Saturday, November 7, 2015

Spine-tingling Saturday and Interview: Correspondence

Title: Correspondence
Author: Bloodstains
Posted on: September 2011 - unknown
Location: Reddit

One of the first series I read on Reddit's NoSleep was Correspondence by Bloodstains. This one is a true hair-raiser and is certainly not for the faint of heart!

This story begins with a strange series of emails exchanged among friends and evolves into complete insanity and a mystery that gets more disturbing as it grows more complex. It is a series that is long and (possibly) ongoing, but is well worth the read, especially for horror junkies looking for a read that's truly terrifying! 
"The long and short of it is that it’s a series of datamined communications between people that slowly grow to reveal some creepy and unsettling facts. The community really got involved in that one in the comments. There are different accounts that come into play. It’s some pretty intricate and interactive storytelling. Great stuff."
I was lucky enough to interview the author of this legendary series and will totally admit to doing a little bit of fangirling while reading the replies!  

Read the story:

Author Interview

> Describe the Correspondence Series in 10 words or less.

Death follows; Death spreads. Warnings ignored; More blood will shed.

> Did you have  any inspiration for this series? Is there any deeper meaning or is it just a really creepy horror story? Did you run into many challenges along the way?

>generated response based on similar answers for ( "Did you have  any inspiration..." ) //
I was inspired to submit a story after reading so many amazing entries from other community members. As for the story itself, it wasn't really inspired by anything in particular. There is an old urban legend in my town that revolves around this place called the Hell House. There aren't any consistent stories surrounding the house other than the fact that it's supposedly haunted, so I decided to create my own story with the Hell House as the base. The nosleep community is incredibly thorough; I knew that it was only a matter of time before people starting doing some research and finding out that the Hell house does in fact exist.

...And yes, I have been there.

There were definitely challenges along the way, but only a couple really stand out. One of the main issues I've been faced with is the inability to go back and rewrite older entries to pave the way for a new story arc that I may have thought up. While I technically can edit older posts, it would create inconsistencies for people who have already read them, making the story even more difficult to follow. That leads me to the second biggest challenge, which is writing every new entry in a way that is still interesting for newcomers. I want every new submission to advance the story, but I also want them to be able to stand alone as competent horror shorts. This is much easier said than done, however, and I may not have always been successful.

> The Correspondence series has been INSANE! People lose their minds when a new installment is posted. You have your own Wiki and people are talking about you all over the Internet. Is this this the response you expected when you began the series? 

>generated response based on similar answers for ( "The Correspondence series has been..." ) //
Absolutely not. I would have been happy if a few people read it and then moved on, which is really all I was hoping for. Once I saw that people were digging it, I started to write more. Here we are, 4 years later, and people are still reading. I'm incredibly humbled by the amazing community who really make writing this series so enjoyable for me.

> How much research went into this series? The emails and "records" are super convincing! Do you work for the NSA? o_O

>generated response based on similar answers for ( "The How much research went into..." ) //
If I have an idea for how a particular story arc is going to play out, I'll plan it out in advance and try and set up any necessary accounts or emails. I try my best to make the records and forms seem as legitimate as possible.

Or maybe I do work for the NSA, which I cannot confirm or deny at this time.

> As an author of horror, do you have a favorite horror book or movie?

>generated response based on similar answers for ( "As an author of horror, do you..." ) //
The Exorcist, as cliché as that might sound. I wasn't around when the film was released back in the 70's, but I did manage to catch it when they re-released it 15 years ago. I remember sneaking into the theatre with a friend of mine since we were too young to get tickets. We were both absolutely terrified by the time the credits rolled, but it was a feeling I enjoyed immensely.

There is something cool about being able to control your fear. It's typically something you experience when you're in actual danger, so being able bring it on in a controlled environment is a cool feeling.

> Why did you choose Reddit to publish this series?

>generated response based on similar answers for ( "Why did you choose Reddit..." ) //
As a lover of all things horror, finding nosleep was an absolute joy; It's basically a never-ending supply of campfire stories. The format allows for the community to engage with other fans almost immediately and participate in meaningful discussion with each other, as well as with the author. It was this format that inspired me to write Correspondence. I wanted to create something unique to this environment where fans were as much a part of the story as the characters involved. 

> A few other r/nosleep authors have turned their series into books (and some have worked out better than others). Have you considered this as a possibility?

>generated response based on similar answers for ( "A few other r/nosleep authors have..." ) //
I have considered it. I'm not entirely sure how to go about it, but I've heard the process can be a nightmare. Correspondence works so well in it's current format that I'm afraid turning it into a book would diminish it's impact. I'd love to be able to rework the story a bit and give it a try, however. Maybe one day!

> Is Correspondence at an end or can we look forward to more installments in the future? I feel like we can never be sure...

>error generating response (error code 6626-9742)//
"I feel like we can never be sure..."

Do you have any secret talents?

>generated response based on similar answers for ( "Do you have any secret..." ) //
I'm a pretty decent artist, although I don't know if I would consider that a secret. I'm an amazing singer when I'm alone in the shower, but a terrible singer anywhere else. It also turns out that I'm pretty good at infecting people via technology and savagely murdering them. Resume-worthy skills.

> Describe the color yellow to somebody who's blind.

>generated response based on similar answers for ( "Describe the color yellow to..." ) //
Yellow looks how mustard tastes.

> What superpower would you like to have?

>generated response based on similar answers for ( "What superpower would you..." ) //
I just wish I had the power to motivate myself. That might sound attainable, but then you would be underestimating the amount of procrastinating I do. If I could just motivate myself enough to follow through with all of my ideas, the Correspondence movie may have been released by now. Just kidding... maybe.

> If you were trapped on a deserted island with any fictional character, who would it be?

>generated response based on similar answers for ( "If you were trapped on..." ) //
Whoever Tom Hanks character was in Castaway. If I'm going to be stuck on an island, it might as well be with someone who knows how to survive. He can even call me Wilson if he wants.