Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SERIAL by Blake Crouch and Jack Kilborn

I just got back from the Afraid tour, having visited 206 bookstores in 13 states, and will do a recap very soon.

Until then, here's a cool freebie.

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 a raving nutcase.

So what if, on some dark, isolated road, Crazy #1 offered a ride to Nutcase #2?

When Blake Crouch (DESERT PLACES, ABANDONED) and Jack Kilborn (AFRAID, TRAPPED), 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. Kilborn wrote the first part. 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 psychopath win.

F. Paul Wilson says, “SERIAL reads just like a Crouch or Kilborn novel: Full speed ahead, no flinching, no blinking, no brakes.”

SERIAL 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 my ABANDON.

And finally, a note/disclaimer from the authors:

SERIAL is a horror novella written by two of the most twisted minds in the world of horror fiction.

But just because it is 100% free doesn’t mean you should automatically download it.

This is disturbing stuff. Perhaps too disturbing.

If you can handle horrific thrills, proceed at your own risk.

But if you suffer from anxiety attacks, nervous disorders, insomnia, nightmares or night terrors, heart palpitations, stomach problems, or are of an overly sensitive nature, you should read something else instead.

The authors are in no way responsible for any lost sleep, missed work, failed relationships, or difficulty in coping with life after you have read SERIAL. They will not pay for any therapy you may require as a result of reading SERIAL. They will not cradle you in their arms, rock you back and forth, and speak in soothing tones while you unsuccessfully try to forget SERIAL.

Yes, it’s free. But free has its price.

You have been warned.

To read the opening section of SERIAL online and download the entire eBook novella for free, visit Blake Crouch's website at http://www.blakecrouch.com/serialchapter.shtml.

While you're on Blake's site, I encourage you to poke around for a while. He's one of my favorite writers, and Kilborn fans will adore his work.

SERIAL is also currently available for free on the Sony Digital Reader, and will soon be available on the Kindle (either free or really cheap.)

As I'd promised pre-tour, I will blog about my recent experiments with eBooks and why they are the future of publishing. But first I need to take a nap, for about a week...


All Purpose Monkey said...

Great premise and a great opening teaser... downloaded and queued for reading! Thanks! :-)

Mary Stella said...

You fiend! You've dared me into reading horror again!

Brian H said...

Awesome...painful, sick, twisted...Awesome.

Jean said...

And I thought hitch hikers were axe murderers! Sigh...

Excellent! Loved the end!!!

Gayle Carline said...

I know how scary hitch hikers can be - I hit one once. (For the whole story, go to http://gaylecarline.blogspot.com/2009/05/today-is-first-day-of-rest-of-your.html).

Gayle Carline

Susan Tunis said...


Please feel free to remove this for any reason, but...

I've blogged about you and the e-book. And... Your publisher has given me 5 free copies of Afraid to give away on my blog here:


JA Konrath said...

Cool, Susan!

Susan Bearman said...

I love the new (?) look of your site and blog. So professional — almost like you're a real writer. I learned a lot last year from your visit to OCWW and frequently quote you that all writers should remind themselves that they are mystery writers because we want our readers to think "I wonder what's going to happen next."

Karen from Mentor said...

Hey Joe,
Welcome back to the land of those who sleep in their own bed.

Did you work in the phrase "Do you want to see something REALLY scary?" into the hitchhiking book?
If not, you missed a good Twilight Zone rip off opportunity. Not going to read the ebook...I learned my lesson after reading THE CONVERSATION... if you DARE readers not to read something, I KNOW it's twisted. REALLY TWISTED. LOL

Karen from Mentor said...

Ok Joe,
It's hard to frustrate me cause I'm persistent, but I can't find the link to your short grisly fiction on the JA Konrath site.
I started thinking that the short story with the hooker and the guy telling the story (it involved an impaled captive) was called "The confession" not "The conversation" and NOW IT'S BUGGING THE HELL OUT OF ME. LOL
P.S. The book with not much of a plot? That was my favorite recent twitter. Oh and the pee in the shampoo bottles? classic. timeless.like a custard pie to the face. :)

Bobbie H said...

I stumbled onto Serial from a link on another website, and now I have to go to the bookstore/Amazon and see what else you two guys have available. I loved it!

Mary Stella said...

I read Serial, it was delightfully creepy and chilling. I blogged it, too.

The capacity you have to come up with truly torturous things that can be inflicted on the human body is amazing. And a little disturbing. *g*

Thanks for the freebie!

Noelani said...

Thanks to you and Blake for the free read! I 'poked' around his site as you suggested and thought it was very well done.

You are one of the few commercially successful authors that reach out to budding writers and fans with such helpful advice and generous goodies.

Lincoln Crisler said...

Thanks for the free read. I'll most likely review it on my site when I'm finished.

As far as the e-readers go, I have a Sony and use it DAILY... if you need any input for your ebook research, drop me a line... crislerlincoln[at]yahoo.com