Tag Archives: humour

…GoReadMe!… m’Lady, Susan M. Toy’s fabulous idea for Authors and Readers…

…from daft ideas often come the next ‘great thing… the following Guest Post from my dear friend and fellow scribbler, Susan Toy, may interest other Writers and Readers… feedback on it is encouraged… please let us know if this is sum’thing yeez could support:

GoReadMe! – an idea on Crowd Reading

susan

Susan M. Toy.

The marvelous Seumas Gallacher posted a status update to Facebook, a joke really, that had me laughing out loud here in my little trailer …

“…thinking of doing a GoFundMe thingy for a movie about my ‘To Be Read’ pile on my ebook Reader… calling it ‘Kindler’s List’… all contributions welcome… J”

Then an idea struck me – “What if,” I thought (those great little words that lead to the beginning of many great ideas, stories and novels). And I wrote a message to the kind sir himself, running past him first the kernel of this tiny idea that was forming, just to see if he thought it to be a good one himself. He did, and then I offered to write a guest blog post for him, after I’d given the whole thing – as to full concept and execution – more thought.

So here it is … the GoReadMe Campaign!

First, let’s go back a little way in time to a blog post I published in March of this year on the perennial subject that’s of interest to all authors – Looking for Readers in All the Right Places. https://islandeditions.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/looking-for-readers-in-all-the-right-places-2/ (I had actually blogged about this dilemma a couple of times previous and those links are included in this post. If you are an author looking for readers then I suggest you read about all my previous ideas.)

We’re all familiar with the GoFundMe campaigns Mr. Gallacher mentioned in his joke. They come in many different guises and are meant to help creators and business people raise the necessary funds required to launch and cover the expenses of producing a project by involving their friends directly in that financing.

So, when Seumas combined the idea of crowdfunding with the concept of a film about enormous to-be-read piles of books (which, to be honest, every single reader worth their salt has in their homes as well as on their eReaders, etc.), I laughed out loud, as I mentioned above, but then I began to think. So I sent him a private message:

“Seumas, your GoFundMe campaign to finance a film, Kindler’s List, had me laughing! But then, I thought … What about setting up a campaign called GoReadMe, and instead of raising money we raise awareness for reading and reading our books in particular? What do you think? I would love to take a crack at developing this idea into a thing and writing a guest blog post about the “campaign” for your blog that we can all then promote on our own blogs. Do you have any thoughts as to how we could present this campaign? Would we have a goal to find, say, 50 readers who will commit to buy and read a certain book or books by a certain author? Would love to hear your thoughts on this. It could be fun!”

And Seumas’s reply was simply, “terrific idea , m’Lady ”

Okay, so I used the words “What about” and not “What if” – same thing, essentially.

The point is that I’ve given more thought to this idea since first presenting it to SG and here are my new thoughts as to how it might work …

We choose an author who is interested in finding new readers for their books. Let’s begin with Seumas, since this is his blog, after all, and he was the one who started my brain rolling in this particular direction.

We make the announcement that we are beginning a GoReadMe! Campaign (and I’ve just added the exclamation point there to the name, because I think it looks better …) for this author and we’re looking for 50 new readers who will “pledge” to read either one of the author’s books or a specific title. Not only will they pledge to read the book themselves, but they’ll also agree to recommend that book to another reader who will join in on the GoReadMe! Campaign. That way, we only need to find 25 unique readers, because those new readers will find the other 25 for us. The campaign lasts a month, let’s say, during which time the author, and the author’s friends, promote the campaign, and the author keeps a public tally on their blog of the number of people who have pledged, and their names (or those who wish to remain “anonymous”), who have committed to reading a book and finding other new readers for it. Simple!

And, if friends have already read the author’s book(s) but still wish to become involved in the GoReadMe! Campaign, they can help by promoting this idea to their friends, encouraging others to become involved in reading this author’s great books!

