The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer by Ridley Pearson, Writing as Dr. Joyce Reardon
Publisher: Hyperion, 2001
Flat Signed! Hardcover first edition / first printing. Fine book. No jacket as issued. Signed on the title page and is author's signature only. Minimum scuffing and edge wear. No writing or marks Comes with Certificate of Authenticity for author's signature.
Price in US $ 100.00
Summary: The novel's genesis came as part of a $200,000 promotional marketing campaign for Stephen King's Rose Red television miniseries. Marketing of the film presented the movie as based on actual events.
In 2000, two years before the Rose Red miniseries aired, the producers contracted with author Ridley Pearson to write a tie-in novel, to be titled The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red, under the pseudonym "Dr. Joyce Reardon" (one of the main characters of the miniseries). The novel presented itself as nonfiction, and claimed to be the actual diary of Ellen Rimbauer (wife of the builder of Rose Red). The work was originally intended to be an architectural book featuring photos and drawings of the fictional Rose Red house with the supernatural elements subtly woven into the text and photos, but Pearson (building on several references to a diary in King's script for the miniseries) wrote it as Ellen Rimbauer's diary instead. Inspired by the 1999 film The Blair Witch Project, King came up with the idea of presenting the novel as a real one by having "Dr. Joyce Reardon" edit the "diary." King also inserted a reference into the book's foreword that a "best-selling author had found the journal in Maine", so that fans would be misled into concluding that King had written the work. The ruse worked. Fans and the press speculated for some time that Stephen King or his wife Tabitha King had written the book until Pearson was revealed to be the novel's author.
To help promote the miniseries and further blur the line between reality and fiction, the book contained a link to a fictional "Beaumont University" Web site where "Dr. Joyce Reardon" was alleged to have taught. The site contains in-universe promotional material as well as an easter egg page with diary entries that were "censored" from the main book.
Intended to be a promotional item rather than a stand-alone work, its popularity spawned a 2003 prequel television miniseries to Rose Red, titled The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer. The novel tie-in idea was repeated on Stephen King's next project, the miniseries Kingdom Hospital. Richard Dooling, King's collaborator on Kingdom Hospital and writer of several episodes in the miniseries, published a fictional diary, The Journals of Eleanor Druse, in 2004.