Tag Archives: Michelle Elvy

Review by Marissa Hoffmann of ‘the everrumble’ by Michelle Elvy

Michelle Elvy's small-novel-in-small-forms, the everrumble was published by our Award Winning Press Ad Hoc Fiction on 22nd June this year and launched at NFFD New Zealand on that day and a week later at the Flash Fiction Festival in Bristol, UK. It is an extraordinary book and has received great advanced acclaim from Christopher Allen, who introduced it at the festival, Robert Scotellaro, Tracy Slaughter and Catherine McNamara. the everrumble is currently longlisted for the Not-The-Booker-Prize at the Guardian Newspaper in the UK. If you would like to support a great small novel reaching a larger audience, please vote here for her book by August 5th. You have to make a comment on the book and nominate another one by a different publisher. You can buy the everrumble in paperback in several different currencies for posting worldwide from the Ad Hoc Fiction bookshop or in digital format as a Kindle book, via Amazon. Michelle is doing a reading tour of her book in the USA in August and September and following that in New Zealand and Europe. We recommend it as a ground-breaking book and thank Marissa Hoffmann, a writer based in Switzerland, who came to the flash fiction festival this year, for reviewing the novel below.

Review by Marissa Hoffmann

the everrumble is a journey into the senses with protagonist Zettie who, aged seven, stops talking and finds the world becomes louder with the smaller sounds. So acute is her hearing that Zettie—in love with life—painfully aware of the cruelty of man—finds solace in her connection to the world through living sounds; heartbeats, whale cries, a language in the roots of the trees, or a mosquito several houses down the street. Zettie spends a lifetime learning how to control the cacophony.

In the opening story entitled 'Dark and Shadow', we first meet Zettie as a small girl finding a small space in a sensory world, "Zettie has curled herself so tight she can’t feel the fissures anymore; she’s smooth like a marble, no sharp edges. Under the woolly cover, she hears her own breath and nothing else. The blanket is blue and green, with streaks of orange (papaya, really) and yellow (mango really) and a deep red: primeval soil"

Because each story is so rich with colour and texture, with temperature and taste, the exquisite language carries the reader musically, poetically, nourishingly closer to Zettie, leaving us unable to respond with anything other than love for her.

All of Elvy’s stories use Zettie’s experience of sound and space, her primal connection to nature as a way for the reader to understand how Zettie makes sense of the world. A particular favourite story of mine deals with the question of why she is silent, simply with the answer—and the story’s title—'Because'.

The collection reads like a snakes-and-ladders journey, jumping forwards and backwards through Zettie’s whole life and sliding into her dreams along the way. We come to know Zettie’s small world and her sense of the whole world all at once. Playful Zettie names individual bees, curious Zettie travels and finds love—always searching for the 'everrumble'—and the contented elderly Zettie joyfully embraces her metaphysical investigation into time and truth through sound and stories, phrases and languages.

The structure of the everrumble is supported with markers of time and space. Book notes, made by Zettie, begin each story offering poignant extracts that hold truths for her, quotes she takes guidance from. Elvy has expertly placed a heartbeat of historical moments pulsing throughout the stories that serve to contextualise Zettie’s conflicts and responses. Carefully chosen moments provide the geography of Zettie’s travels by sea and land for example when she shares the first time she sees an elephant or when she tenderly holds a dying child for the crying parents.

We find ourselves slowing our own hearts to listen and appreciate. Although Zettie’s relationships as a daughter, friend, a lover, a mother maybe without voice, they are filled with laughter, with warmth and with shared understanding. Everrumble asks ‘have you ever heard the sleep of a child? It is the colour of soft melon, the smell of freshly moan grass’. That sound, a sleeping child, we know the beauty in that, it’s a physical experience, just as the book is. the everrumble is a whisper and a roar.
Marissa Hoffmann, July, 2019.

Marissa Hoffmann's flash has been awarded highly commended at FlashBack Fiction and short listed at the Bath Flash Fiction Award and Flash Frontier’s 'Micro Madness' contest. She is an Ad Hoc Fiction winner and has stories at Milk Candy Review, Bending Genres, Paragraph Planet, The Drabble and Reflex Fiction. Marissa has flash forthcoming at Citron Review and StorgyKids and is a fiction reader at Atticus Review. She tweets @hoffmannwriter.

