Inspired by a true story, this supernatural thriller for fans of horror and true crime follows a tale as it evolves every twenty years—with terrifying results.
The Ring meets Scream in this terrifying, wickedly fun, and totally meta supernatural thriller about a true-crime tale that takes on a life of its own every 20 years. The story is told around a campfire in the ‘50s, adapted into a movie in the ‘70s, re-booted in the ‘90s, and investigated on a Serial-like podcast in the present day.
Ella Louise has lived in the woods surrounding Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, for nearly a decade. Publicly, she and her daughter Jessica are shunned by their upper-crust family and the Pilot’s Creek residents. Privately, desperate townspeople visit her apothecary for a cure to what ails them—until Ella Louise is blamed for the death of a prominent customer. Accused of witchcraft, both mother and daughter are burned at the stake in the middle of the night. Ella Louise’s burial site is never found, but the little girl has the most famous grave in the South: a steel-reinforced coffin surrounded by a fence of interconnected white crosses.
Their story will take the shape of an urban legend as it’s told around a campfire by a man forever marked by his boyhood encounters with Jessica. Decades later, a boy at that campfire will cast Amber Pendleton as Jessica in a ’70s horror movie inspired by the Witch Girl of Pilot’s Creek. Amber’s experiences on that set and its meta-remake in the ’90s will ripple through pop culture, ruining her life and career after she becomes the target of a witch hunt. Amber’s best chance to break the cycle of horror comes when a true-crime investigator tracks her down to interview her for his popular podcast. But will this final act of storytelling redeem her—or will it bring the story full circle, ready to be told once again? And again. And again . . .
Buzz Books gives you 45 chances to find your next great reads, providing exclusive early looks at new work from favorite authors and hot discoveries. Enjoy the first pre-publication samples of new work from bestselling authors Tracy Chevalier, Jojo Moyes, Kevin Wilson, Jeanette Winterson, and Eoin Colfer, known for his Artemis Fowl YA series. Buzz Books collections are meant to be shared, so spread your enthusiasm and “to be read” picks online.
Features an excerpt from the upcoming novel The Remaking, written by Clay McLeod Chapman, from Quirk Books. Available May 14, 2019.
In the 34th issue of Dark Moon Digest, the gods of the sky take their vengeance; a little girl and her brother see too much; sisters talk to civil war ghosts; a fairy tale has a different idea of happily ever after; a peeping tom gets more than an eyeful; a gangster isn’t so tough after all; and an animal social worker discovers more than she expected. Fiction by Donna J.W. Munro, Anne Gresham, Clay McLeod Chapman, George Cotronis, W.P. Johnson, Joe Quenell, and Betty Rocksteady, alongside non-fiction by Jay Wilburn and George Daniel Lea.
Features the short story “battlefield séances” written by Clay McLeod Chapman.
A parallel dimension exists below the surface of reality. Its doors swing open every time we sleep, allowing us passage into the land of DREAMS, a plane rich with exotic fantasy and limitless bliss. Within this wonder world, however, lurk dark corridors and terrible creatures—some unfortunate travelers never escape the NIGHTMARES waiting in the shadows. Many have tried bridging our worlds. Seekers and wise men have meditated for VISIONS and ingested intoxicants for HALLUCINATIONS in hopes that the veil between our realms will thin, allowing access to all the thrills, joys, and horrors beyond our senses. TRANSCENDENT is an open gate, a gangway linking our realm to the sphere where nothing is certain and anything is possible.
Features the story 'coatroom' written by Clay McLeod Chapman. On shelves November 2018.
Strange Aeons has been described as the illegitimate love-child between Heavy Metal and Weird Tales! 64 pages of gorgeous B&W and Color Comics by Rob Corless, Eric York, and SA alumns John Fulton and K.L. Young! FOUR fantastic Fiction Stories by John C. Foster, Alan Baxter, Clay McLeod Chapman, and Brian Evenson! Articles, Columns, Reviews and so much more can also be found waiting inside! Our amazing cover is by our Head Art Creep, the one and only Nick “The Hat” Gucker! And as an added bonus we've included another collectible Art Card!
Features the short story “HOCUS FLOTUS” by Clay McLeod Chapman. Click here to purchase.
The curse is as old as folklore itself. They are the malediction of gods and witches, protections of the pharoh’s tombs, the warnings for would-be thieves. Before the days of Hollywood, the werewolf was the victim of a curse. Today they linger with sports teams and in the theatre.
