Tag Archives: writing

…no, Mabel, I’m NOT a self-publishing guru… but sum’things I do, actually WURK… #TBSU…

…some of yeez out there are really, really nice people… about six months ago, I threw some ideas together about how this ol’ Jurassic handles bits of the mysteries of SOSYAL NETWURKIN and published it on the Great God Amazon Kindle as SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES… now yeez are asking me to share how I managed to ‘divine’ all that stuff… the bare, stripped-down honesty is that I did not ‘divine’ anything… I merely collated some of the things that I found helped me as a neophyte wannabe independent author… in reaction to yer requests, here’s the Foreword to the wee tome… I hope it gives yeez an inkling and more…




I started writing my first crime thriller novel in early 2009. I finished the first draft in a matter of a few months. Then, I thought, all I have to do is to send it off to a few Literary Agents in London. One of them would be sure to throw lots of money at me for the right to carry my masterpiece into the public readership market.

In fact I sent off forty Query Letters, submitting the novel for consideration. In the beautiful balance that is the writing universe, I received back precisely forty Rejection Slips. It took a while later for me to understand from fellow authors, that such rejection was the standard, the par for the course. Indeed, many famous names in the libraries had initially racked up several times that number of rebuffs for their work.

Around the same time someone suggested I put the thing onto Amazon Kindle. I looked blank and explained that I had never heard of Kindle. You see, then in my early sixties, the whole computer business and social networking fields were distant concepts to me. All my commercial life, my offices had been run by a succession of personal assistants who did ‘that stuff’ for me. I was faced with the option of forgetting the whole authorship idea or adapting rapidly to the realities of modern self-publishing.

The result has been astonishing. Sales and downloads of my books (currently three crime thrillers, with a fourth as Work In Progress, and three collections of Blog Posts) have surpassed 75,000 copies.

It has been a wonderful and gratifying trip. I will not pretend to be an expert on the social networks nor on the ePublishing business. I simply want to show what worked for me.

SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES is intended to share with others the various steps I took on that journey, and to encourage independent writers never ever to give up on their dreams.

Seumas Gallacher

Abu Dhabi


… yeez can cop a wee look here :



…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!







Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…seems like I still have the capacity to get into trouble… I’m glad to say… #TBSU…

‘act yer age’ is a term I just can’t accept… my Comedic God, Billy Connolly waxes lyrical about his own rebellion against the idea… and to quote from the Big Yin himself, recently I turned 60 years old… even more recently I turned 65… and now, well… the kind of bother that magnetised itself toward me through infancy and early youth never resulted in gaol time… back then, justice and punishment went hand in hand with proximity to parents… and more precisely was doled out liberally from the hands of parents… sum’times, merely the nearest parent, whether he or she was yer own or not… mostly we kids got into ‘scrapes’, got up to harmless ‘mischief’… seldom requiring more than the presence of the local street policeman, whom everybody in the district knew by name, and for we children, more known by nickname…




…ours was ‘Ginger Malky’, coz he had red hair… behold and lo, if yeez ever got a ticking off from Ginger Malky and yer Da got to hear about it…yeez would cop another censure, generally accompanied by a few belts on the backside… so with all that history of discipline, yeez might think that sumb’dy like me would be incapable of incurring the wrath of authority of any sort these days… well, yeez would be sorely mistaken, as today’s events have proved… an innocent enuff saunter to the local shopping mall… a casual stroll through the mall’s wide spaces, and right up to my feet arrives a football… directed there, or more correctly, mis-directed there from a wee boy, hardly older than four years old… I demonstrated the soccer skills that made me a legend in my own changing room about a hundred years ago by passing it deftly back toward this budding Cristiano Ronaldo… he promptly whacked it with a beaut of a left foot, straight back to me… I passed it back again, and this happened a coupla times…


…before yeez could say ‘World Cup’, a posse of kids were streaming around me, kicking that ball all over the place, but generally in my direction… I was having a blast… a blast, I tell yeez… about half a dozen tiny, shrieking, squealing Wayne-Rooney-wannabees laughing and having fun in the middle of the shopping mall… and then it happened… the long arm of the law… or more like the short brain of the law, in the guise of a Security Guard intervened and picked the ball up… he handed it to me (it wasn’t even my ball!), and said ball games weren’t allowed and that really I should know better… it took all of my considerable constraint not to belt the guy in the teeth… but, of course he was right… b*gger that !… I handed the offending ball back to my Lilliputian-sized new buddies and told them the referee had given me the proverbial red card… I don’t know who was more disappointed— the kids or me… at least I left feeling good about knowing that it seems like I still have the capacity to get into trouble… see yeez at Wembley Stadium later… LUV YEEZ!



