Author: Jacque Day

Spooky House Press Author Series: Interview with Elizabeth Davidson

I’m a sucker for great folk horror, and Residents of Honeysuckle Cottage nailed it. Elizabeth is such a wonderful talent, and this was so different from so much I’d been reading. The book has such a strong seventies vibe to it that I fell in love with it right away. I knew I had to publish it.” – Robert P. Ottone, Publisher, Spooky House Press

Jacque Day: There is so much about Residents of Honeysuckle Cottage to savor. Beautifully written and characterized, an idyllic setting, the mysterious folklore (but is it?) rooted in a rural community. A couple, Laura and Monique, retreat from the city to Honeysuckle Cottage with their cat, Amelia, for a fresh start in life. We’ll come to their relationship, the setting, and the folklore in a moment. But first I’d like to linger on the opening scene, which begins with a soft warning from a local, Dougal, who tells them, “It rises like water, see, over your feet and into your shoes, and the cold starts.” This eerie sensation of cold contrasts with the heat of a bonfire: Laura and Monique are burning the history of the property they’ve recently acquired, including, as we soon learn, Dougal’s grandfather’s armchair. Why was it important for you, as a storyteller, to enter the story in this place, in the presence of chill and fire (and, in the subtext, erasure), with these specific words from Dougal? 


Spooky House Press Author Series: A SCREB with TJ Price

In each installment of this author series, we begin with a mini-Q&A with Spooky House Press publisher, Robert P. Ottone.


Jacque Day: The Disappearance of Tom Nero is a novelette of eighty pages with a distinctively surprising design. TJ Price himself intimates it could be a challenge to market. Why was it important for you to embrace this book and give it a home?


Robert P. Ottone: I like a challenge, but more specifically, I like to be challenged. Marketing isn’t a problem if the author pushes themselves, so I wasn’t worried there. The work speaks for itself; it’s a fantastic, intelligently designed piece of work brought to life not only by TJ’s masterful writing, but by Alexis Macaluso’s fantastic interior design.


JD: We’re not to be fooled by the length of Tom Nero—it is an intense book, and its impact far outlives the time it takes to read. How did you react to the manuscript when you first read it, both as a publisher and a reader?


RPO: I smiled, nodded, and knew I wanted it. I was very lucky in that TJ was kind enough to trust us with the book, so I was just filled with excitement about it. Still am. We didn’t execute everything I wanted to, vision-board wise, solely because my time has been focused in so many different places and on so many projects, personal and for Spooky House. But in the end, I think we have a fabulous book that I hope TJ is proud of.


Spooky House Press Author Series: “Frickity Dizzle,” An Interview with Kathleen Palm

Spooky House Press Author Series

“Frickity Dizzle,” An Interview with Kathleen Palm 

Author of Into the Gray (Middle Grade)

Spooky House Press LLC (February 13, 2023)

By: Jacque Day


As a bonus to the main interview with author Kathleen Palm, we bring you this mini-Q&A with Spooky House Press publisher, Robert P. Ottone, who discusses what distinguishes middle grade from young adult fiction, and why Kathleen Palm’s book, Into the Gray, resonated with him. 


Jacque Day: Into the Gray falls into the middle grade (MG) category for readers ages 8 to 12. How differently do you approach MG-rated books versus YA fiction for readers 12 to 18?

Robert P. Ottone: The major key, from what I’ve learned over time, is that middle grade and young adult fiction differ only in the way you present some material. For example, middle grade likely won’t have explicit cursing, sex, or drug use. That said, you can get as bloody or dark with the material as you like. 


JD: Why is it important for you, as a publisher, to be open to MG work like Into the Gray

RPO: My intention wasn’t to specifically find a middle grade book, but when Kathleen’s novel came through, I loved it. It hit every touchstone good middle grade should touch, and most specifically, spoke to the idea that it’s perfectly okay to not be okay. I don’t know any middle grade kids who are perfectly fine. Kathleen taps into that in a meaningful, very real way, and by the way, we’re delighted to have her. Spooky House, as a whole, exists to publish new authors, or newer authors, whatever you want to say, and we’re hoping that Kathleen feels at home and confident in us with projects going forward.


“The Wolf We Feed” An interview with Richard Thomas

“The Wolf We Feed”

An interview with Richard Thomas

Author of Spontaneous Human Combustion 

Keylight Books, First Edition (February 22, 2022)



Earlier this year, Richard Thomas published his fourth collection of short fiction, Spontaneous Human Combustion. The author of eight books and 165 published short stories, Richard is also a prolific editor and busy writing instructor. Here, he reconnects with his grad school classmate, Jacque Day, to talk about his latest book, how he landed an agent, and writing about love and other meaningful things.