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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

On the up!

The week began with a trip to the Fernhurst Centre at St. Richards hospital where Pat had an hour’s consultation with the haematologist. He explained, in detail, what cancer they’d found: it was a lymphoma as they suspected, but one that is difficult to find. I can’t pronounce the name of the lymphoma, but it isn’t curable although they can treat it. This means that Pat will have this permanently but the disease will be contained with proper management. But finally we know where we’re going. Pat starts her chemo on Monday and has been on steroids all week. She’s like a different woman, full of beans, cooking, washing — just like the Pat I married. She comes off the steroids today, but has had a good week. And all this was a blessing because on Wednesday, my false hip decided to play up and left me half crippled, in a lot of pain and having to use a walking stick. The doctor has put me on codemol and I’ll be getting an X-ray later this month. This has happened before, and I know it will get back to normal, but I could have done without it.

On to brighter things now; in particular my Facebook campaign. I made a couple of tweaks to both ads (UK & USA), and have seen my sales increase. Yesterday I sold eight books. All told this month, that’s six days, I’ve sold 24 copies of The Boy from Berlin. At this rate I could hope to make most of my advertising costs back. And this is where I get nervous, believe it or not; how do I maintain this exponential growth in sales? The ads have eleven days to run, but I’ve yet to know what kind of ROI will be returned. Not that I’m concerned about that at the moment; I just want to know what it is that I’m doing right. I won’t be running the campaign once the closing date has been reached; I want to wait until Stuart Bache has come up with a new jacket for me. I was in touch with him earlier this week and he said it will be later this month before he can get started. Once that’s done, I’ll dive into another FB campaign

I am also working through my WIP, wielding the red pen. This is something Pat used to do for me, but she doesn’t feel she could do it justice, so I’m doing it myself. I think the word count will probably run out to about 62,000, which for me is quite short; I usually manage about 85,000 words. I expect (hope) to have the book ready well before the end of August when Amazon’s Kindle storyteller competition closes. It’s open to everyone of course. I don’t expect to win the competition, but I can’t see the point in not trying, particularly as I will have my unpublished book ready to go. I will probably contact a few of my subscribers and ask them to read it for me, but I need to have it ready for them, although not with a jacket; it will just be the Word file or something.

Looking ahead, I can see things will be fraught for a while because of Pat’s chemo, which will go on until the end of the year. We are both hoping she’ll be fit and well by January 19th. when we celebrate our diamond wedding anniversary. Probably go up to London and stay in a posh hotel. Maybe I will have sold thousands of books by then and will be in a position to afford the best. Wish me luck!

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