Category Archives: Blether

…my first paid honest day’s work… I was nine years old…

…when yeez become a quill-scraper, lots of people are genuinely interested to know from where yeez conjure up yer characters… for this ol’ Jurassic, a simple delve back into my formative youth in Docklands Govan in Glasgow provides a mix of many colourful personalities… our family lived on the ground floor of a grey-stone tenement… the back end of the ‘close’ or corridor into the building opened out into the ‘backcourts’, a stretch covering the entire inner length of the street… in the middle of the area in these backcourts a brick wall separated our backcourts from those of the street parallel to ours… the wall ran all the way up the centre, a couple of hundred yards of cemented brick, interspersed with ‘middens’ all the way up… a ‘midden’ is the Scottish term for the wee structures housing the communal rubbish bins for each section of the tenements… so why am I talking rubbish?…patience… patience…I’m coming to it… y’see, another fixture in the slums back then were the unlicensed bookmakers… the illegal ‘bookies’… they would skulk around the back courts, waiting for the residents to come and place their horse racing bets with them… scraps of paper with scribbled bets, usually for monumental amounts… ‘sixpence each way on Black Bess in the 2.45 race at Ayr’‘a shilling roll-up on four events at Chepstowe’ and so on… the bookie who haunted our back close, rejoiced in the name of ‘Baldie’… short for ‘Archibald’…  nuthin to do with his lack of hirsute quality…. even in midsummer, Baldie always wore a heavy overcoat…


…the deep pockets on either side of the coat respectively housed the betting slips and the monies wagered… however, all was not eternally rosy in Baldie’s chosen profession… every now and then, in efforts to arrest the illegal bookies, the local police would raid the back courts, usually as early evening darkness began to fall… Baldie had a series of ‘spotters’ who would raise the alarm the minute one of these raids started… that was the signal for Baldie to emulate some of the sprint horses his punters were stacking their money on… he would bolt for it across the back court, up over the wall and away to non-nickdom… all that was fine, until one week, part of the internal backcourt wall was being destroyed for reasons now lost in the dimness of time… and lots of loose bricks were scattered all over the back courts… a veritable obstacle course in the darkness to Marathon Man Baldie when the Police Pursuit Sports began…


…step forward the enterprising Master Gallacher and a couple of pals… Baldie paid us a huge fortune of a half crown each (12.5 pence in new money) to collect all the loose bricks and dump them in the middens up and down the back close… they had to be spread around all the rubbish bins, so that the refuse collectors wouldn’t get too upset with the weight of all that masonry discarded into just one or two of their collection areas… so there yeez have it… …my first paid honest day’s work… and I was nine years old… an early lesson proving the old adage, ’where there’s muck, there’s brass’…..see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…it’s deja vu, all over again, Mabel… when yeez need a friend…

…this ol’ Jurassic’s been around long enuff to believe in the truism that plenty of us can have hundreds of acquaintances, maybe even more for the ultra-gregarious among us… but few in our midst have more than a handful or two of enduring friendships … the kind of bonding unblemished by the distance of extended time or geography… the instant-plug-in-where-yeez-left-off-last time-yeez-met sort of deal… the sort yeez can count on when the rest of the world goes to hell in a hand-basket, and yeez look for sumb’dy to stand beside yeez in the metaphorical trenches with imaginary bullets whistling past yer ears… I’ve been blessed with more than my fair share of such pals… some have already moved on to the Big-School-Playground-In-The-Sky… others, happily, still flirt around on this planet… now, here’s the strange thing… maybe it’s because a modicum of common sense has crept into what’s left of my wee grey cells, that I recognise the emergence of a parallel set of buddies… it’s deja vu, all over again, Mabel… over the past few years, as a dabbler in the whirly-birly spheres of the self-publishing other-world, my SOSYAL NETWURK mates have grown apace… what began as a purely promotional, broadening-the-marketing-base-for-my-literary-masterpieces process has thrown up not just a handful or two, but dozens, if not hundreds, of new relationships which smack of solid friendship… yeez know who yeez are… coz yeez’ll have prob’ly experienced the same feelings yerselves… the added ‘no-crap’ dimension on the Web is that there’s no need for some of the stupid posturing that so-called ‘real-life’ situations produce… internet banter amongst like-minded spirits is great fun… adding support to yer fellow Lads and Lassies of Blogland in their own endeavours to reach the quill-scrapers’ Holy Grail of being ‘successful’, (whatever that daftest of WURDS really means) becomes part of a mutual reservoir of strength… rejoicing in each other’s victories, small and otherwise… but most all, sharing, sharing, sharing… sumb’dy once said to me a long, lo-o-o-o-ng time ago, ’to keep it, yeez have to give it away, and that doesn’t mean money’… so, to all of yeez fabulous scribbling pals out there… see yeez later…LUV YEEZ!… have a wee listen to this, if yeez want:




