‘A quick read’ turns into success

Keith and Sharon Boothroyd have developed a short story app.
Keith and Sharon Boothroyd have developed a short story app.

WHEN your travelling on a train you need to pass the time, what better way than reading a short story on your phone.

Couple Keith and Sharon Boothroyd have developed a new free download app called ‘A Quick Read’, with 32 stories from 17 different writers including Brighouse writer Sally Jenkins.

App developer Keith works in air conditioning in Brighouse but in his spare time he has developed an interest in computer programming.

“When we’ve travelled on train journeys, I’d noticed how travellers love reading to help pass the time and decided to develop the app,” he said. “The app is for any grown-up who loves reading and it’s easy to use.

“We launched it in October and it is going brilliantly. We are getting more writers every day.

“In fact it was going so well that we had to upgrade the number of servers we had because people were complaining about how long it was taking to download.”

He said the aim of the app was to provide a free platform for writers of short fiction to display their work, and at the same time, provide readers with a free continuous supply of stories.

“We must say a huge thank you to the writers who have submitted work to us as they have helped us to launch this project,” he said.

His wife Sharon who works at a Brighouse bank also writes in her spare time.

She said they wanted the app to be successful so they could attract sponsorship in order to give a small amount to some of the contributors.

“We don’t want to pay them a great deal it is purely a gesture,” she said. “We have received some great feedback from people and the reviews have been fantastic.

“This app is the first for Android phone users and with categories for readers to choose from.”

The categories include crime, mystery, heart-warming, paranormal and a twist in tale.

Keith, 51, said the idea was that most people don’t leave home without their phone therefore it is an easy way to access it.

“You do take your phone everywhere with you, it is something you have all the time.”

His 46-year-old wife added: “We just want as many stories as we can on it. It is also a platform for writers who are extremely good but are struggling to get published.

“We don’t tell them what to write about either and it is left completely to them. We just ask them to keep it clean and write a maximum of 1,000 words because it is suppose to be a quick read.”

The app connects to the accompanying website to download stories. The user can then read the story straight away, or save it on their phone to read later.

Sharon added: “It is a brilliant way to access fiction on a regular basis.”

The couple who live at Whinney Hill Park, Brighouse, are no strangers in finding news ways to encourage more people to read using new digital formats.

In 2008 they collaborated on their first novel ‘Yesterday, Today and Forever’ and published it on-line – and looked for volunteer readers to offer their views and give them feedback.

Keith came up with the plot for the novel which Sharon developed and expanded. She created new characters, came up with dramatic events and undertook historical research with the help of local historian Chris Helme.

Sharon who particularly enjoys the work of Ruth Rendall, Alan Bennett and other crime fiction writers, has written for pleasure since she was a child and has tried to break into the highly competitive women’s magazine fiction market.

Report by Michaela Maunders