The series was created by Jordan Weisman. Produced by entertainment company Smith & Tinker and published by St. Martin’s Press, Dark Art combines the narrative experience of a traditional thriller novel with an Alternate Reality Game.
Clues in the novel — and items that come with the novel, such as ID cards and photos — will propel readers into an online experience where they become protagonists themselves. Readers will learn more about the novel’s story, and unearth plot twists that the book’s heroes may never see.
Set in a mental institution for hopeless dead-enders, Personal Effects: Dark Art chronicles the life of Zach Taylor, a young and optimistic art therapist. Gifted at his job, he uses his patients’ personal effects — the personal items catalogued during their admission to the hospital — to help decipher the secrets of their mental problems.
But Zach is soon obsessed and overwhelmed when a new patient is admitted to the facility: a man who is a suspected serial killer. But how can this man have killed a dozen people when he’s blind? And how does he know how Zach will behave … before Zach himself does?
Read Zach’s notes. Call the phone numbers. Explore the websites. Follow the clues…
It seems productions like this are becoming more popular. Rick Riordan did a similar thing with "The 39 Clues" series, encouraging readers to become involved in the story and even offering up $25,000 woth of prizes as a bonus.
J.C. Huthcins has built up quite a following in the world of podcasting and released his first three novels "The 7th Son" trilogy as a free audio books through podiobooks. The number of subscribers to those first books lead to St Martin's Press picking up "Personal Effects - Dark Art" for publication. I'm a big fan of J.C.'s work and look forward to the release.
One added thing J.C Hutchins and Jordan Wiseman have done leading up to the release of the book in June 2009, is open the doors to Brinkvale Psychiatric Hospital - well sort of. The invitation is not to visit BUT to be committed!
By visiting http://jchutchins.net/site/the-brink/ As they put it;
Welcome to a first-ever in publishing called Commit Yourself To The Brink.
Here, you’ll find ways to inject yourself into the Personal Effects universe and become a patient of art therapist Zach Taylor. Create a patient profile (complete with backstory), receive your admittance papers, contribute artwork, video and more … and earn the horrifically cool privilege to appear on Brinkvale’s official website.
Get creative. Get crazy. Get committed.
I have already started my profile for the site. I might even see you there.