Category Archives: Scribbling & Stuff

… ‘Formula’ should be used to feed babies and identify high-powered racing cars… not for writing novels…

babycar

…it’s a wonderful feeling for a writer to have a loyal readership that ‘takes’ to his/her style of writing… no more particularly so if the scribbler is the source of a series, as is this ol’ Jurassic with my Jack Calder crime thrillers… however, there are a couple of potential literary banana skins waiting for the unsuspecting author who ploughs on thinking it’s okay to ‘just produce the same stuff’ book after book… I’ve just completed the fourth, KILLER CITY,  in  what crept up on me and became a series… in wasn’t intended that way, but as most quill-scrapers will tell yeez, the characters take over and write their own narratives eventually… I’m delighted that I realised early in the process that I didn’t want to ‘churn out’ the same old, same old, formula-driven stories… I’ve strived to develop what is known to the reading cognoscenti as my ‘Author’s Voice’… which is not easy to describe but readily recognisable when yeez get it right… for me, it’s the ‘style’ of yer telling of yer masterpieces… nob’dy could claim (well they could but in my not so ‘umble opinion, they’d be wrong to claim) that Chuck Dickens or Robert Louis Stevenson or Billy Shakespeare were ‘formula‘ writers… the beauty lies in the ‘business‘ of recounting yer plots… the unwinding of the threads that twist and weave… the wee surprises that yeez inject… the kinda stuff that delights me when I find it in the WURKS of others… and I daresay most of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land feel the same way… it’s unnecessary to have main characters who never make mistakes, who never get hurt, who don’t exhibit what the rest of we common-or-garden-human-beings exhibit… but to leave yer readers with a feeling, ‘wow, I’m glad I read that’, is what it’s all about… not ‘Formula’… ‘Formula’ should be used to feed babies and identify high-powered racing cars… not for writing novels… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

…available now on Aunty Amazon:

meVWB coverfront view SP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

….coming in August, to join the others on Aunty Amazon:Banner

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…lost in numeric translation…

golfer

…this ol’ Jurassic has wandered all over the place around this amazing planet… and umpteen incidences of misinterpretation have been par for the course… it’s bad enuff trying to be understood in London as a Scotsman, but try to decipher the mysteries of oral communication where even the Queen’s English gets totally bent out of shape, and things can rapidly become sum’what more obscure… following my phrase above, ‘par for the course’ one notable mangling of the spoken WURD occurred after a round of golf in the Philippines…

score77

…at the time, my thrashing about the place, flailing different golf bats at wee white balls, usually resulted in a score in excess of 100 shots per round… Rory McIlroy’s career prominence was never at risk versus my capability on the 18-hole swards… however, in that deliciously mischievous way the Gods can toy with us, on one remarkable occasion, it took no more than 77 smacks of the ball to complete a (full!) round … to put that in perspective, the best ever score prior to that day had been in the high 80s (closer to 90 than 87)… it was a miracle of luck combined with even more luck… any golfers amongst yeez will understand precisely what I mean… delirium was at its fullest… best ever round, and thus it has remained these past 20 or so years since it happened… but on that occasion one of my golfing foursome was the executive chef of the salubrious Peninsula Hotel in Manila… to celebrate, he offered a free dinner at his swanky fine dining establishment…back then, the famed ‘Old Manila’ restaurant …I don’t know if it’s even there any more… he joined my party at the dinner table, and told me to expect a wee surprise at the end of the meal… sure enuff, the starters, entrees and sweets were duly dispatched and out came a bunch of the waiting staff with a huge cake with candles… on the cake, it bore the legend ’congratulations on your 77’, which was the message the chef had given his kitchen staff to prepare… unknown to him, however, they had added another phrase, ‘Happy Birthday’ !…

 

77th

…and they all sang ‘Happy Birthday’, with the rest of the restaurant diners joining in… I must have been the youngest-looking septuagenarian ever to have dined in their premises… a record I’m happy to maintain… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…Authors, when yeez feel alone in the crowd, just tap the internet button…

…most writers are familiar with that ‘detached-from-the-rest-of-the-WURLD’ feeling… it creeps up on yeez sum’times when ye’re scribbling away solo in yer virtual candle-lit garret… it’s a sensation that becomes almost comfortable, sculpting away at yer latest wee literary masterpiece… other times, well, it’s that ol’ ‘quill-scraper-against-the-universe’ syndrome… comes now the SOSYAL NETWURKS and hey, presto!… instant companionship at yer laptop fingertips… where else does any profession, and I mean ANY profession, get such limitless support and unconditional LUV from its membership?… the fabulous writing family diaspora is there 24/7, every day of the year… the sharing is open, it’s immense, it’s free, and it’s non-competitive… when I was a young lad growing up in Glasgow, there were times when I wanted, nay needed, the fellowship of nob’dy else but myself… the loneliness of the long-distance urchin, I suppose… that kinda instilled a measure of self-reliance… a belief that anything could be achieved if yeez set yer mind to it… but how much better it has become by marrying that approach to the countless friendships born on the Web… with no exceptions, I’ve discovered there are no airs and graces to be pampered on here… if people don’t like yeez, they simply tap the ‘unfriend’ button, and both of yeez are well-served by the process…

