A modern Southern Gothic horror about a palm reader who becomes involved in a mind-bending missing-child case with a shocking twist you won't see coming. After striking out on her own as a teen mom, Madi Price is forced to return to her hometown of Brandywine, Virginia, with her seventeen-year-old daughter. With nothing to her name, she scrapes together a living as a palm reader at the local farmer’s market. It’s at the market that she reconnects with her high school boyfriend Henry McCabe, now a reclusive local fisherman whose infant son, Skyler, went missing five years ago. Everyone in town is sure Skyler is dead but when Madi reads Henry’s palm, she’s haunted by strange and disturbing visions that suggest otherwise. As she follows the thread of these visions, Madi discovers a terrifying monster waiting at the center of the labyrinth–and it’s coming for everyone she holds dear. A thrilling and grotesque exploration of parental grief, What Kind of Mother cements Clay McLeod Chapman's reputation as a “star” (Vulture) and “the 21st century’s Richard Matheson” (Richard Chizmar, Chasing the Boogeyman.) NICHOLAS SPARKS GONE WRONG: With its Southern setting and second-chance romance plot, What Kind of Mother sets itself up as a book club novel, takes a detour through domestic suspense, and then emerges as the kind of visceral supernatural horror that Clay’s fans have come to expect and love. MODERN GOTHIC AND SOUTHERN-SET HORROR ARE POPULAR RIGHT NOW: From the blockbuster success of Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia to newer releases like The Hollow Kind by Andy Davidson, modern Gothic and Southern-set horror are having a big moment. STRONG CROSSOVER TO DOMESTIC SUSPENSE AND THRILLER READERS: The missing-persons aspect, and the page-turning thriller experience, make this perfect for domestic suspense and thriller fans who are open to supernatural twists and turns, a la Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. FOLLOWING ON THE CRITICAL SUCCESS OF GHOST EATERS: Ghost Eaters is a September 2022 LibraryReads pick and an October 2022 Indie Next Pick. It has been getting lots of support from indie stores with robust horror sections as well as B&N booksellers (especially in the South.) It’s also been selected as one of Vulture’s Best Horror Novels of 2022 (So Far); one of Tor Nightfire’s Horror Books We’re Excited About in 2022; has received positive reviews from USA Today, Vulture, Book Riot, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist (starred); and received praise or blurbs from almost every major figure in the horror community, including Stephen Graham Jones, Chuck Wendig, Alma Katsu, Gabino Iglesias, Grady Hendrix, Richard Chizmar, Rachel Harrison, and Riley Sager. AUTHOR’S STAR IS ON THE RISE IN HOLLYWOOD: Wendell & Wild, written by Henry Selick and Jordan Peele and based on Clay’s unpublished novel of the same name, opened at the Toronto Film Festival to positive reviews and premiered on Netflix in October 2022. Clay is developing a psychological horror anthology series for Amazon with the creators of Westworld (Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy) that sits at the intersection of American folklore and true crime. Release date TBA. EXCITING NEWS PENDING FOR FILM OPTION OF GHOST EATERS: The author has a major offer in hand and we’ll announce details as soon as we can! HORROR PODCAST WITH JORDAN PEELE’S MONKEYPAW PRODUCTIONS: Quiet Part Loud, cowritten by Clay, has been receiving rave reviews since it released on Spotify. Spotify’s advertising campaign included a billboard in Times Square.


  • 304 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • 1 color
  • Hardcover

Rights available for...

  • Dutch
  • French

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