Tuesday, September 12, 2023

"What Kind of Mother"

Clay McLeod Chapman writes novels, comic books, and children's books, as well as for film and TV. He is the author of the horror novels The Remaking, Whisper Down the Lane, and Ghost Eaters. He also co-wrote Quiet Part Loud, a horror podcast produced by Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw for Spotify.

Chapman applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, What Kind of Mother, and reported the following:
So… What Kind of Mother passes The Page 69 Test perfectly. Better than I could have anticipated, actually. First off… it actually uses the title on the page. What kind of mother! If this were a drinking game, you would flip to page 69 and have to take a shot of something.

What Kind of Mother is all about a single mother who is struggling to make ends meet as a palm reader in a small coastal town in the Chesapeake Bay area. Our main protagonist—Madi—is spending an evening with her daughter Kendra along the docks, when she has a spur-of-the-moment urge to hop in the water. Bad call.
All I can make out are the vague shapes of leaves and clusters of kelp. The shadowy outlines of freshwater seaweed. The pressure of the water pushes against my ears. I’m in a saltwater womb, the rush of blood swarming all around me. I wonder what kind of child might gestate in a watery prenatal chamber like this. What kind of mother it’d be.
See? I win!

Once she dives in, she’s immediately met by something… else. Something cold. Something slimy. Here’s a little taste:
“I feel a gentle scrape against the nape of my neck. A soft thread passes over my shoulder. Slick, slippery hair. It could be kelp, I think, just some seaweed—

Something fleshy brushes against my cheek.

Cold skin.

I yank my head back just as the blurred form of a baby floats by.

Only its head.”
Oooh… Want more? Well, I guess you’re just going to have to flip the page to see what happens!
Visit Clay McLeod Chapman's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Remaking.

Q&A with Clay McLeod Chapman.

The Page 69 Test: Whisper Down the Lane.

--Marshal Zeringue