Featuring 26 key characters and a thought-provoking plot revolving around dismemberment, Jess Hagemann's new novel Headcheese is coming out on December 18th from Cinestate (who recently released Michael J. Seidlinger's My Pet Serial Killer and Preston Fassel's Our Lady of the Inferno), and we've been provided with the official cover art by artist Chris Panatier to share with Daily Dead readers!
You can view Panatier's eye-catching cover art for Headcheese below, and visit Amazon for more info on the upcoming psychosexual horror novel!
For more insights into the creation of Headcheese, here's what author Hagemann had to say about about writing her latest book:
"I wrote Headcheese because I wanted to write a psychosexual horror novel that explored life (and specifically the body) through the lens of neurodiversity—an approach to mental health that chalks up ‘neurological differences’ (like Body Integrity Identity Disorder, for example) to natural variations in the human genome.
In other words, I don’t believe that individuals who want to cut their limbs off are freaks. I think they’re people with non-neurotypical affinities that can manifest in myriad ways. That’s why Headcheese has 26 characters: I needed at least that many to talk about the different ways that amputation fetishes and BIID play out in real life.
My hope is that anyone who has ever felt like a freak for any reason—I know I certainly have!—will, after reading Headcheese, find reasons to cut themselves a little slack; to embrace what makes them different; to celebrate and seek to understand those who are different from them.
Several factors influenced the writing of the book: characters from pop culture, true news stories, the recent conversation around transgender bathrooms, its sister conversation (trans-ableism), thinking about Halloween and the many things that a chainsaw can do to the body, plus insight from a friend who designs prosthetic limbs for a living.
Mostly, though, I subscribe to the Roman understanding of ‘genius’ as a spirit that lives in an artist’s walls and influences her work. With the help of my creative muse, I simply told a story that needed telling."
Headcheese Synopsis: "The day that Lorrie “accidentally” cuts off her little toe, she discovers what it’s like to be able-bodied and not want that body.
After Bartholomew loses his left arm to a Sunni sniper, he’s inspired to start a new kind of church―one where both amputation and sex are types of performance art.
Trice, a prosthetics engineer, receives the assignment of a lifetime when he’s asked to rebuild his son’s crippled frame.
Haunted by the memory of his dead wife, George must take the ultimate measure to excise her ghost. For good.
From sexual fetish to the clinical diagnosis of Body Integrity Identity Disorder, Headcheese makes the first cut, peeling back the epidermis to peer inside the minds and hearts of 26 people navigating the topography of flesh.
Jess Hagemann is an award-winning author and accomplished biographer. She lives in a quiet Austin neighborhood surrounded on three sides by cows. Headcheese is her first novel."