writer

…I still like my own space… mentally, physically, aye, even spiritually, and at my vintage, I can afford to accommodate all of that with selfish pleasure… when I cease to indulge my spells of secluded hermitage, yeez are all there for me, and for each other… Authors, when yeez feel alone in the crowd, just tap the internet button… what a wunnerful group yeez are, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… thanks for being there… see yeez later…LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…Author Tim Taylor’s new book, Revolution Day’s just been launched… have a decko…

…the highly productive scribblers stable, Crooked Cat Publishing, launches another of its fold’s titles… my good friend, Tim Taylor’s Revolution Day is now available… let him tell yeez himself:

tim

Tim’s blog post

Hello, Seumas! Thank you for inviting me onto your blog to talk about my novel, Revolution Day, published yesterday by Crooked Cat.

Revolution Day, my second novel, follows a year in the life of Latin American dictator, Carlos Almanzor (my first, Zeus of Ithome, is a historical novel set in ancient Greece). Now in his seventies, Carlos is feeling his age and seeing enemies around every corner. And with good reason: his Vice-President, Manuel Jimenez, though outwardly loyal, is burning with frustration at his subordinate position.

Carlos’ estranged and imprisoned wife Juanita is writing a memoir in which she recalls the revolution that brought him to power and how, once a liberal idealist, he changed over time into an autocrat and embraced repression as the means of sustaining his position.

When Manuel’s attempts to increase his profile are met with humiliating rejection, he resolves to take action. As he moves to undermine Carlos’s position and make his own bid for power, Juanita will eventually find herself an unwitting participant in his plans.

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Here’s a brief excerpt – an incident that helps to explain Carlos’ paranoia:

“Amid the stillness, a small object flew from the east towards the west side of the square. It might have been mistaken for a bird, but some people noticed its parabolic trajectory and the fact that it was tumbling end over end. Before anyone could react, the object exploded harmlessly in mid-air with a small puff of smoke and a loud crack. All eyes turned towards the sound, including those of the police and the soldiers, who instinctively turned their rifles towards it.

In that second, from the east side of the square whence the object had come, a long-haired figure forced its way through the crowd and leapt over the barrier. It raised its arms, pointing them towards the President, and from a small silver object in its hands came a flash and a second sharp crack. Every eye, and every rifle, in the square now turned towards this new sound. There were five more bangs, louder and deeper than before. The figure staggered, dropping the silver object, and blotches of red appeared upon its white t-shirt. It stumbled backwards and fell over…”

 

If your readers are intrigued, they can find out more on my website and Facebook author page. Thanks again for hosting me, Seumas!

Links: Facebook launch event for Revolution Day: https://www.facebook.com/events/770280243092134/

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/timtaylornovels

Website: http://www.tetaylor.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/timetaylor1

Crooked Cat Author page:   http://crookedcatpublishing.com/item/tim-e-taylor/

Revolution Day on Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Revolution-Day-T-E-Taylor-ebook/dp/B0106GALR4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1435449288&sr=1-1&keywords=Revolution+Day

on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Revolution-Day-T-E-Taylor-ebook/dp/B0106GALR4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1435512473&sr=1-1&keywords=Revolution+Day&pebp=1435512460458&perid=1CCVM4BE2J6WKH55WM9Y

AUTHOR BIO

Tim Taylor was born in 1960 in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, UK. He grew up just outside the city in Brown Edge, then at the age of 11 moved to Longsdon, near Leek. Tim went to Newcastle-under-Lyme High School, then studied Classics at Pembroke College, Oxford. After graduating he moved to London and spent a couple of years playing guitar in a rock band. When it became clear that he was never going to be a rock star, he sadly knuckled down and joined the Civil Service, where he did a wide range of jobs before leaving in 2011 to spend more time writing. While still in the Civil Service Tim studied part time for a PhD in Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, achieving it in 2007.

Tim married Rosa Vella in 1994 and their daughter Helen was born in 1997. In 2001 they moved to Meltham, near Huddersfield, and have lived there ever since. Tim now divides his time between creative writing, academic research and part-time teaching and other work for Leeds and Huddersfield Universities.

Tim’s first novel, Zeus of Ithome (a finalist in the Chaucer Awards for historical fiction), was published by Crooked Cat in November 2013; his second, Revolution Day in June 2015. He has also published a non-fiction book, Knowing What is Good For You (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), on the philosophy of well-being. As well as novels, Tim writes poetry and the occasional short story. He also plays electric and acoustic guitar and a little piano, and likes to walk up hills.

