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Stephen King teams up with Bel Air author Richard Chizmar for novella

Bel Air author Richard Chizmar teamed up with Stephen King for a chilling novella.

Bel Air author Richard Chizmar has teamed up with longtime friend and bestselling author Stephen King to publish a novella this May, according to a recent news release.

The book, entitled “Gwendy’s Button Box,” will revisit the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine, the setting of a number of King's previous works. Cemetery Dance Publications will publish the short novel. 

The month-long collaborative writing process was a "dream come true," according to Chizmar, best known for his short story collection "A Long December." 

“Steve sent me the first chunk of a short story,” Chizmar said in a statement. “I added quite a bit and sent it back to him. He did a pass, then bounced it back to me for another pass. Then, we did the same thing all over again — one more draft each. Next thing you know, we had a full-length novella on our hands.”

A representative for King did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Baltimore Sun, but the author’s official website also promotes the book, citing May 30 as the novella’s release date.

“It was a pleasure to work with Rich Chizmar one-on-one after all these years,” King said in a statement. “I had a story I couldn’t finish, and he showed me the way home with style and panache. It was a good time, and I think readers will have a good time reading it. If they are left with questions, and maybe have a few arguments, all the better.”

The story, set in 1974, is a coming-of-age tale about 12-year-old Gwendy Peterson, who spends her summer running the “Suicide Stairs” that connect Castle Rock to Castle View Recreational Park. Peterson encounters a stranger, dressed in a black coat, black jeans, and a black hat that later becomes the subject of her nightmares.

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