Features the short story “stump speeches,” written by Clay McLeod Chapman. Out Fall 2018.
Ink Stains Anthology is a literary journal filled with dark tales of fiction from Dark Alley Press, under the direction of Senior Managing Editor N. Apythia Morges. Featuring the short story “cyan, magenta, yellow and key,” written by Clay McLeod Chapman. On shelves July 2018.
“...One of the darkest collections of short stories since H.P. Lovecraft.”
– The Abstract
In Rest Area, Clay McLeod Chapman offered a view into the lives of Southern Gothic monstrosities. Now, the 40 tales of Nothing Untoward delve into the depraved minds of those madmen and women who drift along the periphery of humankind. Sometimes darkly humorous, sometimes strangely heartbreaking, these stories explore the domestic horrors of the everyday, finding terror within our own households.
Haunting and hilarious, these sharply tuned diatribes are more than simple horror stories in the traditional sense. These offbeat psychological portraits are presented from the perspectives of the very monsters themselves. The heroes of these tales are murderers, loners, and drifters.
Spanning over 20 years of the rigorous storytelling session “The Pumpkin Pie Show,” the tales collected here are to be read out loud – or to yourself, if you're brave enough. The oral tradition is alive and well with these stories, captured on the page for you to share around the campfire, or flip through in bed late at night. These are ghost stories for people who don't believe in ghosts, haunted by their own crumbling minds and wounded hearts.
A perfect mixture of tongue-and-cheek gallows humor, psychological terror, and character-based storytelling, Nothing Untoward focuses on the darker side of domesticity and won't let go.
On shelves March 7, 2017. From Applause Books.
Roky Erickson is a musician best known for his work with psychedelic rock pioneers The Thirteenth Floor Elevators. In the late 1960s, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Shortly thereafter he was arrested on a trumped-up drug charge and remanded to a maximum security mental institution. After his release in the 70s he began writing songs inspired by horror movies he'd seen as a child. The result was The Evil One—an album both emotionally devastating and incredibly fun, upbeat and ponderous, monster-movie geeky and deadly serious.
The Evil One is a literary cover version. Fiction from X.C. Atkins, Tom Batten, John Beckman, Andrew Blossom, Belle Boggs, Brian Castleberry, Clay McLeod Chapman, Taryn Chesshire, Matthew C. Crady, Dennis Danvers, Tom De Haven, Phillip Feger, Katy Resch George, David Gordon, Smith Henderson, Julie Karr, Greg Koehler, Chad Luibl, Lauren Maas, Tyler Magill, Muki Mahan, Lauren Sullivan McCarty, J.W. Morison, Shannon O'Neill, Howard Owen, Conrad Ashley Persons, Amira Pierce, Hermine Pinson, Mike Powell, Sarah Elaine Smith, April Sopkin, Matthew Stuart, Rebecca Taylor, Merve Thomas, Rebecca Wadlinger & Nate Waggoner.
Featuring the story 'B-Side' written by Clay McLeod Chapman. On shelves February 2017.
A collection of thoughtful and provocative reflections on how theatre practitioners think about and engage with audiences, as well as define and explore sites for performance. Through shared experience and ritual, live performance functions as a catalytic medium for progress and evolution. In the hands of artists and audience, the stage is set for the re-makings of commonwealth, or necessary revolution.
Includes the essay “I'll Be Your One-Way Mirror: Crossing the 4th Wall” by Clay McLeod Chapman. On shelves September 13, 2016.
Once the Tribe laid siege to Camp New Leaf, Spencer was left with no choice but to call in the reinforcements: their parents. But when he sees that his own mom and dad have left him high and dry, Spencer runs into the woods and never looks back. After months of hiding away, he is found and sentenced to spend time at the Kesey Reclamation Center, where kids are placed under strict surveillance. He knows he has to escape, but where can he go? If Spencer isn’t careful he might be punished and sent to the “Black Hole,” and it only takes one visit to change you—for better, or worse.
To learn more about Academic Assassins, check out the Tribe's own website here: http://thetribebooks.com/
Release date: November 24, 2015
featuring Tom Batten, Clay McLeod Chapman, Adam Day, Brad Dukes, Harriet Hayward, Julie Karr, Tony Mancus, Carson Mell, Noah Scalin & more.
Featuring “any jane” written by Clay McLeod Chapman. Out April 2015.
