Want a free horror/thriller short story by Jack Kilborn and Blake Crouch? Sure, right? If it’s an ACTUAL short story, right? Not just a chapter or a random bit of teasing, or some crap like that? (St. Martin’s and Lora Leigh, are your digital ears burning?)
You can has short story – and prepare to be wowed with the bonus awesomeness of your choice of PDF OR ePub format – courtesy of the brilliant minds at Hachette. They also provided the following description:
Remember the twin golden rules of hitchhiking?
# 1: Don’t go hitchhiking, because the driver who picks you up could be certifiably crazy.
# 2: Don’t pick up hitchhikers, because the traveler you pick up could be raving nutcase.
So what if, on some dark, isolated road, Crazy #1 offered a ride to Nutcase #2?
When two of the most twisted minds in the world of horror fiction face off, the result is SERIAL, a terrifying tale of hitchhiking gone terribly wrong. Like a deeply twisted version of an “After School Special,” SERIAL is the single most persuasive public service announcement on the hazards of free car rides.
Beyond a thrilling piece of horrifying suspense, SERIAL is also a groundbreaking experiment in literary collaboration. Jack Kilborn wrote the first part. Blake Crouch wrote the second. And they wrote the third together over email in 100-word exchanges, not aware of each other’s opening section. All bets were off, and may the best psycho win.
The SERIAL eBook contains the novella, SERIAL, a Q&A with Kilborn and Crouch, author bibliographies, and excerpts from their most recent and forthcoming works: Kilborn’s Afraid and Crouch’s Abandon.
Holy crap, can we count the ways in which this is a neat and savvy marketing idea? Two authors collaborate on a short story to be distributed virally in advance of their new book releases. They base the narrative on a scary familiar trope and use a twist in the writing process itself to create curiosity. Then the marketing wizard sends the original files for me to offer for download to my readers, with a choice of two formats.
That’s so awesome, I may have to hitchhike to Hachette and proclaim them awesome in person.