For those of you looking for a great cross-media spooky mystery comes Skeleton Creek, a half book, half movie experience by best selling author Patrick Carman. Published by Scholastic Press, the book serves as the doorway to the world of Sarah Fincher and Ryan McCray as they try to solve the mystery of Skeleton Creek. Their challenges come in the form of ghosts, mysterious park rangers, and other discoveries that set the path for their adventure — to which the reader, of course, has a front row seat. Ryan is hurt early on in the story, during one of his and Sarah’s first escapades, and so he resorts to writing down his thoughts in his journal (which is the book) and watching the videos that Sarah provides him via her password protected website (which is the movie element).
Due to the nature of this work, one could not just read the book or watch only the movies and get the entire story. Both media are intricately tied together and work to give the reader/viewer a sense of the story and the world of Skeleton Creek. However, even as the reader reaches the end of the book and has watched all of Sarah’s movies, the Skeleton Creek experience is not over.
In a cross-media twist, the author has injected himself into the story by leaking out clues eluding to the fact that Skeleton Creek is a very real place and the ghost stories told there may actually be true. A separate web site records the research of a young man that is convinced that Carman has turned something that is very much real into a work of fiction. This inspires the would-be detective to investigate the “dredge” which is the focal point of both stories, and along the way, his video journals quickly become as bizarre as the originally story itself.
While Ryan’s journal became the basis for Skeleton Creek, this is only the first book of an ongoing story, with the second book reportedly coming out sometime in September 2009. Carman has been tight-lipped about any further clues about this project, but a live chat is scheduled for tomorrow (February 23rd, 2009) at 4:30 pm PST, and will take place at Mogulus Live Broadcast. While fans have enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the follow-up investigations and explore the rest of the clues from the in-game sites, it is hoped that the live chat tomorrow will answer questions specific to this first book in the series.