Monthly Archives: July 2014

…here’s a Guest Blogger who’ll delight yeez with her humour and in-yer-face wit… Author Heather Hill… #TBSU…

…Guest Bloggers come in all guises to this Web page… seldom have I had such a refreshing contributor as today’s pal, Author Heather Hill… her arachnically-challenged post itself will intrigue yeez, but I implore yeez (that’s ‘beg’, Mabel) to have a sneak view of her debut off’ring, ‘The New Mrs D’ … like a splash of cold water in yer face, this is real original wit… and it’s not yer chic-lit book… it’s out and out funny, clever, and more than just a tad insightful… they say successful writing resonates with readers… wee snippets and even bigger snippets that make yeez think, ‘yes, been there, done that, felt that’… step up Heather Hill, immediate darling hit on the Amazon charts… yeez’ll like her… over to Heather:

b & w


Firstly a HUGE thank you to Seumas for letting me loose on his site after my reading his excellent, ‘Self Publishing Steps to Successful Sales’, which I devoured prior to releasing my debut novel, ‘The New Mrs D’ before it promptly shot into an Amazon 100 Best Sellers list within twenty four hours of becoming available for pre-order. And all because the lady loves… Seumas Gallacher.

So, to my guest post, which will take the form of a confession. I’ve been wishing to reveal this for some time, but had to travel the world via the power of Google just to make sure I wasn’t bonkers before telling people this:

I see spiders that aren’t there.

Don’t laugh; it’s true. I’m not writing some twisted yet utterly hilarious ‘The Sixth Sense’ spoof. (But then again, hold that thought…)

Sometimes I tend to nod off during the day. Only for a teenie, tiny nap you understand – and every now and again, just at that point between sleep and complete wakefulness – you know the part, where you’re just noticing a weird, thunderous noise that might be coming from your own throat, your mouth is hanging open and you’ve dribbled bit – I see spiders. Either on my pillow, climbing up the wall or (horrors) hanging from a bit of web over my face. And yes, they are actual spiders. Not weird shapes that could be spiders; not dark shadows that have arachnid qualities, not my own eyelashes – okay once it was. These are genuine spiders of varying species which I am sure I have seen before out in the real world. Yet after I blink, rub my eyes or hit out at them in panic – POUF! – they are gone. And the really mysterious thing is THEY WERE NEVER THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Now you are wondering why I don’t think I’m bonkers after checking the world wide… erm… web (no pun intended). It’s because after Googling ‘I see spiders that aren’t there’, I’ve found LOADS of people who’ve had the same thing happen to them! I’m not alone! If I’m being haunted by some spider-from-another-dominion, they aren’t just picking on me. I’m not the only one capable of helping lost spider souls cross over into the light. I don’t have to feel I’m the sole portal for relaying messages about brutal, spider murders to hoards of devastated, spider relatives. This is great news. And yet, still weird.

Luckily, I’m not really terrified of spiders or this would be really awful; although I wouldn’t like to wake up to find a giant, furry tarantula on my bedside table. Thankfully, it seems none of these have been the victim of a homicide recently.

So, I’m okay, don’t worry. They’re not real, just visiting. Like me today…

Thank you Seumas.

And now, I must return from whence I came and get back to writing my next novel. Oh and Google said, despite my having company out there in the world, I am bonkers.

…You have been reading comedy writer, author and mum of five (not the band) Heather Hill. You’ll find her blog here at:, her daily thoughts and musings on Twitter @hell4heather and her genuinely hilarious debut novel, ‘The New Mrs D’, here:

…yeez can also
Find her on LinkedIn
Join her on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter 

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…now, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, go click on the Kindle picture of The New Mrs D and just try to read only two pages… a bit like trying to eat just one peanut… bet yeez can’t … see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Uncategorized

