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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Many hands make light work

Monday began with a trip to the haematologist for Pat’s pre-chemo consultation. I was quite nervous about this because she had only just been discharged from hospital after her mini-stroke. The haematologist decided, after having a good look at the various scans, X-rays and blood tests, that it would be safer for Pat to have a break from the chemo. He was happy with the progress she has made so far, and saw no reason why he couldn’t give her a chance to get stronger. I was happy with that. It’s too early for me to say Pat is healing and getting her mind back, but a couple of days ago we went through the Jack & Jill nursery rhyme. I had to help her with each line. The following morning I asked her if she could remember it and she recited it without a problem. I was really excited for her because it gave an indication that her brain is healing. I need to get her a bit heavier though because she lost weight while she was in dock.

I’ve tried to squeeze some literary work in while coping with Pat and the jobs around the house and garden. I had a look at my pulp fiction WIP. I managed a few lines, but not enough to say I’m making brilliant progress. I’ve got my main character into Russia, he’s on a bus two thousand miles from Moscow and heading for the Siberian Peninsular. What he witnesses on the bus is the key to the next step in the story in which my character shows his remarkable guile, cunning and extreme fighting skills. Well, it is a pulp fiction thriller, so I must not let detail and facts get in the way of the action. Right? The character’s name, by the way, is Martin Quil, from a work of fiction I conjured up sixty years ago and resurrected in my pulp fiction thriller this year called Hunted. He’s a clever lad; has all the skills I can invent, and he speaks fluent colloquial Russian. Now, where could you find a hero like that? Only in Hunted — the Sequel. Ta Da!

My campaign on Amazon Ads sucks at the moment. Having put up three ads according to Bryan Cohen’s instructions, I have sold precisely none. The advice I have received is that the data with AMS can take up to six or seven days to filter through, I have to be patient and if nothing else happens, I have to increase my budget. All seems a bit too simple to me, which is probably why I’m getting nowhere, but I will stick with it; after all, I’ve paid Mr. Cohen for his expert advice. I had hoped that the new book jacket, which was designed by top man, Stuart Bache, would be enough to draw the clicks and opens like moths to a flame, but that doesn’t seem to be happening either.

Another small string to my bow (if that’s the right thing to say) is having my book, Hell’s Gate with Voracious Readers. I am picking up at least two subscribers a day which means new readers. The system allows me to have as many books on offer (free of course) to encourage readers to subscribe. Eventually, depending on how many ‘clicks’ I get, I will have to pay a small, monthly subscription. It’s voluntary, naturally, and I can pull out any time. This should help the organic growth and lead to more sales. Hope so.

Looking ahead (well ahead), the tickets for Mark Dawson’s SPS show next year was so over-subscribed that he has had to find another venue. Fortunately he has and the numbers expecting to attend will be over 700. It will be called SPS (Self-Publishing Show) Live. You don’t have to be a member of Mark’s group now because there’s enough room for everybody. It happens to be the day before the London Book Fair opens, so quite a few of the SPF crowd will be staying on for that too. If Pat is fully recovered by then, I might be tempted to stay over, but at the moment I suspect I’ll just take in the SPS event.

I managed to get some garden time in this morning and took the shears and hedge trimmer to much of the stuff that’s taking over. Pat would be horrified if she knew what was in my mind, but as the poor girl can’t do it, I have to make the decisions. Such power. Whatever next? Wish me luck.

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