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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

I am reviewing the situation

Progress on my current novel is slow at the moment, giving me all sorts of problems, but at least they are self-inflicted. I’m in a kind of quandary about the way in which to develop the story. When I look at my other books, I see action and adventure, thrills and spills and one romance. Now I seem to have drifted into a kind of Dick Francis state of mind, and I’ve no wish to emulate that man — not that I could. I do remember during one interview I did some years ago that I said a writer should be able to write on any subject. Whether it would be any good or not is open to question, but the task should not be beyond a good author. So here I am being hoist with my own petard and struggling to write a convincing mystery.

My promotion for The Devil’s Trinity has not achieved any significant sales in the last three weeks of the Twitter campaign. Compared to Roselli’s Gold, it hasn’t performed at all. It will still be listed on the promoter’s website until the end of the contracted period, but I doubt if it will have any impact now; the Twitter campaign is finished. Next month I’ll probably look at other ways of spending my money on advertising: it’s just a question of hitting the right one. I had a submission rejected by BookBub, but have put The Eagle’s Covenant up, see what happens. It’s unlikely to be accepted because the story takes place in Germany, which is not of much interest to the American market.

My local book group, CHINDI, are preparing a “Summer Reads” promotion. This will be a week of tweets, FB posts, e-mails and just about anything we can do to make ourselves heard. The idea is to sell our printed books from our bookshop at a discounted price including P&P. The books will be signed and posted by each author. The week for the promotion is June 21st – June 26th. The campaign for this begins next week, and it’s up to us to push it as hard as we can. The irony is though that if we are too successful, each author will be saddled with the prospect of sending a mountain of books out. It would mean a few trips to the local post office. It will be on our website soon.

I did something earlier this week that I rarely do and that was to read a couple of one star reviews I received for one of my titles in Canada. I actually smiled while I was reading the criticism. I get the impression that some reviewers set out to be critical, nasty and dedicated to the role of putting writers in their places. At the end of these two reviews I expected to see marks out of ten, just like a poor exam paper. But never mind; I’ve had a host of terrific reviews for the same title.

On the domestic front we have made some advances with the puppy. She’s getting cleaner and developing a bit of a character. She has been out to get used to people and traffic noises, and some more, wide open spaces. Still boisterous though, but a good girl.

Last night we went to see the musical Hairspray. Pat enjoyed it, but I’m afraid my hearing doesn’t lend itself to the kind of production we watched. It was at our local theatre, which was packed. The cast worked hard, gave an honest performance. But I sat there for a while almost like one of those measly book reviewers I mentioned earlier. Then I snapped out of it; the musical was presented with all that was available, and there were far more people enjoying it than me. Mustn’t grumble. Now it’s back to work for another masterpiece. Wish me luck!

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