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…it’s all about ‘comfort’… how yeez ‘wear’ stuff…and not just clothing… #TBSU…

…during the course of my career it was necessary to do a lot of business travel… mostly abroad… pastures foreign… sum’times, it was a bit like, it’s Tuesday, it must be soup, it must be Belgium… it’s Thursday, it must be sirloin steak, it must be Geneva… and so on… one country pretty much looks like the next when yeez are on the move… an airport, a hotel, a bed, a taxi or limo to another airport, etc, etc… by the time this ol’ Jurassic had done his gazillion air miles of flying hours (days/weeks/months/years), it had boiled down to ‘comfort’… what I call ‘wearing’ a place… a hotel fr’example, some of yeez who follow this blog will know I have a wee writing corner in the lobby of the Jumeirah Etihad Towers Hotel in Abu Dhabi, and very grand it is too… but it’s not about the swank of the place… it’s about the ‘comfort’ I feel about sitting in it… I do the same when I’m in London… there’s a little coffee shop around the corner from where I normally billet… nothing posh, but I ‘wear’ the place well… the same thing goes for being on the SOSYAL NETWURKIN circuit… there’s stacks of garbage on there, which if I chose to, I could let it make me rattled… but I don’t… instead, I elect to find my ‘comfort’ with the people whose posts I enjoy… ‘comfort’ again… I ‘wear’ their virtual friendship like a pair of ‘falling-to-bits-but-can’t-possibly-be-thrown-away-yet’ slippers…


…for we quill-scrapers, I think it can also boil down to our scribbling patterns… some are morning creatives, others peddle their wares better in the dusk, and some nutters belt at it 24/7… ‘comfort’ in the WURK routines, that’s called… when I’m in the company of actual people (yeez know they do exist outside of the internet, don’t yeez?), I switch to ‘auto-comfort’ mode… some folks I just simply walk away from… others I keep close… ‘comfort’ in friendships… so what are yeez all ‘wearing’ this week?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…is Master Gallacher really that nuts?… or, how I nurture part of my SOSYAL NETWURK… #TBSU…


…I’ve been asked by a few SOSYAL NETWURK pals to share again what I’m up to with my loopy ‘Awards’ system… now, be warned, this should not be read alone at home, and certainly not without a safety net… it has long been surmised that I may have a few bats loose in my cerebral belfry… the following exposition may prove that to be the case… be that as it may, they say there’s often much method in one’s madness… and here’s mine… ever since clambering aboard the whirligig that constitutes the self-publishing universe a few years ago, I decided to embrace 100% the tenet that an author, independent scribbler or otherwise, is well-advised to be immersed in the SOSYAL NETWURKS… it’s a major part of being present and accounted for in our industry… I indulge several aspects of that, including Twitter, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Tumbler, Stumbleupon, and others, including this here Blog… on Twitter I found the mechanism of the ‘Friday Follows (FFs)’ a bit too ‘same-y’ week after week, and it seemed to my eyes merely a ‘get-numbers’ game for the sake of it… I wanted to try to differentiate a wee bit in terms of the quality of people I followed and who followed me back… hence, in lieu of the FFs, I begun listing the good folks who deigned to mention my name or tweet responses to me as human beings, not just ‘critical-mass-look-how-many-followers-I’ve-got,-Mama’ … this was done originally, and still is done daily, longhand on sheets I then type up as my list of ‘Awardees’… the list has grown like Popsi… I do cull it from time to time, when it’s apparent that some folks have chosen to drop away, and that’s their choice, NUTHIN wrong with that…now here’s the thing… my followers on Twitter currently total around 6,800… but the ’special’ list has over 1,000 names on it right now… I used to invent the ‘Awards’ every week, but with a thousand names, all typed in as bunched tweets of say, 9 names per bunch, yeez can see a less regular publishing is best… and even then I spread the re-typing over a few days, not all in one sitting as I did in the beginning… it’s time-consuming, but one of the most satisfactory processes I undertake on such a regular basis…why?… coz it gets me anywhere from 45%-65% replies on Twitter from these wunnerful Lads and Lassies of Blog Land every time I do a new ‘Award’… that’s 450 to 650 correspondent chums (and the respondees mix differs each time) to keep linked in with personally on a regular basis… I wouldn’t give it up for quids… I value every last name on the list … the current ‘Award’ is the ‘Thank U 4 U Award’… people seem to like them… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!