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…that Penelope Dreadfulle woman from Blackfriars Courant has pegged my character hero, Jack Calder in an interview… WURLD exclusive…

…Jack..Jack… how could yeez let yer guard down to talk to Ms Dreadfulle about herself… yes, yes… I know she’s got her ‘ways’….but, ye’ve got yer image to think of, man… here’s what the woman wrote on her web page, :

Greetings, My Literate Darlings!

Today, I have a very special treat for you. I have secured an interview with an action hero of high renown, none other than Jack Calder of International Security Partners. Jack not only looks marvelous in a kilt, he could pretty much run rings around most other security professionals in a tutu with both legs tied round his neck. Yes, he’s that good.

My interest in Jack was piqued during the greatest jewelry heist in London history. Quite the embarrassment of Piccaddilly, all those diamonds and rubies and emeralds going missing like that (rumor has it that some are still missing…I know nothing about that, of course…). Being fitted down the street at Mistress Rose’s, I immediately smelled a story…and Semtex…and smoke… and fire… (And how dare they use so much bang that they put a crack in Mistress Rose’s shop front!) Needless to say, I picked myself up off the floor and sped off half-pinned into my new corset to record the events.

Of course, I was absolutely appalled by the villains’ fashion sense. I mean really, Darling, lab coats and animal masks are so 1980’s … Any villain work her salt wouldn’t be caught dead wearing such pathetic… ah, but I digress.

Jack and his team were on scene not long after the thugs left in their stolen ambulances… my, I do like watching heroes do their work… Ever since that day, I knew I simply had to corner Jack for an interview… It took some doing…he is the secretive sort… rather a recluse. Rumors that blackmail of Jack’s ‘tame author’, the amazing Seumas Gallacher, was involved in securing a meeting with Jack over a pint are completely unfounded…

Unfortunately, the photo I snapped mysteriously disappeared from my camera, but I let it be…Given the often clandestine nature of the business Jack is involved in, I can see why he is reluctant to have his photograph in the public domain. First a little history might be in order…a wee bit of digging and crossing of palms brought me this excerpt from Jack’s Interpol file:

Jack Calder left the slums of Dockside Govan in Glasgow by joining the army as a raw lad of 17. The military life honed his physical and mental street-smart skills, and he quickly rose through the ranks. An early streaming brought him to the SAS, which toughened him further. He saw action in many covert actions in third world situations, where the black operations brought its own style of justice where needed. Retirement from the forces brought an invitation from his former C.O. to join a specialist security firm, International Security Partners, where his talents are still used to great effect. He married late in life to May-Ling Wong, a beautiful Eurasian, who headed up the firm’s business in Hong Kong. She considered the capture of the six-foot two, blue-eyed, blonde Scot as the best thing she ever did.

Thus prepared, I was able to meet up with Jack in an out of the way pub near Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow…

Question One: If you were to be caught in the act, what act would it be?

Jack: Not good for my ‘image’, but the act of bringing children safely out of horrendous circumstances across the under-privileged locations in the world. I can handle any number of bad guys, and dispatch them with little or no feelings, but the tragedy of the children cuts me up more than I care to confess. I think it’s perhaps a throwback to my days in the Govan slums.

Question Two: If you were walking down an alley, whistling in the dark, what would you know that the thugs in the shadows ahead would not?

Jack: First of all, I would only be whistling if I already knew or expected the thugs to be there, and it would be as a ruse to make them think I was unaware of their presence. Secondly, ‘taking care’ of myself in hand-to-hand combat is a highly lethal talent, learned from my time in the SAS. No fear. They’re dead men waiting.