For 70 years, The Best American Short Plays has been the standard of excellence for one-act plays in America. From its inception, it has identified cutting-edge playwrights – Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, and others – who have gone on to establish award-winning careers. The Best American Short Plays 2013-2014 takes a look at our changing times. “Uncertain” seems to be the watchword of today's world, full of surprises, shocks, and even a few delights. Uncertainty brings with it fear and insecurity, as well as nostalgic longing for the good old days, but for some, uncertainty means opportunity and along with it the prospect of change for the better. This volume includes short plays by Neil LaBute, John Guare, Laura Shaine Cunningham, Daniel F. Levin, Quincy Long, Halley Feiffer, Caridad Svich, and Clay McLeod Chapman.
Featuring “the wet echo” written by Clay McLeod Chapman. Out October 2015.
This second volume of the best monologues from the Best American Short Plays series features a diverse selection drawn from the outstanding works from many of today's best American playwrights. In these monologues, the playwrights capture much of the flavors, feelings, and thoughts of American culture over the past several decades. The result is a collection of taught, engaging monologues offering fascinating perspectives. They are written with an eye toward the stage that makes them excellent source material for actors young and old alike. And they offer a freshness and directness that make them excellent companions for readers attracted to good, often quirky, and always engaging contemporary literature.
Included in this volume are monologues by Billy Aronson, Bruce Bonafede, Victor Bumbalo, Clay McLeod Chapman, Yussef El Guindi, Steve Feffer, Catherine Filloux, Daniel Gallant, Madeleine George, Willy Holtzman, Paul Kuritz, Neil LaBute, Dano Madden, Theodore Mann, Donald Margulies, Susan Miller, Lavonne Mueller, Joyce Carol Oates, Carey Pepper, Joe Pintauro, Michael Roderick, Murray Schisgal, Paul Selig, and Nicky Silver.
Featuring the story “undertow,” originally published in Best American Short Plays 2009-2010.
Since being expelled for giving the Greenfield Middle School student body an “explosive” case of food poisoning and sent to live with his father, Spencer Pendleton hasn't exactly been doing his best to put the past behind him and settle into his new life. What with losing the girl-of-his-dreams, Sully, and gaining a there-but-still-absentee father, his life still has a few kinks to work out. And when his single-minded quest to track down the Tribe and reunite with Sully lands him at Camp New Leaf, Spencer is convinced things can't get much worse. WRONG!
Not only is Camp New Leaf no ordinary camp, but it appears that the Tribe hasn't laid the past to rest, either. And what better place to catch up with an old member-or recruit a few new ones-than a secluded camp for “troubled” boys. With rebellion in the air, Spencer must find a way to stop the Tribe's plans to put down roots and expand its ranks before someone gets seriously hurt-or worse.
To learn more about Camp Cannibal, check out The Tribe's own website here: http://thetribebooks.com/
Release date: April 22, 2014
Best Monologues from Best American Short Plays, Volume One is a must for actors of all ages beginners as well as seasoned veterans and belongs in the libraries of all theater teachers looking for new and exciting material for their students. The monologues in this volume are excerpted from the outstanding series Best American Short Plays, an archive of works from many of the best playwrights active today, presenting taut, engaging single-character pieces that range from zany comedy to poignant tales of love and loss. Each monologue includes a short introduction and a reference identifying where to locate the entire play, should anyone choose to pursue production beyond the monologue. Long or short, serious or not, this collection is must-have material for anyone interested in acting. The monologues also succeed as excellent companions for the casual reader.
Featuring the story “birdfeeder,” originally published in Best American Short Plays 2007-2008
“Clay McLeod Chapman is a terrific new voice. The zings in Homeroom Headhunters show that he understands how 7th graders talk, act, and—most importantly—think.”
– Ned Vizzini It’s Kind of a Funny Story
School is in session, and today's lesson is how to stay alive. Spencer Pendleton better take notes. He'll have to learn the Law of Claw and Fang to survive not just the bullies, but those who bully the bullies: the Tribe, a group of academic headhunters who don't play by anyone's rules except their own. They live off cafeteria food and wield weapons made out of everyday school supplies. They've made Greenfield Middle their hunting ground… and they're looking for new blood.
With a darkly candid sense of humor, author Clay McLeod Chapman reveals the wilder side of middle school, where students embrace their inner animal and go native.
To learn more about Homeroom Headhunters, check out The Tribe's own website here: http://thetribebooks.com/
Release date: May 7, 2013
Your favorite authors take a stab at the dreaded essay assignment!
