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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Work: just a four-letter word.

When I worked for a living, I did a lot of twelve-hour shifts. Never liked them, but at least at the end of my shift I could go home, go to bed and relax for a while. Yesterday, Friday, my day began at around 6 am, and finished last night at 2.30 am — just over twenty hours. Looking after Pat is hard work. I did manage to get my head down but was up again at 7 am to start the shift again. There’s a lot to this ‘Full-time carer’ business. Pat’s situation isn’t good, but I have to accept it for what it is and hope I can keep her as comfortable as possible. We have a steady stream of nurses coming in. One came this afternoon and dressed Pat’s wounds, checked her physically and departed. Pat seems a little more settled at the moment. We have the positional bed in the front room, which has been an absolute boon: so much better for Pat. It’s amazing just how much support is out there, most of which is free.

Tuppence goes away tomorrow, probably for about three months or until this is all over. If Pat goes into a nursing home, I will have Tuppence back. It won’t make a great dal of difference to me in regard to how much time I have, but it will make a heap of difference to Tuppence.

In my book world, I see no changes in my sales or my expectations. Now that I don’t write, I ignore a lot of advice that comes pouring on to my PC by way of social media book groups. But one thing I do see, and understand, is that as a stand-alone writer, I have very little chance of attaining high rankings and sales in the indie world. I have even seen patronising comments about stand-alone writers as though we were some sort of interlopers in the world of series authors. I did get a smile on my face when I saw one author complaining that her book sales were down, and what on earth were Amazon up to for goodness sake? — “I’m trying to make a living as a writer!” — seemed to be the complaint as though Amazon should pull their socks up.

As I mentioned last week, I am joining 10K Readers author Mike Donald on a thriller promotion, due to begin on September 1st. I downloaded Mike’s book, Louisiana Blood ( so that I could have something to say when the promotion gets under way. Mike’s book is set in the USA and UK, and what struck me about this was the fact that his characters are playing out their scenes in their own language (English of course), and that he uses double speech marks, which is normal for American publications. I’ve seen authors on some the FB groups of which I’m a member, worrying themselves over the use of the American way or the British way. They’re often told to go with whatever they feel comfortable with, something which Mike Donald is doing with no hang-ups. I’m hoping I can reach a lot more readers through Mike, but I have to say that in terms of which of us is the longest in tooth, it’s me. So perhaps Mike is hoping to hang on to my coat-tails. Hope I don’t let him down. Wish me luck!

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