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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Royalty and royalties

One event this week pricked my memory, taking me back to my early teenage years. It was the arrival of Prince George at his new school, St. Thomas’s, in Battersea. Watching the news item on TV, I noticed an arch behind Prince William (George’s father), and thought I recognised it. Then there was a shot of the school front, and I knew it had to be my old school, Sir Walter St. John’s, known as “Sinjuns”. I Googled it and, sure enough, there it was. It’s a Grade 2 listed building now. I left that school when I was fourteen, in my third year, because we moved down to Portsmouth. I took Pat up to the school once. This was before the M25, London orbital motorway was built. We always travelled through London when driving to see family or returning to base. I detoured up to Battersea High Street and stopped outside the school. The name had been changed, much to my disappointment. It was named after some councillor: almost certainly a political decision by a socialist council; after all, the founder, Sir Walter St. John, was a wealthy man. He set up the school in 1700 for the village of Battersea and the surrounding area. I’ve now joined the Sinjuns Facebook group.

On the book front, I came up against a hurdle with CreateSpace I haven’t encountered before: changing one of my titles from a 9x6 size to 8x5.25. The book had to be unpublished (deleted), and the new size listed as a new book. This was explained by CS. After doing the necessary, and approving the proof, I received an email from the “Content Valuation Team” saying I had to prove I had the rights to do this. The title has been available as a Kindle and paperback for a few years now, so it seems a bit odd that I had to go through this rigmarole when it was CS who explained what I needed to do in order to change the book size.

I’ve started dabbling in some research for my latest WIP. The working title is Conor Lenihan Revival because I am bringing the character back from the dead. No, it’s isn’t fantasy, but using editorial licence I have been able to start the novel with Conor almost breathing his last breath. I’m researching Cyberwarfare. It’s something of an eye-opener, being made aware of exactly what’s going on out there. I used cyber warfare in the prequel novel The Eagle’s Covenant, so it makes sense to dabble a bit more. The trouble though with research is that it tends to take you away from the reason for it all, and you end up reading stuff you can never use. It will be a while yet before I can say I’ve enough material to make the bare bones of a good thriller.

My Facebook advertising campaign is dragging its heels a bit. I’m performing better with the American audience than I am with UK. The ‘relevance’ factor for USA is 7/10, while UK is a lowly 4/10. I’m spending more than I’m earning, but I’m gritting my teeth and holding on. However I will be having a look at the UK audience and seeing if I can improve the relevance somehow. Could take a while. Hopefully I’ll get there before I run out of money. Wish me luck!

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