Category Archives: Blether

…let there ALWAYS be libraries…



…by any stretch of the measurement of age, this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler is no longer a youth… I adulted around a-hem years ago… and having become in recent years an Author, I have more than a passing interest in the comparatively new debate as to whether books are better in print or on an eReader such as Auntie Amazon’s Kindlekindleand despite being part of the, (a-hem again), ‘older’ generation, I have no negativity toward the modern downloaded reader versions of books… don’t mistake me – I still enjoy immensely the feel of a paper book in my hands, and even, yes, the smell of the paper and the gum paste thats binds the spine (emb’dy else remember ‘sniffing’ a new book?)… but times move on – the electronic age has become an imbedded part of our lives whether we embrace it or not – however, that does not mean we should surrender the bedrock of readers everywhere… the local library… once a ubiquitous presence in any village, town or urban conurbation… now sadly, it seems, becoming as rare in some parts of the country as an honest politician… I recall fondly my first visit to our local library in the grounds of the Elder Park in Docklands Govan in Glasgowaa… standing guard over all things readable in our slum setting of the early 1950s, it became a haven for this then wee five-year old, National Health spectacles and all, devouring picture books, reading primers and illustrated tomes of the Wonders of the World… y’see, grand and all the Kindle phenomenon might be to some, it cannot take the place of sitting on the floor in the children’s section of yer library with several open books scattered around yer legs… no child is ever going have a circle of Kindles spread on the floor in such an accessible manner as that…


…for that alone, and for millions of other good reasons (mostly books) our libraries should be protected and preserved… now, where did I leave the bookmark for my Kindle, Mabel?… see yeez  later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…hey, Mama, look at me… I’m a SchizAuthor… both of me…


…yeez don’t have to be crazy to be a writer, but most of we scribblers will prob’ly tell yeez it helps… it wouldn’t be the first time (nor, I s’pose, the last) that this ol’ Jurassic’s sanity has come under question… the journey thus far into my crime fiction masterpiece production over the past almost ten years now has had more than its fair share of madness… coming to terms with debating with the imaginary committee of characters in my head was the first sign… staring blankly into space in public areas for interminable passages of time, while plot lines flow through my wee grey cells, is another… and let’s not dismiss the demented sudden scribbling of story notes on assorted paper napkins in restaurants, then surreptitiously folding then with the greatest of care before secreting them in various trouser pockets… then yeez have the insane giving up of entire weekends to sit in the depths of a major book store with a pile of yer tomes on a table, ready to sign yer name on them for anyone kind enuff to purchase one of yer babies… then watching how many potential ‘buyers’ avoid yer eye so that they don’t have to indulge yer pleading look to buy a copy…


…comes now a different strain of the looniness… having established my JONGGR as crime fiction, I’m embarking on another… so called ‘literary fiction’… sounds a bit high-falooting, eh, Mabel?… which means I’ll be giving up writing about Jack Calder and his buddies, right? wrong!… and here’s the depth of my surrender of any semblance of mental stability… I’m indulging both JONGGRS simultaneously… flipping from writing one to the other and back again, ad inforeverum… nuts? betcha it’s nuts!… but y’know what?… it’s great fun… stimulating… a real buzz… it certainly dispels any notion of boredom… I’ll keep yeez advised as it goes along, but for the meantime, hey, Mama, look at me… I’m a SchizAuthor… both of me… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…superb blogger, Allan Hudson, lets me onto his blog today…

…follow Allan’s THE SCRIBBLER,  on

Guest Author Seumas Gallacher of Abu Dhabi

Seumas G.SEUMAS GALLACHER escaped from the world of finance seven years ago, after a career spanning three continents and five decades.

As the self-professed ‘oldest computer Jurassic on the planet’, his headlong immersion into the dizzy world of eBook publishing opened his eyes, mind, and pleasure to the joys of self-publishing. As a former businessman, he rapidly understood the concept of a writer’s need to ‘build the platform’, and from a standing start began to develop a social networking outreach, which now tops 30,000 direct contacts.

His ‘Jack Calder’ crime thriller series, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK, SAVAGE PAYBACK and KILLER CITY have blown his mind with more than 90,000 e-link downloads to date. His fifth, DEADLY IMPASSE was launched in late 2016.

He started a humorous, informative, self-publishers blog three years ago, never having heard of a ‘blog’ prior to that, was voted ‘Blogger of the Year 2013’ and now has a loyal blog following on his networks. He says the novels contain his ‘Author’s Voice’, while the blog carries his ‘Author’s Brand’. And he’s LUVVIN IT!


