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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Joining the Rat Pack

I finished my blog last week by saying I had nothing in the pipeline apart from a local book talk, but now things have changed a little. My pulp fiction thriller was turned down by Mark Dawson, which is what I expected. He said the storyline didn’t fit his character, John Milton. I knew that, so expected him to say no: now I can publish it myself, but the first thing I need to do is an edit. I did a rough one first, but now it needs a closer look. I thought it would be a good idea to get some beta readers, so I emailed my 1200 subscribers. I have received six requests so far. Not exactly a mad rush, but at least a response. I have asked them to let me have their opinions by the end of the month. I will also be toying around with Photoshop, but might use someone from Fiverr to do a jacket for me. We’ll see. If anyone reading this blog fancies reading my pulp fiction thriller as a beta reader, please get in touch through my website contact page. I will only use about ten readers though.

Now, why have I got a photo of a rat up there? That’s me as a ‘lab rat’. Yes, I’m going to explain. As you all probably know, I am a member of Mark Dawson’s group, and I am also a member of his Patreon group. As a gold member (at least $5 a month), I can throw my hat into the ring as a subject of interest in their ‘Book Lab’. Once a month they select a Patreon member and, using one of that member’s books, they do a kind of forensic analysis. Well, I got chosen (Yay!). The book going under the microscope will be The Boy from Berlin (their suggestion). The three scrutineers are all top line professionals in their game, so I expect to be told what I already know, and I’m not looking forward to it. No, that’s not true; I’ll be pleased to have my name and my book brought to the front of the class. There will be a final interview with James Blatch asking me about my reaction to the experts’ opinions. That interview is scheduled for release in April. So, I am now a quivering lab rat, hence the photo.

After sending my book to Mark Dawson, I dragged my WIP out of storage and began to do a complete rethink on the book. I began building a timeline that precedes the story, and then started going through it from page one. This was something I expected to be doing for a few weeks until I could build a plot line that could take me beyond the 60,000 word length. Currently the WIP is about 35,000 words long. I also decided to add another character to help with the plot. It’s an old mate of mine, Mick Brock. Mick used to be a policeman, but I knew him when we worked in the same food factory. I used Mick as a Detective Constable (with his permission of course) in my crime thriller, Where the Wicked Dwell. I promoted him to Detective Sergeant at the end of the book. Now I’m going to elevate him to Detective Inspector. He doesn’t know that yet, but I’m sure he’ll be thrilled.

On the domestic front, poor Pat is still waiting to hear what cancer she has. She had an MRI scan and an Ultra-sound scan last Tuesday, but the sound scan was discounted because there was nothing on the scan they could use. We’ll know more about the MRI scan next Monday or Tuesday, but it’s a cinch that Pat will need more tests. Poor girl is trying to keep her head up, but it’s difficult for her. I’m at sixes and sevens over this, but Pat wants me to stick with the writing: something to give me focus is what she says. Keep your fingers crossed and wish us both luck!

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