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…a blast from the nasal past… bless yeez!… #TBSU…


…gird yerselves for possibly the most useless bits of trivia yeez’ll see anywhere on the Web today… I’ve never claimed to practise the pertinent-est pieces of prominent prime purveyance of wisdom… but were yeez aware that the human sneeze can reach wind speeds of 160 kilometres per hour?… that’s 100 miles per hour in old money… and did yeez also know that when yeez sneeze, yer heart instantaneously stops and restarts?… well, there’s a coupla scraps of information to kickstart yer ‘well-who’da-thunk-that?’ questions… there’s more… how often, if at all, has it occurred to yeez when sumb’dy has a noisy nasal blast and the response comes ‘Bless Yeez!’ what the provenance of that blessing?… it dates back to the mid 1600’s in Merrie England, which at the time was anything but Merrie… the Black Plague, more commonly know as the Bubonic Plague, was rampant, and people were falling like flies (more of that in a minute)…


…a major symptom of the Plague was the sneeze… and there being no widespread cure for the illness, death usually resulted in very short order, hence, the ‘Bless Yeez!’ bit… think also on this… the children’s nursery rhyme, ‘ring-a-ring of roses, a pocketful of posies’, dating back to that era reflects the same thing, ‘a-tishoo! a-tishoo! we all fall down!’… dangerous stuff, these kids ditties… makes yeez ponder on just how powerful yer skull can be… a container capable of delivering hurricane-force nostril-canyon-directed gusts stronger than yer average gale-force level winds… I’m thinking of having my proboscis patented… ‘The-Master-Gallacher-Gale-Gatherer’… got a nice wee breeze about it don’t yeez think?… yeez’ll have to excuse me now– I’m off for a few practice blows… where’s that heart-starter, Mabel?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…they just don’t produce ‘em like this anymore… the ultimate entertainer… Sammy Davis Jr… #TBSU…


…now, hear me out for a minute, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… I’m not suggesting for a nanosecond that’s there’s no entertainment talent around the planet nowadays… and maybe it’s coz I’m kinda slipping into that ‘it-wasn’t-like-that-in-my-day’ period of my life… but I find it difficult, if not well nigh impossible, to tune in to much of what passes for current vocal music… p’raps it’s the deluge of reality shows that pander to the least-common-intelligence-denominator… or the nonsense that passes for televised news—the eternal three minute loops of sum’thing captured on a mobile phone in downtown crimesville… repeated ad-inforever-um, squeezed between the competition for the most inane advertisements on yer TV screens… back then, there were men and women who prided themselves in the quality of their performances on stage, in front of live theatre audiences… not what they did in front of the paparazzi in some desperate attempt to garner some salacious space in the broadsheets across the WURLD… a 5 foot 5 inch giant among these icons of yesteryear was the remarkable Sammy Davis Jr… the intensity of his presence in the spotlight was sum’thing to behold… and although he was part of the famous Hollywood Rat Pack, he really performed best solo… I liked everything the man did… his carriage, his humour, his sense of drama in the way he held a live audience… a great pro… just have another wee listen to this majestic rendering of his classic, Mister Bojangles… he gave this performance only a year before he died in 1990… click on below here… and I’ll defy emb’dy to tell me there’s anyone around to today with better stagecraft… enjoy… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…introducing, MISS SIXTY, the Mother of all Agony Aunts… Guest Blogged by Author, Carol Maginn… #TBSU…

…I proudly present for yeez on my Guest Blog slot today, the Mother of all Agony Aunts… my sexagenarian compadre, Miss Sixty… the alter ego of good chum, Author, Carol Maginn… with our average life expectancy creeping ever upwards towards the age of about 250, the time is surely ripe for these seasoned offerings from a Lady who’s been there, done that, got the sandwich, wrote the encyclopaedia, been all round the WURLD and many other places a gazillion times, seen it all, done it all, and recognises it all… read on and be suitably amazed, above all, with the sheer modesty of the dame:


Miss Sixty speaks….