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Out today! ‘All That Is Between Us’, by K. M. Elkes and ‘the everrumble’ by Michelle Elvy

It's 22nd June and National Flash Fiction Day in New Zealand! On this auspicious day, Ad Hoc Fiction, our short-short press, which recently won best publisher category in the Creative Bath Awards, is thrilled to publish the everrumble 'a small novel in small forms' by Director of NFFD, New Zealand, Michelle Elvy and All That Is Between Us the debut flash fiction collection by K. M. Elkes from Bristol, UK, who was one of the judges for NFFD New Zealand's micro competition, MicroMadness which culminates today. We love these global connections from authors in different hemispheres. And is doubly exciting that Ken and Michelle are teaching workshops at the Flash Fiction Festival, Bristol UK next week 28-30th June and are launching their books there.


Both collections have received many glowing endorsements from well known flash fiction writers and teachers.

Here's one from Tania Hershman about All That Is Between Us

"I could dazzle you with well-chosen superlatives or make clumsy attempts to sum up K. M. Elkes' work, but really what I want to say is: This collection is so good. So very, very good. Whoever you are, whatever you like to read, you need these stories in your life."
Tania Hershman, author of Some Of Us Glow More Than Others

And one about the everrumble from Christopher Allen.

"A tour de force, Michelle Elvy's the everrumble is a profound, poetic constellation of notes on the Earth's ‘alive noises’, the hope that lives in the natural world. Zettie's story – all her moments of evolving, her capacity to listen, and her gift of becoming all the sounds of the earth – affected me to the core."
Christopher Allen, author of Other Household Toxins

You can buy both of these brilliant collections now in paperback in several different currencies for worldwide posting directly from the Ad Hoc Fiction online bookshop. Go straight to the bookshop page for All That Is Between Us by K M Elkes here and straight to the bookshop page for the everrumble by Michelle Elvy here. And you can also buy in digital format on Kindle via Amazon. Links to Kindle for each collection are on the bookshop page.

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Flying the Flag for Flash

We're so thrilled and honoured that Ad Hoc Fiction,the short-short fiction press which publishes all our anthologies and flash fiction collections won the publisher's category in the Creative Bath Awards, 2018 announced last night, June 13th, in Bath, a recognition for all the publishing work we did last year. Jude, Ad Hoc Fiction's representative here, is pictured proudly holding the trophy which was designed by a student at Bath Spa University and she is with Ad Hoc fiction published authors, Diane Simmons, holding her book Finding A Way and the prosecco and Alison Woodhouse, an Ad Hoc Fiction micro winner. The Awards are sponsored by Bath Spa University among others, so it's altogether thrilling. And we hope this continues to extend the reach of flash fiction in the South West and beyond.

Huge thanks to John at Ad Hoc Fiction who has worked very hard to produce so many beautiful books since 2017 when our paperback publishing venture began. Hundreds of writers have been published in the five anthologies compiled from Bath Flash Fiction Award submissions over the years since 2016 and from submissions by participants who attended the flash fiction festivals and these publications have travelled around the world. Hundreds more have been published online in the weekly free Ad Hoc Fiction micro contest, which John administers and which has a worldwide writing, reading and voting community. Without his work in typesetting and designing the books we would never have reached the stage of receiving this prestigious Award..

It's timely to receive it, because Ad Hoc Fiction is publishing several new books this June. First up on 22nd June, National Flash Fiction Day, New Zealand New Zealand based author, Michelle Elvy's 'small novel in small forms', the everrumble, and local writer, K M Elkes' debut collection, All That Is Between Us will be published in paperback and available in paperback for purchase in many different currencies for posting worldwide from the Ad Hoc Fiction online bookshop as well as for sale in various locations in New Zealand on 22nd June. Ken's collection is available for pre-order here and Michelle's here. Both marvellous books. And NFFD New Zealand is a good day to support them. We're also very happy that both Ken and Michelle will be at the Flash Fiction Festival running workshops and talks and their books will be for sale for cash or by card there.

We're also launching Birds With Horse Hearts the winner of the 2019 Novella in Flash, Homing, the runner-up novella by Johanna Robinson and Roster by Debra A Daniel, highly commended in the same Award. These three books will also be published on 29th June, the Saturday of the festival and the three amazing book covers will be revealed on that day.

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All That Is Between Us
Debut flash fiction collection by K. M. Elkes

Ad Hoc Fiction, our short-short fiction press, is thrilled to publish All That Is Between Us, the dazzling debut flash fiction collection by Bristol-based author, K.M.Elkes. The collection "explores the complex fragility of human relationships, both the challenges of belonging and how much we risk to avoid being alone. It is a book of moments, evoking the beauty and comfort that connection brings, and the pain when it is severed."