Question Three: If I were to tell you that every move you made and every thought in your head were in the control of someone sitting in a pub with a frosty beverage, and a pen and paper, what would you do about it?

Jack: If the control was of the positive kind, I would carry on without a worry. If it proved to be negative, I would do something about it. Also, being a main character in the head of my ‘tame author’, I frequently just do and say whatever I want anyway, regardless of where he thinks I’m going.

Question Four: Describe your perfect getaway.

Jack: If by ‘getaway’ you mean egress from a combat situation, any exit where the operation has been successfully completed and all of our guys get back unhurt is a perfect getaway.

If you mean a vacation ’getaway’, anywhere with a comfortable bed, excellent cable television with streaming football, decent food and a fine library would fit the bill perfectly.

Question Five: Who is your favourite villain and what trait pushes him (or her…or it) to the top of the list?

Jack: Any bad guy played on screen by James Cagney or Robert Di Niro goes near the top, but Al Pacino’s Godfather, Michael Corleone, is as near to the perfect villain as you are likely to find. The embracing of the ‘family first’ idiom is great, and in the third movie in the Godfather series, he is eventually depicted as a paternal head with a heart.

Thank you, Jack, for the lovely interview. If you’d like to read the chronicles of Jack’s adventures (and I know you do!), you can find the links to Seumas Gallacher’s edge of your seat thrillers below.

 wall copy 2

Amazon links:

Savage Payback:

Vengeance Wears Black:

The Violin Man’s Legacy:



SEUMAS GALLACHER escaped from the world of finance five years ago, after a career spanning three continents and five decades.

As the self-professed ‘oldest computer Jurassic on the planet’ his headlong immersion into the dizzy world of eBook publishing opened his eyes, mind, and pleasure to the joys of self-publishing. As a former businessman, he rapidly understood the concept of a writer’s need to ‘build the platform’, and from a standing start began to develop a social networking outreach, which now tops 15,000 direct contacts.

His first two crime-thrillers, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK blew his mind with more than 75,000 e-link downloads to date. The third in what has become the ‘Jack Calder’ series, SAVAGE PAYBACK, was launched late 2013.

He started a humorous, informative, self-publishers blog less than two years ago, never having heard of a ‘blog’ prior to that, was voted ‘Blogger of the Year 2013′ and now has a loyal blog following on his networks. He says the novels contain his ‘Author’s Voice’, while the blog carries his ‘Author’s Brand’. And he’s LUVVIN IT!


…sheeesh, Jack… how could yeez?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…a wee sense of perspective for this ol’ Jurassic Author…

…I wonder how many of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land can remember, as I can, those terror-laced school days when yer school teacher was mad at yeez… it could have been coz yeez were ‘talking too loudly at the back, there, Master Gallacher’… or a professorial outrage fuelled by a dreadful homework attempt gone wrong… ‘I would have marked it less than zero out of ten if that were allowed, young man’


…yeez knew yeez were in trouble… but here’s the horrible thing about all of that… if yeez never saw that teacher or professor again for, say, another six months, for all of that six months, in yer own head yeez felt they were still fuming at yeez… a wee bit of that can creep in these days as a writer… it can sneak up on yeez… if yer sales figures drop (peeking at the numbers on the Amazon Author Sales pages ten times a day? who? moi? never!!!)… or deeper calamity still… one lone, single, solitary, negative review crawls on to yer feedback page… if yeez prick me, do I not bleed Nobel ink?… where’s the road to the nearest high precipice from which to hurl this useless excuse for a quill-scraper?… recognise this syndrome?… if yeez do… cheer up… relief is nigh… I know from the extensive amount of commentary I read on my fellow scribblers’ web pages, that there exists on this planet not one author worthy of the name who hasn’t at some time or other felt their work was so substandard that they were mere squinches away from packing it all in… then, oh, then… the blessed literary cavalry gallops over the hill in the form of a positive sales day… a flurry of good-hearted readers who deem yer stuff fit enuff to merit a grand review… and suddenly a wee sense of perspective seeps back into yer pysche… and the WURLD looks a bit rosier…


