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The observant among you will have noticed that I missed out a blog post in February. This was deliberate because I was having the kind of moments that often make me ask myself if it’s all worth it. So nothing has changed really since I lost my lovely Pat. However, things are looking up, and the big moment for me in February was the birth of my fourth great grandson, Liri, to my Granddaughter, Gemma and her partner Max — and a little brother for Orin!


Liri was born on March 11th and is absolutely gorgeous. I was able to see him just a couple of weeks later when the family celebrated with a lunch date in Horsham on Orin’s birthday. I claimed the right, as Patriarch of the family, to sit next to Gemma, which meant I would be close to the baby most of the time. So the family tree grows, but we haven’t finished yet: my Grandson Sam’s wife, Taryn, is expecting and is due in July. They live in America, so it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to see the new addition, but there’s always video links.


On the book front, my situation has changed for the better. I submitted my thriller, Roselli’s Gold, ( to BookBub for a featured deal. They agreed to advertise it but to UK, Canada and Australia, not the USA. The price was about £150 for a single, one day shot at £0.99. I accepted that and paid the money. The ad started on March 1st. On that day I sold 145 eBooks, the following day, 76 books. The tail followed and I have sold every single day since then, reaching 386 sales so far (March 26th). Although I haven’t recovered the cost of the ad (I would need to sell 600), I am well pleased with the fact that I am selling, something that was pretty alien to me some months ago.


On top of the Roselli’s Gold results, I also started an ad running on Amazon for The Girl With no Name (, (my Romance under the pen name of Emma Carney). I am selling one or two copies a day now, which is really good. But on top of all this I am picking up sales on some of my other books. I think this must be where readers like my style and are happy to spend money. And there’s more; on Draft2Digital, I have sold about forty books in the last four or five weeks; virtually all my titles.


Now, when it comes to comparison with many other authors who write in my genres, I’m not even at the races, but what I have achieved thus far has put a big smile on my face. I’m not making any money, but at least I hope I am making people happy, and long may it continue. I’m also pushing the boat put a little bit on TikTok; the only downside to that are the number of “attractive young ladies” who ‘like’ me. Hmm!


I’m also working on my next book, Shadow Over Paris, which is set in Occupied Paris in 1940/41. I have to admit it’s a struggle, and probably too big a challenge for me to take on, but that is very much what being an author is about: struggle, doubt, impostor syndrome and procrastination. Oh, and making excuses to avoid putting pen to paper. I am told by those in the know, hurriedly pushing their secret on Facebook et al  that I could knock out a full length novel in twenty minutes using AI. That to me is not even writing. There is no creativity in it, no emotion, no sudden change of direction because of a character who forces that change. I hope I never meet anyone who has ‘written’ a book using AI; I wouldn’t be able to get the words “Well done” out of my mouth.


On the domestic front, it’s all about getting into the garden between rain showers, keeping body and soul together and looking forward to seeing the sunshine again. I’m off to see my Great Grandson, Liri, this week, so that’s something I’m really looking forward to.


Well, that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed reading this catch-up. If you’ve read any of my books and like them, please tell people; word of mouth is a like planting a seed. And you know what they say — Big Oak trees from little acorns grow.


Wish me luck!



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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker


Well, the first thing I want to announce is that my fourth great-grandson, Liri, was born on the 12th February to my grand-daughter, Gemma, and her partner, Max. Liri’s name is an ancient Hebrew name meaning ‘Lyrical’. I will be going up to Horsham next week to introduce myself to him and see if he approves of me. I’m sure he will.


Looking back over the last six weeks, I seem to have a lot to write about, but not all with tales of sparkling success in the world of Michael Parker Books. But my life isn’t about books; there are other highs and lows to talk about. I picked up again on my latest book project (Occupied Paris in 1940/41), which I started in October but set aside during November. I have now written close to 24000 words, and it’s an unbelievable hardship for me. I have five books that I bought to help my research, but as much as I can see where I’m going with this, I’m not so sure where or how I’ll finish. I expect it will take several months before I complete the first draft.


