Profile of Cherie Priest

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This profile moderated by Cherie Priest.


Cherie Priest is the author of four novels: Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Wings to the Kingdom, Not Flesh nor Feathers, and Dreadful Skin.  She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband, a fat black cat, and a small orange fish named Howard.

Coming Soon:

Interview with Steampunk Designer Molly Friedrich, Weird Tales
“The Catastrophe Box,” Son of Retro Pulp Tales Subterranean Press Anthology

Those Who Went Remain There Still (monsters: 2008, Subterranean Press)
Fathom (gothic fantasy: 2008, Tor)
The Boneshaker (steampunk: 2009, Tor)


Not Flesh Nor Feathers, Tor Books
Dreadful Skin, Subterranean Press
Wings to the Kingdom, Tor Books
Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Tor Books

Best New Fantasy 2, Wildside Press (”10 Archetypes in 2000 Words”)
The Aegri Somnia Anthology, Apex Digest (”Wishbones”) [Collection nominated for a Bram Stoker award.]
The Mythic 2 Anthology, Mythic Delirium Books (”The Immigrant”)“The Heavy,” Apex Digest Issue #12

“The Target Audience” — Noctem Aeternus, #1
“Bad Sushi” — Apex Digest, Issue #10
“Following Piper — Subterranean Digest, Issue #6
“Little Wards” — The Edge of Propinquity, June 2006
“The October Devotion” — Subterranean Magazine, Issue #2.
“10 Archetypes in 2000 Words” — Lone Star Stories, February 2006

Review of Rebecca Stott’s Ghostwalk, Chiaroscuro
Review of Jon Armstrong’s Grey, Chiaroscuro
Review of Sarah Langan’s The Keeper, Chiaroscuro
Review of Elizabeth Bear’s Hammered, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Issue #22
Review of Alain Silver’s and James Ursini’s Roger Corman: Metaphysics On a Shoestring, Chiaroscuro


Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show

Ghost stories are a dime a dozen, so it's especially satisfying when one comes along that makes you forget all the others you've read, and sucks you into the narrative so completely that you'll stay up all night finishing it because you can't wait to find out what happens nextand because you're too creeped out to go to sleep. Eden's ghostly warnings ("He's coming. He's coming, baby. You get yourself gone.") are chillingly (and delightfully) macabre, but also serve to heighten the tension of the narrative, keeping the reader on edge. This, coupled with Blackbirds' vividly-described settings, really draws the reader into the story, making it all the more easy to connect and empathize with the characters. The relentless pacing meanwhile, never lets up and rarely gives the reader the chance to take a breath ...

All in all, Blackbirds is a stunning debut novel, one that displays the finely-honed prose and tightly-drawn characterizations of a master craftsman. So, heed the voices: Get yourself gone. And while you're out, stop by the bookstore and pick up a copy of Four and Twenty Blackbirds. You'll be glad you did.

Realms of Fantasy

A supernatural gothic tale with all the flavor of the Old South ... This is Cherie Priest's first novel and though that shows to some extent as the novel morphs subtly into various different kinds of novels, all those novels are good ones and she manages to blend them very entertainingly. The stories they tell and the characters they present continue to hold the full attention of the reader, certainly this reader, from the first page of the book to its last.

San Francisco Chronicle

Much has been made in the online community about how an early draft of "Four and Twenty Blackbirds" was published on Priest's personal blog before being spotted by an interested editor. Whatever its genesis, this expanded version is a remarkably assured debut, a creepy modern-day Southern gothic that doesn't rely on cliche but delivers an emotional powerful tale of self-discovery and the supernatural.

Paul Goat Allen, Barnes and Noble

Haunting. Mesmerizing. Unforgettable. Adjectives cannot adequately describe the singular narrative brilliance of Cherie Priest's debut novel. Four and Twenty Blackbirds, a contemporary ghost story with elements of Southern gothic, supernatural mystery and dark fantasy, follows an orphaned girl's harrowing journey into adulthood and her desperate quest to find out who she really is. ...

Priest's Four and Twenty Blackbirds is one of those exceedingly rare literary gems that will not only engage and challenge readers on a cerebral level but also masterfully manipulate their emotions as well. Lyrical, poignant and brilliantly understated, Priest's debut novel is a genre transcendent storytelling tour de force. Fans of writers like Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Peter Straub will absolutely fall in love with this spellbinding novel - and Cherie Priest, who is undeniably one of the most exciting new authors to come along in years.

Charles De Lint
Fantasy and Science Fiction

... Priest kills as a stylist. Debut novel? You could have fooled me. Four and Twenty Blackbirds feels like it was written by an author with the assurance and experience of already having many books under her belt. It simply oozes a contemporary Southern Gothic charm, by which I mean that while it's definitely set in the present, its roots are firmly entangled in the past.

The narrator's voice is pitch-perfect, the cast wonderfully eccentric and realized, the plot suitably puzzling and steeped in mystery, and that setting. I could feel the humidity while I was reading the book. Hear the mosquitoes. Smell the damp forests. Share the same eerie frisson of the narrator as she explores the old abandoned sanitarium in the woods.

In other words, the book has everything going for it and you should definitely pick up a copy to see for yourself.