The reason for my serial – which went out to an unsuspecting and largely unaware cyber world – was the 40th anniversary of the murder of Che Guevara. I wrote (now I know I ‘posted’) chapters every two weeks through the year until the 8th October. They went under the title ‘Otro Mundo es Posible’ which, even for those challenged in Spanish, is fairly obviously ‘Another World is Possible.’
I did a small private print run of the book which was my first attempt at ‘indie’ publishing since ‘The Threads of Time’ in 2003. This time more of the production process was in my hands. It was a first toe in the water. Since then I guess I’ve published coming on 80 titles (not, of course, all written by myself).
Back in 2008 I had the opportunity to publish the novella (as the Serial essentially was) through an ‘indie’ scheme which at the time was called YouWriteOn but subsequently became FeedaRead (may be familiar to some of you?). I wasn’t very happy with the result, paper quality, size of book etc.
It was 2010 that I really ‘got into’ indie publishing – first ebooks then paperback. Over the intervening years ‘Another World is Possible’ has come out in a variety of guises, spawning (as yet unpublished) companions and even at one point being digitally published as a ‘flexible’ text with the story told both episodically and chronologically. I don’t believe it’s actually ‘in print’ at this moment in time, though probably you can pick up a digital or second hand copy. I should republish it this year – and will, when I get around to it. The traditional way to do that (going back centuries) is to bring it out just before the final episodes – so look out for a new edition in Sept/Oct 2017.
But you don’t have to wait that long. Or pay. Because the story is going back to its routes. A decade on, the world is used to online serials and blogging is a way of life for many folk. There is nothing innovative or surprising in the whole experience then. Except that I do still hope that the story offers something both innovative and surprising in terms of narrative structure and content. I hope the reading world may have caught up with where I was a decade ago.
I have moved on of course. This year I’m finally going to publish one of the ‘companion’ volumes to ‘Another World is Possible’. The title is ‘The One that Got Away.’ Whether it will come out as a serial or ‘straight to novel’ depends on what else I have on my plate this spring. But it will get published one way or another before October 8th.
And in the meantime of course there is the #tobelikeche serial over at McRenegades. This is a standalone project in honour and tribute to the Cuban people who made such an impact on my life in my two working visits there in 1999 and 2006. At 50 episodes it’s a beast of a story, giving a fresh personal perspective on the Bolivian Campaign that led up to Che’s capture and murder.
With the death in 2016 of Fidel Castro, Cuba is changing. The world is changing. I suppose that’s nothing new, either in Cuba or the world. For a good twenty years now I’ve been aware of how misrepresented Cuba has been in the West politically and socially. It’s something I’ve always struggled to write about. But I feel it’s an important time to record personal perspectives on the changes - past, present and fiction are all part of an ever changing narrative which we both make and live. And I believe it’s our responsibility to be active in the creation and recording of the narratives we live by. If we don’t tell our stories, no one else will. But stories will be told. Always. They are stories I don’t recognise and so I try to write as honestly as possible about my experience of the world in the hopes that somehow I communicate something to a reader or reader out there who is confused by the dominant narratives and wants to find a different way to engage with the world. In a commodified world, giving stories away for free is an act of resistance/rebellion which I heartily endorse. That’s why I’m so happy for ‘Another World is Possible’ to see new life as a McSerial for 2017.
You'll be able to read the first episode on Wednesday January 4th and then every Wednesday after that till Easter-time.