So I've been involved in a secret project for the last month or so and today I can finally announce it!
Dante's Inferno hopefully needs no introduction, but on May 15 Dan Brown's new novel, also called Inferno is launched, based on Dante's work.
For the lead up to the launch of the book, Kobo is running an exciting new kind of interactive online contest that you can enter for free in order to win fantastic prizes, including $5000 and Kobo Glo devices signed by Dan Brown himself.
The first step of the contest is a series of short stories, written by – yes, you guessed it, me – under my fiction name J.F.Penn 🙂 EXCITING!
You can get the first story right now: Kobo.com/TheDescent
and here's the official Kobo press release about the contest
(The contest is only open to residents of US, Canada and the UK, but everyone else can still get the stories)
Solve the clues in each of the stories and they will lead you to the next step of the puzzle.
It's an extremely cool idea and I've had a total blast writing the stories, exploring aspects I haven't yet done in my full-length novels. They're steeped in the symbolism of the world of Dante's Inferno as well as religious and supernatural themes that Dan Brown fans will love.
I haven't been involved in the development of the rest of the contest, so I can't give anything away, but from what I have heard, it is amazingly detailed and layered in symbolism, myth and literature. It's worth reading Dante's Inferno (a modern translation) in order to get the most from the competition. For example, you might not know that the center of Hell is actually ice, rather than fire, and the story will inform the clues.
You can check out the Pinterest board here to see images of the various aspects of the story.
Here's an intro to the stories – as you can see, the covers feature the wild creatures Dante encounters in the wood at the start of his Descent.
When the tortured and mutilated corpse of a wealthy author is discovered, the police officer sent to investigate finds a curious diary amongst the occult objects at the scene. Will he uncover the author’s secret at the ruined chapel, and does he really want to pay the price that it demands?
Story 2: Sins of Violence
In a post-apocalyptic world, a young girl is about to be taken to the man known as The Minotaur for a Blessing that will end her innocence. Can her sister gain access to the fortified city of Dis in time to stop the ritual and wreak vengeance for her own lost youth?
Available on 2 May 2013 …
Story 3: Sins of Treachery
On the death of their Grandfather, twin brothers Simon and Gestas are left a map covered in alchemical symbols that could lead them to great wealth and power. But they find more than they expected in the frozen wastes of the Arctic north …
Available on 9 May 2013 …
You don't have to have a Kobo device to read the stories, you just have to join the site to get the download and then read on your computer, your mobile device or other apps listed here.
Once you sign up, you will also be in the contest to win loads of great prizes, so now's the time to check out Kobo!
The stories will be on sale after the game is finished but they are exclusive to Kobo for 6 months, so best get them for free right now.
You Can Also Listen To Story 1: Sins Of Temptation
I've recorded the first short story in this very podcast episode with an accompanying explanation about the launch. The bridging music before the story is Creative Commons Royalty Free Discovery Hit at Incompetech
If you'd like the unadulterated short story with no intro, you can also find it here as an mp3 file: www.JFPenn.com/sins
After Amazon, Kobo is the greatest proportion of my income, and many other authors and they have now overtaken B&N Nook as the #2 e-reading platform. Learn more about Kobo Writing Life in this interview with Mark Lefebvre from Kobo about how they help authors.
Find more info at KoboWritingLife.com
Please do leave any comments or questions below. Enjoy the stories and good luck with the competition!