All That Is Between Us, includes Ken's first-prize winning flash fiction, Extremities from Bath Flash Fiction Award, June 2018 and many more wonderful fictions and is highly rated by the eight well-known flash fiction writers quoted below. The art work for the stunning cover is by Bridport based artist, Suzanne Clements.
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Michelle Elvy, published by Ad Hoc Fiction, June 2019

Ad Hoc Fiction is honoured to be publishing the everrumble, "a small novel in small forms" by Michelle Elvy. It's a wonderful and important work of fiction highly praised by the writers quoted below. The striking cover art is by acclaimed Ethiopian artist, Eyayu Genet.

"the everrumble is a poetic imagining of intense focus and sweeping ideas. Zettie’s story is fluid and in motion, transcending geographies and time. She stops talking, at age seven, and starts to listen – to the worlds she finds in language and books, and to the people and places she encounters as she moves across continents. Her silence connects her to people, to nature and to the elemental world. Magical and beyond boundaries, this collection focuses on small fragments, taking Zettie, and the reader, inevitably to the place where human history began."
the everrumble was launched at the Flash Fiction Festival, UK on 28th-30th June where Michelle ran workshops, chaired a panel on Flash Around the World, introduced the latest Best Small Fiction anthology, and talked about flash fiction in New Zealand. It is for sale at the Ad Hoc Fiction bookshop in paperback in several different currencies and in Kindle ebook format via Amazon. Read in Full

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Michelle Elvy
October 2016 Commended

Whale Shark

by Michelle Elvy

I dreamed I was a whale shark dreaming he was a boy dreaming he was a whale shark dreaming he was a boy dreaming he was a whale shark dreaming he was a boy. Illuminating. Diving. Soaring. All in one night, or maybe it was one hour, or even one minute. I dove down down down and found fluorescent charms swinging from the snouts of seahorses. I flew firecrackerfast, fearsome and jubilant at the dizzying depths and the iridescent shape of things. I fed on plankton but they weren’t plankton at all – they were morsels of delight, merry magical minstrels skipping on my tongue, pressing and lifting at the same time. Between bites (gapes, because there’s no chewing when you’re a whale shark) I napped and dreamed, and I was the boy, and I had a ladder, and I climbed and climbed and climbed. The ladder went up to the top of my house and beyond. It touched treetops and the salt of the sea-sky in the harbour. It exceeded the reach of my mother’s call, way out in the everdark of the night. I dove through silk raindrops and I was a whale shark again, pectoral fin browsing slippery sand. And then I was a boy again. Shifting back and forth, down and up: first tail swish, long and smooth and elegant like a shark but not a shark, then boy with hands – hands! – digging a mote of water for protection (naturally) around a castle, singing sea-lavender songs. As a whale shark, I dreamed the boy, and as a boy, I dreamed the whale shark. And so on. Blueblack of ocean to blackblue of sky. Down and back up. Swimming laddering lunging climbing.

I can be anything in my dreams.

I open my mouth and swallow the stars.

About the Author

m-elvyA writer and manuscript editor based in New Zealand, Michelle Elvy edits at Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction and Blue Five Notebook. She is chair of NZ's National Flash Fiction Day and Assistant Editor of the critically acclaimed Best Small Fictions series. This year, she is assembling an anthology of New Zealand flash, with Frankie McMillan and James Norcliffe. Currently in East Africa, Michelle is writing two collections, one essay and one flash, inspired by the extraordinary animal life she’s encountered during her travels aboard her sailboat, Momo. ‘Whale Shark’ is from those new stories. Read more at michelleelvy.com and svmomo.blogspot.com.

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June 2016 Judge’s Report
Michelle Elvy

BathFlashThis was a marvellous long list. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the stories several times. There were stories in flight, secret meetings, barbershop chats, runaway brides; there were mystical yearnings and mythical transformations; there were stalkers and lovers, nuns and tattoos, jam and germs. Such riches, such variety.
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Michelle Elvy
New Bath Flash Judge

We're delighted that writer, editor and manuscript assessor, Michelle Elvy who we interviewed in January, has agreed to be our judge for this round of Bath Flash Fiction. Michelle reads and selects flash fiction on a daily basis for the online journals Blue Five Notebook and Flash Frontier and has judged many flash fiction competitions in recent years. She also organises New Zealand's National Flash Fiction Day competition which is now open for entries to New Zealand writers.
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Guest Interview: Michelle Elvy

Michelle Elvy

Michelle Elvy is a writer, editor and manuscript assessor based in New Zealand's Bay of Islands. Her poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and reviews have been published in numerous print and online journals. She lives on her 43’ sailboat with her husband and two daughters and is presently exploring the waters of East Africa. She edits at Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction and Blue Five Notebook and is Assistant Editor, International, of the Best Small Fictions series, by Queens Ferry Press.
www.michelleelvy.com

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