I’ve booked a five day break in June at a writers retreat in Beal, Yorkshire. I’d been trying to figure out what I could do for a holiday this year and, having written off coach tours and cruising, this particular break seems to tick all the boxes for me. I’m actually looking forward to it, despite the long drive.


My grandson, Adam, came to see me with his fiancée, Agata. She’s a lovely girl and is Polish. We got talking about the Polish heroines of the war against Hitler in France, and she has agreed to let me use her name in my book as one of the Polish secret agents in Occupied Paris. I do hope I can do her justice (and the Polish people!)


I bought flowers for our church on January 14th, which was my lovely Pat’s birthday, and I took my neighbours, Rick and Ann, out for lunch on the 19th to celebrate our 64th wedding anniversary.


I came home from church a few Sundays ago to find my dog, Tuppence, had nicked three apples from the fruit bowl. It’s the first time she’s done that. Now the fruit bowl is in the kitchen where she can’t get to it.


I had a dash cam fitted to my car. I do think more about my age and driving on our increasingly poor and busy roads. I had three near misses last year, none of which were my fault, which was why I decided to have the dash cam fitted.


But back to my book world. I began a very expensive campaign with a marketing company last October, featuring my nuclear thriller, The Devil’s Trinity. I can’t explain what they did; it would take too long, but I can say that, despite the cost, I was really pleased how they managed to elevate my book to higher places than I could ever have achieved myself. I lost financially but gained in many other ways. The campaign finished at the end of January, and now my book sales have tapered away to zero. I also ran a campaign featuring A Covert War at a reduced price. Together the result meant I sold about 315 books in ten weeks. That for me is a magnificent result because my annual sales are usually around 150 books. And to give you some idea of how I manage on my own, I have sold one book in the last four days!


I have more or less reached a decision to pull back from campaigning and simply rely on organic growth now. I think the hassle of trying to make it in the world of books is proving too much for me. Since losing my lovely Pat, I have no real drive left anymore. I did see a quote that more or less sums it up: “Putting books up on Amazon is like taking sand to the beach”.  I might pop an add in somewhere along the way. Having said that, I have a one day featured campaign with BookBub in Canada, Australia and the UK on March 1st. After that? We’ll see.


So, looking ahead I can see my routines will be the dominant feature of my day. I will continue writing my book about Occupied Paris, play my Clavinova (badly) and fall asleep in the armchair when I should be writing. Oh, on the subject of playing my Clavinova, I put a video up on Tik Tok of me playing a series of Seventh chords in the key of C and talking as I played. There was no song; just me running my fingers up and down the white notes. I did manage to sound like I knew what I was doing, and I have to say it sounded good to me. Anyway, I picked up over 700 views and likes for that. Didn’t sell any books though. But what the hell, summer’s coming and I have a brand new baby boy to see next week.


Wish me luck!

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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

December 2023 Blog post.


December for me was always going to be about Christmas, getting ready, hanging up the decorations, parties, Carol Services and the Nativity, meeting up with family and knowing there will always be an empty chair at my table. But that’s life, so instead of recalling what my last four weeks have been like, I thought it only right to look back at 2023 and what it meant for me. I won’t talk about domesticity: the cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, dog walking, gardening — makes me tired just thinking about it, so let’s have a look at my world of books and how I have improved my lot.


In January I made a decision to write Romance using the pen name: Emma Carney. I thought it would be fun to write some pornographic stuff and sell thousands of books. It didn’t take me long to realise I couldn’t do it. After about five pages of writing sexy stuff, I binned it. I’ve always believed in the mantra: Write as you can, not as you can’t, which meant porn was off the table for me. But the crazy thing was I managed to write three cozy Romance novels in five months. It usually takes me about a year to write a book, so three in five months was really pulling out all the stops. If you like heart-warming stories, you won’t be disappointed in the three titles: Happy Lies The Heart; The Girl With No Name and Chapel Acre. I thought at this point that I would write No.4, but for some inexplicable reason, I lost the momentum. It kind of saddened me in a way because I thought I was on a roll, but I hadn’t lost the desire to write; it was just a case of waiting for something to turn up.


Shortly after finishing the third book, I went up to London for the Self-Publishing Live Show at the South Bank. It’s a two day event with a party on the first evening at the Mad Hatter Pub. Naturally the pub was packed. I bumped into a young writer who I’d met the year before. Her name was Kay, ex-Army, and she had to use a crutch to get round. Bit difficult when your trying to mingle in a crowd and hold on to your beer at the same time. There were about 800 authors at the show from all over the world. I was even recognised by one of the show’s organisers when I walked through the doors. That put a smile on my face.


Although inspiration can come from listening to how some of the presenters at the show obtained the success they were enjoying, it’s like trying to catch lightning in a bottle if you think you can emulate them. But you can pick up some useful ideas and attempt to follow them through. I came back from London with Covid, so no inspiration for me!


The middle part of 2023 was flat for me with regard to my book world, but there were other small avenues to explore; not least the ‘Fun Day’ on the green here at Mill Farm. I had a table with my books, met a lot of lovely people and managed to sell about twenty five books; most of which were my Emma Carney Romances. I’ve done several book events before, most of them before I lost my lovely Pat, and it was nice to be back out there again. I’ve signed up for next year’s Fun Day as well.


As summer came in with all that heat, I took myself off to Lincolnshire to spend a couple of days with one of our friends from Spain: Pauline. Pat and I first met Pauline and her husband, Brian, about twenty five years ago. Brian died shortly after Pat. I brought Pauline and her little Chihuahua, Daisy, down here for a week or so, and then took her home. On the way back I got caught speeding in some little village and ended up having to attend a Speed Awareness Course here in Bognor Regis. That was fun. Oh, 34 mph in a 30 mph zone by the way.


And then I got inspired and began thinking about writing a book set in Occupied Paris in 1940. I started researching and bought a couple of second hand books, and I also renewed my library ticket for another book. I found the whole thing fascinating, particularly a book about the SOE heroines, many of whom gave their lives for us, murdered by the Nazis in the most horrific way. In fact, I’m going to the Minerva Theatre in Chichester next month to watch a talk on these women. It will be given by the local, well-known author, Kate Mosse.


I got on reasonably well with the book and completed about 17000 words before having to set it aside as other events began encroaching upon my free time. One of which was the Turkey and Tinsel holiday in Weymouth at the end of November. It was organised by one of our residents, Graham, and was for five days. I think I was the only single man on the bus. I know there were fourteen single rooms booked, so I presume all the others were ladies. I think I must have met all of them during the week. It was nice to get to know new people, see new faces and learn other people’s names, which makes you feel you are a little bit closer to being part of the community.


Back to my world of books and the hard part of promotion and marketing. I made the decision to put more effort into this; something I’ve always been rubbish at. My book sales on Amazon have virtually flat-lined for most of the year, meaning I really had to try harder. To that end, I started two campaigns: one under the guidance of Mark Dawson (SPF Live Show gaffer) through his excellent ‘Launchpad’ course. I didn’t have to pay for it because I’ve been with Mark for about six years now — a fully paid up member. The other campaign came about in a completely unexpected way: something I’ve always studiously avoided because of the cost. It is run by a small team of professionals and is expensive. However, both campaigns were started about the middle of November. Since then I have sold about 150 books in six weeks. Considering I’d done nothing for so long, this is a real uptick for me and gives me hope for 2024. All I have to do is keep the balls in the air and not let them drop.


So as I look ahead to next year, I hope to finish my next book, which will be called Shadow Over Paris, and also see myself make real, positive inroads into the world of books.

Wish me luck!

Happy New Year! xx


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