Links are listed below.

…the loneliness of the long-distance scribbler…

aaaaaa…even the shyest of people need company from time to time… hermits, real hermits, measure less than 0.00000648 percent of the WURLD’s population… cloistered monks and sisters of the cloth in their monkeries and sisteries at least have the presence of their own ilk round them on a constant basis… the brooding G. Garbo and H. Hughes had lots of M. Money around them to alleviate their solitary exclusion of the rest of the planet… which makes it apparent to me, Mabel, it is abnormal to ‘want to be alone’… yet, hundreds of thousands of quill-scraper Lads and Lassies of Blog Land choose just such a devoted pathway… yes, yeez can point to the Web, and all its SOSYAL NETWURKIN trappings… where at the click of yer mouse, yeez can be in touch with twenty-five trillion people simultaneously… but, and it’s a big ‘but’... it’s not the same as being with people in the flesh… the myriad virtual candlelit garrets wherein the scribing successes of the future literary generation reside hold their own special importance… being a writer is lonely… no-one else can sculpt the characters, plots, nuances of yer own story-telling… it’s unique to each and every one of yeez… I know I bang on occasionally here about the real WURK starting after yeez’ve finished yer masterpiece, in getting it accepted in the Big Bad WURLD out there… that doesn’t detract from the beauty and the adrenaline rush of actually typing ‘THE END’… yeez can try to share that feeling with others … but it’s impossible for them to feel what yeez feel yerself at that precise moment of conclusion… and all the heartache, all the pain, all the angst, all the suffered loneliness of the long-distance Author, all the alls… are worth every nano-second of this peculiar labour of love… and then, fools that yeez are (me included), what do yeez do then?… yeez start another one!… here’s a wee bit of this ol’ Scots Jurassic’s journey on that solitary trail… eight years ago in Abu bb
Dhabi, where I was living and working, it struck me that it was just ‘time for that book we all have in us’ to emerge from what’s left of my wee grey cells… and of course I had a full story and narrative ready to leap onto virgin pages, right?… wrong!… not a hint of it!… I decided to go walking for an hour and a half, ten evenings in succession, along the water’s edge of the Corniche in that excellent city, thinking of what kinda masterpiece I should produce… after the first couple of nights, an ending crystallized… it gave me a target toward which to write… and that’s how I’ve done all of my books since… the expected route to that ending changed several times as, first, a main plot theme, and then a secondary, and a tertiary began to interweave and push themselves into the frame… being the oldest self-confessed computer Jurassic on the planet, I purchased my first ever laptop at the age of sixty (my age, not the laptop’s), and perfected the one-finger-from-each-hand typing technique… it hardly encourages smoke trails from the keyboard at that speed, but hey, it does give me time to mull what I’m typing as I go along… positivity in everything, Mabel!… in a few months, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY was ready to breach birth into the heady universe of publishing… in due expectation of a million-dollar contract by return post, I packed off forty solicitations to agents in the UK, and sat back, envisioning the Ferrari salesmen, and Caribbean vacations that this soon-to-be iconic author would have to indulge…


…however, with that twisted sense of humour and perfect balance that the Literary Gods seem to possess, back came precisely forty rejection slips… it mattered not a jot to my ego… because by that time, the second book, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK was marching its way across the laptop… around the same time, a friend suggested as a self-publishing option, I should consider the Amazon Kindle channel… I instantly responded, ‘Great… but, what’s Kindle?’… I hadn’t a clue… but learned very quickly the how and what of becoming an indie author… and for emb’dy reading this who’s just starting on this wunnerful mystery tour, let me tell yeez, if this ol’ fella can do it, emb’dy can… go for it… as it happened, by the time the second novel was ready to launch, the first baby already had attracted 8,000 downloads… and that just blew my mind… now, how did that happen?… by the best coincidence, I was following then nouveau indie authoress Rachel 

