amwriting, Gothic Fiction, Pagham-verse, The Crows

#AmWriting: Call for Betas

Hi all! This is a quick post to shout-out to anyone who wants to beta read my fiction. And, unusually for me, you actually have a choice! It’s not just one thing! *le gasp*

I need some feedback on a novel (98k words) and two (2) short stories. If you would like to have a go at any of these, please comment on this post, or @ me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!


The novel is around 98K words, and I’m looking for comments either overall on the pacing, characterisation, character development and plot, or chapter-by-chapter; I have some betas who I know prefer to give broader feedback, so I’m hoping for the micro-feedback too, in small chunks. Whatever your style, I’d be glad of the perspective.

The best way to describe it (probably) is The Dunwich Horror X Hannibal Rising with a good dash of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Basically, bubblegum body horror meets my take on [and parodies] a version of the Lovecraftian mythos.

It’s Adult, although the story is mainly about a 17yo antiheroine figuring out her destiny to cull/brutally dismember her family of eldritch abominations, while also coming to terms with turning into one. All very Innsmouth, but less fishy.

It follows the dilemma this poses to other family members, like her older brother – a human-passing polyamorous playboy whose ‘forgettable’ appearance drives people over the edge of sanity – and their cousin, an eyeball-eating soothsayer obsessed with a sentient house, who already thinks he’s a god.

{Representative quote: when a creature rises from the Stygian depths of its dimension at one point, a character squints at it, pauses, and says “Cor, that’s a bloody big frog”}

DEADLINE: I’ll be sending the MS off to betas in June (2020) so I’d like comments back by the end of August so I can start revising and formatting for a December 2020 release.

To sign up to beta this one specifically, there’s a form!

Short Story #1: Love Song For The Crows

WORD COUNT: Under 2K (min. word count is 1500 words)
GENRE: Gothic, Spec Fic
PREMISE: A reflection on decay and mortality from the perspective of a ruined house. I’m submitting to the New Gothic Review, and I’d like to know if it’s Gothic enough, if it works as a short piece, etc.
TIME SCALE: Aiming for it to be beta-ready by 18th May: I’d like comments by 30th May.

VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE: please comment on this post, or @ me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

Short Story #2: The Sound of Darkness

GENRE: Psychological Horror
PREMISE: An adult man faces a dark room in his own flat, and tries to overcome a lifelong fear. In doing so, he dredges up childhood memories of his creepy council estate where fear of the dark was a survival trait, and the time he was trapped in a lift with a friend as the lights flickered on and off. Was there something with them in the lift that night? Will he ever know? And can he overcome his fear as a grown man to step into his living room with the lights off?
TIME SCALE: Aiming for it to be written and beta-ready by 24th May: I’d like comments by 10th June 2020.

VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE: please comment on this post, or @ me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

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