normal service has never really begun. But I’m messing about with this website at the moment, so please bear with me while things change. I apologise for the inconvenience.