Nat Cassidy’s debut horror novel Mary, which blends Midsommar with elements of American Psycho and a pinch of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, will be published by Nightfire in July 2022!
Mary is a quiet, middle-aged woman doing her best to blend into the background. Unremarkable. Invisible. Unknown even to herself.
But lately, things have been changing inside Mary. Along with the hot flashes and body aches, she can’t look in a mirror without passing out, and the voices in her head have been urging her to do unspeakable things.
Fired from her job in New York, she moves back to her hometown hoping to reconnect with her past and inner self. What she finds instead are visions of terrifying, mutilated specters come with increasing regularity, she begins auto-writing strange thoughts and phrases, and her investigations reveal that these experiences are echoes of an infamous serial killer.
Then the killings begin again.
Mary’s definitely going to find herself.
Here’s what Nat Cassidy has to say:
“It’s a little hard to express just how excited I am to unleash Mary onto the world. I first wrote a version of this book when I was 13 years old, which… was a long time ago. And I’ve written a whole lotta different stories in a whole lotta different media since then–novels, screenplays, stage plays, teleplays, audio dramas, short stories, more treatments and pitches than I should probably attempt to count–but in all that time, the idea for Mary never left me alone. It never stopped tugging on my sleeve. I think that says a lot, about the story and about the character. As you’ll see, she’s pretty tenacious.
Of course, this book has changed a lot over the years (as has its author), but it’s still managed to remain true to its original spark: to be a sort of spiritual sibling to Carrie, set during that other great hormonal adjustment, the one that occurs during mid-life. But there are a lot more influences at work here than just everybody’s favorite prom queen. You’ll see bits of gialli, of J-horror, of Greek mythology, of Kate Chopin. Mary is about identity, about memory, about monstrosity, about loneliness, about rage, about invisibility, about patriarchy, about misogyny, about revenge, about ghosts, about murder, about blood, about fake flowers, about the desert, about crawlspaces teeming with venomous insects, and about survival. Hopefully it’s as rich and complicated and unputdownable as any scary story about middle age deserves to be, and I’m beyond grateful to Nightfire and editor Jen Gunnels for helping me bring this book to you.
So, if you’re looking for a horror novel that’s rich in character, rich in theme, and also scary as all hell, I’m so happy to introduce you to Mary. I think you’re really gonna like her.
You’re just gonna have to pray she likes you, too…”
And from Jen Gunnels, editor at Nightfire:
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Nat as a writer in other media, and my excitement was palpable when he handed me Mary. This. Book. Just hitting menopause myself, it felt so good to read about another woman feeling her way through the same time in life, with the same lack of conversation, and the same questions. While not going through the exact issues Mary encounters (thank God), I felt the same uncertainty and rage and confusion and exasperation and, yes, humor about it all.
It all gelled into a horror novel that had me screaming with unholy glee at the end. Working with Nat also left me screaming with unholy glee because it’s a joy to work collaboratively with such an amazing talent. I’m not entirely sure that he sleeps.”
Advance praise for Mary:
“Mary, Mary, quite extraordinary… How does your novel grow? With pillow cases hiding sliced off faces, and porcelain dolls all in a row. With an acidic sense of humor more barbed than any cactus, Nat Cassidy’s fast-paced Mary is a perfect blend of Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne and Frank De Filitta’s Audrey Rose. This book goes out to all those bad seeds who have gone beyond their bloom and entered the twilight of their murderous lives.”—Clay McLeod Chapman, author of The Remaking
“Genuinely scary, and at times both heartfelt and heartbreaking, Mary is a powerhouse of a horror novel, with something important to say. We need more like this. Standing ovation!”—Brian Keene, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rising
“Nat Cassidy’s Mary is a bravura journey into horror, cults, and the estrangement of middle age. It’s one BANANAS ride, by a very talented writer.”—Sarah Langan, author of Good Neighbors
NAT CASSIDY has been a playwright of numerous critically-acclaimed horror and sci-fi works which have been produced in New York City as well as nationwide. He has won the New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for his one-man show about H. P. Lovecraft and was commissioned by the Kennedy Center to write the libretto for a short opera about the end of the world. He also wrote the novelization for Tor Books’ hit podcast Steal the Stars, which was named one of the best reads of 2017 by NPR. An established actor on stage and television usually playing monsters and villains on shows such as Blue Bloods, Bull, Quantico, and Law & Order: SVU, Mary is Cassidy’s horror debut.
Photo: Prospect Photography
Mary will hit shelves on July 19, 2022!