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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Living in the land of make believe

Halfway through the year already and I’m only a third of the way through my latest novel. I had great plans, probably like many writers, and when I see Facebook posts from other writers who are churning out three or four books a year, I wonder where they get the time or stamina from. I am just nudging 30,000 words, which makes the ending seem an awful long way off. I’ve found my story splitting into two parts, but not part one followed by part two. Both halves could warrant a novel on their own, but I feel I would lose something of my uniqueness if I allowed that to happen. Am I unique? We all are one way or another. As a standalone writer, I believe I bring something to my readers that support my belief — an eclectic mix of genre, time, place and readability. I’ve just got to figure out how to sell them this idea of mine.

My sales are still buoyant, but slipping away. I expect to be launching a Facebook ad later this month to boost my numbers. I can’t make up my mind whether to promote a box set, which seems to be all the rage at the moment, or continue advertising my website and the free book offer. At the moment I don’t know how to make a box set, but it won’t take long to find out. I expect I’ll be using Photoshop to do that. If I do go for the box set, I can still promote the fact that there is a free book available on the site. I did make a small change to my website yesterday. It was an update of the image I have there of my hardback books. I had to do that because the first image was of a pile of books, all mine, but two or more the same. Now they are a pile of nine different titles. Oh, and a mug with pens sticking out: gives it a kind of cheeky charm.

This coming week I will be at our monthly, Chindi meeting. There’s always a lot to talk about. I could be asked about an item that appeared in the local magazine, Sussex Views. It was a promotional bit about me and the CHINDI group. I was trying to encourage wannabe writers to come out of their shell and join a local group; get their books published. On Thursday I’ll be at Chichester Library with the group where four of our writers will be giving a talk about writing and publishing. I’m not taking part in the lecture, but as a member of the group I can offer my books for sale at the end. And looking ahead to the end of July, I have just paid for a stall at the Rox Music Festival in Bognor. Six of us will be selling our books on that day. Should be fun. Hopefully we’ll sell a ton of books.

On the domestic front, our grand-daughter has announced she is expecting. That will make three great grandchildren for us if she is only having one. Our puppy has finished the six week basic training at puppy school, although no-one has told her she was awarded a certificate; she’s still naughty. And I’m slowly getting on top of my gardening chores. By winter it should all be done. Wish me luck!

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