"If It Bleeds...."

On July 24, 2023, I received an email from someone named Todd Gallett: "Reaching out to see if you might be interested/available for a paid collaboration on our new immersive reading app launching this fall. Storia's vision is to transform reading into a fun, immersive and entertaining routine with a fresh new format for the Gen-Z audience. With a mix of reading, 2D/3D animation, audio, and tactile experiences, we're reinventing the way the mobile generation reads. We are looking to partner with a writer like yourself on an original short story (~2-3K words) for the app. Our story categories include SciFi, Fantasy, Horror, Actions/Adventure, and Mystery."

This sounded like it was probably some kind of a scam, but I responded to Todd, asking for more information. We wound up meeting via Zoom, and it turned out that Storia was a start-up, not a scam. Several of my writer friends -- John Floyd, Stacy Woodson, others -- were also approached, and we all met several times via Zoom to discuss the situation. There were some problems with Storia's initial contract, but I went back and forth with Todd and got them ironed out satisfactorily, and ultimately we all sold Storia some stories.

They paid me a thousand dollars for "If It Bleeds..." and later bought a ten-year reprint license to "Cell Division," which I wrote collaboratively with René Appel, for another eight hundred, which René and I split. Over the next six months or so, I received occasional updates on the development of the app in general and the animation for my two stories in particular.

Finally, on February 7, 2024, Todd sent me and the other contributors a link to a beta version of what had by now been renamed the Storiaverse app. The beta included a dozen stories, and one of the dozen was "If It Bleeds...."

I like the animations, although I'm not crazy about the fact that each animated sequence begins before the end of the previous text, and each text sequence begins before the end of the previous animation. In my opinion, the overlapping pulls the reader momentarily out of the flow of the story, and when Todd solicited feedback I brought that up. As of this writing, I don't know whether or not that's something they'll be willing and able to change....

Storiaverse finally launched on April 4, 2024. Will it be successful? The answer to this question remains to be seen....

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