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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Time now to fill the gaps

At last the Book Lab 5 video has been released by SPF. The subject matter is my book, The Boy from Berlin. It’s two hours long and I appear on the last twenty minutes. The three professionals do a pretty good job of analysing my blurb, the jacket and my intro, and leave me with the task of implementing their suggestions and getting more sales. You can find it on You Tube, and if you don’t want to see what the professionals have to say, you can see my reaction to it all at about 1:40 into the two hour tape. The link is This really is a major event in my indie career because I was chosen for the Book Lab by Mark Dawson, one of Amazon’s top writers, and someone who is well known in the industry and connects with influential people in the indie book world. It’s up to me now to make something of the recommendations and promote the book. In the next few days I will re-write the prologue and use the blurb provided by Bryan Cohen before uploading the revised version. I can’t change the book jacket until July time because Stuart Bache can’t fit me in before then. It will be after that when I might see some positive results from these changes.

I did manage to get some work done on my WIP, despite a couple of major interruptions during the week. I am getting close to seeing the final run in and, hopefully, will be ready to do a complete edit by the end of the month. But even though I’ve been digging away at the WIP, I have also been ruminating on my next pulp fiction thriller. I have been laying the ground for a plot line which sees my main character deep inside Russia, a thousand miles from Moscow and entirely on his own — no support from UK. Pat asked me what I meant by “Pulp fiction”. I had to say it was a phrase coined years ago which alluded to books that were turned out largely by ghost writers writing for a major publishing house. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know, but for me, pulp fiction means ignoring the facts and piling up the thrills, just to excite the reader. When I published HUNTED (, I had no illusions about the quality of the book, but I had two brilliant comments about it and one five star review (from a stranger): something I didn’t expect.

Another improvement in my book world is a steadily increasing list of subscribers. This is almost certainly down to the fact that readers are downloading my magnet book The Devil’s Trinity. I’m not a fan of free books, but needs must when the devil drives (no, that’s not a pun). This means I will have to ‘engage’ with these new people and try to interest them in something once a month in a newsletter; something I do not normally do. It’s tricky to know what to put in it when there’s nothing to offer, other than the contents of my regular blog. But subscribers usually want more books I presume, rather than a chatty diatribe from the author.

The interruptions that came during the week were both medical. Pat was called in for a PET scan — twenty four hours’ notice, which was good. So on Wednesday we were tied up at the hospital for some time. The following day, Thursday, I had three teeth out. This was a referral by my dentist to specialist. I have to say that there is no finesse in extracting teeth; no cosy, state of the art pulling: it’s brute force and a lot of work getting them out. And the teeth never come out in one piece either. Thank goodness for anaesthetics, but I still felt like I been smacked in the jaw with a shovel. I will need dentures, but have to wait three months for those. So, not only have I been subjected to forensic analysis as a Lab Rat, I have also been subjected to another expert and forced to eat my food like a rabbit! Some good will come of all this, I’m sure. Wish me luck!

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