In the end, what the “Readers” receive by pledging in this way is a warm/fuzzy feeling of not only discovering and reading a new book by a great author, but also the knowledge that they are helping to promote reading in general by becoming involved in this campaign in particular and encouraging more people to read.

By the way, I believe that the personal recommendation of a book by a friend is a much more effective way (word-of-mouth) of promoting a book than any review on Amazon or Goodreads, so that’s why I’m not suggesting that “write a review” be a requisite for readers pledging to take part in this campaign. No pressure, folks! Just pledge to read the book and find at least one other new reader. What can be simpler than that?

So, let’s begin the experiment, shall we?

Announcing … the GoReadMe! Campaign for Seumas Gallacher!

We need 50 people to pledge to read at least one of Seumas’s Jack Calder novels (listed below) and to recommend to one other reader that they do the same. You have 30 Days during which to pledge. This Campaign ends on Sept. 22. Please sign up in the comments section of this blog post. Thanks for taking part in this initial GoReadMe! Campaign!

Links to Seumas’s books:

THE VIOLIN MANS LEGACY

myBook.to/theviolinmanslegacy

VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK

myBook.to/vengeancewearsblack

SAVAGE PAYBACK

myBook.to/savagepayback

KILLER CITY

myBook.to/calderkillercity

wallpaper 2…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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..an Author’s Golden Moment.. are you THAT Mister Gallacher?…

…fame, infamy, notoriety, call it as yeez will, comes in many forms… those of yeez who honour me by following this Blog regularly will know I’m no stranger to the promotional requirements of being a scribbler… indeed, I ceaselessly harp on about the efficacy of being public… of being present… the use of the SOSYAL NETWURKS, the availability for magazine features, Guest Speaker engagements at various Societies, Book Clubs, colleges, schools and universities, formal signings at retail bookshops, and generally, just being out there in Readership Land… all these are grist to the mill for the modern writer… but every now and then, along comes an incident that just blows my mind… two nights ago, I had reserved a dinner booking with some close friends… the restaurant, Teatro, is housed in Downtown Rotana, one of Bahrain’s newest and excellent hotels… a couple of hours before getting ready to leave for the place, the efficiency of the establishment is such that I received a phone call to confirm my name and the reservation… a pleasant young receptionist lady took the details once more and that was that, or so I thought… a few minutes later, another call… the same lady… she apologized for coming back to me, but said that as she was looking at my name on the reservation slip, she thought she recognized it ‘from sum’where else’… she asked, ‘are you THAT Mister Gallacher, the Author?…’ any of yeez out there in Blog Land who are novelists, authors, writers of any medium will understand the immediate glow and impact these few WURDS had on this ol’ Jurassic… ‘THAT Mister Gallacher’…I recovered a modicum of sang froid to reply that I was indeed THAT Mister Gallacher’… she said she was thrilled to know that I was dining that evening in their restaurant… she had read some of my books and LUVVED them!…

20160815_202909

…needless to say, I took a couple of books to dedicate and sign for the charming lady, who, as you can see from the picture, is not only (obviously) a connoisseur of fine writing, but a beautiful advertisement for their restaurant… thank you, m’Lady, Rajen… you made a happy man very old!… 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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…my dear friend, Authoress Anne Allen’s new literary baby, ECHOES OF TIME, is born…

…a close ‘literary family’ friend, Authoress Anne Allen, delights me by allowing a Birth Notice on this ‘ere blog regarding her latest beautiful baby, ECHOES OF TIME

Iphoto for email

Thanks so much, M’Lud Seumas for allowing this humble scribbler to take up ink – or should that be type? – room on your world-famous blog. I believe we both sent out our first-born books into the world around the same time more than four years ago. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having so much fun? I’m now releasing my fifth bairn, I mean book, into the cruel world, so I guess this means I’ve had quintuplets, only separated by time and space. Whatever.