This book came directly out of one teacher's experience in the classroom. Rebecca Stern’s fifth grade students were bored to death with essay writing, and the one thing Rebecca needed to inspire them—great examples appropriate for kids—was nowhere to be found. Inspired by a challenge, Rebecca joined forces with her friend, social entrepreneur Brad Wolfe, and the two came up with a terrific proposal—gather together a collection of essays that don’t suck by some of the best writers around, many of whom kids already love reading.
Essays by NICK ABADZIS, STEVE ALMOND, GIGI AMATEAU, KHALID BIRDSONG, STEVE BREZENOFF, CECIL CASTELLUCCI, CLAY MCLEOD CHAPMAN, LISE CLAVEL, JOE CRAIG, SLOANE CROSLEY, CHRIS EPTING, ALANE FERGUSON, ALAN GRATZ, MICHAEL HEARST, CHRIS HIGGINS, CRAIG KIELBURGER, SARAH DARER LITTMAN, JENNIFER LOU, MICHAEL DAVID LUKAS, WENDY MASS, MAILE MELOY, KIRSTEN MILLER, JOSHUA MOHR, MARY-ANN OCHOTA, SARAH PRINEAS, RANSON RIGGS, LENA ROY, MARIE RUTKOSKI, CASEY SCIESZKA AND STEVE WEINBERG, APRIL SINCLAIR, LAUREL SNYDER, ELLEN SUSSMAN, NED VIZZINI, SCOTT WESTERFLED, DAISY WHITNEY, RITA WILLIAMS-GARCIA, ELIZABETH WINTHROP
Featuring "Showering with Spiders" by Clay McLeod Chapman. Release date: June 2013.
“They’re tiny, vivid bursts of theatrical imagination. They’re crystalline distillations of theatrical essence. They’re candid snapshots of 17 distinct theatrical souls. I love this tiny book.”
– Lisa Kron
The Debate Society asked a group of fellow playwrights and friends to contribute to a chapbook. The stipulation: Write a play intended to last 15 seconds.
Contributors include: Annie Baker, Mike Batistick, Adam Bock, Joshua Conkel, Jason Craig, Lisa D’Amour, Ann Marie Healy, Kyle Jarrow, Lally Katz, Kristen Kosmas, Kirk Lynn, Clay McLeod Chapman, Itamar Moses, Donna di Novelli, Sylvan Oswald, Reggie Watts
Featuring "A Priest Remembers His Grandmother" by Clay McLeod Chapman.
Published by Ugly Duckling Presse. For more info, click here: http://bit.ly/TBwIF2
“Editor Barbara Parisi thankfully saved the best for last... The writing shows average human beings at their weakest points, leading to the horrible capabilities some people are pushed to in certain situations.”
– Chicago Stage Style
Applause is proud to continue the series that for over 70 years has been the standard of excellence for one-act plays in America. This volume of the new millennium includes "Seven Card Draw," by Clay McLeod Chapman, John Guare, Neil LaBute, among others, tackling complex human issues through diverse theatrical styles and a wide range of character perspectives.
Features the short story "undertow" by Clay McLeod Chapman.
“A truly amazing evening of storytelling that is equal parts brilliant writing and powerful performance... 'Commencement' looks into the heart of tragedy and stabs it.
One actress plays three women drawn together in the grim aftermath of a high school shooting—the mother of the shooter (staph infection), one of the shooter's victims (early release), and the mother of that victim (keynote speaker). It is a deep exploration of the lives of three women that, according to SEE Magazine “... will leave you wringing your hands in helpless empathy.”
For production rights and a copy of the script, go to Orginal Works here.
The villains at Awkward Press are at it again with Awkward Two, a collection of tales so inventive they can barely be contained by the boundaries of their wood-pulp prison. The experience begins with the cover, a charming take on the theme of "Brevity" that has been lovingly hand penciled by illustrious illustrator Baarbarian. Peel back the cover and find yourself transported to an unexpected world in which pirates hold court over human resources departments, house painters become religious leaders, and ants show up in the most unlikely of places.
Awkward Two features thirty-three original short works by twenty-five of the modern world's finest scribes in a package that is at once sophisticated and refreshingly humble. Awkward Two is brimming with stories guaranteed to shock and amaze.
Features the short story "grand marshal" by Clay McLeod Chapman.
“...Like a hard blow to the reader's solar plexus.”
