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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Questions, questions, questions.

No, no blowing of trumpets, simply that I was nominated by my Chindi colleague, Helen Christmas, to participate in a summer blog event. It meant spending a little more time on social media than I really wanted, so I’ve taken a shortcut and answered the questions that Helen answered. She did set me new ones, but I’d answered those I saw first and couldn’t be bothered to go through them all again. So, here are the questions that Helen had, followed by my answers. The weekly blog follows the Q&As.

When you were little, what did you dream about becoming when you grew up?

I wanted to be a Trolley Bus conductor so I could slide the poles out from beneath the bus and lift them to change the pick-up arms on to another set of overhead wires. See? No ambition!

What is something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

Write with a fountain pen.

What is one of your favourite smells?

Fresh cut grass.

If you could call anyone in the world and have a one-hour conversation, who would you call?

There is no-one outside of my family that fits that criteria, but if it was for someone long dead I would have to choose two people (I know — it said one). Jesus would be my first, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows I am a Born-again Christian. The other is my mother who died a few years before I had my first book published. She was an ardent reader and was never to know how proud I would have made her.

What job would you be terrible at?

Anything a woman does around the house.

If you had a million pounds/dollars, what would you do with them to help the most people?

Because it’s not enough to buy an ailing football club, I would try to do my best for local charities, and also my church here in Aldwick.

For one day, you can do whatever you want. What would you do?

Emulate my son, Terry, and fly a fast jet.

Give me three words to describe yourself.

Optimist. Talkative. Supportive.

What is your favourite food treat?

Mince, mash, vegetables and gravy. (I know it’s boring, but I’m a simple man with simple needs.)

What is your favourite outfit?

I like to dress in spivvy clothes but have long given that up. I used to like wearing a dark shirt, leather jacket and slim trousers.

You have one last wish… go for it!

A complete cure for cancer.

My apologies to Helen for not following the rules. You can find Helen’s excellent blog at

So, how as the week gone for me and Pat? She had chemo last Monday, which doesn’t seem to have affected her too much. We understand there is usually a downside, but we’re not complaining. We were called in by the hospital to have a blood test because Pat’s had been done more than 48 hours before. That meant a quick dash into St. Richards, home again, walk the dog, grab a bite and get back for her one o’clock appointment. They have changed the chemo schedule too: it means we’re in again next Monday, and then not for three weeks. We have also been given all Pat’s appointments up to the end of April.

I submitted my book, The Boy from Berlin, to BookBub for a featured deal at the beginning of the week. They accepted it but not for the USA. I was given the opportunity to promote it in Canada, Australia, India and the UK. They didn’t give a reason for the ban on USA, but I suspect it’s because the story is about the race for the Whitehouse, and the main protagonist is a right wing, white racist supremacist, and also the chief suspect for the murder of a State senator. The police office leading the investigation is Lieutenant Amos, a black cop! I guess BookBub considered it a bit delicate and maybe have an influence on the presidential election coming up this year? (He says with tongue firmly in cheek). So, Donald Trump can sleep safely in his bed and dream of another four-year term.

I finished reading The Auction Murders by Roger Silverwood; his third in the DCI Angel series. I think I have a problem with police procedurals because there seems to be the need for the main character to have a problem, whether domestic, emotional, or physical, and this requires a lot of wandering off plot to fill the reader with narrative that, for me, doesn’t drive the plot forward. It isn’t just this book too; I’m finding the same with the one I’ve just started, but more about that when I finish it (if I do).

I’ve heard nothing from Joffe Books about the progress with Past Imperfect. I don’t really expect to for a while; it’s just me getting itchy feet and wanting to see it finished and ready to go.

I received an email from one of my new subscribers who had signed up for a free copy of Hell’s Gate. The message was clear: “Stop sending me emails.” I guessed she meant to unsubscribe, which I did for her, and sent her a reply to say I’d done this. I received an email the following day from her asking me if my book was available in paperback! Hmmm! I wonder if she’s bought one. I live in hope. Wish me luck.

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