…pass me the flame-thrower, Mabel… I’ll soon sort this rabble out… #TBSU…



…there are days, and I’m sure yeez all get them from time to time, when I just  can’t hold my tongue… I know, I know, I know, some of yeez think I’m a born bletherer, but I mean the days when it’s impossible not to ‘go right ahead’… I had one of these this morning… yeez’ll be well aware of my predilection for accosting the ‘dozens-of-items-and-a credit-card’ Johnnies in the ’ten-items-or-less-and cash-only’ line at the supermarket checkout… I’ve found their cousins… down at the bank today, a nice enuff office, lovely seats to wait in for your turn in the queue to arrive… a turn, it has to be pointed out, dictated to by an orderly system of ticketing… when yeez go into the bank, yeez click a wee machine and it gives yeez a stub with a number on it… if the screen shows the current customer number being served is, say, ’82’ and yer own stub is, say, ’87’, yer wait should be short… sum’times  however, yer number can be scores away, say, ‘112’… then the comfy seats are a welcome fixture… not so welcome, however, in amongst all of this regularity is the ingrained ‘career queue-jumper’… we had one of these charlatans this morning… all was going steadily, and into the bank struts an agitated-looking gentleman, flailing cheque-book in his mitt… completely ignores the ticket machine and stands shoulder to shoulder with the nearest customer being served at counter number three… as soon as the current client is finished, this clod proffers his cheque book to the teller… the teller, bless her, points him back toward the ticket system.. he grunts and retreats for a coupla moments… the next properly in line lady goes to the counter… does our man give up? does he bluudy hell… he nips along to teller number four and waits to try the same stunt… what happens next is straight out of a Keystone Cops script… other sitting clients realise this ploy might WURK, so a stream of up-until-now-patient customers descend on all five tellers… like wee clusters of money-seeking bees they swarm the poor teller staff… I look across at the alleged ‘security guard’ and gesture toward this rabble, indicating for him to step in and restore some order to all of this … he disappears back toward the staff room… in the movies yeez would expect this to be the bit when guys come through the doors with guns blazing… up steps Master Gallacher… I march to the middle of the banking hall and wave my numbered ticket stub in the air and call out as loud as I can, ‘Hey! DOES THIS TICKET SYSTEM NOT APPLY ANY MORE?’… yeez could have heard a pin drop… the guard reappears double quick time and starts to usher the crowds back to their seats… I approach the original culprit and ask him to his face, in my edgiest Glasgow accent… ‘do yeez own this bank or what? everybody else has to line up, my friend’… he looks a million miles away from being ’my friend’… he gets the message, turns on his heel and leaves the bank… a space clears at the teller in front of me and she asks me for my transaction… I reply, ’what number are yeez serving now?’ it was two before mine… I declined the service and told her I’d wait my number’s turn… oh my, I felt so bluudy righteous… so, if yeez are looking for yer next Dirty Harry, ol’ Dirty Seumas is primed and ready to go… …pass me the flame-thrower, Mabel… I’ll soon sort this rabble out… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Author Allan Bott Guest Blogs and tells us of an exotic new WURLD… #TBSU…

… my pal, Author, Allan Bott tells us a wee bit about his book, and the WURLD he creates in it…  I’m always amazed at the ability of we scribblers to continue to conjure up those wonderfully exotic place names… kinda makes my hometown,‘Govan’ look a bit tame… over to you, Allan:



Hi all!

I’m a new author residing in Swindon Wilts! I’ve been following Seumas for some time now and he’s given me the privilege to appear on his blog!

My debut novel ‘James Knight and the Orb of Ziarn’ is now ready for the masses to enjoy. Here’s a bit of background on it:

James Knight, a young adult with an average, working-class lifestyle has a life-changing experience when his late grandfather leaves him an artefact of mysterious power that leads him to another world where he befriends Valeria Flintlocke – An Airship Captain from the Kingdom of Tairen. With her guidance and friendship, he’s taken on a roller coaster journey of magic, mystery and treachery. He meets many new people and is approached by the Crown Prince of the mighty Halandrian Empire to embark on a mission that could shake the very balance of this strange and fascinating world.

