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The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer - My Life at Rose Red
(252 pages - © 2001)

Publisher: NAL Hyperion

Author: Ridley Pearson

Cover Photo: Yumiko Kobayashi & Ryo Watanabe

Hardback Trade Edition: ???

ISBN: 0-7868-6801-5





Diary of Ellen Rimbauer 1st
Dustjacket Cover
(Click for copyright page)


  • Hardback edition of unknown copies. Issued with dustjacket and price of $22.95. On the copright page you should see the words "First Edition" and the numbers 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

From the Wikipedia article on the book:

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.

A mockumentary was released by ABC a few weeks prior to the miniseries' release entitled Unlocking Rose Red:The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer. The special utilized actors who only vaguely resembled the ones within the miniseries for Steven Rimbauer and Joyce Reardon to speak about the happenings at Rose Red whilst promoting the upcoming miniseries by Stephen King which was seemingly referred to as a production heavily based on a true story. Excerpts from the novel were read out by an actress for the mockumentary, while a narrator and various interviewees discussed some of the events that had happened within the novel. Footage from the flashback sequences in the miniseries were also used in the mockumentary. Both the diary and the miniseries were teased further when the mockumentary explained how Reardon had edited the diary for release with Hyperion Books, while a brief snippet of an interview with King himself was shown. The mockumentary seemingly pokes fun at its metafictional existence as it ends by acknowledging that Reardon and Steven Rimbauer are only about to conduct their expedition into the house while also stating that the miniseries will focus on what they expect to encounter within (as most of the miniseries focuses on their scientific expedition within the house, even though at the time the "documentary" was made, the expedition hadn't even been conducted yet).


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