When exactly did I first get published? The oldest work of fiction in my scrapbook is the short story that appeared in Trends magazine of June 2006. There are magazine and newspaper articles in Zimbabwean periodicals that are now defunct, of course. And the scripts, let’s not forget the scripts.
However, it was my first book, The Man who turned into a Rastafarian, that pushed me from obscurity. Like the Dread Eye Detective Agency stories, some of the short-stories in the anthology date from the 1990s, when, as a young man, I had to contend with institutional anti-Rastafarianism and the general lack of support for the arts before I could sit down and write about other things.
The Man who turned into a Rastafarian was a profound lesson in publishing. I made a bit of money from it at first, despite not having a budget for advertising and publicity. Then, the publisher went quiet. I googled them, and found that they were the subject of several lawsuits and were routinely denounced as a scam. I tried calling them, and was hung up on.
As far as publishing projects go, I should have just dropped this one. But people keep asking for it. I don’t delude myself in to thinking it is one helluva book. However, it would not be immodest of me to recognise its contribution to the repository of Rastafarian Literature.
Late last year, I published an e-book version of The Man who turned into a Rastafarian. I thought that would be the end of it, but this development has only prompted increased demands for a print edition. So, I have capitulated. The Man who turned into a Rastafarian will be available in the next few weeks from amazon.