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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Busy Boy

We’ve had a full week, one way or another. Saturday (eight days ago) we went to the funeral of a dear friend who succumbed to cancer. Monday we visited friends in Southampton for a meal. They are off to Spain today to their holiday home; back in May. Friday was a visit to my sister and then yesterday we were with number three son, John and his wife Bryony, so all in all a busy period. The kitchen work tops turned up Tuesday — couldn’t get them in the house, so had to leave them propped up against the house in the back garden. It will be up to the kitchen fitter to sort it out when he comes next week to upgrade the kitchen. But I did manage to make a start on my next thriller!

Procrastination is the bane of a writer’s life, and I’m as guilty as the next one. So I took the plunge and e-mailed my subscribers to tell them I was about to make a start. This means I am committed to keeping my word and producing something by the end of the year. I had some encouraging replies, which put a smile on my face. Oh, and I have picked up some excellent reviews for A Dangerous Game: mostly five stars, so I must be doing something right.

I decided to bring Marcus Blake in from the cold for my next book. He was the main man in A Covert War. I had to think seriously of a makeover for Marcus to add something visually brutal to his character, but at the same time necessary. I thought of Bruce Willis in the Die Hard films and how he comes across, but I am not planning to copy Willis’s character. Marcus began life in A Covert War with blond locks, which had to change. In the opening sequence he is taking part in an illegal cage fight. He has been battling with his demons after killing his friend, Rafiq Shah in the previous story, and finds the violence helps smother his anger over Rafiq’s death and the manner of it. And as a cage fighter, blond locks are a liability, so I’ve shaved them off. Isn’t it marvellous how writers can shape their characters? Often it’s the other way round and the characters leap out of the pages and demand to be taken in a different direction: a case of the tail wagging the dog. But the die has been cast, and now I have to press on. Do I have any idea where I’m going with this? Not really: the story will develop and arrive at a conclusion of which I have no idea.

My books sales are maintaining a reasonable, if low, daily average. I like to think that readers are finding my books enjoyable and want more. I also believe my Facebook campaign helped. I had planned to run another campaign, but will wait now until after my Bookbub promotion on March 14th. The consequence of the promotion could send me off in a new direction, or not. We’ll see. Wish me luck!

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