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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Stepping Stones

July 19th.

Good week last week: I’m actually making progress! Received confirmation from my publisher that I now have the UK paperback rights to my last two novels, Past Imperfect and The Boy from Berlin. I have completed the edit on the first of these, and now have to embark on the daunting task of creating a presentable book jacket. The promotion I ran for A Covert War yielded reasonable results. I managed to sell 42 books last week, which is a huge increase for me. Naturally it’s all about getting my name out into the market place at the moment; not just selling books.

Our week began with a trip to Bath in Somerset to meet up with our grandson, Sam, who is over from America on an internship for six weeks. It was great to spend time with him, take him out to lunch and just be in his company. We haven’t seen him for about six years. Monday was taken up with a hospital appointment for me. Tuesday was the promotion day. Thursday was different: I went along to a drop-in centre called CancerWise. This wasn’t because of my on-going treatment, but because it was suggested to our writer group, CHINDI, that we might be able to do something for the charity. I spoke to the manageress and explained that essentially, we want to sell books, and it would be a bit churlish of me to pretend that we could offer them something when the truth is that there is an ulterior motive. So I offered to come along to the group on my own and give a talk on the writing process, the value of spending time doing this, using it as a therapy and anything else that might crop up during the talk. And I would come as a writer, not as a snake oil salesman trying to flog the CHINDI group to them. Naturally I would be happy to do more than one chat, but then it might be reasonable of me to hope they will buy my books.

For the last four weeks, the CHINDI group have been supported by Kim’s Bookshop in Chichester by displaying several of our books in support of the Chichester Arts Festival. It was another way of getting our name out to the wider public. I picked up the books and was pleased to find out that we had sold more than half of those displayed. Maybe next year, if we do the same again, we’ll sell all the books.

Tomorrow I’m off the Angel Radio in Havant (101.1 FM) for an interview. Being a local lad, there should be something of interest in my life to prick somebody’s ears. Naturally I’ll plug my books and the CHINDI group if I get the chance, and I will also be leaving a copy of Past Imperfect for them to give away as a gift. They will also be playing a selection of music I’ve chosen from the 1950s. Should be fun. I don’t know if the interview will be live, or recorded, but if I get a CD from them, I’ll post it on my website. Wish me luck!

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