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Want to Be an Alpha-Reader?

Well, that was, what was that? A very busy two weeks and my short-ish story, Fringe Event, is finally finished and available on this very website. I would like you to read it and would love it if you could give me some feedback. I need to get better.

In the self-publishing business there is a person called a beta-reader, which is not a name I like, who reads a writer's draft and tells them what they could do to get improve. I have done a similar thing by asking friends and relations for criticism, I can't get better if no-one tells me what is wrong. The trouble is my friends and relations are too nice.

So if you want to be an Alpha-Reader, please do email me with your thoughts. I will, once my ego has stopped stinging, always reply with thanks and try not to justify any errors too much. I can then edit the story with your suggestions. This short story addresses a niggle I managed to drag out of a relation as it happens; that they didn't get a clear sense of place in Changing the Subject.

It was a total palava adding that much text and so many pictures to the site, which is not designed for that sort of thing, and making sure the desktop and mobile versions are presentable. So much of a faff in fact that I don't feel guilty adding purchase links throughout the story to everything I could think of, for which I can get a cut. Think of it as product placement and rest assured that you will not have your mind controlled into buying a book or a DVD. It's a little known fact that the story of Orson Wells' radio show convincing thousands of Americans that there really was a War of the Worlds back in the Nineteen-Thirties, was itself a hoax. The only thing we seem really gullible about is believing how suggestible we are.

Speaking of Wars of Worlds, my story is a genuflection towards HG Wells and the other British Science-fiction writers with whom I grew up. I'm not that old; I read a lot of Wells, Wyndham and Orwell when I was young. Being in a small town, and one so close to HG Wells house made me think of the form.

The inspiration came from Folkestone, which is an oddly fragile place and does seem caught between two worlds somehow. Any way, if you sign up as a subscriber, you will get to read Fringe Event and see what you think.

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