…doncha just LUV this novel-ing gig?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…time to take a few minutes to yerselves… and just listen to this stuff…

…I make no bones about the fact that there are days when the best thing to do with the Cable News Channels is just to switch them all off at the one time… and maybe consider not ever switching them back on again… the nonsense, garbage-speak, political truth-benders, and horrendous goings-on around the planet, in this so-called civilisation of ours sum’times becomes too much… and this ol’ Jurassic feels the need to do the ‘walk-away-from-it-and-don’t-look-back’ number… at least for a little while… my steal-away mechanism is prob’ly known to quite a few of yeez by this time… I spin myself into a wee mental private corner in my head … and play the music of the Gods… the soulful Celtic pibroch skirls… it WURKS every time for me… I’m well aware it’s not everybody’s aural delight (yes, Master Andrew Peters, that’s why I usually give yeez fair warning when it’s coming on again)… I pitched some alongside my regular virtual awards today, labelling the current Award the ‘Braveheart Awards’ and included the theme tune from the movie (saves me singing it for yeez!)… I’d be interested to hear what yeez all do when yeez need to get that ‘break-from-current-supposed-real-life’… in the meantime… take a few minutes to yerselves… and just listen to this stuff… see yeez later … LUV YEEZ! 



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…watch what yeez bid for in a charity auction in Hong Kong… yeez might end up in sumb’dy’s novel…

…so yeez have to ask yerselves… what do one of Hong Kong’s best Independent Financial Advisers and an Andy McNab special operations agent have in common?… they both rejoice in the name of Dino Zavagno… with a name like that, how much of a coincidence can that be?… well, I know the Financial Adviser lad, and despite the fact he supports a different football team to me (they all have their crosses to bear), he actually does a great job at keeping ol’ Jurassics like me on the right financial straight and narrow path… this other bloke, the special ops guy?… oh, yes, that… well when yeez sit in a charity auction in Hong Kong raising funds for the Help for Heroes Charity and the self-same top-line scribbler, Mister McNab, offers to feature yeez in his next novel as the auction prize, yer hand goes up quick as an AK47 chamber load… hence, Maestro McNab’s latest blockbuster, Silencer, has yer man Dino front and centre from the first few paragraphs…


…the intrepid hero, Zavagno, doubles as the Managing Director for Gladstone Morgan based out of Hong Kong… I’m still checking out the rumour that his office now has body-armoured secretaries and all sorts of James Bond-ish gadgetry to meet yeez at the front door… given the perils of slaloming through the financial markets these days, p’raps it’s an appropriate inference that there may well be more than just a touch of fiction about it all… I will draw the line however at meeting Agent Zavagno with both of us disguised as rickshaw pedlars… we quill-scrapers do have some dignity to preserve, yeez understand… anyway, hats off to Dino Zavagno for supporting the charity drive, (gonna embarrass him here!), with a heftily generous winning charity bid and for Mister McNab for casting him in his book (not a bad handle for an agent though, huh?..Dino Zavagno… I knew him when I was nuthin!)… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




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…my mate, Author Craig Hurren, has a barffday, and a new book launch today… Hippo Barffday Two Ewe…


…so, here’s my pal, Author Craig Hurren, with his Royal Birthday portrait above, looking not a day over 90… a special day also in the life of his superb ‘Beach & Riley’ series, with the launch of The Killing Chase….gotta love that cover page (see below)… his first offering, The Killing Code, was a terrific intro to the characters… I posted a review on it last July, as follows:

‘The Killing Code

…compelling thriller,…loads of well-paced action… excellent unexpected twists… and a good, solid narrative bounces along admirably … Hurren’s novel debut bodes well… enough police work and special forces mix to absorb the reader… most of all, credible, human characters with foibles and strengths… some heroes really are like the rest of us… thoroughly enjoyable read…’

…have a decko:


…the current read carries on in equally splendid vein, The Killing Chase:


The Killing Chase Final Low Res

…yeez can find it here:

Amazon US:

…the good Master Hurren also welcomes yer comments (preferably on a hundred dollar bill) here:
…now let’s hear yeez all singing together, ’Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday to you…’




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff