Author Archives: nicolecushing
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About the novel…
Award-winning author Noelle Cashman is no stranger to depression and anxiety. In fact, her entire authorial brand, showcased in such titles as The Girl with the Gun in Her Mouth, Leather Noose, and The Breath Curse, has been built on the hopeless phantasmagoric visions she experiences when in the grip of paranoid psychosis. But Noelle has had enough, and, author brand be damned, has found help for her illness in the form of an oblong yellow pill, taken twice daily.
Since starting on this medication, Noelle’s symptoms have gone into remission. She’s taken up jogging. She’s joined a softball team. For the first time in Noelle’s life, she feels hope. She’s even started work on a nonfiction book, a history of her small southern Indiana town.
But then Noelle starts to notice the overwhelming Grayness that dominates her neighborhood, slathered over everything like a thick coat of snot, threatening to assimilate all.
From Bram Stoker Award-winning author Nicole Cushing comes A Sick Gray Laugh, a novel about madness, depression, history, Utopian cults, literature, sports, and all the ways we struggle to stay sane in an insane world.
Praise for A Sick Gray Laugh
“A wholly erratic and unstable narrator drives this kooky, outlandish tale…Cushing (The Sadist’s Bible) keeps it lively with clever parody…” — Publishers Weekly
“Cushing (or is it Cashman?) pulls us along like students in a bizarre Sunday school class, forced to listen and face the darkness while making us laugh uncomfortably while we do so…Don’t miss this.” — Nick Cato, The Horror Fiction Review
“…it is my opinion that A Sick Gray Laugh is Cushing’s masterpiece. This will be the book people talk about when they talk about her moving forward. This book showed me a whole new side of Cushing and I want more…As of now, this is the best horror novel I’ve read all year, and I strongly suggest you check this out as soon as you can.” — Signal Horizon (review by Scott Kemper)
“Noelle Cashman—I mean Nicole Cushing—has delivered a shocking and satirical survey of the failed American experiment and its many horrifying discontents. A Sick Gray Laugh‘s warts-and-all metanarrative is reminiscent of such recent genre touchstones as Caitlin R. Kiernan’s The Red Tree and Gemma Files’s Experimental Film, but told in a brutal and uncompromising style that is all Cushing’s own.” — Robert Levy, author of The Glittering World
The hardcover edition is sold out (and will be shipped on October 28). The paperbacks and ebooks are now available for pre-order directly from Grimscribe Press, and will be released on November 12.
This week on Cushing’s Bookshelf, Nicole discusses Dreams of Fear: Poetry of Terror and the Supernatural (edited by S.T. Joshi and Steven J. Mariconda).
I wanted to let y’all know about this because the print run for the hardcover is limited to fifty copies, and I’ve been told by Jon Padgett of Grimscribe Press that six of those sold in the first ten or fifteen minutes. There will, however, be paperback and ebook editions also available for purchase later this autumn.
Harry O. Morris has also completed several interior illustrations for this novella. I’ve seen them. They’re awesome.
Here’s the link for more info.
Nicole is back home this week, with an episode about Richard Russo’s essay collection on writing, The Destiny Thief. What happens when a weirdo like Nicole encounters Mr. Conventionality? Click play to find out!
My online novel writing class starts this week on Patreon, for those “Super-Patrons” backing at the $15 level. Super-Patrons will also get access to my previous online writing class (“Poe & the Building Blocks of Horror”), a free signed postcard from me each month, and exclusive updates about my forthcoming projects. Check out www.patreon.com/nicolecushing for more information.
A small fire took out the electricity at my house, so I recorded this week’s episode from a hotel. The show must go on! Continuing my discussion of Edgar Allan Poe’s Richmond by Christopher P. Semtner, I conclude that Eddie P. was so crass and obnoxious that he could rightly be dubbed “the George Costanza of weird fiction”.
All that and more, folks. Step right up!
Posted today on Signal Horizon (review by Scott Kemper):
“A Sick Gray Laugh is easily the best piece that she has put out, and frankly it left me in awe….it is my opinion that A Sick Gray Laugh is Cushing’s masterpiece. This will be the book people talk about when they talk about her moving forward. This book showed me a whole new side of Cushing and I want more…As of now, this is the best horror novel I’ve read all year.”
After Poe’s death, his mother-in-law burned papers that told of dark, still-unknown, family secrets. (According to Poe biographer Christopher P. Semtner.) Also, he sounded just like Foghorn Leghorn. (According to me.)
A brief vlog on Edgar Allan Poe’s Richmond: The Raven in the River City