Monthly Archives: October 2012

…Of Mouses and Men…(…with a grateful nod to Master Steinbeck…)…

Let me make it clear from the outset…I am possessed (allegedly) of an IQ that would permit me to talk sensibly about the Higgs Boson particle …given freedom to explore the Rosetta Stone, its hieroglyphics would cause me little obstacle in plundering its secrets…rather selfishly I suppose, I chose not to pursue a career in international high-level diplomacy, although that avenue would have caused me not one stir of concern…Why then is it, I constantly ask myself, that my little grey cells come to an abrupt and ignominious full crunching halt when faced with anything, and I mean truly anything to do with computer gadgetry?…Am I alone in this universe of people trying to scrape a volume or three of manuscript (or should that be computuscript?) in being utterly bamboozled with the intricacies relating to the science of Cut and Paste or heaven forfend, Copy, Cut, and Paste?…even more angst raises its ugly head when trying to open more than one screen page of stored material at the same time…somehow, I’m  baffled by the juggling act that sees a page career off into a corner of the screen, never to be easily retraced, while its brother and sister files whip up and down and across the place like whirling dervishes…it’s the stuff of nightmares…the Freddy Krugers of LaptopLand…countless are the numbers of times that Her Indoors has retrieved erasure disaster by the simple finger-flipping combination of  ‘Command/Z’, which apparently my brain is incapable of remembering … exhortations to repeat the ‘Command/Save’ function are lost on me…it’s like something out of  Computer Hell for Dummies…then we have the daddy of them all—when to use the left hand side versus the right hand side of the MOUSE…that innocent little clickey thing-y that contains all the elements for full-scale Armageddon…tap it the wrong way, and your whole life can pass before your eyes in a nano-second…so, perhaps when the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it event finally comes along, and civilisation reverts to stone tablets and charcoal scratchings on papyrus, one ol’ Scotsman may well be found snuggling down in his cave with a smile on his face and a salvaged Webster’s Dictionary in his fist…if you’re still around then too, come and join me, we can do spellings and other good writer-y stuff…now where’s my medication, Matron,…I’ve gotta sleep this away…sleep this away…this away………away……..

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…fronting up about backing up…excellent message from Guest Blogger, Una Tiers…

We’ve  all had them…those moments when your heart stops and your brain goes into panic meltdown…the unexpected, horrible instant of realization that we’ve done something that seems irreversibly wrong…like inviting both sets of in-laws over for Christmas holidays at the same time…Mine came during the writing of my first novel…I clicked something on my laptop (who the hell knows what?..), and Hey Presto! three months of work disappeared from the screen…I was so stricken, I couldn’t even scream…happily, the sensible part of the household recognised the terror in my face, stepped up to the scene of the disaster, and with a simple click of the fingers reversed the action,, and I got all the work back…(How do women know how to do stuff like that?)…Life-shortening as the episode undoubtedly was, it taught me the basic lesson, BACK UP YOUR WORK…Now here’s my Guest Blogger for today, Una Tiers with an even more relevant message…enjoy…and learn, guys and gals…thanks, Una…

 

Saving Paper by Una Tiers (author of Judge vs Nuts)

Occasionally I write and then hunt for the document, which, when missing, gains in brilliance as my panic escalates.  When will I learn to back up and be organized?  As my general disposition is to teach about the law, especially in my writing, I’ll give you an example of saving an important document, written by a third party, wrapping up your financial picture.

The most important document that likely will be ghost written, by an attorney, is your will.  The exact document signed by you and the witnesses needs to be located immediately after your demise in order for a court to recognize it and distribute the wealth.

Mama Cass Elliot, a brilliant singer with the Mamma’s and the Papa’s in the 70s, died in 1974 at age 32,  leaving behind a minor daughter, mother, sister and brother.    She also left more debt than money.  Although she executed a will, it was not located when she died.

A few years later, a resurgence in her music caused the insolvent estate to turn into a healthy estate.   Her entire estate went to her minor daughter.

In 2011, the Last Will and Testament of Mama Cass was located by an archivist at the law firm where the will was prepared.  I have no idea what an archivist in this context means.  Her brother and sister sued the law firm that wrote and stored the will, (and conducted the probate administration) alleging that had they produced the will when she died, their mother would have received a share of the estate and when their mother died, they would have inherited that money.

Not much has been in the news about the story after the suit was filed, suggesting an out of court settlement in the malpractice matter.  The lesson you can take from this is that when you write, you need to back up and identify the file to locate it another day.  When you write a will, you must share the location with your friends or family so that the hard work will surface if and when you go to that big bookstore in the sky.

Visit or contact Una Tiers at http://unatiers.com  una@unatiers.com

Dying to visit Chicago?  Join Fiona Gavelle in Judge vs Nuts for a tale about corruption that has been described as hilariously funny.  See the trailer at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55XqIbk0VY4

Judge vs Nuts in eBook:  http://www.amazon.com/Judge-vs-Nuts-ebook/dp/B007BSD4RU

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/judge-vs-nuts-una-tiers/1108946512?ean=2940013966178

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…meet my haggis-bashing pal…Guest Blogger, Gary Brookes

We ALL have secrets, some darker and longer hidden than others…step up now my old mate GARY BROOKES, whom I first met 20 years ago in the Philippines…compared with his expertise in everything to do with the IT world and computer gadgetry and systems, I know NOTHING about that stuff…but believe it or not, Gary met me when I knew even LESS THAN NOTHING…Despite my holding several smudged photographs of blackmail quality, he insists in sharing this blog piece below…
From Gary Brookes:
Having spoken with Seumas a few days ago he casually reported that he would be speaking at a prestigious event sharing his self-publication success and social media expertise.  My mojo has been touched….

How things have changed.
For those of you experienced in the blog-world and twitter-universe you may be given cause to think that Seumas is and always was, the guru in this social galaxy or at the very least perhaps exaggerating his non-technical, even Jurassic level of computer non-literacy claims.  Perhaps you think he was being modest?  Now, having known Seumas for some time (I have been treated by that as a result, and all is fine, just as long as I don’t visualise the night he slipped over wearing his kilt), I can recall the conversation when he first started his business and needed “one of those things with letters on that you press… oh, and a winder”.  Now, my task was to help raise this fossil from the dead and explain how computers, unlike most 18th century clocks, do not require a winder, prayer, stroking or a “Glasgow Kiss” when it doesn’t do as it’s told.

I must confess, the future looked bleak – not solely because of the day he tried to connect the printer by threatening it with death by urination, but mainly because he had convinced himself that nothing could work without a winder.  This is a man who refused to travel on an ‘e-Ticket’ as he genuinely thought they were only for travel to countries beginning with an ‘E’, which explains why we have only managed to meet up when he is in London.  Like most friends, I provided the platitudes and decided to leave the country we were both residing in, so that I could manage him remotely (I successfully adopted the same strategy with my ex-Wife) and send him the occasional email, knowing full well he would struggle to even open it.
Now I must eat some humble haggis.
This is my own first ever blog entry and I find myself doing it to keep up with my former pupil, in fact I have to email this blurb to him in order for him to post it onto his cyber pals.  Let’s ensure we are all clear on this – I am not the least bit surprised by his success from an author perspective, those of us that know Seumas suspected there were a few best-sellers in that capacious, albeit slightly weird intellect, but in equal measure those who believed in his writing ability also believed that he would have to hire a coterie of PA’s to do the typing from his scribbled notes.
It with equal surprise and admiration that I read his work from every corner of the social universe and get buzzed, pinged and emailed from the man at regular intervals.  It has served me notice that if he can do it, there is hope for even the most technically challenged imbeciles out there.  Well done that man, now hurry up and write that third novel so the rest of us can enjoy the work and I can have the added bonus of visualising your endless search for the winder (but not wearing a kilt).

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..the next BIG THING… ( are you kidding me ???…)…

Much as  I  try to avoid the ‘chain letter’ syndrome that threatens me with fates worse than watching my daily book sales counts, now and again in comes the ‘request you can’t refuse’…My dear friend, the pride of Berwick-on -Tweed’s  Bibliographical Bunch, Barbara Henderson, [@BerwickBabs ] has requested that I tag on to the ‘NEXT BIG THING’ sequence…it involves answering a list of ten questions ( or less if one so pleases… and I guess adding questions wouldn’t be frowned on, either) as noted below, and inviting five other authors to do the same for the following week , which would be for October 10th in this case ( see, Mabel, I can count …).. I will append the requested writers, thus :

Stephen Edger

Prudence MacLeod

Beth Lynne

Diane Butler

Miranda Stork

 

So, here’s the Questions with my Answers , ( no guys and gals, you can’t copy them, you’ll have to do your own ..)

 

What is the working title of your next book?

Savage Payback ( NOT fighting with the guy behind  me in the Tesco check-out queue)

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Watching television news, and some of the upheavals that SkyNews constantly rejoices in throwing at us, particularly spectacular crime.

What genre does your book fall under ?

Crime thriller.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Shuffle any set from  Jason Statham, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Farrell, the other Irish fella, Brendan, Michelle Yeo, and only about 1,000 others ….

What is the one-sentence synopsis for your book ?

Former SAS commandos use their black ops skills to hunt down murderous international criminal gangs.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

Current plans are to self publish on Kindle, but maybe through an agency by the time I’ve finished the writing of it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first book took only 3 months, the second book 12 months, this one, the third, will probably be 6 months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre ?

Anything by Lee Child, but with a base cast of four main characters , one of which is female. ( And obviously, the previous two novels that I’ve done…what a smart-ass I am, eh ?)

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

When I worked in the Far East I had a spell where I was bodyguarded by a team trained by former SAS people, and that probably is the genesis of it all.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I like to think they are all a cut or two above simple ‘chewing gum for the brain’, but I believe most readers enjoy endings where the good guys give the bad guys  a ‘good belt in the mouth’ as we say in Glasgow. Easy reading,

hopefully keeping you page-turning.

 

There. that’s it done, another fate worse than reading my sales figures avoided!

 

 

 

 

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I’ve been asked to keep the noise down, but it’s all these Guest Bloggers comin’ and goin’… here’s JJ Toner …

When a lad comes on to my Guest Blogger scene describing himself as ‘an accomplished after dinner sleeper’, he gets my attention, and I think he’ll get yours too..spend a minute or two at his blog  at    http://euclid-thoughts.blogspot.com/    and you’ll see what I mean …..you’ll want to follow him…. he’s a clever, funny writer  (send me the cheque now, JJ )… and Lord knows, we all need a good dollop of stuff to make us smile… cheers JJ….

Hi Seumas. Thanks for inviting me into your place. I don’t think I’ve ever been in such a magnificent trailer before. Oh, I don’t mind if I do. No water in mine. Thanks.
My self-publishing story? Not one of great successes so far.
I’ve always dabbled with writing, but it wasn’t until I spent some time in hospital, in 2007, that I began to write full time. I flirted with literary agents for a while before self-publishing became a reality thanks to Smashwords and KDP.
My first publication OVOLUTION AND OTHER STORIES is a collection of humorous Science Fiction short stories. I don’t know what it is about SF, but I never seem to have what it takes to write serious SF. Every time I try, it always comes out funny.
My second book is a thriller, ST PATRICK’S DAY SPECIAL, set in Ireland and featuring Detective Inspector Ben Jordan of the Irish police force.
My third, released early in September, 2012, is another Ben Jordan thriller called FIND EMILY. This one is a short book, although it took me almost a year to write. I have this wonderful editor, Lucille Redmond, who beats my plots and my prose into shape. She has boundless patience and energy.
Oh, yes, just a small drop, thank you.
What’s next? I have a substantial number of short stories that I might publish, and there are two historical novels under my bed crying out for rewrites. I’ve also been tinkering with a YA dystopian (serious) SF book that would make a good short series.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Seumas. Maybe you’d like to come over to my place some time.
Links:
Ovolution and Other Stories:
St Patrick’s Day Special:
FIND EMILY:

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Guest Blogger : Stephen Edger

Merrily we roll along, roll along, roll along…I’m honoured that so many of my blog-gy pals  are stepping up to post guest pieces here, with nary a care as to the danger to their reputations…oh, sweet Lordie…  The delight continues with today’s excellent piece by thriller writer, Stephen Edger, a successful  independent self publishing writer…an inspiration to all of us who toil in this brave new Kindle-y world…please enjoy…

 

Ah, so this is where you live Seumas. This Abu Dhabi sunshine is delightful. Oh that’s very kind, I’ll have a small sherry with you, whilst we gaze out at the setting sun.

I wanted to share my recent experiences of independent publishing with you: I tasted the rainbow and now I want more…

Let me take you back to June 2011 (I built my time machine from a Skoda as I couldn’t afford a DeLorean). A young-ish writer inadvertently stumbled onto the Amazon website and spotted a link that said ‘Self Publish with us’. He did just that and ‘Integration’, the debut offering from Stephen Edger tentatively entered the world. In that first month 20 people downloaded a copy and the author was so proud. When he shared the joyous news with friends on Facebook, they laughed and thought he was joking.

Back in the Skoda, let’s fast forward to November of the same year, this author self-published his next offering, ‘Remorse’. At this point 260 copies of ‘Integration’ had been downloaded and a handful of positive reviews had been written about the work. The author thought he was onto a winner and could soon be making enough money from this book-writing nonsense to buy dinner (well, a packet of noodles and a loaf of bread). However, despite a small peak, sales remained slow.

May 2012, saw the author publish a follow-up (not a sequel, mind you) to ‘Integration’ that he called ‘Redemption’ (what is it with all these 1-word titles?). By this time, he was eagerly networking with like-minded writers via Twitter and would tweet daily about how wonderful his work was. To celebrate the launch and to reach a wider audience, the author gave away copies of ‘Remorse’ for £free (Seumas, you’re choking, are you okay?)

For 4 days over the weekend of 27th July, 7800 copies of the book were downloaded and it spent most of the weekend as the number-1 downloaded free thriller on kindle and in the top-20 free downloaded fiction books. The author was on cloud nine and hoped that if each of those readers downloaded just one further book, he would be quids in.

The day after the free promotion ended, the downloads of ‘Remorse’ continued, only this time people were paying for it! In fact for eight days after the free promotion, another 700 copies were downloaded, propelling Remorse into the top-100 downloaded thrillers and top-100 thrillers (downloads and paperbacks). At times the author was out-selling recognised authors like Jeffrey Archer, Jo Nesbo, Lee Child, Karin Slaughter and even Simon Kernick! The author had reached that golden pit-stop that all new authors dream of: he was a best-seller!

As with all good things, success was brief and after that initial week, ‘Remorse’ dropped out of the chart and is currently languishing amongst the ether. However, the author has not forgotten how good it tasted, riding on the crest of the wave with authors whose names people had heard of. His eyes have been opened to the true opportunities that self-publishing can offer and he is determined to continue writing and self-publishing in the hope of reaching that pinnacle once again. In fact, his fourth offering ‘Snatched’ will be published on Monday 1st October.

Although his time at the top was brief, he wants to share the dream with other ‘indies’ out there who are striving for the same goal. It’s possible, don’t give up on the rainbow…

Right, Seumas, I’ve finished my sherry now, I had better be on my way. I think I can hear matron calling. She says Sir Alex is on the phone and he is looking for some defensive cover for this weekend. He wants you in the UK by morning so you better start packing.

 

Website: www.stephenedger.com

 

Integration: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Integration-Mark-Baines-novel-ebook/dp/B0056NY8JK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1348815188&sr=8-2

 

Remorse: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Remorse-ebook/dp/B006G1NSXS/ref=pd_sim_kinc_2

 

Redemption: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Redemption-Mark-Baines-novel-ebook/dp/B007Z5854Q/ref=pd_sim_kinc_1

 

Snatched: due out Monday 1st October

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