The book itself is a Children’s Fantasy novel aimed at ages 11+. If you like your books light-hearted, and full of fun and adventure, then this is the book for you.



It’s available on Amazon UK’s Kindle store

And the paperback version can be had from Waterstones or direct from the publisher

The official launch and inaugural signing takes place on the 16th August at 1pm at Waterstones’ Swindon Store.


More info about the event can be found here:

Thanks for your support and I hope to see you there!

All the best!


…thanks for that, Allan……there yeez have it, Lads and Lassies of Blog land… a newbie author… go support the man… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!…



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…waiting for the Godot Agent/Publisher… TBSU…

…another of my wee chestnuts to share today with yeez… I’ve blogged on this before, but it’s been a while since the last time, so time to freshen it up… I’m not 100% convinced that I’d be any better off in real terms with a formal Agent or Publisher relationship (what a strange WURD it seems to me, to use in this context, ‘relationship’…p’raps ‘arrangement’ suits better?)… however, I don’t like to give up completely on anything until I test it myself… having just bored yeez all silly with the recent five-day Amazon Kindle Promo for my most recent Jack Calder crime thriller, SAVAGE PAYBACK, it may well be worth a ponder… from a standing start, with no paid promotional activity (all my own WURK, Mabel), the downloads for the promo hit a tad above 6,000… so, comes again my perpetual question, ‘if all these good folks wanna download and read it, why isn’t it attracting the aforementioned invisible Agent/Publisher creatures?’ … let me remind yeez of my last blurb on this, coz some of yeez may be experiencing sum’thing similar… my pitch covered what I’m reliably led to understand are all the elements that these possibility extinct industry persons like to see in a potential new author signing… the blurb:

‘… yeez know me by now, I’m not one who generally wants to cause any trouble for anyone… no, seriously, I’m not… but I think I may have just had a  flash of the blindingly obvious… this ol’ Jurassic has spent approximately 88.88 % of my WURKING career in real-life business… then I allowed myself to be seduced into the hypnotic WURLD of independent self-publishing… the miracle of Amazon Kindle and the SOSYAL NETWURKIN universe still feeds that powerful growing addiction to quill-scraping and the whole nine yards of building the platform... like tons of other wannabee Steinbecks and Rowlings out there, I did the query letter/synopsis/sample-chapters/follow-the-submission-guidelines rigmarole … and as with so many other Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, that entire effort has produced from the ranks of willing Agents and Publishers precisely NUTHIN… many of yeez who honour me by reading my diatribes occasionally will know that my life-long hero is the redoubtable Sir Winston Spencer Churchill… he of the ’never, ever give up’ filosofie... now, here’s the epiphany … it’s about high bluudy time that some of the other side get taken to task on this …. if they want the business of a decent author, p’raps they should be the ones to proffer a query letter and demonstrate their credentials as to why I should give them my business… daft? … no, Mabel, I’m not so sure I am… let me list what is on offer from my side:

1. in two and a half years, from a standing start, with less than zero computer-competency, my books have now downloaded 80,000+ times (I can assure you these are not all bought by my Grannie, Aunties and Uncles…) —COMMERCIAL SALE-ABILITY

2. in the same two and a half years, from a nil-knowledge base of the SOSYAL NETWURKIN universe, I’ve created 17,500+ DIRECT contacts through Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn other channels, and this here Blog.—ROBUST PLATFORM ALREADY BUILT

3. with three Jack Calder novels under my literary belt, I’m reliably informed that I’ve now created a franchise of characters that readers LUV to see—CONTINUED POTENTIAL EARNINGS FOR AGENTS AND PUBLISHERS

4. I’ve self-published paperbacks in the country of my residence, the United Arab Emirates, (including clearing the National Media Council publishing criteria) and negotiated personally to place them in the major book distributor chains in the country —PUBLICITY DRIVE AND COMMERCIAL STAMINA

