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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker


It goes without saying that this last week has been terrible for all of us. I’m sure the coronavirus has impacted on everyone, taking away our freedoms and compelling us to live according to a set of rules that are alien to us. Most have had to cope and put up with the inconvenience of self-isolating, social distancing and joining lengthy queues at the supermarket. I can’t go to my sister’s funeral next week either, which is very disappointing, but it’s for our own safety and the safety of all those people in the NHS and outside who have to get close to those who may have the bug. Me and Pat clapped on Tuesday night along with thousands of others around the globe. So, because of the daily horrors, I thought I would talk less about pain and more about pleasure. Well, sort of.

Last Sunday was my featured deal day with Book Bub for my book The Boy from Berlin, although not in the USA. My total book sales for that book were 448 across Amazon and D2D. I just about made my money back, but at least I may have picked up a few more reader fans. I have also been adding to my subscribers with The Devil’s Trinity, my nuclear thriller. I did have Hell’s Gate as the free book with Voracious Readers but changed that last week. The thriller seems to be attracting more subscribers.

I’ve been asked to join a small team of submissions editors for a charity book being produced by Acclaimed Books. The book will be about stories associated with the current crisis and the proceeds will go to a charity to be decided later. I have been a member of Acclaimed Books for about ten years now and can probably call myself one of the founder members. There were six of us when ABC began as a self-publishing group. I have had very little to do with them over the recent years, apart from the odd Facebook post, but have kept in touch with Peter Lihou, the founding ‘father’ of the group.

Recalling past times came to me again this morning when I heard Tony Bennett on the radio singing the song, ‘I left my heart in San Francisco’. It took me back to when I was in the Merchant Navy and had just spent five days there. As a teenager, it was magical. I did more than just sightseeing; even tried to crew the ship’s sailing boat round the Bay. We intended going around Alcatraz Island, but never made it; the wind and the currents were too much for us. But great fun.

Another song that takes me straight back to my MN days is ‘Dream Lover’ by Bobby Darrin. I was a First-Class dining steward and will always remember a mate of mine by the name of Mick Green. Mick was a good-looking lad, a real Mister ‘Cool’ as well, and a hit with the ladies. But the song always brings to mind the time we were leaving Hong Kong to return to the UK. We were in the dining saloon waiting for the passengers to come in, when in walked this gorgeous looking girl. She had just embarked, so none of had seen her before. She was what we would have called a “cracking bit of stuff”, and was wearing a yellow dress (yes, girls wore dresses in those days!). She was immediately dubbed “Canary”. I could write a book about that, but it would be total fiction. Although Mick might have tried it on; I’m pretty sure of that. But that’s what ‘Dream Lover’ does to me: takes me back to the Canary. I was engaged to Pat anyway, so I was always on my best behaviour.

I still haven’t heard from Joffe Books. Wish me luck!

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