Horror fans can rest uneasily tonight: author Paul Tremblay, who’s best known for his novels A Head Full of Ghosts, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, The Cabin at the End of the World, and the recently released Survivor’s Song has signed a deal for three new books with William Morrow, according to Deadline.
Tremblay’s deal includes two new novels and a new short story collection. The first novel, The Pallbearer’s Club, is due out in stores in 2022. Deadline describes the book as a “horror story about a less-than-successful middle-aged man who reflects on his long-ago involvement with a group who served as volunteer mourners at the funerals of people with no friends or family — and the mysterious person he met along the way who changed the course of his life irrevocably.” When reached for comment, Tremblay indicated that he’s in the process of writing it, and that it’ll be “presented a faux-memoir of the main character.”
Tremblay explained that he’s been toying with the idea for The Pallbearers’ Club since last fall, and noted that “Part of my attraction to the book idea was that it centers on more closely personal concerns when compared to my prior novels,” whereas some of his more recent books deal with some pressing societal anxieties. “The Cabin at the End of the World and Survivor Song both leaned heavily into our current anxieties in the time of Trump and the age of misinformation and rising fascism. That all said, it would [sic] impossible to not have what we’re living through in 2020 seep into the new novel in some form.”
The announced collection will be his second with William Morrow (he has three prior ones from smaller presses, Compositions for the Young and Old, City Pier: Above and Below, and In the Meantime) — Growing Things and Other Stories hit stores last year, bringing together 19 of his short stories published between 2006 and 2019. He hasn’t finalized the list just yet, but noted two stories that recently appeared Ellen Datlow’s Echoes and Mark Morris’s New Fears 2, “
Ice Cold Lemonade 25ȼ Haunted House Tour: 1 Per Person” and “The Dead Thing” will likely appear.
That sounds like it’ll be in line with what Tremblay has published with William Morrow in recent years. A Head Full of Ghosts, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, and The Cabin at the End of the World each tread lightly when it came to supernatural elements. A Head Full of Ghosts featured a family dealing with a daughter who was possessed by a ghost—or possibly a mental illness. With Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, a child vanishes, and might have returned home as a ghost—or maybe not. Tremblay’s latest novel, Survivor Song, is about a pandemic of a rabies-type disease, a unique take on the zombie story.
As far as what trope he’ll be playing with in this novel? Tremblay says that he has one in mind, but that he’s “not prepared to say which one yet. ;)”