5. I personally visited and had five-star hotel lobby shops carry the paperbacks for sale— MORE PUBLICITY DRIVE

6. I continue to engage in extensive speaking engagements in readers’ book clubs, and social groups about writing and self-publishing—AUTHOR PRESENCE AND COMMITMENT

7. I’ve held well-attended book launches for each of the first two titles —EVEN MORE PUBLICITY DRIVE

…so, the question is — are any of YOU Agents and Publishers good enough to carry MY stuff?… I will wait with interest any response… but will not bate my breath in the process…


…let’s see if the response is any different this time! …see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

wall copy 2


Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…another wee glimpse of a Celtic past in the Scottish Hebrides… #TBSU…

…a couple months or so ago, I posted a blog piece about my time as a teenager, employed as a trainee banker in Tobermory, a township with less than a thousand souls, nestled at the edge of the beautiful Tobermory Bay on the Scottish Hebridean Island of Mull…




…many of yeez have asked for a few more snippets of what it was like living there… and I must confess, when I sit back and think of these days, I yearn for them more and more… folks had time to talk with each other…emb’dy remember what that was like?… the internet and SOSYAL NETWURKIN was a thing of the far-distant future… the stuff of H.G.Wells-type novels… what sticks with me most clearly are the mem’ries of people… every one a character… every one a real personality…. Gaelic music sat at the heart of the informal house ceilidhs, or gatherings at home with neighbours and friends… from that day forward Celtic music has been tangled round my heart, it never fails to pull me toward the nostalgia of a time a mere fifty years ago… I put on here a wee while ago the beautiful ‘Ubhal As Airde’ (the Highest Apple) by Runrig… the video that comes with it is as poignantly stirring to me as the music… here it is again;

…the reason I play it again is that it reminds me so vividly of one old ‘bodeach’ (older man) singing an old gaelic tune in a house ceilidh one evening… his eyes were kinda half-closed… the voice strong for a man of such vintage… but yeez could hear and yeez could feel the timbre as he sang… his soul was singing to us… everybody present took up the chorus… half love song, half a lament for past times…haunting… it was among the most engrossing song renditions I have ever heard… if yeez click on the video, yeez’ll get some idea of what I mean… so yeez will have to forgive me if I indulge this stuff every now and then…  if we have no real sense and love of some of the beautiful things of our past, then I think we have no real future to pass on to our children, nor they to theirs… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Authors on Kindle… to promo? or not to promo? that is the question… here’s my tuppence WURTH on it … #TBSU…

…the Sherlocks amongst yeez will prob’ly have noticed by now that I’m Scottish… as in, ‘no sh*t, Sherlock?’… by derivation, my ancestral DNA rails against giving stuff away for NUTHIN… (just try to find emb’dy out-of-doors during a street charity collection in any town North of Hadrian’s Wall)… comes then the question, ‘why would this ol’ Jurassic even think about indulging the Amazon Kindle Free Promo Program?’… handing over virtual copies of my wee crime thriller masterpiece babies for zilch, nowt, nada, rien, zero, nil?… well, as with most things, it isn’t quite as straightforward as that, Mabel… over the past few years, I’ve dabbled with the various Promo mechanisms on the Great God Amazon, and have found a rythym that suits me… let me tick off for yeez, the various points…stay awake at the back, there…

1. What are yeez actually ‘giving away’? 

virtual copies of yer WURK which would prob’ly never ever have found their way onto the freebie downloaders’ Kindle devices… so, in physical terms, NUTHIN lost… in intangible measure, p’raps… and only p’raps, lost potential money sales to the same downloaders … but I very much doubt that…

2. What do yeez get in return?

…notionally, and this is only conjecture, mind… yeez may just be planting seeds of a follower base for yer ‘back list’… the other goodies that yeez continue to produce and serve on the ‘price-tagged offerings’ lists… also, Amazon includes free downloads as part of yer ’sales’ figures… that begins to have a powerful impact when yeez get some ‘critical mass’ building up… then, if yeez are lucky (and if yer WURK merits it) some of these good downloaders may see fit to render a review on the Amazon pages… always good to have, the more the merrier…

3. Is the effort involved WURTH it?

…the answer to that is like trying to reply to, ‘how long is a piece of string?’… my take is that if yeez put NUTHIN in, yeez are likely to get precisely NUTHIN back out… I look on the mental sweat and time as investment in my business of writing… part of the bigger schematic of being present on the Literary Webo-sphere… as a side benefit for me, it gives me oodles of opportunities to interact with my fellow scribblers in the vaious SOSYAL NETWURKS I employ to propagate the stuff…

… so, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, they say (daft saying, but there yeez have it)… I can only point to the comparative success of the promos I’ve done thus far…the current one for SAVAGE PAYBACK enters its fifth and final day today, July 20… I targeted from the outset an average of 500 downloads per day, for a total of 2,500… with about 18 hours still to run, the gratifying figure is now a touch above 5,500 downloads… also, I’ve recorded readers in the UK, USA, BRAZIL, JAPAN, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, GERMANY, SPAIN and ITALY this time around… not a bad marketing/promotional reach from the comfort of my own laptop desk… and, total aggregate sales/downloads for all of my books now exceed 80,000 copiesNET total reviews across all Amazon pages and Goodreads tops 200…

…in summary, I look on the promo mechanisms not so much as a free handout, but much more of an ‘exchange’ for the intangibles outlined above… and I don’t care what emb’dy says, as an author, I’m over the moon just to know that people out there want to read what I’ve crafted…

…I trust this may be helpful to my fellow quill-scraping Lads and Lassies of Blog Land in yer deliberations whether or not to jump on the Promo Wagon… the current promo link for SAVAGE PAYBACK is clickable below… fill yer boots…see yeez later…




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…the Authors’ equivalent of ‘WURKING the room’… anatomy of an Amazon Kindle Free promotion…#TBSU…

…many of yeez who’ve spent any time in business where yeez were expected to attend ‘events’ will know what I’m talking about here… corporate functions… organised cocktail parties for business partners and prospective clients… sports days, with or without celebrity faces to bolster the prestige… for the invitees, a relaxed afternoon or evening enjoying corporate hospitality is the norm… on the flip side, the executives and officers of the outfit sponsoring (read ‘paying for’) this company largesse, it’s quite a different slant… they’re there to ‘WURK the room’… to ‘press the flesh’… to ‘pump the handshake line’… to exchange as many business calling cards as possible… to build potential ‘leads’… to ‘develop the relationships’…. emb’dy see any similarities there for we self-publishing quill-scrapers?… this week, my third wee Jack Calder crime thriller, SAVAGE PAYBACK graces the Amazon Kindle Free Program for the first time…


…I’ve used the Kindle Free Program for previous titles… this time I did it without indulging paid advertisements… money’s tight enuff for we scribblers without throwing it at the ‘vanity pedlars’… so, I got stuck into my own organised program of promotional activity (by the way, Amazon does not do any of this marketing stuff for yeez other than carry the titles)… flurries on Twitter RTs… cascades of posts onto Facebook… placements on Goodreads, Stumbleupon, Pocket, Digg, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr have run their contributing course… wee tags on to my pals on LinkedIn… it’s an intense five-day action plan… and d’yeez know what?… so far it’s been just wunnerful!… my ‘business’  target was to achieve 2,000-2,500 downloads… here we sit just into the third day, and already the numbers are a gratifying 3,600+… I have to confess, I know marketing and such is not everybody’s delight, but I embrace it 1,000,000%…. this is our writing business, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… I hope this might help some others debating whether or not to go down this route… and a wee plug for my SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES won’t go amiss either ( hey! it’s my blog, what do yeez expect? 🙂 see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff