Monthly Archives: July 2012

…quiet, please…and the Award goes to…

No matter how mundane, mediocre, and miserable the general lot that befalls the life of a writer, into each of their souls betimes will fall that wondrous shining light that represents the presence of true luminaries of the profession. This ‘umble scribblin’ serf has recently been the recipient of much such coruscation (go on, look it up— I had to …)…  There are legions of you out there to whom my growing gratitude will never be matched by my capacity to say ‘thanks’ enough, but here are a sprinkling (more in future blogs, I promise)…

@Ogtomes ..the Award of Sorceress Supreme..a Support Squad all encapsulated in one person. A giggling joy to banter with on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and any other medium you can lay your laptop on…

@relatetojody…(Jody Ballard) the Award of BlogPage Paparazzi Par Excellence. Her intrepidness stretched to persuading me to allow the mugshots that frighten away the cockroaches at the top of this page. (Guess which one is really Brad Pitt in disguise)…and for my recent YouTube clip that excited absolutely no-one in Hollywood last week…

@scarberryfields…the Award of Queen of the ReTweets…if I had a dollar for every supporting RT she’s broadcast selflessly on behalf of our fellow scribes in the past year, I could wipe out the Euro Debt mountain tomorrow…

@mcswainandbeck…the Award of Empress of Best Buddies… another selfless pusher of others’ works, and Keeper-Up-Of-The-Standards across ‘Merika, where “all things is possible, young ‘un”…

@EdwardGGordon..not leastly, but lastly, the winner of the ‘How-The Hell-Does-He-Find-The-Time-To-Do-All-That?’ Award…not only does he pump out at least three online newspapers that I’m aware of , ‘Men’s World’, ‘My Tweeters’, and ‘Romantic Liaisons’ (There’s probably more stashed away that I haven’t found yet), but he glides across Facebook and Twitter like some friendly poltergeist… AND he does book reviews as well… which brings me on nicely (cue in, Cedric, please— drum roll at the very least) to this amazingly generous critique review that he’s just done on my newest fledgling baby, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK.. . all jest aside, I am truly flattered by his take on it, and will use that as a spur to get deeper entangled in this wonderful world of word-ies. The link for the review is right here (see how easy I made that for you?)…

http://devilsreview.co.uk/review-categories/thriller/vengence-wears-black-by-seumas-gallacher/

…I can hear matron’s footfall approach… I have to scurry back into bed before the injections…see you later

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… how crazy can a Scotsman be?… don’t you dare answer that, Percy!…

Here’s where I feed myself to the publishing cognoscente, shred by miserable greenhorn shred. Something in my birthright all these eons ago when I first gatecrashed into this thing called humanity has always seemed to rail against the accepted norms. I rejoice in breaking the rules. “Yes Mrs Gallacher, we accept that most children will urinate in the swimming pool, but not from the high diving board”…. you know the sort of thing…Those of you with that masochistic strain in your choice of reading matter, who have tracked any of my blogs will know by now that I find difficulty in tagging along with ‘that’s the way things are done around here, sonny’, preferring instead to ask the dumb question, ‘WHY?’ …f’rinstance, I was told I HAD to get an agent. Yeah? didn’t happen yet. I was told I HAD to find a publisher. Yeah? Wouldn’t recognize one if she was in the bathtub with me. I was told to send out tons of ‘begging’.., no strike that, they call them ‘query’ letters now,,..THAT won’t be happening again any time soon I can assure you. And so on, and so on, and so on.. . Now the conventional ‘wisdom’ says you DON”T give a free promotion at the start of your marketing, (read ‘selling’) campaign, but backload it when your sales are sagging…There’s that stupid birthright thing of mine butting in again, WHY? At the last count there have been something like 2,875,980,711 authors before me. I bet they all didn’t wait until the horse had done the ‘goodbye’ bit to the stable door before deciding that getting your name OUT THERE was more important than the present shilling in the mitt …Net result, as of today for 3 days , I am a non-repentant up-fronter-free-promo-vanguarder for the ‘Smack ‘Em Where It DOESN’T Hurt’ party.. it may all end in tears, with the assorted clever clogs laughing me all the way out of Writers Town, but at least I’ll have a go… I’ll let you know how it fares… meantime if you wanna grab a freebie Kindle download of VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK, be my guest at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008H45KJC

…I’ll just go and sketch out my Will now …see you later…

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…They’re gonna put me in the movies…gonna make a big star outa me…

This blog comes with several warnings. First, it comes with my standard mental health warning… reading this stuff can do SERIOUS damage to your brain. Secondly, you may need to have  a translator at the ready to understand the content of the attached YOUTUBE clip. Thirdly, it probably shouldn’t be watched without a safety net, and should certainly NEVER be watched  at home, unless under the guidance of children… Now, cutting to the chase ( why do people say that? What ‘chase’? ) At the risk of throwing a potentially ticking time bomb into next years Oscar Awards ceremony, yours truly has undertaken to appear on film, for the first time since that police thing, which really was ALL a complete misunderstanding. The resultant YOUTUBE presentation awaits your morbid gaze, the attachment can be clicked above. Already I’ve received loud murmurings from Mel Gibson and the producers of ‘Braveheart’ about dress code, and another from solicitors acting on behalf of Sean Connery’s voice coach…The accent may be difficult for some, being a heady mix of Neanderthal Scottish brogue and demented author-speak, but persevere with it and you may get to understand every third word…Your feedback may be taken down and used in evidence against you, but would be very much appreciated (we author-y types live in such a secluded, cloistered world…) Oops, I hear the keys of the night watch rattling in the lock…I’d better hustle back into bed… see you later …

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…to blog or not to blog, that is the question…

If I’m to listen to and take heed of all the conventional wisdom that constantly barrages my senses from the learned keepers of the gate of literary correctitude, there’s a grave danger that my already fuddled brain will curl up into a crumpled ball seconds before it disintegrates completely. As a comparative newbie to this wondrous writing game, I have tried hard ( no, truly I have ) to grasp the ‘what I SHOULD do’ about Point of View (POV). I’ve grappled with the concept that I ‘SHOULD leave editing’ to the end of the manuscript production. Rules on ‘character arcs’ (the WHAT THINGS????)  SHOULD be obeyed, and Heaven forfend that I SHOULD EVER blaspheme by splitting an infinitive. And as for the immovable tenet that I SHOULD not ever contemplate inventing a new word, well, in that sphere I am doomed to Hell and all its fiendish tortures. Then, maverick that I am ( at least in my own head), I set to wond’rin’… what would Billy Shakespeare, or Chuck Dickens, or our old chums, Johnny Steinbeck and Ernie Hemingway have thought of it all? If these splendid forerunners to our modern Web-by World had been pummeled as we newbies are, would any of their stuff ever have seen the light of library day? Did they ever arm-wrestle with agents and do battle majeur with the might of the publishing empires? P’raps they did in their own way, but somehow, this old Luddite kinda thinks that maybe, just now and again, it’d be good to kick back a wee bit and JUST F$#@&KING DO IT! We’re Writers. So Write. We’re not POV-ers, not Characterarcs-ers, We tell stories. So, storytellers, get back to storytellin’… and when they come to arrest you, be comforted in the knowledge that I’ll be waiting in the next cell beside you… and we can split all the bluuddy infinitives we can find together… won’t that be fun? …Oh dear, my head’s spinnin’ with all the giddy anticipation of it… I’m going to lie down for a bit .. see you later …

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…more Rolls of Honour…the aRT of the RT…

There are some Twitter people apparently who profess great interest in getting ReTweets about what other people have for their breakfast…from my side I have to confess I really don’t give a snap, crackle, or pop about any of that…but I have become a cereal, oops, serial offender of another type of RT. One of the major tools the great God, Web-by has given us is the ability to viral-ize (if that’s a new word for your lexicon, I’m claiming it Mr Webster) messages at the speed of a button touch…Through an instrument that I still don’t fully comprehend, TweetDeck, I am gifted the propensity to filter and see the tweets of other authors in this marvelous family who are, quite bluntly, looking for the proverbial leg up…and why not, I say?…the labours of the fraternity/sorority of the quill-pushers netherworld are often unseen, angst-ridden, hair pulling ( for those of us who have any left ) late-night, early-morning  sessions,,,foregoing contact for eons on end from the rest of humanity…the simple gift of rewarding these lost souls lies at the end of our collective thumb…ReTweeting. The algorithm (lovely word, that… must look it up some time to see what it means) that multiplies the thumb-tapping is incredibly powerful…try it, you’ll like it…the pleasure that comes from helping one of our own to get ethereal traction is free, and it’s wonderfully satisfying … a few times every day, when I have even five or ten minutes to browse my filter list of author tweets, I rejoice in clicking RTs left, right and centre, even for authors I have no direct Twitter relationship with (yet), and lo and behold, at some time later, that treasure is returned…i LUV IT !!!! Now what about those who may complain about the so-called ‘spamming’ slant  to all of this?..The GRUMPIES..?  Let them steep in their grump, I say… these are the same GRUMPIES who spend about a hundred dollars to have a whole library on Kindle, then whine when an author has the audacity to ask for a couple of bucks for a year’s work, less than the price of half a doughnut in some places… well, let them eat doughnut, I say…RT and be damned… Here’s the beginnings only of a list of fabulous pals I’ve encountered on this happy trudge, who are not averse to the odd RT here and there, and others who spend a lot of their own time assisting others in the authors diaspora to breath a little of the summer air…It is NOT comprehensive, and it is NOT in any particular order of merit ( ‘coz sometimes we all can be just a tad PRECIOUS about such things, can’t we…?)

@jaycuejay

@ruthninawelsh

@LifeRestored

@Indie_Kindle

@Katrinblue

@WendyCartmell

@LGroveArts

@886niko

@jim_coleman

@mikeslickster

@onisha

@EllisVidler

@treequeen

@crimeficreader

@rozwood1970

@mikeinla09

@Mirandastork

@greg_geek

@KatyHuthJones

@samanthajamison

@the13thdoorway

@BobbyMadigan

@Glasgowlee

@jayeandrew

@backporchlady

@CA_Kendrick

@EdwardGGordon

@originaloflaura

@rnmorris

@adders500

@Freddy_Mash

@IHPower

@MeanOldManMike

@aly3008

@SirBenfro

@momilp

@amyjarecki

@HelenMPearce

@kindle_promo

@ukeditor

@AndyHolloman

@Stephenwoodfin

@davidtlender

@TheWritersRoad

@CeliasJourney

@scarberryfields

@ds_butler

@DundeePoet

@ItDaFiveOh

@_VanessaWho

@ChrisPetersenTX

@LemuelRoem

@seams16

@crowe_lisa

@Wendy2066

@MG_WELLS

@TeodorFlonta

@Digital_Hobo

@panika

@hawkssr128

@james_lennie

@dleadbeater2011

@Goal786

@ogtomes

@Dearharts

@StephenEdger

@LATripp2818

@guernseyevacuee

@Heln_White2011

@susanlouineau

@TanjaArtStudio

@atocher

@plantagenatea

@AnneAllen21

@juniewal

@dnlkenyon

@CollapseNovel

@RStephenson5

@FifeRover

@TheDeadlySeries

@RebeccaRatliff

@shellieblum

@BethLynne1

@thewhiteou

@jack_rylance

@btocher

@BerwickBabs

@JedLomax

@katelaity

@lochee

@AnyaLipska

@ColinBaines

@HarryCocque

@ceesav

@authorzoesharp

@DavidDWilson

@janewenhamjones

@AnthonyGillis

@eBookBuilders

@squidpublishing

@tobywneal

@janromes

@littlelamb

@iblogtoglasgow

@susan_buchanan

@crimefilover

@mcswainandbeck

@janeldridge1

@jay_squires

@Gary_C_KIng

@terrytyler4

@RobSowrey

@TheMasterThief

@mcjordan37

@TParrington

@PatMcDermott

@KissablySweet1

Sheesh.., I’m quite tuckered out with all that typing,…Nurse, can you sort my pillow, I think I’ll take my nap now…see y’all later…….

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…hey, Mama, I think I can see Scotland from up here…

My ol’ Gran’Pappy was probably the politest man I ever knew…he just polite-ed the heck out of everybody he met…opened doors for ladies, walked on the outside of the pavement when escorting women down the street, you know the kind of thing… well, the biggest thing I think I ever learned from him was to say “Thank You” when it was right to do so. It’s now right to do so. At the risk of embarrassing some people on here ( and take my word, there’s no one more adept in a lifetime’s practice at it ), some formal Gran’Pappy style doffing of the cap is coming up. Most authors run the masochistic marathon of actually writing, solo, but when the baby’s born, it needs the help and collaboration of many others, especially in the e-Universe that still baffles me ( if anybody can explain to me exactly how to use Goodreads, please write that on the back of a hundred dollar bill and send it to me at the usual address). My social networking poison of choice ranges from Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and the aforementioned enigmatic Goodreads. The avalanche of help and support that my humble efforts have attracted over the last several months is the stuff of dreams. The spirits in their majesty are never bested by the wonderful email-giggler that is @ogtomes. Equally, authors old and new, have a dabble at the penmanship of @jay_squires, the brother hug-manship of @AndyHolloman, and the sheer RT-ing and self-effacing energy of @scarberryfields. I defy you to find any stronger examples of giving back to the industry we all love. Reflect and emulate them and you’ll have a sense of the true family that exists in this sometime never-world of cyberspace. It has taken me a biblical threescore years plus to get here, but as sure as apples is apples, I ain’t budging away any time soon. You see far by standing on the shoulders of giants they say… how about standing on the shoulders of giants, who themselves are already standing on the shoulders of giants?…hey, Mama, I think I can see Scotland from up here…my,my, all that elevation’s making me a bit giddy…I better go lie down for a bit…besides, I can hear them coming with the medication now…talk to you later…

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…Oh, bring me that sweet, sweet, Forrest Gump moment…

There’s no narcotic, hallucinogenic or otherwise, no mind-altering substance, no alcoholic liquor, so addictively seductive as the sensation that engulfs an author when he or she is visited by that brief hypnotic instant when the last letter, of the last sentence, of the last paragraph of THE BOOK is written. That miracle of human non-understanding first descended on this ‘umble scribe just over three years ago when he found himself floating five feet in the air after finishing THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY. I’m certain there’s hundreds of thousands of fellow scribblers out there who know precisely what I’m talking about. The conventional wisdom (wisdom? authors? wisdom? a-hem. okay) will dictate that it only ever happens once, the first time. Right?… Wrong!! A few days ago lightning struck the second time, as the last full stop was popped on to the end of VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK, and back it came in waves. Those of a cinematic bent will well recall the moment in that movie when the massively over-bearded Master Gump slowed to a halt with dozens of runners around him, and muttered, “I’m done, I’m going home.” Switch the scene to my writing den…the carpet was a yard below my feet for hours. Most who know me will aver that I’m generally pretty much incommunicable at the best of times, but for these few hours, not even the Higgs Boson God particle could reach me. So, there you have it now, the reason in large part why this quill-dabbler at least will continue to squander vast stretches of his life and brainpower in lieu of normal everyday human interface. I’m in search of the next hit. If you need to be in touch over the next eon or so, I can be reached on a planet somewhere between Saturn and my laptop… Hush… the warder’s coming… have to go… see you later…

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