I write The Guernsey Novels series, named for the beautiful island where all (or most of) the action takes place. I spent nearly fourteen happy years there when my children were still children and not the grown-ups they’ve since become. After reluctantly returning to England in 2002 and continuing to practise as a psychotherapist, I finally took the plunge in 2006 and began writing my first novel, Dangerous Waters.  It was my homage to the place I loved. At the time I had no idea or desire to write a series. I just wanted to prove I could write a novel. One that would be snapped up pronto by and agent and publisher, making me the fortune I was already spending in my head. Alas, dear reader, it was not to be. Salvation came in the form of self-publishing, allowing me to launch my book in 2012 to muted acclaim, but a chest-full of pride. Having enjoyed the writing process so much, I promptly started on the next book, also set in Guernsey, and it wasn’t until after I’d finished it that I realised I was writing a series. Book three heralded ‘The Guernsey Novels’, a series of standalone books linked to each other by characters and place.  And by book four the quartet had bright new covers and began to look like the siblings they are.

3D Cover x 4 PNG (1)

NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH!

…Anne has reduced the price of the second and third ebooks to 99p/99c from 12th – 19th August (the first is perma 99p/c) 

END OF NEWS FLASH!

So now to book five, the star of this show. ‘Echoes of Time’ proved to be a slight variation on a theme for me, being the first dual-time novel I’ve written and I loved writing it so much, it won’t be the last.

Echoes of Time  3D Cover

http://authl.it/5n6

Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite – I hope☺

Betrayal, injustice and revenge echo down the years…

Olive marries farmer Bill Falla. The Germans occupy Guernsey.

All too soon Olive realises she’s made a mistake.

Her life changes when she meets Wolfgang, a German officer-

but there’s a price to pay. . .

Natalie Ogier returns to Guernsey to escape an abusive relationship – only to be plagued by odd happenings in her beautiful cottage on the site of a derelict and secluded farm. Disturbing dreams, disembodied voices and uncanny visions from the past. She becomes increasingly ill at ease as someone else’s past catches up with her own…

Her only immediate neighbour, Stuart, is the grandson of the original owners, Bill and Olive.

Thrown together in a bid to find out what really happened to Olive, can they each survive the repercussions of the past and move on?

And here’s an excerpt –

chapter one

Guernsey – 1987

Olive was cooking her usual meagre supper of scrambled eggs on toast when the sound of heavy footsteps outside made her jump. No-one ever visited and this was how she liked it. Always had. Her heart pounded as she moved the pan off the blackened range and turned to face the back door. Unlocked as was the custom in safe little Guernsey. Or was it safe? Grabbing a knife she watched, immobile, as the knob turned and the door began to open. The man stood silhouetted against the early evening sky and she stared hard at his shape, puzzled. There was something familiar about the slope of the shoulders and the angle of his head. Her mouth went dry in the moment before the door closed and he moved into the light.

It couldn’t be! Not after all this time…She felt her legs tremble and leant back against the range.

‘Hello, Olive. Bet you didn’t expect to see me again, did you?’ He chuckled, humourlessly.

She hid the knife up her sleeve and pulled the darned cardigan around her thin body. Old memories surfaced as she fought to stay calm.

‘We…we heard you were dead. You didn’t come back–’

‘No, well, I found someone and something better, didn’t I? But it doesn’t look as if you have.’ His gaze was contemptuous as he looked her up and down, and Olive was conscious of how unkempt she looked. Poverty does that to a person. Whereas he was immaculately dressed in what looked like a designer suit. A successful man. She watched, helpless, as his gaze wandered over the kitchen, and she registered, for the first time in years, how dirty and shabby it looked. The kitchen which had once been kept spotless. Feelings of shame, mixed with overriding fear, flooded her mind. What did he want?

His eyes alighted on the only personal item in the room. And the last thing she wanted him to see. She moved forward, attempting to block his view, but he pushed her aside and picked up the photo in its cheap wooden frame.

‘Who’s this?’ he demanded, his face flushed with anger.

A look she knew all too well.

