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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Getting tense now.

My Book Lab interview finally came on Tuesday night when I met up with James Blatch via Zoom. We talked about the video critiques he’d sent me from Bryan Cohen, Jenny Nash and Stuart Bache, and what I planned to do with them. I told him it would be reckless of me not to follow the advice of those professionals and that is something I intend to get on with. I’ve booked Stuart Bache for July to do the jacket, which was the earliest he could fit me in, and I have re-written the prologue to my book, The Boy from Berlin. Actually, I have re-written it a few times and no doubt will do so before I republish. The completed video podcast, Book Lab 5, should be released on Friday 26th. I have to wait for a week before I make any changes. I will be using Bryan Cohen’s blurb and using a new prologue, but the jacket will have to wait until July unfortunately.

So what affect will this have on the sales of the book? Hard to tell really, but I have seen claims that a Bryan Cohen blurb has produced spectacular results; and this from other writers. The rewritten prologue should answer the questions Jenny Nash put to me, but the acid test comes in the way in which I promote and advertise the book. I will probably go with AMS and BookBub, split testing with Robert Harris and Jeffrey Archer at first. I’ll need to be on the ball too, but there is so much information out there about AMS and BB, I hope I can make some headway.

Fired up by the interview and the opportunities it presents, I got stuck into my WIP and have started building a plot line to bring the book to a conclusion. However, something else has popped up and, quite frankly; it has given me something of problem. After seeing my subscribers’ list fall by at least ten subs each time I sent an email, I suddenly had a surge of an additional 35 subscribers. And although I have to put it down to a short, one day promotion I did, those results are remarkable — for me anyway. And in addition to that, I am selling copies of my pulp fiction thriller, HUNTED. Not many, I must admit. So the problem I had was: do I knock out another 60,000 word pulp fiction thriller and hope to see more sales? Other thriller writers do it regularly, so why shouldn’t I? I said to my wife that this would be like I’m prostituting myself on the altar of sensational thriller writing that has no real merit other than providing quick thrills for the reader. Nothing wrong in that though, is there? But pulp fiction is simply that: basic thriller writing without too much in the way of research (in my case). We’ll see. And I have already scribbled the bare bones of a plot!

On the domestic front, my Pat is still struggling with the fact that the hospital has not come up with a satisfactory diagnosis for her cancer. In fact, the specialist is edging away from that idea now and thinking about something like polymyalgia. And the devil of it is, we are waiting for a biopsy result from Southampton hospital, but the medical teams meet here in Chichester for discussion on Fridays and Mondays, and this being the Easter weekend it means the teams will not meet until a week later, hence no news for Pat. And when I’m trying to talk to her about my books’ progress, Pat can hardly get excited about it. I don’t blame her. Hopefully we’ll know more in a week’s time. Wish us luck!

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