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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Bits and Pieces

Do you ever read novels for a second time intentionally? About a third of the way into the Sam Bourne novel I started last week, I realised I read it a few years ago. It couldn’t have left that much of an impression on me. I sometimes read my own books again, often a few years after they have been published. I remember Barbara Cartland once saying she often read her own novels when she was feeling unwell and not in the mood for writing. Mind you, she had about three hundred titles to choose from!

I’ve been toying with my jacket cover, trying this and that with Photoshop. I still can’t make up my mind just how I want to present the cover. I have two so far, and will begin a third jacket in a day or so. I could ask my boys for their opinions, but if I do that I can only expect saucy remarks from them. It all comes down to opinions in the end, so I’ll probably go with my own.

The editing has reached a lull at the moment because of the usual Christmas work load: putting decorations up, shopping for presents, writing cards out and queuing at the Post Office. Hopefully it will be finished by the end of the month and I can ask a few beta readers to run their eyes over it. I’m a bit reluctant to ask my subscribers because I may get inundated with offers to read it, and I’m hoping to rely on them buying it on launch day.

I don’t know if it’s my age or what, but I find myself doubting the quality of my current work. I remember my publisher, John Hale, telling me that as authors age, so their ability diminishes. So far I have always received good comments about my books and my reviews maintain a reasonable average, but the doubts are there. Silly really, but maybe it’s because I have struggled with this one. And maybe because it isn’t the kind of novel I write. Time will tell though.

Looking back over the year with CHINDI, we have managed to raise money for charities — over £1000 I believe — most of it raised through bookstalls etc. Next year we have a few events planned, most which will run current with the Chichester Festival — always a good time to attract readers and wannabe authors. We lost a few members over the year, thankfully for personal reasons rather than ill health, but we are already planning for next year’s events.

Two weeks from today and it will be Christmas Day and we’ll all be nice to one another for a while. Hopefully we can look ahead to a peaceful New Year all over the world, but that really is wishful thinking. From a personal perspective I hope I can manage another novel, but I have kind of promised myself to finish my autobiography. I published a short version last year called The Sum of my Life (The early years). Now I hope I can extend it to completion as well as write another book. Two in one year? Wish me luck!

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