Name Michael Parker
Where are you from.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Born in London 1941 during WW2. Raised in Wandsworth and Battersea. Attended Sir Walter St. John’s Grammar school in Battersea. Moved to Portsmouth and finished school. Worked as an office boy, then a steward in the Merchant Navy. Joined the RAF, reached the rank of Chief technician, left after sixteen years. Worked in a factory as an electrician. Spent a year in Saudi Arabia. Back in the factory again for seventeen years. Retired at 55. Raised four sons (well, my wife did!). Moved to Spain in 1997 and lived there for seventeen years until returning to UK to settle in West Sussex.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest thriller, A DANGEROUS GAME was released on January 29th. this year. It is my tenth novel, but the first to be entirely self-published.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was born with a pen in my hand. I could always knock out an essay at school and often wrote truant notes for my school mates because I had an adult hand and could spell diarrhoea. I would get a cigarette as payment (my first royalties?)
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I suppose it must have been when I held my first, hardback novel in my hand in 1979.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Reading authors like Hammond Innes inspired me. His novel, Campbell’s Kingdom pointed me towards my first story set in Alaska, titled NORTH SLOPE.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I do but I couldn’t explain or describe it.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I used a comment made by one of the characters. Until then it had the working title of The Gatekeeper.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I don’t believe books have influenced my life in that they made me change direction or anything like that. My lifestyle was fairly ordinary as a working man. But reading as a whole, including children’s classics, set me up to become a writer. I have no mentor that I could identify.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favourite author has to be Hammond Innes. He never wrote a series with the same character. He set his stories in different parts of the world and was a classic, stand-alone writer. But the author that probably had the most impact on me was Mickey Spillane. I can’t think of any new authors who have grasped my interest.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
At my age, no. But with the advantages of Amazon etc., it is possible for more writers to enjoy a lucrative career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
What writer doesn’t feel he or she could have done better? On balance I believe I am happy with the story, although I might have fine-tuned my research a little maybe.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Only the discipline in putting words to paper.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not anymore. Google does most of that for me. I used the libraries mostly in days gone by.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed my cover using Photoshop. But all my earlier, indie book covers were designed by my son, Terry.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Just the discipline of sitting down, day after day and creating surprises for the reader without spoiling the narrative.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I think I am now too long in the tooth to learn anything from that, but I do learn constantly from other writers.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
I used Lee Marvin as a character model in NORTH SLOPE. Prince Charles in HELL’S GATE, and for A COVERT WAR, Matthew McConaughey. But today, with so many ideal actors, I really wouldn’t know who to pick.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up and remain true to your style. Write as you can, not as you can’t.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
No; I write to entertain. Nothing else.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading WITHOUT FAIL by Lee Child.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but I do remember reading A CHRISTMAS CAROL as an eight year old recovering from pneumonia.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
The old style comedians make me laugh. I often shed a tear when I see emotional stuff on TV, whether in plays or documentaries.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Because of my Christian faith I would like to meet Jesus or the apostle Paul.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I’m not sure. I suppose the standard answer would be “In loving memory”.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I used to play keyboard at church, but no longer. Other than writing I have no hobbies.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I like being carried away with action films like Die Hard etc. But I also enjoy costume dramas. I recently enjoyed War & Peace on TV.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Food: Mince, mash and cabbage with gravy. Colours? The brighter end of the spectrum. Music? My favourites used to be artists like Supertramp, Jacques Loussier, Isao Tomita and most rock n roll.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would liked to have been a good pianist.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
The opening Prologue from A DANGEROUS GAME.
Charlie Picket opened his eyes as pain throbbed beneath his skull. He had a full bladder that added to his discomfort. He lifted his head from the pillow and stared up at the sunlight filtering through the yellowing curtain hanging loosely over the window, groaned and laid his head back down again, willing the pain to go away and wanting more sleep to come. He tried to process the thoughts rolling around in his head, but rationalizing got him nowhere until he recalled the motel: the tired looking dusty dwellings struggling for space in the sun-burned landscape, and the road that twisted and turned its way through the thorn bush and the dried river beds.
The small town was like an oasis for him: a place where he could rest his weary body and enjoy his first night of freedom from the stinking, rat infested Mexican jail. The motel was a pretence: a paradox in such a remote place. The squat building seemed to sag against the oppressive heat but at the same time offered sanctuary. Picket didn’t know how far he had driven from those forbidding prison walls, but he needed a break. And before getting his head down for the night, he found his need for some kind of diversion in the colourful bar across the road, which was why he felt the way he did.
But the nagging pressure in his bladder forced its way into his thoughts and he pushed himself up on to one elbow to take stock. The thudding inside his head increased and his discomfort urged him to get out of bed before he pissed himself. He sat up, his head drooping from his shoulders and his arm trembling a little as it supported him. The bed sheet slipped down to his waist. He grabbed at the thin edge and was about to pull it off when he saw her.
‘What the f….!’
The expletive died in his throat as his eyes fell on the girl. She was quite small, looked about thirteen years old, and was sitting on the upright chair in the corner of the room just three feet from the end of his bed. She wore what Picket thought were pyjamas and had no shoes on her feet. Her hair was dishevelled and bloody. Her pyjama top was torn and stained with mud. Her small, bare feet were covered in blood. She was sitting there as though she belonged, holding a gun and pointing it straight at him.
A Dangerous Game:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AKCLP60/?tag