…thanks for the post, that man, Tim… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

 

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… ‘hooks’, ‘plants’ and ‘book-end closures’ for Writers…

digest

…when that remarkable publication, The Readers Digest, was in circulation years ago, it not only had well-written stories and articles, but also a generous smattering of half-page fillers, and bottom-of-page-enders, one of which I found of constant interest, called ‘A Guide To More Picturesque Speech’… this was replete with examples of words and phrases to brighten up yer vocabulary and yer writing if yeez were scribblers… if yeez broaden that concept to yer own writing masterpieces, the ability to make yer WURK more interesting lends it that extra bit of literary polish… here’s where this ol’ Jurassic has discovered (almost by accident, I must confess) that these ’hooks’, ‘plants’ and ‘book-end closures’  come into play for Writers… the ‘hook’ is a simple device which teases the reader into exploring further…

hooks

…sum’times getting readers past page one can be a major issue for some authors… but a ‘smack-in-yer-face’ opening paragraph or page overcomes that barrier… the use of ‘plants’ is a tremendous tool… ‘plants’ are the insertions of bits of information in the narrative which later turn out to have contained important elements of the story…

plants

…if these can be written in almost without the reader noticing them, then their eventual surfacing later in the book gives the reader those delightful wee ‘aha!’ moments… ‘bookend closures’ is an easy concept, frequently overlooked by novelists… closing the story with allusion to the opening chapter ‘rounds off’ a story neatly…

bookends

…in Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s wonderful ‘Shadow of the Wind’, the closing paragraph almost reprises the opening of the book… highly effective and satisfying to a reader… it gives great balance to the writing, and leaves nob’dy wondering, ’but what happened to, such and such?’… for me, practice helps to make these techniques more polished as my own writing progresses… and I’m LUVVIN IT!… see yeez later … LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…Authors… yeez can all be modern day dream-spinners…

…since ever I can remember as a young boy, I’ve had my nose stuck in some book or other… I’m sure many of yeez did the same… my upbringing in the Docklands Govan area of Glasgow is well known to many of yeez who honour me by following this blog… it was no different to millions of others in deprived slums in the UK’s big cities, and for many the escape valve back then was found in reading… even television was out of reach for most families in the district in the early 1950s… radio, or ‘the wireless’ as we called it, provided communal family entertainment, but NUTHIN compared to the WURLD of books for continued, limitless foraging into other universes… the pictures painted by the authors I first read took me alongside Enid Blyton’s children’s adventure escapades… Hansel and Gretel, Heidi, Black Beauty, King Solomon’s Mines, all diverted the rhythm of Govan life… then along came the ‘growing-up-a-wee-bit-more’ stuff… anything by Robert Louis Stevenson, (…aaargh, Jim, lad!)… The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Three Musketeers, Gulliver’s Travels, Jules Verne’s fantastical journeys, all provided much needed colour and diversion… the segue into adult reading broadened into the west-coast and east-coast American literary giants, John Steinbeck and John O’Hara, mixed in with devouring novels by Robert Ruark and F. Scott Fitzgerald… and the strongest possible common bond through all of the wonderful reading odyssey is the talent of the many dream-spinners called writers… those with the splendid talent of creating books for me to step into and inhabit for a while… to feel what their characters feel… to see, taste and smell the same things as they do… if this ol’ Jurassic comes even a smidgeon close to doing that in sculpting my own wee masterpieces, then the lifelong apprenticeship will have been well worth while… there’s the aim… Authors… yeez can all be modern day dream-spinners… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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Talk about being swept off my feet!

Seumas Gallacher:

…here’s an authoress standing on the cusp of ‘getting it absolutely right’... show her a bit o’ writing family LUV, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land…

…m’Lady, Jeanette, you are gonna be SUCH a successful writer… you already understand the difference between Jeanette the writer, and Jeanette the self-publisher, and, come to that, Jeanette the anything and everything else you wanna be and do… JUST DO IT! ..LUVZYA!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

Originally posted on jeanetteford51:

Something momentous happened to me this week – I came into facebook contact with Seumas Gallacher, author of the Jack Calder crime novels. What an amazing character he is! Meeting Seumas was rather like standing on the seashore and suddenly being caught up in an enormous wave. His humour and enthusiasm for his work is infectious and he has left me dithering at the crossroads, undecided about whether I am able to be so single minded about writing, publishing and relentlessly trying to sell my work or to go the other way, holding up my hands in surrender to leave it to people like him and all those other single-minded authors out there.

Fact is, I never intended to make my writing a career; I was shortly going to retire and it was ‘something nice I could do to keep my brain going’ once I no longer had my job…

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