Her stomach clenched. Could she lie? Pretend it was someone else? As her head whirled with possibilities he seized her arm, twisting it. She cried out in pain and the knife clattered onto the granite floor. Swiftly he grabbed it while still holding onto her arm. Olive’s knees buckled.

He thrust the knife towards her chest and she screamed.

‘Please…’

‘Don’t even think of lying,’ he hissed.

‘It’s…it’s my…our daughter–’

The world went black.

www.anneallen.co.uk

me@anneallen.co.uk

Amazon Author Page: http://Author.to/AnneAllen

…great novels, all, thanks m’Lady, Anne… go fill yer Kindles and stuff, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… 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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…do not go gentle into that good United Kingdom… Master Gallacher Girds for GB-Land…

aaaa

…the legendary WURDS of the unmatchable Dylan Thomas reverberate among what’s left of my wee grey cells as I prepare for a trip back to Blighty and parts of North Britain… ‘…do not go gentle into that good United Kingdom…’ …Master Gallacher Girds for GB-Land

aaaaaa

…luggage check:

  1. Toothbrush… check
  2. Change of woolly knickers… check
  3. Laptop, the writing of literary masterpieces for… check
  4. Change of carbon paper for copies of #3 on Mac… check
  5. Loads of copies of my Jack Calder crime thrillers to ‘accidentally’ leave lying around in railway stations, bus termini, airport lounges… check
  6. Three felt tip ‘signing pens’ to assuage the baying public’s lusting for author-signed books… check
  7. Several pieces of paper carrying the name of my Agent, lest I forget it (as if!)… check
  8. Several other pieces of paper carrying my own name, lest I forget it  (highly possible)… check
  9. Two alarm clocks to ensure I’m awake in plenty of time to meet author/reader/web pals in Manchester… check
  10. The same two alarm clocks, to ring in Gaelic, to ensure I’m awake in plenty of time to meet author/reader/web pals in Glasgow… check

aa

…the invitations for each of the get-togethers in Manchester and Glasgow remain, with only three weeks to go… here they are again:

MANCHESTER

…Master Gallacher intends to visit Manchester in early September this year, and would be enthralled to meet any pals on ‘ere for a coffee, in that excellent city… likely time frame: post-breakfast, morning of Friday, September 2nd, say 9.am-noon, general vicinity of Holiday Inn Hotel, City Centre… please DM me on here or email on seumasgallacher@yahoo.com …would be great to hook up… cheers… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

GLASGOW

…Master Gallacher intends to Glasgow in early September this year, and would be enthralled to meet any pals on ‘ere for a coffee, in that excellent city… likely time frame: post-breakfast, morning of Saturday, September 3rd, say 9.am-noon, general vicinity of Millennium Hotel, (next to Queen St. Station)… please DM me on here or email on seumasgallacher@yahoo.com …would be great to hook up… cheers… 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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…he would have made Welsh poet W. H. Davies proud…

…my author pal, Brendan Gerad O’Brien, asked me if the following piece was ‘suitable’ for a Guest Post… well, I think it’s ‘more than suitable’… amusing, thought-provoking and surprising all in one shot… see what yeez think yerselves…

From BRENDAN GERAD O’BRIEN

Mistaken Assumptions 2
One of the hazards of working in a major supermarket is dealing with shoplifters. In a place the size of ours this was a daily occurrence, sometimes two, and three, even four times during a busy period.
There were the usual suspects, of course – career thieves who believed we owed them a living and that there was nothing wrong with robbing a supermarket. The only crime they recognised was getting caught.
One particular guy – he called himself Rambo – was a nasty piece of work. Built like a brick shed with tattoos on his tattoos, he didn’t have a neck, just a bullet head sticking out of his enormous shoulders. No one challenged Rambo unless they had a posse of security guards to back them up.

