Just before bed, I often sign off with an attempt at a disquieting goodnight-tweet. It's fun, trying to generate unease with 140 characters or less, and I'm sure I'll continue to do it.
After a while, I realised this was good research. I was testing the waters with frightening ideas. Which goodnight-tweets provoked the biggest response from people mock-chiding me for ruining their night? I was paying attention when I looked at those reply tweets each morning, oh yes.
The goodnight-tweet which gained the best reaction has ended up as the fear-engine at the black heart of my new short story, A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your Home.
Over the last couple of months, I've experimented with dipping toes into the Kindle-prose pool. My novella Beast In The Basement is selling well and picking up some great reviews (here's the latest, from The British Fantasy Society), so that experiment seems to be going well.
A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your Home, on the other hand, is a whole other kind of experiment. As you might expect from the title, it's a ghost story: one which takes place in YOUR home. Yes, the place where you, the reader, lives. This 10,000-word story takes the form of a creepy letter which arrives at your property, telling you things you really don't want to hear.
This story is available in two formats:
1) The Kindle Edition: an ebook on global Amazon sites for 96p (approx $1.49/€1.23). You don't need a Kindle device in order to read a Kindle book. Free apps are available for Android phone/tablet, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, PC, Mac and more (details of these apps here at Amazon UK).
2) The Paper Edition: a physical, typed, paper letter which will be snail-mailed to your home address. Twenty-three sheets of thick paper in a card-backed A4 envelope. This, clearly, is the most authentic way to receive and experience A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your Home. It'll look like this (click to enlarge photo), except with your name and address at the top...
Why your name and address? Because the text will be personalised in several ways.
- It will include your first name, eight times throughout.
- Your exact property type will be incorporated (ie flat/apartment or house)
- Your address, road name and town/city will feature
- There'll be one or two other surprises in the text, concerning your local area
The letter will arrive with no cover artwork, story title, author credit or advertising blurb: just the URL of the official webpage (ScaryLetter.com) at the end along with the buyer's name, just in case the letter is ever ordered for someone maliciously...
The first 25 buyers of the Paper Edition will also receive a Christmas card from me in a pitch-black envelope, by separate post in December 2012. Which is nice. You can find more details, including how to order, at the official page. (Update November 2012: Sorry, Christmas cards all gone!)
So there it is. Should be an interesting experiment.
Will lovers of supernatural horror enjoy a story which is largely set in their home?
Will they want to buy a unique, premium item like a 10,000 word story personally tailored to them and delivered in the mail, like real letters used to be?
There's only one way to find out.
Full details, including the opening passage, here at ScaryLetter.com...
Check out the Kindle Edition at Amazon sites here: