HELL’S GATE is a historical action adventure set in British East Africa in 1898. It is inspired by the true events in the British Protectorate when the British government constructed a railway line from Mombassa on the east coast of Africa to the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda. At the same time the German government was building a line from Zanzibar to Lake Victoria. History records that the ‘race’ was conceded to the British by the governor of the German Protectorate. Into these facts, Michel Parker has woven a tale of intrigue, violence and conspiracy against a backdrop of the splendour of the Rift Valley and the volcanic landscape that threatens the very existence of the railway line itself. But it isn’t just the forces of nature that need to be fought, but the threat of 10,000 warring Masai led by the evil slave trader, Piet Snyder. Against this menace, Captain Kingsley Webb, commandant of the British East African Rifles is ordered to defend Nairobi railway camp and the two thousand souls who make up this teeming, tented city with just two hundred soldiers under his command. His love for the beautiful Hannah Bowers is also challenged by the widowed farmer, Reuben Cole who is forced to set out on a quest to find his son, David, kidnapped by Piet Snyder. The explosive mixture of love, conspiracy, treachery and political intrigue are brought together in a beautifully woven tapestry in this compelling tale. Will suit readers who like stories of colonial Africa, the British Empire, railway construction, slavery, action heroes, 19th. century military and romantic intrigue.
Michael Parker has been writing thrillers for many years and has experienced the highs and lows of being a writer since having his first book published in 1980. He has been married to Patricia for fifty five years and they have four sons, ten grandchildren and one great grandson. His main hobby is writing, of course, and to date he has had nine novels published. His other hobbies are snooker, speedway, football and music. Michael is a born again Christian and played keyboard in his fellowship in Spain for several years. He has worked as a maintenance technician most of his adult life, serving sixteen years in the Royal Air Force, and about seventeen years with a food manufacturer. He retired in 1996 (At the age of fifty five) and moved out to Spain a year later, where he lived with Pat for seventeen years. Other jobs include Merchant Seaman, office boy, and general maintenance electrician for a chicken farmer! Michael has received many excellent comments about his writing, but the proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. For those of you who want to know a little more about him, and see him ‘in the flesh’, check out his website at http://www.michaeljparker.com where you’ll be able to see a couple of TV interviews. His other website is http://www.michaelparkerbooks.com.
Michael moved back to UK from Spain with his wife, Pat, after seventeen years, and settled in Pagham in October 2014. Although new to the Pagham area, Michael and Pat know much of the surrounding area, having lived at Leigh Park near Havant. Michael went to school in Portsmouth after moving down from London at the age of fourteen. Pat went to school at Cowplain. They married at Fareham.
Writing has been Michael’s hobby for as long as he can remember. When his first book was published by Macmillan in 1980, he was described as a “gifted narrator” in the Financial Times. Michael thought he had made it as a writer then, but it wasn’t to be; but he carried on even though there were big gaps between books. Of course, getting a book published then was much more difficult than it is today because of Amazon and self-publishing, which Michael now uses for seven of his back-list titles.
His latest book, Past Imperfect, (published by Robert Hale, 2015) is a departure from his usual style, which are thrillers. This novel is a romance; something Michael never intended writing, but the idea got in the way of his usual work in progress, so he set that aside and got the romance out of his system. He didn’t expect his publisher to want it, but she had no hesitation and agreed to publish. He is currently working on a thriller set in Mexico and the United States. This was the book that took a back seat to the romance.
Michael has joined the ‘Chindi’ writers group. This is the Chichester Independent Authors group who collectively promote their self-published titles. Michael will be promoting his back-list as part of that group. Their website is http://www.chindi-authors.co.uk.
Michael will always be happy to answer any questions about his work, or give advice on most aspects of the writing game, and would be happy to talk to any groups about his work and his plans.