aaaa

Anyway, one bright summer morning, I had to go in early for some reason and as I rolled into the deserted car park the sun was shining and the birds were chirping away in the surrounding trees. As I got out of the car there was a shout like a fire-cracker going off.
‘Oi!’
I spun around, and my heart nearly stopped. There was Rambo lurching towards me, little puffs of dust spurting up from where his knuckles pounded the ground. In one nanosecond a million questions flashed through my mind. Is this how it ends, torn to pieces in a supermarket car park? Will Jennifer ever know what really happened? Is this how the kids will remember me, stuck back together with superglue? Is my life insurance still good? Who’ll get my Andy McNab collection of hardback books?
Then he was beside me, blocking out the daylight.
‘Listen,’ he snorted.
‘What?’ I know I said the word. I just couldn’t understand how it came out of a mouth that was drier that a Bedouin’s sock in the Gobi desert.
‘The birds. Can’t you hear them?’
I tried, but all I could hear was my heart thumping in my ears.
‘Aren’t they beautiful?’ Rambo continued, pointing around at the trees. He took a deep breath through his nose, sucking in so much air that a wayward shopping trolley came rolling towards him.
‘I love this time of day,’ he said. ‘So beautiful and calm. I love the peace and quiet.’
Suddenly his eyes glistened.
‘What is this life, if full of care,’ he sighed, ‘we have no time to stand and stare.’
I swear there was a sob in his voice. Then he was gone, lumbering off across the car park with the shopping trolley following in his wake.
I never looked at him the same way again. Though I still wouldn’t challenge him unless he’d been tazered five times and wrapped in duct tape…

LUVVED THIS, Brendan!, thanks for sharing it… 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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…a mouthwatering post, no less, from Authoress Colette Kebell…

…gourmet-ess, gourmanderie-ess, purveyor of splendiferous epicurean delicacies… in short, m’Lady, Authoress Colette Kebell… she makes exceedingly good eats… if yeez enjoy good writing about good food.. and how can yeez not?… savour the flavour, por favor…

colette

Food Glorious Food ! (As Oliver Would Say)

Hello Peeps, staunch followers and everyday book geeks, this post is kindly being posted by my fairly newly found friend Seumas Gallacher (or at least I hope it doesn’t end up in the wastepaper bin).  I am a newbie to authordum, hence haven’t known Seumas that long, though it is from my early days back in early 2015 so has been a while.  I thought about just writing a piece concerning my books, but that has been done over and over and so I thought you folks might like to learn a little something about my other passion (trying desperately to ignore my penchant for fashion here currently) which is food.  Ok, in answer to some questions you may have, there are mentions of food in both my books so this guest blog isn’t entirely out of character.  I am such a major foodie, though try as much as possible to cook/make all those things considered healthier for us these days.  I do, however, have a few slip ups from time to time, yesterday evening’s starter being a prime example, for one.  This was no ordinary dish as it ended up containing about four shots of Vodka, hence I consider it to be a slip up.

My husband came across to France (where I am currently being forced to reside until our UK purchase goes through – not much of a hardship though, other than the obvious of missing hubby).  As he has spent most of the past few months entirely on his own, not even having our dogs for company let alone me, I decided to give a BBQ for a few English friends here in France.  I plan on throwing another for French friends but hubby, not being great at speaking the French lingo, I thought the former would be more enjoyable for him on this occasion.

So, I had, during my break times away from dog walking, writing and the PC in general, been watching a few “Jamie Oliver at Home” episodes and had spotted one or two recipes that I wanted to try.  Ordinarily I would make them for myself first to see how they turned out prior to letting anyone else take their chances, but, I was convinced I could make this dish and may even be able to improve on it.  No, I’m not being big headed, but just love cooking and trying new recipes and often end up making them my own by the extras I decide to add.

