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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

What a load of balls

Just when you think you are making progress, life throws another brick at you, or a ‘curved ball’ as the Americans would say. Last Thursday, Pat was taken into hospital with a heart problem. After lengthy diagnoses including an angiogram, it turned out it wasn’t a heart attack, thank God, but a weakening of the heart caused by stress. Three months of waiting for a diagnosis on her cancer without a result has taken its toll on her. And we found out that the results of the bone marrow biopsy two weeks ago revealed nothing. We have an appointment with the Lung specialist tomorrow to decide where we go from here. Pat’s now on pills for a while.

All this minimises my own thoughts about books, writing and sales etc., although Pat has encouraged me to stick with it. As a result of that, I finally managed to finish my pulp fiction thriller — 55,000 words in six weeks. That, for me, was like a sprint. Where I usually take about a year to write a book, this short run has been a major learning curve for me: one that makes me realise that you can only really write junk in that short space of time. Research goes out the window, which means there is very little flesh on the bones of the story, and it’s easy to lose sight of the plot line; consequently you end up with a poor apology for a thriller. So when Mark Dawson says ‘Thanks, but no thanks’, I’ll be faced with the prospect of using the tag line that says something like — “Don’t let the facts get in the way of the thrills in this all action, gritty thriller!”. Boom, boom. You never know; I might sell thousands!

Now I have the writing out of the way for a while, I will have to dream up some advertising for my romance, Past Imperfect. I’ll miss Valentine’s day of course, unless I’m quick, which means burning the midnight oil sometime this afternoon if I’m to catch the romantics out there. I will also revive my AMS ads which have managed to drag out some sales for Roselli’s Gold. Not that many, I must admit, but enough to see the graph showing some colour.

Because of all the stuff that’s been going on over the last three months, I have neglected my current WIP, including my own promise to send out a clip of Natasha’s story each month to my subscribers. But judging by the open rates and the unsubs, I wonder if any of them out there have actually missed my monthly offering. No doubt I’ll send an email to them apologising for being so remiss, but then it means I have to get back on the writing treadmill and find some way of finishing the book.

Looking ahead, I have nothing in the pipeline apart from the book talk at the local Ladies’ Friendship Club on March 6th. My diary is clear as they say, which means I should be able to get on and write. Or maybe I should read a book. Wish me luck!

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