MICHAEL PARKER: I CALL MY WRITING PROCESS THE “SWEET CURSE”
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Michael Parker is an author with big experience. He’s got two pages with books, that are published in Amazon. The British writer continues to release quality novels. Let’s hear something more about his next book and others interesting topics that we discussed in the interview!
– Michael, What is your last book The Eagle’s covenant about?
– The Eagle’s Covenant is set in modern Germany and is about the kidnap of a week old infant that goes badly wrong. The baby is the grandson of the world’s most powerful citizen, Manfred Schiller, whose empire touches almost everything people come into contact with during their everyday lives. Schiller plans to hand over his entire business empire to the Israeli nation because of his advancing years, and it is a plot by Franz Molke, leader of the Volkspartei that leads to the kidnap of the child. The group who kidnap the infant are led by a beautiful, South African, white extremist name Breggie de Kok. Among the group is Conor Lenihan, an ex SAS soldier and IRA terrorist. Conor is betrayed by Breggie de Kok and almost killed after a brutal blackmail leads to the death of most of the kidnap gang. Conor now seeks revenge, and persuades the baby’s mother, Joanna to help him find her baby. It is because of Joanna’s remarkable computer skills that she and Lenihan are able to wage a cyber-war against Manfred Schiller and his covenant to the Israeli nation.
– How you decide to write the story?
– There was no long thought out decision about the story. The idea drifted into my head and I began some research at my local library (in England). Eventually I contacted the German Embassy in London who sent me a comprehensive work on the German police force. This meant I was able to use all the correct ranks, department terminologies and processes that help to make the thriller more enjoyable.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– Simply writing the book. I’ve always called my writing process the “Sweet curse”. I love writing but its hard work. It almost always takes me a year to complete a novel. Bearing in mind of course that it is my hobby; not a career.
– Tell us something more about your main character? Is it close to someone from your real life?
– Conor Lenihan is a figment of my imagination, and I’m glad I don’t have friends like him.
– How much time do you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– This book was first published by Robert Hale Ltd., of London. It usually takes them about a year to publish the print copy. Once I had acquired my paperback and e-book rights from them, it took about two months to publish on Amazon. The process is much quicker now because I am at the top of the learning curve. It’s still a fiddly job though from finishing the first draft to seeing it through to completion.
– You’ve got so many published books. Please give us highlights of the Top 3 of them that you value as the best ones.
– North Slope was my first novel. It was inspired by the discovery of oil in Alaska in 1968. I had set out to write a novel set in Canada. It was published by Macmillan when I was 38 years old. I thought I’d made it then as a writer. So that’s my favourite book. Hell’s Gate, a colonial venture set in Africa in 1898 is what I would call my masterpiece. I loved writing it and still think it’s a wonderful book. It was inspired by the building of the railway line from Mombassa to Lake Victoria at the end of the nineteenth century. There really is no No.3, but if pushed I think I would have to go for Roselli’s Gold. I just liked the idea of writing something to do with the Vatican, so arranged to have a fortune in Vatican gold secreted in the Sahara desert during the Second World War.
– Who are you?
– I have been writing thrillers for many years and have experienced the highs and lows of being a writer. My first novel, NORTH SLOPE was published in 1980, and is now available as a POD paperback and Kindle on Amazon. I have been married to Patricia for fifty four years and we live in Spain. We have four sons, ten grandchildren and one great grandson. My hobby is writing, of course, and to date I have had eight novels published. You can see my list in Author Central. My other hobbies are snooker, speedway, football and music. I play snooker, watch football and speedway, and play the keyboard (not too well). I am a born again Christian and played keyboard in my fellowship for several years. I worked as a maintenance technician most of my adult life, serving sixteen years in the Royal Air Force, and about seventeen years with a food manufacturer. I retired in 1996 (I was fifty five years old) and moved out to Spain a year later. Pat and I have lived here, on the Costa Blanca for seventeen years. We are now planning to return to the UK. Other jobs I have done include Merchant Seaman, Office boy, and general maintenance for a chicken farmer! I have received many excellent comments about my writing, but the proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. I am a member of the International Thriller Writers and used to be a contributing editor with them. In 2009, I worked on a global project with eleven other writers and produced a novel called PASSAGE TO REDEMPTION. This is now available as a POD novel and Kindle by Acclaimed Books Ltd. (www.acclaimedbooks.com) of which I am an associate. For those of you who want to know a little more about me, and see me ‘in the flesh’, check out my website at http://www.michaeljparker.com, where you’ll be able to see a couple of TV interviews I have had. My last thriller novel titled THE BOY FROM BERLIN was released in December 2011. It has been picked up by Harlequin who have purchased (leased) the English language paperback rights for North America and Canada. This has been published (2013) now in paperback. Meanwhile my current paperbacks; NORTH SLOPE, A COVERT WAR ROSELLI’S GOLD, HELL’S GATE, THE DEVIL’S TRINITY, and SHADOW OF THE WOLF (March 2013) are available on Amazon and Kindle. THE EAGLE’S COVENANT paperback is available on Amazon.co.uk only because Harlequin have now agreed to publish THE EAGLE’S COVENANT in USA and Canada. My latest title, PAST IMPERFECT will be published by my London publisher, Hale, in 2014. This is a romance with a rough edged back story. Something of a change from my other titles!
– What are your writing habits?
Terrible. I still haven’t mastered the art of self-discipline when it comes to writing habits. It is probably due to the fact that I worked shifts for many years, including nights, and my writing has always been a hobby.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book and do you plan another one?
– I would like to sell a million books, but living in the real world I have to say that I am happy to be a writer who sells books. My figures are not high, but I have enjoyed a moderate success occasionally.
– What are you doing to promote by the best possible way your book?
– This is something that I call my ‘scattergun’ approach to marketing, and I keep promising myself I must do better. I blog all over the place, am on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, Stumble, Google plus, LinkedIn etc., etc. I spend money on advertising, but not all the better websites are amenable to a low, amazon ranked author.
– What is the secret to deal with publishers, as you’ve got a long successful story with them?
– Always remember that they will drop you the moment they think you are no longer worth their investment, but never forget that the publisher who takes you on has a certain amount of faith in you, and is taking a gamble. So make sure you respect the relationship and don’t get pushy.
– You’ve got great experience in writing. What are the biggest mistakes that you made as author?
– First mistake: believing I was as good as authors already published. Second mistake: Believing in the publicity (I was described as a ‘Gifted narrator’ in the Financial Times). Allowing my ego to get the better of me. Finally; not working hard enough.
– You have been married for 54 years. What is the secret of such long relationship?
– I love my wife.
– Why do you prefer Spain over UK?
– We came out to Spain seventeen years ago because I retired early and my wife was very keen on the idea of living out here. But now we are moving back to England where we will see the rest of our years out. Personally, I don’t prefer Spain over UK, but I’ve always been happy to defer to Pat’s choice unless I was strongly opposed to it.
Check out more about Michael on his
Here are the top books of Michael Parker:
A Covert War
The Eagle’s Covenant
The Devil’s Trinity
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Tags: A Covert War, author, Hell's Gate, interview, Michael Parker, North Slope, Roselli's Gold, The Eagle's Covenant