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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Balloons, books and pop-up shops.

My week began with Pat coming home from hospital and me looking forward to having her with me and being able to look after her, not to mention no need for the daily journey up to London. After a traumatic weekend, I decided our little dog, Tuppence, needed to go away for a couple of weeks, so I set that up and sent her to a company called Barking Mad. We’ve used them before and have been quite happy with the way in which they operate. So, just me and Pat and some caring time.

I have also been able to get some time in with my WIP, having come to another decision to change the opening sequence. I’m taking a leaf out of one of Mark Billingham’s crime novels and beginning the story with a violent scene during which no character names are mentioned. The link, if you want to read the short prologue is at Naturally it means a few more changes to the plot sequence, but that’s the life of a writer I suppose.

Another decision taken was to begin Mark Dawson’s ads for authors course again. Mark released his latest version which, as a paid up member of his SPF group, entitles me to all the updates. This means I’m getting it for free. So it’s a case of knuckling down and start again. I’m really looking ahead to July when Stuart Bache will be redesigning the book jacket for my political thriller, The Boy from Berlin. I need to have my head right for this because I have to spend money on promoting the book, and the only successful way is to use the big guns like Facebook, Amazon and BookBub. I tried a couple of small promotions last month, about $30 a shot, but achieved just one sale for the book. When I think back to the beginning of the year, I told myself that my latest book would be published by the end of March, and here I am in June still nowhere near finishing the damn thing. I know I have a reasonable excuse, but I don’t want to use Pat’s illness as an excuse. So, thinking of next month, new book jacket, new marketing campaign to follow and getting stuck into my WIP, maybe, just maybe I’ll see an upward projection in my book sales.

The photo I have inserted at the beginning of this post is an unusual ‘bouquet’ made by our grand-daughter, Gemma. She came over to see her Nan with our great-grandson Orin, yesterday. She’s a clever girl, our Gemma: has her own business too. We’re really proud of her. Perhaps I should get her to do PR for me, although I don’t think I’d sell many books by being associated with children’s entertainment, craft making and, sometimes, dressing up as a fairy.

One of our Chindi authors, Dan Jones, has come up with a brave project. He will be opening a ‘pop-up’ shop at Draper’s Yard in Chichester. It’s to sell his own books, fiction and non-fiction, and also his wife’s artwork. He has suggested us Chindians use his stall as an outlet for our books. We have been invited to put five of each title with Dan. He’ll display one at a time and top it all up as they sell. He’s going to be swamped with books from the Chindi group, but hopefully the project will not only help us but will also help Dan and his wife enormously. I might even sell some of my books. Wish me luck!

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