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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Days and times to remember

November 22, 2015

I’ve just typed the date in and realised it’s the day my father died in 1955. (22-11-55). I was fourteen at the time. I sometimes wonder what affect it had on me as a teenager. I do remember one night, it was late, and me and my mates were slowly making our way home from somewhere, when one of them said: “My old man will kill me when I get home.” My immediate thought was that I had no “old man” to go home to. I know my time at school was affected by his death because I went downhill, academically, after that. Got into a lot of trouble along with the bunch of school mates I hung around with. We were always getting caned by the headmaster. I dropped four class grades from A down to D. I wanted to leave school so I could help my mum with the finances, but the headmaster talked her out of it. So I stayed on and failed all my GCE exams, leaving school with no prospects and little to offer any employer when it came to brains. But like a lot of youngsters, the brains were there: they just needed stimulation. I found that in reading and writing. It’s a great way to educate yourself, particularly if you can learn from life’s experiences too. And so I went on to become a happily married man with a lovely wife, four sons, ten grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and a writing hobby that has so far produced ten books. I have not achieved financial success through my writing, but success is not necessarily measured in financial rewards. When I look back over the last twelve months, my writing has occupied a great deal of my time and brought me a lot of pleasure. There has been some angst in there too, with which my wife would agree, but as we approach the end of the year, I believe I can see a clearer path for my books.

Last week I enjoyed the CHINDI writers’ OBL at Chichester and know that we have events in the pipeline for next year. I have almost mastered the art of self-publishing. By that I mean the submission of book jackets and interior files to Amazon etc. I don’t have the artistic skills to create dazzling jackets, but I can accomplish an element of creativity by perseverance and unlocking the potential I had as a sixteen year old leaving school. Failing that I can always twist my son’s arm and get him to do the jackets for me.

Last week I wrote a piece here about Kindle Scout. I felt inspired but since then have come to realise it’s a little bit of a sales pitch from Amazon and certainly akin to a lottery. The more tickets you buy (the more nominations you get), the better the chance of winning the prize. I have read of a couple of authors who are treating it as a massive campaign. One writer is throwing the equivalent of a web party every day just to increase her chances of getting a result. Me? I’m letting my FB advert do most of the work for me, although I am plugging it on Twitter and FB. Here too, by the way. So why not nominate me? The link is —

Once my Kindle Scout campaign has finished, I will set about launching the book (A Dangerous Game) if it hasn’t been taken up by Amazon. I’ll be offering it to my subscribers at a launch price of $0.99 (£0.75) for about one week before putting the price up to the standard $2.99. I will also be using Facebook to advertise it. And I hope to have the paperback ready as well, although the jacket design may take a little bit of time. Then it’s back to the pen and the beginning of another thriller. Wish me luck!

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