www.gothic-heaven-hell.comwww.gothic-heaven-hell.com is the address for the web site that the characters from my forthcoming novel, Candy from Strangers, set up to help pay their art college tuition. If you haven't read my earlier posts on the book, here's a thumbnail description of the plot:
As you might guess from the address, the web site has a heaven and hell theme--Caroline is the "angel" and Monica is the "devil"--and Caroline, at least, has an interest in Goth culture.
Caroline Stockwell has a secret: she and her best friend Monica are "cam girls." Soliciting cash donations and gifts via Amazon.com wish lists from anonymous admirers, the young women have put up a web site featuring still photographs, video and web diaries (aka blogs) to help pay their way through art college. But when Caroline goes missing and her mother Ellen engages jazz bass-playing PI August Riordan to find her, Riordan discovers her secret and it appears to everyone that someone she met through the web site is responsible for her disappearance.
Set against a real-world backdrop of Internet predators who exploit teenagers and young adults through their personal pages on popular social networking web sites, Candy from Strangers is the first novel to explore this dark and dangerous corner of the Internet.
Since the domain name was available, I went ahead and reserved it some time ago, but wasn't really sure of what I was going to do with it. The main thing I wanted to prevent was a real site going up with that address that readers might assume was somehow associated with the book.
I recently decided to use MySpace.com to build a little promotional page for the novel, setting up it up in a way that mimicked the description of the web site (and associated blog) that is given in the book. I homed the domain name to the MySpace.com address, so when you enter www.gothic-heaven-hell.com in a browser you are taken to the MySpace page.
To see all of the content on the page--in particular, the photograph of Monica--you need to have a MySpace login, but it's free and it's easily obtained.
Speaking of the photographs, you may be wondering where they came from. The picture of "Caroline" was available with no rights restrictions from stock.xchng, a cool stock photo exchange site. (I've put up a photo or two myself on the site, including this picture of a door in Santa Fe.) I doctored Caroline's photo a little in Photoshop to add her angel wings and tint her hair purple. The picture of "Monica" I purchased from a royalty-free photography site.