Wow, it's been quite a ride. When I first began building
this piece, I had absolutely no clue I'd garner the kind of response
and widespread interest it generated. And to make matters difficult,
it was like a carnival ride: Once I got on, I couldn't get off until
the ride was through, otherwise everything that made Dionaea
House effective would break down.
So finally, now that the ride has stopped and the
restraint bar has lifted, let me answer some questions here, so
I can clear things up.
Is this a hoax?
No. It's a story. There is a big difference, in my opinion. Were
this a hoax, I would have been deliberately trying to con someone,
and I would have done at least a dozen things differently. That
was never my intention. The names and events here are made up. While
Dionaea House uses an unconventional medium, it's still
a work of fiction, and as many of you were quick to observe, it
contains all the hallmarks of a story.
Why did you use yourself in the story?
Well, honestly, I'm hard to scare. I write first and foremost to
satisfy myself, and my previous stabs at horror fiction have not
been very frightening. Since most of the images and situations (like
the tub string) were culled from my own nightmares, I felt more
invested in the story as a character. It also let me be more honest
and direct about my feelings and reactions.
If this isn't real, why did you put it on
Dionaea House is a companion piece to a feature film I'm
pitching. From day one, it was my plan to share the URL only to
producers and other business contacts. It's clean and easy to send
along, versus paper and brads. Early on I shared the link to a few
friends for some peer review.
I had no idea it would spread like a flash fire.
You all took me by surprise. :-)
Did other people help you write it? Who is
I wrote all of the characters myself. I imagine it's easy to tell
with many of them. Just the same, I created a spreadsheet listing
all character names and, next to each, their personal writing style.
How do they type emotes? Do they misspell certain words? Do they
have a problem with contractions? Do they punctuate their messages
oddly? What about capitalization? That was my cheat sheet during
the construction of the story, and I returned to it often.
This reminds me a lot of [insert movie, book,
I'm not surprised. It's not the first time a story has been told
through a format like this, nor will it be the last. It just happened
to work best for me. In fact, more fiction may lean this way, if
the average reader is like me; numbed to most horror subgenres.
Will this be a movie?
I don't know, but I'll update this site if I have any news. The
ironic part of this whole deal is that your responses (via email
and comments) may be what sells it to a studio. In effect, each
of you would be part of the reason for the story's success -- albeit
a part I never considered before now.
A writer's most tragic personal moment is, at the
end of the day, to have learned nothing from writing. Regardless
of the future of Dionaea House, I can say it has taught
me quite a lot about embracing new mediums for storytelling, and
for that I am grateful.
Thank you all, my unexpected audience.
P.S. - If you'd like to receive periodic updates
about this project as it evolves, I've created a Yahoo!
email group for just that purpose. It's an email subscription