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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

New Birth, New Hope

 

Well, the first thing I want to announce is that my fourth great-grandson, Liri, was born on the 12th February to my grand-daughter, Gemma, and her partner, Max. Liri’s name is an ancient Hebrew name meaning ‘Lyrical’. I will be going up to Horsham next week to introduce myself to him and see if he approves of me. I’m sure he will.

 

Looking back over the last six weeks, I seem to have a lot to write about, but not all with tales of sparkling success in the world of Michael Parker Books. But my life isn’t about books; there are other highs and lows to talk about. I picked up again on my latest book project (Occupied Paris in 1940/41), which I started in October but set aside during November. I have now written close to 24000 words, and it’s an unbelievable hardship for me. I have five books that I bought to help my research, but as much as I can see where I’m going with this, I’m not so sure where or how I’ll finish. I expect it will take several months before I complete the first draft.

 

I’ve booked a five day break in June at a writers retreat in Beal, Yorkshire. I’d been trying to figure out what I could do for a holiday this year and, having written off coach tours and cruising, this particular break seems to tick all the boxes for me. I’m actually looking forward to it, despite the long drive.

 

My grandson, Adam, came to see me with his fiancée, Agata. She’s a lovely girl and is Polish. We got talking about the Polish heroines of the war against Hitler in France, and she has agreed to let me use her name in my book as one of the Polish secret agents in Occupied Paris. I do hope I can do her justice (and the Polish people!)

 

I bought flowers for our church on January 14th, which was my lovely Pat’s birthday, and I took my neighbours, Rick and Ann, out for lunch on the 19th to celebrate our 64th wedding anniversary.

 

I came home from church a few Sundays ago to find my dog, Tuppence, had nicked three apples from the fruit bowl. It’s the first time she’s done that. Now the fruit bowl is in the kitchen where she can’t get to it.

 

I had a dash cam fitted to my car. I do think more about my age and driving on our increasingly poor and busy roads. I had three near misses last year, none of which were my fault, which was why I decided to have the dash cam fitted.

 

But back to my book world. I began a very expensive campaign with a marketing company last October, featuring my nuclear thriller, The Devil’s Trinity. I can’t explain what they did; it would take too long, but I can say that, despite the cost, I was really pleased how they managed to elevate my book to higher places than I could ever have achieved myself. I lost financially but gained in many other ways. The campaign finished at the end of January, and now my book sales have tapered away to zero. I also ran a campaign featuring A Covert War at a reduced price. Together the result meant I sold about 315 books in ten weeks. That for me is a magnificent result because my annual sales are usually around 150 books. And to give you some idea of how I manage on my own, I have sold one book in the last four days!

 

I have more or less reached a decision to pull back from campaigning and simply rely on organic growth now. I think the hassle of trying to make it in the world of books is proving too much for me. Since losing my lovely Pat, I have no real drive left anymore. I did see a quote that more or less sums it up: “Putting books up on Amazon is like taking sand to the beach”.  I might pop an add in somewhere along the way. Having said that, I have a one day featured campaign with BookBub in Canada, Australia and the UK on March 1st. After that? We’ll see.

 

So, looking ahead I can see my routines will be the dominant feature of my day. I will continue writing my book about Occupied Paris, play my Clavinova (badly) and fall asleep in the armchair when I should be writing. Oh, on the subject of playing my Clavinova, I put a video up on Tik Tok of me playing a series of Seventh chords in the key of C and talking as I played. There was no song; just me running my fingers up and down the white notes. I did manage to sound like I knew what I was doing, and I have to say it sounded good to me. Anyway, I picked up over 700 views and likes for that. Didn’t sell any books though. But what the hell, summer’s coming and I have a brand new baby boy to see next week.

 

Wish me luck!

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