The very first version of Cornelia's website launched in 2005. Besides a news section, there was a photo album and all kinds of information about Cornelia's books and Cornelia herself, as well as a guest book and a Frequently Asked Questions section. There were also already English and Spanish versions. However, the site's design was not yet modeled on the actual place where Cornelia wrote and worked at that time.
Welcome to the Writing House
The first real virtual Writing House was launched in 2012. That version of the site was programmed entirely in Flash. This technology was widely used then but no longer exists today. Cornelia's writing house, which stood in the garden of her house in Los Angeles, served as the graphic template for the site. It had a small, cozy room with a fireplace, a large stained glass window, a desk, a sofa, and, of course, many shelves full of books, dragon figurines, and other knick-knacks.
This replica of the writing house was a little different from the original. It was a little larger to accommodate all the contents. Still, there were faithfully reproduced objects, including the stained glass window, the large antique desk, and the sculpture and paintings that stood in front of it.
There were also many small animations on the page. For example, the fireplace could be lit (a huge dragon head appeared in the picture and spewed a flame into the fireplace), the globe could be rotated, the desk lamp could be switched on and off, and an unknown creature lived in the dustbin. Only its eyes appeared when you moved the mouse over it. A tree grew out of a vase, and the guest room was behind a small door in the middle of the bookshelf. And in December, there was an Advent calendar and a huge scary nutcracker by the fireplace. On Halloween, a glowing pumpkin sat in front of the desk.
Solving riddles in the tower room
In 2013, a special addition to the site was the tower room from "Reckless", which could, of course, be reached via a mirror. Here you could solve a riddle, in the course of which various things were revealed: A book about treasures, a moth encyclopedia, a desktop wallpaper for download, or even a previously unpublished Reckless chapter entitled "The Gold Raven". However, exploring the chamber was not for the faint-hearted, as scary surprises lurked in every corner!
From Los Angeles to Malibu
When Cornelia moved to Malibu in 2016, the site's appearance also changed. Instead of standing in front of it, visitors were now sitting behind the desk with a view across it and out through a window. Overall, the design became calmer and tidier, but the content remained unchanged.
In August 2018, however, the face of the site changed again. Cornelia moved into an old barn on her farm to write. So the design changed too: there was an extended workbench with an ogre arm on it, a long window front looking out into the wilderness, flying books, a squeaky stool, and a drawer full of odds and ends. The actual barn on the Malibu avocado farm looked almost exactly like this. This website version was the last and remained until September 2021. By then, over 10,000 reader comments and guestbook entries had been posted on the German, English and Spanish pages combined!
What followed is well known because it is the site you are on right now. And like its predecessors, it will continue to develop because we have a pretty long list of ideas that we would like to realize in the future. Be prepared