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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Fully engaged

Another week goes by and I can look back and see a modicum of progress in my WIP and marginal gains in my advertising campaign (Sound like a politician, don’t I?), but I’m nowhere near where I want to be with either of them. I also watched part of the SPF podcast and another author I’ve never heard of: Lexi Blake. I enjoyed her interview. She’s a top writer and has published over sixty books on different platforms; a very jolly person and good to listen to. She had some good tips about approaching different elements of the writing process. I take all these things on board and still find myself nodding when I know I’ve followed the same path but somehow manage to get lost somewhere along the way.

One of the pieces of advice that keep cropping up is reader engagement and cultivating some kind of connection and garnering reviews. In the eighteen months since I published Where the Wicked Dwell, I have given away probably more than 250 copies, and sold maybe less than 200. Last month I gave away about eighteen copies through Voracious Readers with a one-day promotion. I have had a total of four reviews for the book (UK & USA) in the eighteen months of its publication. I have got used to having no connection with my readers, despite blogging and selling, so imagine my surprise when one of the Voracious Readers contacted me and said how much he liked the book. This is the review he put up on Amazon and Goodreads for me:

Good thriller plot line that keeps you guessing with the main protagonist a likeable character who, like a dog with a bone doesn’t give up until the end no matter what’s thrown at him. Loved the idea of a secret voodoo cult with high profile associates. Great page turner.

So that’s another day with a smile on my face.

I wasn’t smiling too much last Monday. I got a phone call from the dentist to say he had a cancellation so could I make it and get the extraction over and done with. Now I have a huge gap in my gum (well, it feels like a huge gap), but thankfully the discomfort hasn’t been drastic. I can still eat, so that’s a blessing.

I finished reading John Grisham’s novel, Camino Island. I expected a pacy thriller, but this was more like a parochial story of writers and a book shop. I kept wondering when he was going to get to the point but had to admit that he’s an excellent writer; clever too. I did speed read from time to time, but on the whole it was a good read. I would recommend it to Grisham fans.

I have started a Karen Slaughter thriller. I can’t get used to the way the narrative dives off in different directions. I’ll persevere and see where it leads. I suppose I should have a look at a Lexi Blake novel too, but she writes Romantic Suspense, and I’m not sure I could deal with that. I’ll check the “Look inside” facility on Amazon and make up my mind. I need to build up a small library for our upcoming trip to Australia; for those evening when we have nothing to do. Or for the long flights. We’re stopping off at Dubai on the way for a few days. I read today of a British woman who got arrested and thrown in jail for having alcohol in her bloodstream. She had a glass of wine with her meal on the Emirates flight.

The next event for Chindi is the Arundel Festival. We will be supporting it as we always do, thanks to the enormous effort put in by our own, Carol Thomas. She always sells well. Have a look at her current title, The Purrfect Pet Sitter. Hope I do as well as carol normally does. Wish me luck!

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