BOOK DEAL: 2 Novellas from Kate Maruyama

Bleak Houses: Safer & Family Solstice

Raw Dog Screaming Press (RDSP) is thrilled to announce a book deal with award-winning author Kate Maruyama for Bleak Houses: Safer & Family Solstice—a pair of horror novellas presented in one volume for readers and to be published in 2023. It will launch RDSP’s novella line, led by editor RJ Joseph.

“I have always wanted to work with Raw Dog Screaming Press, so when Jennifer and John told me they’d publish these two novellas together, I was absolutely over the moon,” Maruyama said. “Bleak Houses: Safer & Family Solstice are each very different kinds of hauntings; one household is haunted by its dark past, the other is trapped in a terrible growing secret and together they underline the perils of privilege and inheritance.”

Safer is the new novella of the two to be included in the pair for RDSP. Family Solstice is being republished and was awarded Best Fiction Book of 2021 by Rue Morgue Magazine. On the latter, award-winning author J. Lincoln Fenn said that “fans of We Have Always Lived in the Castle and A Head Full of Ghosts will be thrilled” and we agree. Maruyama’s quiet, building and terrifying horror seeps into the psyche.

“Kate has such a strong, unique voice and her stories unfold seamlessly. You get that feeling of full emersion in character and place that comes with reading a novel but you can do it in one sitting,” said managing editor Jennifer Barnes.

About Family Solstice

The Massey family loves their house. It’s been in the family for generations, and the land on which it sits has been with them even longer. In the summer everyone comes through to visit and the house is alive with family friends, barbecues and lobster boils. But come fall, the mood shifts as all of the kids start training for their turn in the basement.

Shea, the youngest Massey is training extra hard. She’s thirteen and that means this is her year to battle on Solstice. Her older siblings won’t tell her exactly what’s in the basement, you don’t know until you’re fighting it. She’s excited finally to be in the know.

She does know that whatever happens in the basement every December 21 makes it possible for the Masseys to spend the rest of the year enjoying their home and all that it brings. It is her family duty. But something about this year is different. Mama’s extra quiet this fall, and the house is breathing early.

Maruyama explores the dangers of tradition, inheritance, and the sins of the father in this horror novella. 

Continue reading for information on Family Solstice and stay tuned next year for more information on Safer, the other story in the two-novella set.

Praise for Family Solstice

Kate Maruyama’s Family Solstice isn’t just heartfelt, disturbing, and wonderfully written it’s also a brilliant dissection of family dynamics and (yes really) America’s troubled history. I can’t recommend it highly enough.” -Lisa Morton, six-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award

“Maruyama takes the reader from a child’s fear of what may lurk in the shadow, to the terror of certainty, to the horror of complicity, where the blood on your hands counts as a badge of honor.” —J.D. Horn author of The Witches of New Orleans series

“The suspense exquisitely builds until the tale takes a horrific turn, making you wonder which monsters are worse – the ones we fight, or the ones we’re willing to live with. Fans of We Have Always Lived in the Castle and A Head Full of Ghosts will be thrilled.” —J Lincoln Fenn, author of Poe and The Nightmarchers

“An intriguing coming-of-age story that slides–at first gradually, but then suddenly and horribly – into the nightmares of understanding.”   —Ben Loory, author of Tales of Falling and Flying

Kate Maruyama, Biography,

Kate Maruyama is a writer who was raised on books and weaned on movies in New England. She now writes, teaches, edits, cooks, and eats in Los Angeles.

Her novel Harrowgate was published by 47North and her novella Family Solstice was named Best Fiction Book of 2021 by Rue Morgue Magazine. Her novella Halloween Beyond: A Gentleman’s Suit is out now from Crystal Lake Publishing. Her non-genre novel Alterations is upcoming from Running Wild Press.

Her short work appears in Asimov’s, Entropy, Analog Science Fiction & Fact, Duende, The Coachella Review, and her short story, “Jacaranda Park,” just won the Short Story Prize from Uncharted Mag.  She has been featured in numerous anthologies including December Tales, Gathering: A Women Who Submit Anthology, Halloween Carnival Three, and Winter Horror Days. 

Kate is a member of the SFWA and the HWA where she serves on the Diverse Works Inclusion Committee, where she helps edit The Seers’ Table. She has served as a juror for the Bram Stoker Awards and twice for the Shirley Jackson Awards. She is currently serving on the working board of Women Who Submit.

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