bAbbott’s blog in which she advised to treat the writing as a ‘business’… recognizing the scribbling as the comparatively easy part… the rest of the ‘business’ entailed marketing and promotion, budgeting time and whatever money yeez wanted to invest in it, cover art, proofreading, editing, and the whole nine yards… as a businessman, all of that made superb sense to me, and I embraced the philosophy with both hands… I began to ‘build the platform’ of relationships to support the ‘business’… being present on the SOSYAL NETWURKS is mandatory for modern authors in my not-so-‘umble opinion… but harvesting such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ ‘followers ‘ and ‘friends’ who relate to the writing, reading and related publishing fields… and not just acquiring these links for the sake of numbers… my links totalled a mere 400 when I started to develop that ‘platform’… they now exceed 30,000… the next epiphany was the value of having a blog… I write a regular blog which was basically the mumbled sharings of a new writer, bumbling and stumbling his way into the industry… it branched out to cover other light-hearted elements… I’ve found that the blog posts of others which I enjoy are those which entertain, educate, enlighten and often empathize with me… I loosely modelled my own blog after those… and here’s the real beauty of that… all of my blog posts are automatically linked to every one of my SOSYAL NETWURKS, meaning that each post is sent out to more than 30,000 potential readers… the blog is also a marvelous way of inviting Guest Blog Posts from others, be they writers, or otherwise… and an absolute tenet is to help other authors wherever I can… giving back some of the unbelievable support and love that has been unconditionally shown to me… so, in that sense, mingling, even in the Webosphere, offsets the solitary trudge of most of we penspeople… however the creative Muse operates best for me in that isolated environment of my own virtual candlelit garret… pass me my candelabrum, Mabel, I’ve my next masterpiece to write … see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


Please drop by Seumas’ website here 

The links where you can purchase Seumas’ novels;






Featured Image -- 9172

Thank you Seumas for being our guest this week.

…thanks for letting me loose on here, that man… see yeez later … LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…art covers for Authors?…there was a time, a time there was…



…it seems not such an age ago that my frequency of trips from where I live in the Middle East to London was dictated by the need to stock up with physical copy books from Waterstones in Piccadilly… cover-for-violin-manI was what’s prob’ly known as a ‘weight purchaser’vwb-cover…I bought books by the kilo… of course, like most of us, I have my favourite writers, but their offerings weren’t the only tomes to occupy the sales basket… getting ‘lost’ in a huge bookstore is an indulgence… and one that I savour… notwithstanding my attraction to the Kindle products too, which I’ve also come to know and LUV… but back to the sorties in deepest Waterstones country… much gets bandied about as to ‘yeez can’t tell a book by its cover’front-view-spthat may well be the case in some instances, but here I have to partially disagree, on at least two points… killercitywebI have often been dissuaded from even picking up a book if the cover didn’t at least say, ‘here, have a look at me’… and many of my purchases DID lead directly from excellent cover presentations… the same thing holds even on Auntie Amazon’s Kindle Pagesdeadly_impasse-02-revart work is important… it’s the author’s silent calling card to potential readers… I write crime fiction… hard stuff… bad criminal stuff… no room for fancy Sunday School covers… and my front covers are designed precisely to that end… shoppers and browsers in the mighty Waterstones Piccadilly palace and equally in the labyrinth that is the Amazon eBooks universe have nano-seconds exposure to the books that flit past their ken… so, art covers for Authors?…there was a time, a time there was… when yeez threw yer books out there and maybe good folks would pick them up… much has changed since then, dear fellow scribes… I highly recommend yeez invest as much in a good c0ver artist as any other part of yer marketing and promotional spend… I’m fortunate to have the services of a brilliant commercial artist in the Philippines, Edward Lu, who has dressed all my novels to date, much better than ever I had proposed in outline to him originally… give it some thought… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…I think my Author pals’ll understand… it’s ‘time’ to write ‘that OTHER book’…


…as Swiss cuckoo clock makers, horologists, watch-craftsmen, calendar creators and dateline experts will tell yeez – it’s all about timing… just under a decade or so ago, this ol’ Jurassic decided that it was just ‘time to write that book’ we all supposedly have in us… and the first of the Jack Calder crime thriller series was born… the reading public has been generous in its support of the books ever since, and I’m overwhelmingly grateful… but let me share with yeez sum’thing that’s been bubbling away in my head almost from that first day of scribbling all those years back… there’s ANOTHER book I really have been itching to write… a tome in a completely different JONGRR to Jack and his International Security Partners action stuff… I believe the posh term is ‘literary fiction’… isn’t every book ‘literary’, Mabel?… well, apparently my education broadens by the second as I looked up the meaning of ‘literary fiction’... thus : ‘Literary fiction comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition. … Literary fiction is usually contrasted with popular, commercial, or genre fiction’… I wonder how many of yeez were as much in the dark as I was about that?… so, now that I have the definitive meaning, I’m more than ever possessed of an urge to get into it… and last night I typed the first bit of the thing… see what yeez think :

The Sand Whisperer 

“Go alone into the desert as evening falls, my son. Sit quietly on the sand. Let your mind be still. Your thoughts will speak to the silence. The silence will speak to the silence. Then the silence will speak to you.”

