…the scariest Author project I’ve ever undertaken…

…it’s not often this ol’ Jurassic Scots scribbler gets the ‘wobbles’ during a project… my life to date has thrown up some seriously frightening interludes… more than my fair share, I guess… some of which were not of my own making, but others, well, were entirely a result of decisions I made independently… I don’t think any of us knowingly makes bad decisions… often decisions are seen later to be wrong, and other, better decisions are made to correct the previous ones, and so…  that there have been tons of ‘highs and lows’, ‘colour’, and ‘drama’,  is not in question… indeed it would be a very dull life for any of us if there were no ‘roller-coaster moments’… emotionally, financially, career-impacting… the usual life experience suspects… however, of late I have pondered, prevaricated, procrastinated, and then plunged headlong into an effort to record my own life story… or memoirs, call them what yeez will…

…the initial difficulty was persuading myself to get really ‘gut-honest’, as many of the things that  happened to me and around me are distant mem’ries… and more than slightly tampered with by the very passage of time itself… I recognize that, and am trying assiduously to keep it real’… and that’s where the ‘wobbles’ come in… hard guy from the Docklands Govan slums in Glasgow, I may think I am, but I have my moments of emotional rawness, (‘if you scratch me, do I not bleed’, sort of thing)… passages of the memoirs lately have caused me to stop for a while and take a deep breath… they are painful, some of them… family relationships… romantic liaisons, some requited, some disastrous… achievements and failures, of which there have been plenty of both… the wonder at having survived on this planet thus far is cause for thanks… a belief system that has developed within me over the years, which is not religious, but my own, personal version of being spiritual, guides much of my present day behaviour… I have my moments of cynicism (who doesn’t?) about the madness of Mankind in general, much outweighed by the inner beauty of individuals I meet constantly… coming up for breathe from the ‘wobbles’ is necessary, and lets me recharge before diving back into the project again… the scariest Author project I’ve ever undertaken… wish me luck, good people… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ! 

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…Authors, do your Readers (or Listeners) ‘hunt in packs’?

…I must ‘fess up, that generally, I am not a follower of the crowd… and yet, I reckon I’m certainly not an anti-social creature… much the opposite in fact… I rejoice in good company, excellent conversation, and mingling with kindred spirits, both in face-to-face meetings and on the Web… I s’pose it comes down to knowing what I like at this stage in my life, and what I don’t… it took about a thousand years after the first Star Wars movie came out for me to go and watch one… and when everyone else extols any television series, that’s usually my signal to ignore it completely… in fact the last TV series I watched (and thoroughly enjoyed) was Boston Legal, with the incomparable James Spader and the ageless Betty White… (how long ago was that, Mabel?)… but I have noticed in the past few months a remarkable phenomenon, and, not surprisingly, it has to do with my Auntie Amazon-listed books , the Jack Calder crime thriller series…. like most Kindle-present writers, I glance at my sales pages now and then… (well, okay, about five times a day sometimes!)… and what I’ve discovered is that there will be spells of a few days when absolutely NUTHIN gets downloaded… then a burst of days, often for two or three weeks at a time, when every single day produces downloads… if I knew what caused the cycles, of course, I’d start messing about with them, so prob’ly just as well I leave them alone and let my much appreciated readership carry on as they are… but I wonder if others have the same experience with their books and Audio books?… Authors, do your Readers (or Listeners) ‘hunt in packs’?… anyway, here are my links, as usual:

THE VIOLIN MANS LEGACY

myBook.to/theviolinmanslegacy

VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK

myBook.to/vengeancewearsblack

SAVAGE PAYBACK

myBook.to/savagepayback

KILLER CITY

myBook.to/calderkillercity

DEADLY IMPASSE

myBook.to/Calderdeadlyimpasse

…and the new Audio Book for THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2kaoOp0

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2iFLNbu

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2y7BdiL

…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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…well, Mr/Mrs/Ms Author, just how much of your writing is autobiographical?…

…this ol’ Jurassic’s first ever Jack Calder crime thriller, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, escaped from the laptop about ten years ago and has metamorphosed from eBook to paperback, and now, presto, hey… into Audio Book format… in the course of that journey, obviously I’ve read, and now listened to, the narrative mumble-mumble-times over… and surprisingly, its only now dawning on me just how much of that first penning came from disparate (and sum’times desperate) passages in my own life… so often I’ve been asked in the past decade ‘How much of your stories are autobiographical?’… and my response has always been, ‘very little’… but wee bits of people I’ve met – good, and not so pleasant, real characters, places I’ve lived in and visited across the globe, and events I’ve witnessed, all contribute tiny pieces of the mosaic to make up the  entire ‘business’ of a story… now, ‘fess up time… on hearing the excellent narration on the Audio by my pal, Chris C. Hogan, it hit me like a slap in the face with a wet fish, that there’s tons of my own life experiences in the book… and it leaves me wondering, how much more is there in my other novels?… now, yeez’ll be asking me, which parts are the ‘Master Seumas-y’ extracts… well, I could tell yeez, but then, I’d have to kill yeez, right?… suffice to say, the main character hero in the novels hails from Dockside, Govan in Glasgow… that should be a wee clue… and he’s six foot two and a blue-eyed, fair-haired, cracking-looking lad … and… what?!!!!? … what are yeez laughing at!… listen, if yeez are gonna be rude about stuff, well, I resemble that remark!… just go and have a listen to the terrific narration by young Master Hogan… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2kaoOp0

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2iFLNbu

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2y7BdiL

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

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…the day I was diverted from a life-long career of criminality…

…there are some incidents in a man’s life that are pivotal in setting his future career path… one that is scorched into this ol’ Scots Jurassic’s mem’ry occurred when I was all of six and a half years old… picture if yeez will the environment… the slums of post-war Dockside Govan in Glasgow… precious little in the way of pocket money from any spare change in yer Father’s pockets when there was generally too much week left at the end of the pay packet… community policing consisted of big fellas with pointed helmets residing in Doctor Who tardis-lookalike boxes at the end of the street… we youngsters would rove around with our pals, always on the lookout for a chance of getting sum’thing for NUTHIN… and along came the suggestion that we could shoplift and run away with assorted goodies from the stores and shops about six or seven streets away from where we lived, in the daft idea that nob’dy would recognise us so far afield from our own patch… comes now the intrepid trainee mastermind criminal, wee Master (Fingers) Gallacher, still in short trousers, and the ubiquitous ‘wellies’ (Wellington boots were all-season footwear in Govan)… the target ‘hit’ was the Woolworth’s store five streets away from my home… I chose my moment and snatched a packet of darts, encased in a plastic covering… I recall with remarkable clarity, the flights on the darts were mostly yellow…

…my attempts at concealing my furtive efforts were as effective as a chocolate teapot… the minute I picked up the darts and ran toward the exit, the shop assistant at the counter screamed and started to chase after me… the terror in my throat was unbelievable… fear lends fleetness to yer legs, even when handicapped with the weight of rubber wellies… the lady was clad in equally non-Usain-Bolt sprinting aids – clumpy boots not dissimilar to the modern-day Uggs… my legs were miniature blurs as I sped toward home (so much for disguising where we lived)… my chest was pounding, and the chasing counter clerk (who is this Masked Ma’am?)… seemed to be making ground on me… in nightmares for weeks afterward I could hear the thud-thud-thud of her boots on the pavement, hounding me down… in desperation I threw the packet of darts up in the air, and behold and lo, she stopped to retrieve them… an unconscious criminal mastermind stroke of decoymanship… and my palpitating guts carried me away into another street and relative anonymous safety…  the horror of the entire episode stayed with me for years afterward… I consider it the day I was diverted from a life-long career of criminalityand I feel certain it has saved the planet from the emergence of a Capone-esque crime lord, or at the very least from another Bill Sikes or Fagin lookalike… and I’ll bet you a penny to a packet of darts, there’s a certain woman in Govan who could have given the four-minute-mile barrier breaker, Roger Bannister, a run for his money had she been given proper running spikes… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…wondering what I’d be when I grew up, I never imagined this…

…the WURLD frequently moves in mysterious ways its revelations to unfold… when I was wee… really wee… back in the glorious Dockland, Govan slums of Glasgow, (yes, Mabel they WERE glorious… we knew NUTHIN else as kids, and by and large were content with our lot…), I went through a series of ‘what-do-I-wanna-be-when-I-grow-up?’ cycles… the earliest recollection of career ambition as a child was to be a drummer, mostly born out of being press-ganged at the age of six to play the role of the Little Drummer Boy in the  primary school Christmas play/presentation of the stable scene…

…sumb’dy had fashioned a pair of drumsticks from two bits of wood, and armed with those and a toy drum, on which it must be said, my lack of coordination resulted in only one drumstick being battered constantly against the top of the drum in step with the beat of the ‘Come, they told him, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum’ adinforeverum... (bet yeez sang that bit just now, eh?)… next vision, around the age of about nine, was to become inside-left for the Scottish Football team, a la ‘King’, Manchester United’s Denis Law

…these were the days when Scotland used to win international football games… moving on to the mature shelf of eleven years old, the obvious choice was to become a ‘bookie’… not yer literary bent, but the taker-of -bets-kinda-illegal-backcourt-bookmaker, copying the example of a guy called ‘Baldy’ Archie, whose appearance in the Govan tenements was apparent not just by his lack of hair, but by the huge gabardine overcoat he wore winter and summer, in the voluminous left and right pockets of which he held the betting slips and the wagered money respectively… in various stages thereafter, thoughts leant toward becoming an accountant, (banker was the nearest I came to that eventually), a diver, (terrified of water until I learned to swim at the age of 38), a beat group singer (did that as front lead singer for our band called The Green Onions)…

…and so it went on… never, however, apart from anything else I may have become, did it once occur to me, that being an Author was in my future… now that has come to pass, and it is still a source of great bewilderment to this ol’ Scots Jurassic, that five novels, three books of collected blogs, a self-publishing guide to other scribblers, and a poetry collection have already  found a home on Auntie Amazon’s sites… add to that the most recent addition of my first Audio book (of the first crime thriller I ever wrote, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY)… and several works-in-progress — of #6 in the Jack Calder series; of a higher literary offering about the life lessons of an itinerant Arabic dominie teaching children of expatriate families the universal truisms around such things as the dignity of all men, and equality of each human being, regardless of birthright; of ghost-writing not one, but two autobiographies… plus the continual delusions of adequacy of my own writing skills in kickstarting my own Memoirs…and the whole thing starts to take on a kinda surreal sheen… and I still don’t know what I wanna be when I grow up… 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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…Bahrain National Day celebrations by an ol’ Scots interloper…

…celebrations are celebrations, regardless of wherever they take place… in Scotland, we have the much-lauded Hogmanay New Year’s Eve tradition, much of which, it must be confessed, as a young man in the days when I imbibed the ‘electric soup’ were lost in a mist of distilled fumes from gurgly bottles… we also have the St Andrews Day with much wheeeeching and birling and skirling of bagpipes, accompanied by lashings of wild haggis (a much better taste than the domestic variety), and we expatriate exiles from North of Hadrian’s wall are adept at adapting to our adopted environments… witness this month, in the Middle East, the National Days of Abu Dhabi (December 2) and now upon us, Bahrain’s festivities (December 16)… the event falls during the weekend in Bahrain this year, and many locals have already held events to mark the day… on Wednesday, my friends at Bahrain Islamic Bank allowed this ol Scots wanderer to participate in the fun… I was never a pigeon-fancier when in the UK, but here’s a marvellous up-close-and-personal falcon picture with yours truly…

…all over the country, children dress in the red and white colours of the National flag… a rather shy, but gorgeous wee lassie, the daughter of one of the bank staff, agreed to be photographed with ‘Uncle Seumas’

…then, proper music, themed for the Arabic ear, and pleasant enuff to my auditory tracts… direct, p’raps from ‘Bahrain’s Got Talent’, filled the area… eat yer hearts out, UB40, the Stones, and the Boston Pops…

…my buddy, Abdulla Alnasheet, another good Manchester United fan (but, of course, what else!) risked having his selfie taken alongside me…

…the supply of food and drinks in ample abundance for the assembled participants proved once more, it’s difficult to match true Arabic hospitality… and they don’t take ‘No’ for an answer when they invite you to their table… thanks again, my friends for a wonderful day… 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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…Jack Calder, past… Jack Calder, present… Jack Calder, future…

…if there’s anything this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler has learned in ten years of producing his wee literary masterpieces is that NUTHIN stands still in the publishing industry for long, whether that be in the realm of the self-publishing tribes, or the mystic corridors of the ‘Large Houses’ with stables of contracted authors… like many of us, I’ve dabbled, and more than dabbled at times, with self-publishing eBooks on Auntie Amazon Kindle… with paperback printed copies through the slalom of censorship in the Middle East, involving hand-to-hand combat with head buyers at the major retail book distributors in this part of the WURLD… engaged for a short while with a small publishing house… experimented with an agent arrangement for an equally brief spell… both of these latter experiences ending with amicable partings of the way… comes now the latest foray for Master Gallacherthe beckoning universe of Audio Books

…I must confess my heretofore virginal lack of awareness of just how deep that market has become… estimates of annual sales in excess of one billion hours of audio (yes, Mabel, ONE BILLION HOURS) equates to more than TWO BILLION DOLLARS of sales, and rising… it seems there are legions of users of audio books… folks who listen to them in their cars… people who have them ear-plugged during gym workouts, and hundreds of thousands who for one reason or another prefer to switch a book on, rather than flip pages… net result is my first novel from ‘way back, the one that kicked off my Jack Calder crime thriller series, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, will be on sale in Audio Book format, hopefully in time for the Christmas season…

…I’m blessed with the discovery of the exceptionally talented, Chris C. Hogan, a voice recording veteran, whose gravelly-edged-voice delivery of the narrative is almost a part of the book itself… I’m excited with this new ploy, which of course, will be additive to the other media through which my WURK will continue to be available… I’d be delighted to know how many of yeez are Audio Book users… 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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