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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Puffing out my cheeks... Ah well, never mind.

Another up and down week with Pat, but she’s still holding strong. Her sleep patterns are all over the place, which means mine are. My eldest son said its like having a baby in the house. I had to take her to A&E during the week after a phone consultation with a paramedic. We were in the hospital for five hours, but they were able to complete the necessary tests before discharging her with a prescription for antibiotics. No doubt we’ll tread this path again sometime in the future, but there is little option to do otherwise. We did have a couple of brighter moments when our number two son, Terry came over with our grandson Adam. We had a fish & chip lunch in the garden, social distancing in place of course, and enjoyed the sunshine and being in close proximity with them. Then on Friday, our number three son, John came over. He brought beers, homemade scones with clotted cream and jams, four frozen spag bole meals for me that he’d cooked himself and a curry. Lovely boy. So it’s not all doom and gloom. Well, not until we get on to my book world.

Last week I said I might consider writing an entry for Amazon’s annual KDP competition. Having worked out the numbers I made a start. One week later I’ve managed 800 words and know that it isn’t going to happen, not even if I force myself to write. And as I sit here writing this blog, Royal Ascot is on the TV. Frankie Dettori has won five out of five races. It must be dispiriting for the other jockeys knowing they’re up against one of the best jockeys in the world. And he hasn’t always been on the favourite; he just happens to be bloody good at what he does. And so it is in my book world: there will be writers who succeed in whatever they take on because they’re so good, while others, like me, only threaten to do something. If I was a racehorse, you wouldn’t put money on me.

My advertising campaigns finished during the week. I sold a total of 48 books, which isn’t too bad, but now the sales will fall off the edge of a cliff unless I’m prepared to spend more money, which I’m not. Not at the moment anyway. It’s a sad fact of a writer’s life that advertising is a necessary evil, costly too while you go through the learning curve. I’ve been going through this learning curve for some considerable time, but I think it needs more application on my part. My next campaign will almost certainly be on Amazon, but I will be paying closer attention to all the information I have (and have paid for) in the hope that I can achieve a better ROI and see some significant change in my monthly sales.

I watched the drama, The Salisbury Poisonings during the week. I looked at it like a thriller writer might, but in this case I would have dispatched my tough guy hero off to Russia to quietly dispose of the two men identified by the British government as perpetrators of the poisonings and the subsequent death of an innocent woman, Dawn Sturgess. I did wonder if those two Russians survived being identified on British TV and made to look like absolute chumps trying to pretend they flew all the way from Moscow just to see the spire at Salisbury Cathedral, and then cut their visit short because the weather turned. No doubt some thriller writer is beavering away writing the book already. And me? Well, I did start the sequel to my pulp fiction thriller, Hunted. My tough guy hero arrives incognito in Russia and spends several months odd-jobbing and developing his colloquial Russian as he searches for the man he had been ordered to bring back to England. All it needs is a couple of changes and I would have the makings of the Salisbury sequel. Could I do it? Not this jockey! Wish me luck!

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