A WebNovel by Stephen Rose
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Site updated 09 Mar 2005
HOT SPRINGS is perhaps the world’s first WebNovel of its kind. Neither an audio book nor a downloadable text that can be read onscreen or on a PDA or similar handheld device, this WebNovel consists of two parts. Foremost, the WebNovel Hot Springs is a stand-alone printed and bound work of fiction that can be read independently like any novel or book. At the same time, Hot Springs is also more.
The companion website (which you’re reading here) adds meaning, depth and color to the story, characters, and settings. This website is not just about reviews, interviews, or chat rooms but is instead a place where readers can find new and different aspects of the story, locales, and characters. Where novels are black and white, the Hot Springs website is about color, sounds, sights, and dimensions that black print on white paper can never match.
As you click on one Chapter Weblink you’ll hear a song written and recorded by the lead character, Jason (with him playing and recording all the instruments, as well) (click here to go to that page). On another you’ll see full-color paintings done by characters like Kiriko (click here). What's more, if you so choose, you can actually buy one of Kiriko's paintings by clicking on the appropriate WebLink (click here).
One of the 16 chapters will be acted like a radio play (click here for a sample) and another will have drawings of important scenes or places (samples here). As a WebNovel, Hot Springs is a multi-dimensional piece of fiction bringing the novel into the world of the web to address the senses beyond those accessible by reading.
Another goal of the Hot Springs Webnovel is to blur the line between fiction and reality. In the book, you'll find amazing parallels between this site and the plot and imagine being able to buy a painting you've read about in a work of fiction or download songs that help drive the action...
Hot Springs integrates traditional fiction publishing with the dynamic platform of the Internet. It is a marriage between a book and the WWW that embraces the salient characteristics of each to create a whole new entity.
Hot Springs consists of a bound book and accompanying website envisioned and created by the author himself, not by the publisher’s publicity department. The result is a new hybrid form that brings fiction into a format fit for the 21st century.
Suffice it to say that Hot Springs is more than a novel. It also consists of four recorded songs, three landscape paintings, four portraits, two black and white sketches, an audio play, a dramatic narration (with your choice of background music), an interactive map, a fictional website, a webliography, numerous photographs, a flash animation, and extra writings that include poetry.
What’s on the Hot Springs WebNovel Website?
Home - This page.
Chapter Links This is the heart of the WebNovel. Each chapter has its own webpage that has some audio or visual element (or both - or more) that relates back to the chapter in question. In Chapter One's Weblink, for example, you can see the lyrics, the guitar tabs, and actually hear Jason's song Under the Surface, which he writes at the end of the chapter. Chapter Two has an interactive map of Hot Springs Island, where much of the action of Part I is set. Get the picture? Click on the Chapter Links hyperlink and you'll really see what I mean.
Novel Excerpt -Hopefully this is self-explanatory. The excerpt is from Chapter 00, pg 00.
Webliography -In this section I thought about including a list of favorite websites or the sites I researched in writing this book (and still might, at some later date). Instead, I compiled a list of all the topics that got mentioned in the book, chronologically, which can then be searched using the included Google Bar. Interested in finding out more about Dilbert or Thomas L. Friedman? This is how.
Reader Comments -Here's your chance to say your piece to author or publisher (or both). The buck stops with us for your two cents worth.
Author Stuff - Author bio and other stuff you might or might not want or need. I know - a big ego trip. Publisher's address is here too.
FAQ - Everything you did or didn't want to know about Hot Springs and me.
Buy the Novel - Please. If you would.
Kiriko's Gallery - A place to browse and buy paintings by this remarkable Japanese painter. Imagine actually owning a painting you've just read about in a novel.
Site Map - Self-explanatory. I hope.
JASON Chiron, six months away from his 30th birthday, had realized his career ambition and now he thoroughly regretted it. Fed up with his job as a web developer in the city and wondering about the role of spam, pop-ups and commitment in modern life, Jason chucks it all to return to Hot Springs Island and the hotel run by his toupeed, check-shirted, Shakespeare-quoting father and a cast of lovable but quirky islanders and Music Club members.
Assaulted by surprises and blasts from the past, Jason leaves on a search that takes him to Bath, England where he falls under the spell of Dianna the twin and the passionate and intellectual Maddie MacDonald - not to mention the enigmatic, charismatic publisher Seamus who helps Jason come up with The Next Big Thing and catapults him into circumstances unintended and unimagined.
As Jason embarks on an odyssey that takes him to hot springs in Canada, England, and even Japan, he finds himself in hot water both literal and figurative. This is a story about love, music, art, nature, loyalty, family, and - most of all - the search for warmth and connection that dominates all of our lives…
All rights reserved. © Copyright 2005 by Stephen Rose