– Virginia Living
Launched by the summer ’04 award-winning, best seller Brooklyn Noir, Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city.
The River City emerges as a hot spot for unseemly noir…
With a forward by Tom Robbins. Brand new stories by Dean King, Laura Browder, Howard Owen, Yazmina Beverly, Tom De Haven, X.C. Atkins, Meagan J. Saunders, Anne Thomas Soffee, Clint McCown, Conard Ashley Persons, Clay McLeod Chapman, Pir Rothenberg, David L. Robbins, Hermine Pinson, and Dennis Danvers.
Features the short story "the battle of belle isle" by Clay McLeod Chapman.
““birdfeeder” is a darkly poetic monologue... Chapman's prose is haunting, beautifully written, poignant, and elegiac... I cannot spoil the plot of the monologue without ruining any element of surprise. I can tell you that it's about a love between two people that transcends the body and is truly moving and disturbing. ”
Applause is proud to continue the series that for over 60 years has been the standard of excellence for one-act plays in America. Our editor Barbara Parisi has selected fourteen playwrights Daniel Gallant, John Guare, Neil LaBute, Quincy Long, Laura Shaine Cunningham, Clay McLeod Chapman, and Daniel Frederick Levin.
Features the short story "birdfeeder" by Clay McLeod Chapman.
Who let the WORDS out? Who indeed! This gorgeous collection of five imaginative fiction pieces makes an elegant conversation starter whether you're riding the rails or immersed in your morning bath. Each piece has been lovingly handprinted and -crafted by machines at G & H Soho Inc., in the United States of America. The highly-framable cover of Awkward One features an eye-catching illustration from the pen of universally-beloved artist James Moore, printed in vibrant red ink on a bone-white background. Designed by the internationally-exalted New York graphic-artistry firm Rumors, the book has been precisely engineered to withstand years of the repeat readings that you're certain to crave once you've sampled the arresting fiction contained within.
Be prepared to tumble headfirst into five unique and engrossing new worlds from the minds of Clay McLeod Chapman, Jeffrey Dinsmore, Kyle Jarrow, Honor Rovai, and Michael Cipra.
Features the short story "staph infection" by Clay McLeod Chapman.
The book contains modern English adaptations of six plays by turn-of-the-century Yiddish playwrights that have never before been available in English.
Translated by Ellen Perecman. Adapted by Perecman and Clay McLeod Chapman.
Tales from the 2006 Rolling Darkness Revue tour. Includes first-time-in-print stories by Peter Atkins, Clay McLeod Chapman, Dennis Etchison, Glen Hirshberg, Lisa Morton, and Norman Partridge. Published by Earthling Publications.
Perfectbound softcover containing stories from authors who toured with Rolling Darkness Revue in October 2006: Original tales from Peter Atkins, Glen Hirshberg, Clay McLeod Chapman, Lisa Morton, and Norman Partridge, and the first print appearance of a story from RDR alumnus Dennis Etchison. The bulk of the 250-copy print run was made available for sale at stops during the ROLLING DARKNESS REVUE tour; for those people who couldn’t attend the shows, approximately 50 were available for sale directly through Earthling. The copies sold through Earthling were signed by as many of the contributors as possible; at a minimum by Rolling Darkness Revue co-founders Hirshberg and Atkins.
Features the short story "late bloomer" by Clay McLeod Chapman.
“Clay McLeod Chapman’s wonderful “Half and Half,” about a happy hermaphrodite, is worthy of composers Kander and Ebb.”
– Portland Tribune
Eighteen of North America's most significant contemporary writers, including many bestselling authors, have written lyrics specially for The Author Project, a CD of songs composed and performed by the NYC-based band One Ring Zero. Imagine the finest anthology of writing possible including winners of the Booker Prize, National Book Award, the Pulitzer, the National Book Critics Circle Award; authors with real cult followings - Neil Gaiman, Denis Johnston, Paul Auster, and then imagine that writing put to music and expect an onslaught of media attention.
Features Clay McLeod Chapman's "Half and Half," sung by Pumpkin Pie Show's Hanna Cheek!
Hunger Mountain is a print journal of the arts that publishes fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, visual art, young adult and children’s writing, writing for stage and screen, interviews, reviews, and craft essays. Hunger Mountain was started in 2002 by founding editor Caroline Mercurio through a generous donation from a Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing alumnus. The journal has thrived since then with the assistance of MFA in writing faculty and ongoing support from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, VCFA alums, and friends of Hunger Mountain.
