What would you do if there were three of you?
That’s the startling question at the heart of Beside Myself, an interactive novel about the decisions that you didn’t make, the lives that you didn’t lead.
Beside Myself presents a world where the author comes into contact with—and eventually meets—three different versions of himself: they are all Jeff Gomez, but each one is different based on choices made at a critical juncture. One is married, one is single, and one has a family. As they each gradually discover the other, their various lives begin to overlap and, ultimately, become intertwined in ways they never thought possible. The three Jeffs also discover a shadowy underground society of people trapped in similar circumstances, along with a mysterious ringleader named Luther Blissett who seems to know all the answers. This is not an isolated incident.
Designed specifically for the iPad, the contents of Beside Myself can be shuffled, chapters can be programmed like a playlist, or the reader can follow one Jeff at a time throughout the story (with the ability to read the story again from the point of view of a different Jeff, seeing the novel’s events from another perspective as well as being served up an alternate ending).
Within the text of the novel, when there are emails from the characters to each other, the user has the ability to send the characters—and the author—an email. There are live links to websites, as well as an interactive personality quiz. The user can also go sideways in time or can choose to read all three narratives at once by turning the iPad on its side. The novel also includes photos, interactive menus, original music, and integration with social media.