MSN.com shared an intriguing news story recently. Santa Fe multimillionaire and author Forrest Fenn, 82, was diagnosed with terminal cancer a few years ago. Subsequently, he wrote and self-published THE THRILL OF THE CHASE, A MEMOIR in 2010.
A true story of his life, the book also contains clues to a hidden treasure buried somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. How does Mr. Fenn know where to find the treasure? Simple…he buried it.
Forrest Fenn loaded gold, diamonds, emeralds, and other treasures he’d collected over the years, into a bronze treasure chest and secreted it in a place that only he knows. Then he left nine clues in a poem he wrote and included in his memoir.
See if you can figure out the riddle.
- As I have gone alone in there
- And with my treasures bold,
- I can keep my secret where,
- And hint of riches new and old.
- Begin it where warm waters halt
- And take it in the canyon down,
- Not far, but too far to walk.
- Put in below the home of Brown.
- From there it’s no place for the meek,
- The end is drawing ever nigh,
- There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
- Just heavy loads and water high.
- If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
- Look quickly down, your quest to cease
- But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
- Just take the chest and go in peace.
- So why is it that I must go
- And leave my trove for all to seek?
- The answers I already know
- I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.
New Mexico is far from my home in Oregon, and I’m completely lost when it comes to riddles, but the idea still excites me. The hardbound book is sold in only one bookstore in Santa Fe. The cost is $45. All proceeds go to cancer research. Amazingly, Mr. Fenn is now cancer-free, but he still waits for some great adventurer to find the treasure he hid three years ago. He’s happy to give others what he has had in abundance – The Thrill of the Chase.
The gem I took from Mr. Fenn’s story is this—he wrote a book and then gave people a reason to WANT to read it. Sounds simple enough from a marketing standpoint, but I’m not a multimillionaire. I can write a book, but I can’t fill a chest with precious jewels. My treasure has to be intangible, yet valuable enough to make readers clamor to read my book.
Maybe a scandalous expose. Maybe a sweet and sassy romance. Truth…love…acceptance…hope? Perhaps I could embed a clue within the story and the readers who are able to guess the riddle are entered to win a prize. I don’t have it figured out yet, but there’s a promotional idea in there , and Mr. Fenn has definitely made me think.
ALL OR NOTHING releases March 12th