"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 soon-to-be-released sequel, Jonathon Fairfax Must Be Destroyed.

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 over 30,000 copies 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 (sort of) 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 scrape together 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, so I've come back to England to release it.

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. With feedback from some kind and intrepid test-readers, and help from Scott Pack, ace editor and former head of HarperCollins, I've finished the final draft. The cover has been designed by Patrick Knowles, who did Rivers of London and House of Silk. And I've just handed it over for proofreading by DeAndra Lupu, who worked on Raymond Briggs's last book.

On 16 September, I'll begin to find out whether it's any good.

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.

Find out more about the book they're already calling Jonathon Fairfax Must Be Destroyed (because that's its title).

Jonathon Fairfax Must Be Destroyed

Would you like something short to read now?

Alternatively, you might want something you can read right here on this website. Here are a few suggestions. (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[...]

Find out when I have a new book or story

If you’d like to join my mailing list – so you can find out when the next book’s out and be offered extra stories and things – please put your email address in this box and press the button.