Featuring the short story "the suitors' ward" by Clay McLeod Chapman.
“Volume of Smoke succeeds in its ability to offer an affecting meditation on tragedy in a post-Sept. 11 context... For a play steeped in history, Volume of Smoke manages to offer some surprising insight into our own times. ”
Volume of Smoke was an original play commissioned for The Firehouse Theater (Carol Piersol, Artistic Director) in Richmond, Virginia. Premiere: February 2005. Directed by Isaac Butler and Chapman. Original music by Erik Sanko. Sections adapted from John F. Watson's “Calamity at Richmond, Being a Narrative of the Affecting Circumstances Attending the Awful Conflagration of the Theatre in the City of Richmond, on the Night of Thursday, the 26th of December, 1811.”
The original text for Volume of Smoke is available online at Blackbird Journal: http://bit.ly/H2FB2s
Pierre Huyghe is known for smudging the line between reality and fiction, intervening in familiar narrative structures to investigate the construction of collective and individual identities. His 2006 exhibition at Tate Modern in London included a film of his puppet musical on Le Corbusier's struggles with a commission from Harvard (and Huyghe's similar troubles at the same institution), and premiered work shot on location in Antartica and Central Park.
For the Dia-commissioned Streamside Day Follies, the basis of this publication, Huyghe invited the public to celebrate the founding of a new community, Streamside Knolls, in Fishkill, New York, with a parade, costumes, music, hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, pumpkin pies, ice cream, lemonade and green cotton candy. The resulting murals and short, fictional film refer back to a dizzying whorl of references including nineteenth-century utopian social projects, Hollywood films, Disney animation, contemporary writing and romantic landscape painting.
This book documents the project, and includes contributions by Tacita Dean, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Clay McLeod Chapman and Huyghe. Born in Paris in 1962, Pierre Huyghe has had solo exhibits at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, among others. In 2001, he was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Biennale.
“A brutal and rewarding first novel… Chapman’s landscape often resembles the gothic terrain of Flannery O’Connor or the early works of Cormac McCarthy.”
– Amazon.com editorial review
This hugely imaginative first novel that traces the road trips of two complete strangers on a dramatic collision course with fate.
Will has just returned home from sea to find his wife lying dead on the kitchen floor. Four states away, Phil has been waiting for his son to return home, only to discover his body decomposing at the bottom of a nearby swamp. Will’s wife always wanted a highway-bound honeymoon. Phil’s son always wanted to see the country. In an attempt to pick up the pieces of their lives, both Will and Phil load up their cars and hit the road. An imaginative first novel tracing the fateful collision of two complete strangers, miss corpus floors the accelerator from the first page and never brakes. At once poignant, horrifying, clever and unnerving, miss corpus is a feat of literary acrobatics from an astoundingly gifted new voice in fiction.
“Clay McLeod Chapman speaks in tongues. Not the holy roller Pentecostal tongues – though there’s some of that fire-and-brimstone licking the underbelly of his words – but the tongues of a multitude of voices dissatisfied with life… As a literary stylist, Chapman has both hands on the steering wheel, but we’re never quite sure when he’ll suddenly swerve over the double lines and send us flying through the guardrail.”
– January Magazine
An edgy, darkly humorous debut collection of chilling stories that will take hold of your imagination without letting go.
Clay McLeod Chapman’s characters don’t turn heads or perform dramatic feats of heroism. They aren’t highly educated or well-traveled. Their backgrounds and circumstances are unexceptional. Their stories, however, are anything but. Originating as a series of enthusiastically received monologues that this twenty-four-year-old author has performed around the country and abroad, Rest Area leads us into the minds of characters as real as they are original, and through a series of domestic horror stories that will leave readers breathless with amazement.
A man waits for his daughter outside the bathroom of a highway rest stop where she disappeared—months ago. A deaf teenager reveals the hidden drama of her daily bus ride to school. A lonely old woman romances a rabid fox with tales of her past. The owner of a traveling carnival takes colorful revenge on a group of ten-year-olds. A ventriloquist and his dummy “discuss” their growing dissatisfaction with their relationship.
Surprisingly comic and wonderfully tender, shockingly brutal and cleverly twisted, these are tales of ordinary people caught up in more-than-ordinary events. They herald the arrival of a unique talent—and of an arsenal of powerfully authentic voices that will echo long after the last page is turned.