In the days before Facebook, Skype, and Twitter…
Two strangers begin a conversation online. It’s 1995, and the Internet is new and uncharted territory. No status updates, no photos, no tweets, no video chats. All they have to share with one another are their words.
Max, a restless advertising copywriter who’s new to the online world, boldly strikes up an email conversation with Bev, a tough-minded book editor who’s been online since the ’80s. With charm, wit, and persistence, Max chips away at Bev’s reluctant façade until the two are sharing secrets they wouldn’t dream of telling anyone in “real life.”
Hailed as “Silicon Valley’s Story of O,” the story of Bev and Max’s relationship gradually becomes more intense, unfolding entirely through their online messages. Since Chat’s first publication in 1995, readers have found themselves unable to resist the temptation to “eavesdrop” on Bev and Max’s increasingly intimate correspondence as she slowly opens up to him and he becomes more fascinated by her.
In this newest edition of her acclaimed Chat, Connect, & Crash series, McCarthy offers up a snapshot of the mid-1990s Internet culture and its changing dynamic of human interaction. As Bev and Max gradually reveal themselves by what they choose to say—and leave unsaid—their seductive, addicting, and all-too-human adventures will draw you from first page to last.
Nan McCarthy is the author of the email epistolary novels Chat, Connect, & Crash, the memoir Live ‘Til I Die, and the computer book Quark Design. A former magazine editor and technology writer, Nan founded Rainwater Press in 1992 and was an early pioneer of today’s indie-author movement.
Nan wrote Chat, the first full-length epistolary novel told entirely through email, in 1995. After receiving dozens of rejections from traditional publishers, Nan self-published 2,500 print copies of Chat and began selling the book via her website, placing her among the earliest authors to sell her work online directly to readers.
She wrote and self-published the second book in the series, Connect, in 1996, and as word about the books spread, Nan began receiving write-ups in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Publishers Weekly, Glamour, Mademoiselle, and People. Meanwhile, she sold translation rights to the books to publishers in Taiwan, Korea, and Spain.
After completing the third book in the series, Crash, in 1997, Nan was approached by a New York literary agent who offered representation and sold Chat, Connect, & Crash to Simon & Schuster (one of the same publishers who’d rejected Chat two years previously). In 1998 Simon & Schuster published the trilogy in trade paperback, with additional foreign rights sold to publishers in Germany, Turkey, Slovenia, the Netherlands, and the UK.
The ebook editons of Chat, Connect, & Crash were released in early 1999, selling via online bookstores until 2012 when Nan acquired the publishing rights back from Simon & Schuster. In 2014 Nan released new ebook editions of the series featuring the original, never-before-published ending to Crash (which had been changed for the Simon & Schuster edition). Once again published independently under her own Rainwater Press imprint, the books have come full circle with the new editions now available in ebook format on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.
Meanwhile, Nan is working on a new novel. She and her husband, a veteran who served 29 years in the Marine Corps, are the proud parents of two adult sons. Originally from Chicago, Nan & her husband currently live in the Kansas City area.
critical praise for the original chat, connect, crash series:
“This is Chekhov for the ’90s: lust, romance, and
adultery, cyber-style.” —Mademoiselle
“Silicon Valley’s Story of O. From the first page, we’re
hooked.” —House Organ: A Magazine of the
“Draws you from page to page. Sequels are on the way, and
I can hardly wait.” —The New York Times
“You won’t need a modem to appreciate the charm of this
virtual romance.” —Glamour
“[Bev and Max’s] mingling is electric.” —Washington Post Book World
“A hip look at the Internet cyberculture and how it has
changed the dynamic of present-day relationships.” —The Review Zone
“Fully drawn, believable characters. There’s a very warm
body at the end of each cold computer connection.” —The Orange County Register
“A lively, free-flowing, spontaneous outburst of
curiosity, anxiety and hope.” —Syracuse
“A love story that is completely modern, full of passion,
wit and fun.” —Central PA Magazine
“[McCarthy] gives the
headstrong-girl-meets-self-sufficient-boy story a refreshing twist.” —Publishers Weekly
“So authentic—down to the convoluted stumbling that takes
place in cyber-relationships—that it’s unexpectedly entertaining.” —St. Louis Post Dispatch
“McCarthy has brought 18th-century epistolary
novels into modern times.” —Atlanta