• Michael Parker

Readawhile

Updated: Mar 3



Storms in life


Well, I managed to get my tickets for the SPF Live show at the South Bank Centre in London. The show will be over two days with a drinks party in the evening. Two years ago, at their first SPF show (nothing last year), the party was on board a boat on the River Thames. I’m looking forward to spending four days in London to cover the show and have some flex time too. Prior to that, I should be in Ireland for the Writers’ Retreat holiday. That’s still on according to my American Publisher who emailed us last week to update us on the planned week.


Having looked ahead at what’s to come, I can’t help but feel it might all come to nothing if that megalomaniac, Vladimir Putin doesn’t pull back from the brink. All I can hope for is that the Russian people remove him from power and restore peace to Europe (and the world?)


I am still making progress on my Marcus Blake thriller set in Wyoming. Some years ago, in fact, a good many years ago, my elder brother, Jim, told me of an incident that could have had horrifying consequences if the whole thing had played out. I remembered that incident as I was writing up another chapter of my book, and as a result of that distant memory, I’ve used it.


Last week I downloaded the latest thriller, Blood Tide, by Neil Lancaster. I’ve read all his books (three to date) and was looking forward to this one. But within a couple of pages I found a major typo, by the time I’d got through the first chapter I had come across five more. I messaged Neil with the details and said I hoped these were not deliberate. I checked on another Kindle Reader but the errors were still there. Neil thanked me and said he’d passed the problem on to his publisher. I couldn’t help but point out that the author is responsible for all mistakes in their book because he/she has to be the last person to have eyes on it before it goes to the printer. I think that fell on deaf ears. But it is a truism I’ll never forget, having learned the hard way when my first eBook on Amazon went on offer for free about ten years ago. It had been formatted by an Australian colleague of mine because, in those days, you had to upload your file in html: something I had no clue about. Anyway, I managed to give away 40,000 free copies, only to learn from another writer that there were no commas in the book. Yes, I never checked the final product.


I’ve delved into advertising again, only to learn that I’m useless at it. I spent about $70 in USA and £30 in UK and earned about £10 in royalties. I thought I would plunge in again though and have advertised A Dangerous Game on Amazon. I did try setting up a campaign on Facebook, but not having done one for a long time, it bamboozled me, so I gave up on that.


During last month I’ve managed some family time despite the risks of Omicron. I spent a few hours with one of my granddaughters (Sarah) and her family, and also with my other granddaughter (Gemma) at her little boy, Orin’s fifth birthday party. Wow! Another family bash was to celebrate my Grandson, Adam’s promotion in his job as a senior cabin steward with BA. A surprise party was put on by his Polish girlfriend, Agata. Great do.

I also managed to survive the storms which battered us here in UK. I always get down to the beach first thing with Tuppence (my Cockapoo). On the morning of Storm Eunice, the wind was fierce, but the storm hadn’t picked up too much, so our beach walk was not too bad. After that the wind speeds along the south coast here reached 80 to 90 miles per hour, with a recorded gust of 122 mph just along the water from us on the Isle of Wight.


That’s it then for this month. Hopefully my next blog will be filled with the enormous success I’ve had with my advertising. Until then, stay safe.


Michael Parker




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