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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

PC, Proofs and Publicity

I’m back with Andy MacNab after wasting time on other ‘polished’ thriller writers. MacNab’s writing is so clever that you forget that he was basically a foot soldier who we tend to regard as brawn over brains. But taking into consideration the considerable skills and bravery required to be a member of the Special Forces (SAS), it makes you realise just how clever these men are. With MacNab, he has added powerful storytelling to his CV. Imbedded in his writing is the colloquial, non PC jargon of servicemen and women, probably the world over; and it sits very comfortably with his style. I’ve just finished Firewall and am now reading Aggressor. I have read two of his other titles.

I mention the non PC writing because the editor of my next novel, Past Imperfect, took exception to the descriptions I used when referring to a black character of West Indian origin in my book. Black skin, white teeth in the dark kind of stuff. I was told that in today’s PC climate it would probably be better to come up with another choice of words so as not to give offence. I had no argument against that because changing a couple of phrases didn’t impact on the story. But if I had been one of my publisher’s top authors, someone like Andy MacNab, would it have made any difference? I don’t think I would have been asked to change anything.

I’ve done virtually no work on my current WIP since my last blog, and, no, I can’t blame Andy MacNab; it’s more to do with learning to improve my social networking skills. I am currently learning a little more about Pinterest and how to make good use of it. I still have a problem appreciating just how powerful it can be, and do ask myself why isn’t everybody else on it if it’s that good. But I’ll try. At least I have learned a new skill, and that is making bookmark sized quotes for pinning. All I need to do now is find the right targets. Ironically, I dismissed a young lady author several months ago who explained on her website how she had made huge sales of her books simply by using Pinterest. She explained how and offered to help anyone who was interested. I couldn’t be bothered: for me it was just another Amanda Hocking success story that only happens to the few. Perhaps I should have taken more notice.

I did play around with my website (, looking to see if I could improve its appearance and attractiveness. Perhaps give it a bit of zap. But that will come in time.

As we get closer to leaving Spain (three weeks today), so my days are getting fuller leaving me little time to work on WIPs and social networks. My wife is very busy arranging our ‘going away party’ at church (this Wednesday), and naturally I am involved. She is doing the bulk of the planning and cooking, while I chauffer her around and generally act as a sounding board and general dogs body when needed. She feeds me too! We have different lunches planned (too many for the waistline really), appointments to keep and important processes to remember. The calendar is just about full and that more or less puts paid to creative pursuits like writing and social networking. But why am I keeping up with this blog? Well, it’s in the hope that one day someone other than a spammer will read it and make a comment. It would be inspiring to know that there are followers out there, even if it’s only a few.

My book sales are maintaining their one a day average, which I have to admit is promising. Maybe one day I’ll have them up to two a day. Then I’ll get really excited. If they went stratospheric I think I’d go pop.

Oh yes; another strange one for me. My publisher contacted me last week to say that the proofs would be sent to my West Sussex address (we haven’t got there yet) and could I return them reasonably quickly. I had to remind them that we haven’t moved yet, so in the end it was agreed to send the proofs once we are back in UK. But physical proofs? I used to get galley proofs years ago, but for a long while now it has been digital proofs, PDF style. I must admit I prefer the idea of a physical copy; it makes it seem nearer the day. So, something to look forward to on my return. Wish me luck!

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