Abdulla Faisal Malouf, father of Ahmed Salman Malouf

…and I’ve realized that my reluctance to start on this one involved a concern that writing such a completely different type of book from the crime thrillers would risk (a) cannibalising my existing healthy Jack Calder crime fiction market, (b) confuse readers as to ‘what the heck is he writing now?’ (c)  NUTHIN else…


…let me share sum’thing else that has swung the cerebral vote in favour of grasping the alternative nettle now… all these years ago, after I’d completed the first novel, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, I sent the manuscript to a highly recommended ‘appraiser’ in England… then I journeyed from the Middle East all the way to Derbyshire to meet the lady… our discussion moved from Jack to my idea and content of the ‘literary novel’… she told me at the end of our chat that the sparkle in my eye and the excitement in my voice when I spoke about the latter, told her I should go for the novel I really felt so powerfully about writing… it has taken over eight years eventually to trigger it… emb’dy else ever felt these things?… I think my Author pals’ll understand… it’s ‘time’ to write ‘that OTHER book’… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Master of all the good stuff like what he writes… Andrew Peters spills the gen on his recent foray into Amazon promos…

Master Andrew Peters, keeper of Iberian cats, player of left-handed guitars (even Master P. McCartney never had a pink six-stringer), successful literary pensperson and purloiner of yer pocket money in exchange for his smashin’ crime fiction like what he writes… recently delved into the Amazon promo maze… here he shares the results of that odyssey… and darn interesting reading it makes… Master Gallacher, here, has been banging on recently about the efficacy (‘worth, Mabel, worth’) of the KINDLE UNLIMITED program… it would appear that it also WURKED for the Welsh Mickey Spillane… viz:


I have 10 books and 3 shorts on Amazon and 11 of them were free over a total period of 15 days. I only used FB to publicise it and spent £24 on “boosts” from my page. I have about 20% of the FB friends I had in my writing days, I lost a lot when I left FB for a year for this and that. I got approx 4000 free downloads, 50/50 UK/USA (a handful elsewhwere) Almost all the UK ones (1600) were
1THE BARRY ISLAND MURDERS…though only 70 in the US where 3SUBTRACTION, THE BLUES DETECTIVE & A SHOT FOR THE BLUES DETECTIVE got about 400 each. I actually sold 67 Kindle books and 6 paperbacks (normal per month is 3-4 and maybe 1) 56/all 6 of them in the UK. 26 of the downloadss and all the paperbacks were 2THE BARRY ISLAND etc…and only 3 sales of the 2 books which were never free…though perhaps that may improve as they were sequels. 4The new thing for me was the Kindle Library thing, where over 8000 pages were read, almost all in in UK, almost all The Barry etc. Since it’s 170 “pages” long that translates to around 47 extra “books” It wasn’t intended as a sales boost…just a giveaway of stuff that was doing nothing…but perhaps the figures are interesting…I appreciate that most people are not in a position to give away so much redundant product…but someone with greater “reach” might do even better.
…fascinating results, that man, Andrew... more power to your quill…
…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

The Return of the Jurassic

…m’Lady, Ailsa Abraham kindly invited me over to her Bingergread House… despite that totally misunderstood incident the last time with the sausages… a note from my trick-cyclist smoothed THAT one over quite nicely…


The Bingergread Cottage

aaaaComing back for what is becoming his annual visit, is Seumas Gallacher. In case you missed last year’s chat you can read it here

I hope you found the magic warmth cloak I put on the carpet or you’d have frozen to death. Welcome, Seumas. Lovely to have you back. Get you into the kitchen and keep cozy. No, Cameron isn’t here, so don’t jump like that when the door opens.

Now keep us up to date on your books – how many now? How are they doing?

Well, like that Ol’ Man River, they just keep rollin’ along – five Jack Calder Crime thrillers already on Auntie Amazon, and the sixth, NO IMPUNITY, is a WURK-in-Progress, albeit in-Progress at its own good speed… I continually say I’m happy to see even one single sale from time to time for any of my wee literary babies, but recently, a really…

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