An interview.

Firstly, Miss Sixty – thank you for making the time to talk to me.

It’s my pleasure, Seumas. I’m always happy to talk to my public.

First question….who is your new advice column for?

Well, Seumas, it’s for anyone who is sixty, or has ever been sixty, or is ever likely to reach sixty, if they don’t expire from fame and wild success first.

And secondly….why?

Three basic reasons….

The first, of course, is that I am simply very good at giving advice. Extremely good. It’s a gift, and one I embrace, as any of my friends will confirm. I have an uncanny ability to perceive where others are going wrong, and to steer them in the right direction. I can’t really take credit for it – it’s simply a talent. The second is that, when I reached sixty, I began to realise that people of around our age are very badly served for advice columns. Do we all have to read Saga magazine? I’ll go further – people of all ages are very badly served. The days of the great agony aunts like Marge Proops have sadly gone…. Nowadays it’s all Irma Kurtz and Pamela Anderson, who, believe me, don’t know it all. It seemed to me that what was needed was a firm but fair voice. My voice.

And thirdly, I was happy to help out a frankly hopeless blogger, who needed a bit of pep in her weekly offerings.

And who seeks your advice?

Anyone and everyone, Seumas. Royalty, Hollywood, politicians, entertainers, all put pen to paper and confide their difficulties to me. I’m happy to help. But I must emphasise that I also deal with the difficulties of ordinary people. The happiness of humble folk is equally important to me.

Do you answer every letter?

I’d love to, Seumas, obviously. But I have to cherry pick just a little. The same topics tend to recur, and so now I have a whole set of very helpful leaflets which I send out as appropriate. And I don’t answer boring letters, for obvious reasons.

Should my readers write to you?

Well, if they have at least an interesting, and preferably an original, problem, I’d be delighted to hear from them. I can’t, of course, guarantee a reply – they may just get a leaflet – but I am always happy to hear from my public.

And how can we find the weekly Miss Sixty advice column?

Try wordpress/ccginn/miss sixty. There is, apparently, a fashion label with the same name, which tends to crop up on Google, but don’t get distracted. You need advice, not jeans.

Thank you, Miss Sixty.

My pleasure. Always.

…so there yeez have it, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, our very own go-to Agony Personage… enjoy… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!






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…Brainy and Bonkers… a ‘Tail’ of Two Kitties… #TBSU…


…this ol’ Jurassic’s been bereft of feline company for more than twenty years now… but ‘way back in the days when Hong Kong was the place I earned my coin, I co-habited with a pair of Siamese cats… as a generalisation, I don’t indulge photographs of the species on line in the manner of some of yeez who have more selfies with yer pets than I’ve had hot curries… so, the proverbial cat is now out of the bag, so to speak… or more correctly, p’raps, the pair of cats are out of the bag…they were named ‘Brainy’ and ‘Bonkers’, and each went out of its way to show me that the wrong name had been applied in each case… ‘Brainy’ was as daft as a brush … and ‘Bonkers’ could well have been the equivalent of a feline Ph.D…  I still am none the wiser as to why, as a budding merchant bank executive, in one of the busiest, most frenetic markets on the planet, I should at that time have chosen to transform my condominium unit into an upmarket pad for a couple of four-week-old kittens… that they deigned to allow me some of the space is also a mystery, given their propensity to nudge me out of whatever comfortable couch or sofa I may have preferred to sit in… suffice to say they had me house-trained in very short order… meals on demand… and none of yer Kit-E-Kat rubbish from a tin… proper grub, straight from the fishmonger… but came the first angst-ridden cat-parent incident when they had to sent to the vet to be spayed… I called the local pet doctor, and was rewarded with a female Chinese receptionist on the other end of the line… at that time my fluency in Cantonese had not yet developed beyond the ‘yes/-no/-I’ve-got-no-money’ chapter in the Talk-Cantonese-In-Three-Thousand-Easy-Lessons primer… I’m certain much was lost in translation… being a bit concerned that the proposed operation, of basically clipping way the cats’ future manhood would be professionally done, with no lasting psy-cat-ric effect on the kittens, I wanted assurances that it would be painless… the fine wee lassie replied in her best pidgin English, ‘Ah, you no worree Mistah Ga-Lee-Kah—you won’t feel a thing!’… and she was right, God bless her, I incurred no pain whatsoever… it is not recorded what the kittens’ view was… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…the King of Laughter is dead… long live the King… R.I.P. Robin Williams…


…It’s not given to many of us to be regarded as a person about whom nobody thinks anything other than ‘what a wonderful human being’Robin Williams owned that billing, and has done for decades… many of us utilise humour as a defence against the various demons we face from time to time… for most, that’s sufficient… for others, sadly as we know, that armament fails… the irony is that very few people have consistently brought humour and light to hundreds of millions through a career of dazzling genius in the way that Robin did… and yet, in the end, that same talent was unable to work its magic on the man himself… the records will demonstrate clearly the many such purveyors of comedy who also found the only recourse was to take their own lives… the brilliant British situation-comedy actor, Tony Hancock, is another who comes to mind… most of yeez will remember others… but, here’s the thing… I’ll bet yeez everyone of them would have wanted the show to go on… humour shouldn’t stop when their own curtain comes down… of course, we grieve… we wouldn’t be human ourselves if we did not… yet, presently, the SOSYAL NETWURKS are also crammed with clips of Robin’s past funny masterpieces… we weep at his passing, and simultaneously laugh and relive the joy in the wonderful entertainment he provided… his monologues… his nutty ad libs… the matchless facial expressions which in themselves spoke volumes… he is being labelled a genius, but sum’times even that WURD doesn’t fully encompass the truth of it… he was a one-off… the ultimate entertainer… part of his legacy, we hope, may be a raised understanding of the illness that he did share with millions… severe depression… we loved you then, Robin… we love you now, Robin… we will always love you, Robin… the King of Laughter is dead… long live the King… R.I.P. Robin Williams…



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…take heart, Author pals… the Amazon Kindle Freebie Promo Program CAN have an afterglow… #TBSU…

…among the truisms offered to we wet-behind-the-ears quill-scrapers when first we dare to step on to the self-publishing carousel is that the best way to sell books is to keep writing more books… the same scribblers’ wisdom avers that once yeez’ve cracked yer third title and got that up and running, things begin to take on some momentum… this ol’ Jurassic’s not so ‘umble view is that p’raps the preface to these bon mots should be, ‘at least produce sum’thing halfway decent to read’… nonetheless (LUV that WURD–‘nonetheless’– is there a counterpoint WURD, ‘somethemore’?)… nonetheless, recently, I’m beginning to think there may be more than a modicum of proof in the sagely advice… lots of yeez, kind enuff to follow my blog, know that I ventured on to the Amazon Kindle Free Promo recently with my third Jack Calder crime thriller masterpiece, SAVAGE PAYBACK… it was the first time that particular title had been on the giveaway shelf… previous novels, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK were on the Free Program a few times in the last coupla years and did fine, thank yeez very much, but… and here’s the big ‘but’… they did nothing spectacular post-giveaway… comes now the latest sally… and behold and lo… after-sales have kicked in more than satisfactorily… although the correlation of freebie drawdowns to reviews on Amazon have been perplexing… only three reviews directly from a total of 6,000+ given away(nudge, nudge to emb’dy who nabbed a freebie, and feels any twinge of literary conscience—reviews are an Author’s life-blood, thanks)… however, I do believe the cascading has begun… not only has SAVAGE PAYBACK seen the afterglow, but the ‘back list’ is also benefitting… the steady off-take is gratifying… so, if yeez are swithering on do-I-or-don’t-I’ for Freebies, I’d recommend yeez go for it… oh, and the best way to sell yer books is to write more books… and…and…and… once yeez have at least three titles out there, stuff’ll improve… where did I read that before?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

wall copy 2

Amazon links:

Savage Payback                    :   http://amzn.to/1oyHNah

Vengeance Wears Black     :   http://amzn.to/W59BB3

The Violin Man’s Legacy   :  http://amzn.to/10wnMXB





Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff