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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Home again

June 1st. 2019

I have a big smile on my face because I now have Pat home from the hospital. We won’t know the outcome of her surgery for a week or so because the results of the biopsies usually take about fourteen days to come through. Now we can begin to get her fitter and stronger. The surgeon said to me it would be better for Pat to be at home being nursed by me than having to put up with being stuck in the hospital; something I think most of us would agree with. It’s been difficult for both of us: Pat having to put up with major surgery and me having to traipse up to London every day. One of the ironies of my visits to St. George’s is that I used to live just a couple of miles away from the hospital in Earlsfield but couldn’t enjoy a leisurely trip down memory lane and thinking how it used to be in my young days. I did actually spend some time in St. George’s myself when I was about five years old. A lot different now of course.

Spending so much time in the car and sitting beside Pat’s bedside gave me a chance to catch up on some thinking and some reading (not while I was driving!). I mentioned the two books last week — well, I had to give up Alex Shaw’s book Code Black. I did try, I must admit, but in the end I found it too formulaic and more like a tourist guide around the town of Kviv in the Ukraine where Mr. Shaw lives. I didn’t give up reading though; I downloaded Her Last Breath by Charlie Gallagher. It’s a crime novel about a serial killer. Although these kind of crime thrillers can be similar, I found Gallagher’s book thoroughly enjoyable. It was well written with well-drawn characters. It kept me guessing about the who, the how and the why, and there was a neat little twist at the end to tie it all together. I’ve now started on another Robert Harris novel, The Fear Index. Should be good. I realise I won’t be able to get through my reading as quickly as I have in the last couple of weeks though.

I have also given a lot of thought to my WIP, which has been ‘Work NOT in progress’, and have started rearranging the chapter sequences in my mind and even the opening. I do wonder why I’m doing that, but I have read of some writers who rewrite their novels several times before getting it right. The problem for me is that I know if I continue down that road, I’ll never finish the damn book. I have also been dabbling — in thought, not in deed — about my proposed follow-up to Hunted, my pulp fiction thriller. I don’t know why I’m doing this; it will only end in tears.

My book sales are still flat-lining (almost). I tried one promotion of The Boy from Berlin with Fliploud which resulted in no sales, and I have just come to the end of a one week promotion, same book, with Author Shout. No sales there either. Hopefully I’ll get back on to AMS and BB ads once I’ve settled into a manageable routine with Pat. Wish me luck.

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