Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark (that’s me) returns with Ring Shout, a dark fantasy historical novella that gives an unflinching look at Ku Klux Klan’s reign of terror. Yup, I wrote another book ya’ll. Due October 2020 from Tor.com Publishing. Wait until you see the cover.
This story had been rattling around in my head for a minute. And I mean just in my head. Hadn’t written anything. Not even notes or character sketches. Didn’t have anything resembling a plot. But I knew there was a story there. So every once in a while, I’d pull up a song (did I mention music is integral to this story?) and I’d listen to it and dream up what tales might be.
Two or three or more years passed. Wrote other stuff. Published other stuff. Still held onto that story idea though. Was there when I watched Beyonce’s “Formation” video. Or I visited my sister in Georgia or went back to my old hometown of Houston. Was there when I reread Toni Morrison’s Beloved or while I was watching the movie adaptation of The Color Purple. Couldn’t get rid of the story. Like it was demanding to be written. Sometime in late 2016, I finally sat down and sketched out the bones of a story. Then I put it away and went on living my life.
Then in Spring of 2019 I brokered a contract with Tor. My first big writing contract! It was at first just going to be for a full length novel. My editor wondered however, given my success with previous novellas, if I had any ideas for anything new? Funny you should ask, I answered…and pitched the idea that had been rattling in my head for so long. The final contract ended up being for two stand alone novels, and, for two novellas. The first of those has been written!
It’s called, Ring Shout.
What’s it about? Well, I’ve already dropped some hints. Right there in the name even. How would I describe it? A bit of Southern Gothic. Some good old fashioned fantasy. And a heap of terror. The blurb below probably lays it out the best:
D. W. Griffith is a sorcerer, and The Birth of a Nation is a spell that drew upon the darkest thoughts and wishes from the heart of America. Now, rising in power and prominence, the Klan has a plot to unleash Hell on Earth.
Luckily, Maryse Boudreaux has a magic sword and a head full of tales. When she’s not running bootleg whiskey through Prohibition Georgia, she’s fighting monsters she calls “Ku Kluxes.” She’s damn good at it, too. But to confront this ongoing evil, she must journey between worlds to face nightmares made flesh—and her own demons. Together with a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter, Maryse sets out to save a world from the hate that would consume it.
That’s it. That’s the jacket blurb. Oh, and have you seen the cover?
Cover art and design by Henry Sene Yee. Happy Nightmares.
Ring Shout | Out October 13th 2020 | Available for Pre-Order
Check out the official promotional debut at Tor.com Publishing here.