Marcus reveals the secrets of Caster's Blog:
Q. Why did you create a fake online journal?
A. Ray Caster's journal started as a writing exercise. I wanted to see if I could create an online persona ordinary enough to be taken as a real person, but extraordinary enough to keep the interest of an audience. I'll let you draw your own conclusions as to whether or not I was successful.
Q. How much of the story was based on the comments of Caster's friends, and how much was planned in advance?
A. I started the project with a general outline of where the story would go, but most of the specific details were directly influenced by the advice given by his friends. This is especially evident toward the beginning of the story. As the blog drew to an end, Caster's increasing reluctance to take advice was both a product of his growth as a character, and of the necessity to direct the story to a logical conclusion.
Q. You mention four accomplices who helped you. Who were they and what did they do?
A. The four accomplices were LiveJournal users greatbiggary, timb, twentyafter7, and webgodd_s. When unpopular advice had to be given in order to keep the story on track, these were the brave souls who gave it. I would also like to thank greatbiggary and twentyafter7 for posting several weeks worth of pre-written entries at scheduled intervals while I was on long ocean voyages or international expeditions.
Q. Why did Ray Caster "friend" me on LiveJournal? For that matter, why did I friend him back?
A. When I first started Caster's journal I had him friend random people through LiveJournal interest searches. Most of those people friended him back, and a surprising number of them got involved in his life. If you can't remember otherwise, this is probably the process by which you became a part of Caster's circle of friends.
Q. Hey, I was one of Caster's LiveJournal friends! Why aren't any of my comments in the book?
A. For the sake of narrative focus I condensed Caster's extensive friend list down to the top contributors by number of comments. If you were not included in the book it does not mean that your comments were any less valid or appreciated, but only that you did not post as frequently as some of his other friends did. Your exclusion should not be taken as an insult.
Q. How did Caster's friends react when they found out his true nature?
A. I decided to let them answer this question in their own words at Caster's LiveJournal.
Q. How many conversations did you have with yourself as LiveJournal user marcus132?
A. More than was absolutely necessary, that's for sure. Sometimes I did it to throw the audience off of my trail, other times for the sake of comedy, and others because I just can't resist the allure of dramatic irony.
Q. So who wrote the awful articles on misinformer.com that are credited to Ray Caster?
A. You know the answer. Don't make me say it out loud.
Q. Did the name "Ray Caster" originate from your background with computer graphics?
A. It did! Very astute. Back in the day, Alias PowerAnimator had two default rendering options: "ray tracer" and "ray caster." One night after I had been working too long I thought that "Ray Caster" sounded like a guy's name. And the rest is history.
Q. Why did you pick Sarasota, Florida for the location?
A. I used to live in Sarasota, so I knew the area well enough to write about it. It also helped to explain how I knew Ray Caster but didn't ever see him in person. In December '05 I went back to Sarasota and (WARNING: This short pictorial contains many spoilers!) photographed some of the locations from the book.
Q. (WARNING: This link is also a spoiler!) Who drew the illustration on the last entry?
A. It was drawn by a caricature artist on the Santa Monica Pier by the name of Walt Davis. Unfortunately the illustration does not appear in the book, as I was unable to contact Mr. Davis for his permission to print it.