It’s gratifying to know that the transport and logistics magazine Motor Transport has run a short piece about Alternative Outcome in its “Highwayman” gossip column (21 March 2016), complete with front cover illustration. Grateful thanks, MT, for your support.
It was a little sobering, though, to read in the piece that “Peter Rowlands … claims to have written for this very publication, but no one here remembers him.” Sic transit gloria mundi, perhaps. All I can say in mitigation is that I don’t think I know anyone currently working at MT, so why should anyone there know me?
That said, this apparent willingness to doubt the past does suggest the makings of some kind of plot line involving having one’s earlier life questioned. So thanks, MT, for the possible story lead!
For the record, I certainly did write for MT: literally dozens of feature articles over a very long period. Unfortunately they probably all pre-date the era when the magazine was archived digitally, so perhaps there’s nowhere to look them up electronically.
However, you’ll find me buried somewhere in your vaults in the printed versions. I still have cuttings of a lot of my own articles, but unfortunately they’re rather inaccessibly boxed up in a self-storage unit, otherwise I’d have scanned one to prove the point.
As for Highwayman’s comments about the difficulty of imagining anything exciting about “the cold, hard reality” of working somewhere like MT Towers (as he describes it), well, my leading character, Mike, has exactly that view of his job as a freelancer. He’s not at all excited by it; he can barely force himself to write the articles he’s offered. The plot takes off when he finds himself forced into alternative (and to some extent unwelcome) ways of spicing up his life.
Nevertheless, he still has to pay his bills, so he navigates a series of press activities and events, and they end up delivering part of the plot. But it’s certainly not dull! Read it and you’ll see what I mean.