So here I am, mincing and mulching tomatoes etc and having failed to find muslin in any of the local shops, decided to use a clean cotton tea towel instead.  This was indeed my saviour and worked so well that I shall never consider using muslin when I make this dish in future.  My quandary was though that, as per Jamie Oliver’s TV show, I needed a fridge with wire shelves in order to hang my dripping tea towel from and ours has glass shelves.  Panic started to set in a little as I was scouring the house to find a suitable location to let the contents of the tea towel drip into the bowl below.  I even went so far as talk to my mother, though her suggestion was hanging it from the handles of our kitchen drawers (imagine a one meter gap between the handle and the floor (where I had to place the bowl) – it could have been very messy) when I suddenly thought of an alternative.  I swiftly thanked her, hung up the phone and ran up to the bathroom to check out my theory.  Low and behold I got myself out of that hole by, instead of the kitchen drawer handles, I used the bathroom sink unit handles.  This was far closer to the floor and the bowl to catch what was due to be a clear liquid fit snuggly underneath so with a towel underneath the bowl (just in case) I was off and running.   Failure to find muslin was indeed a saving grace though as instead of it taking 16-24 hours to run through what should have been four layers of muslin, the job had been achieved in about 10 hours, ready for it being put into the fridge to chill.  You can imagine my husband’s face though when he arrived and I had to tell him not to use the bathroom sink but the one in the kitchen!  There was no way this chilled tomato consommé was going to ruined by him splashing soapy water into it.  Picture1

All I can say is that it was a good job that all attending the BBQ were adults and not driving, as despite the actual taste, those four shots of Vodka, did give it a little kick, without overpowering the flavour of the other ingredients.  Gazpacho is one thing but this clear liquid was like the best tasting Bloody Mary you could ever want to come across.

All enjoyed this light refreshing starter and it went down a storm.  I’m guessing that some of you may indeed want the recipe so below is the base Jamie Oliver recipe…not sure I want to give away my own additions to it at this stage though J

2 kilos of tomatoes

2 shots of Vodka (yes, I added a few more tomatoes to soak up the extra Vodka)

5 cm of grated fresh horseradish

Salt

Pepper

1 tablespoon of vinegar (I used Balsamic)

A handful of fresh basil

2 cloves of garlic

I hope this post may have hit the spot as far as Seumas’ followers are concerned and may, in a roundabout way, caused you to be curious about my books…even if they are Chicklit they are light-hearted, fun and quirky as I hope you might have found this post to be.

This is me, or at least my author photo, though shall have a professional one done at some point.  My books revolve around fashion mostly, but have far more content to them than that and though fashion may be the main theme there is plenty to keep you entertained.  Happy reading folks and thank you so much for taking the time to read this post.

CK Oh and these are my book covers which are available to purchase worldwide in every e-reader format and from (by request initially) each and every bookshop and library.

CB books  Collette gave a talk about  self-publishing and one of her books mentioned below at the Folkestone Book Festival on Sunday 22nd November 2015 at 11.00 am.  This is the link to her YouTube post:-

https://youtu.be/r0Ss8bKv4bY

…and m’Lady, Colette’s titles  are available here:

“The Retail Therapist”, the prequel to “Blue and Green” available from Amazon, Smashwords, Waterstones and all major bookshops for just £1.99p as an ebook or £6.49 in paperback.

“Blue and Green Shall Never Be Seen (Or So Mother Says)” to purchase from Amazon, Smashwords, Waterstones and all major bookshops for £2.99 as an ebook or £8.99 in paperback.  
If you like Chick Lit you should also enjoy these:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Retail-Therapist-Colette-Kebell-ebook/dp/B0106J3D9E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435049432&sr=8-1&keywords=retail+therapist

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blue-Green-Should-Never-Seen-ebook/dp/B00RG43YM4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419580641&sr=8-1&keywords=colette+kebell

For updates on further books go to www.colettekebell.com, All Rights Reserved

 

…some lowdown on the chef du post:

…after being a Legal Secretary for about 10 years, Colette was on the hunt to find something else that she would find just as interesting. She found that in writing and she hopes you like what you read. She loves fashion with a passion (pardon the pun) and therefore it is not surprising that her debut novel was going to follow that theme.

Her debut novel was “Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen!” which was followed by “The Retail Therapist”, both of these being romantic comedies/Chick Lit, a genre she adores.

When she’s not in writing mode she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, a task that usually produces good results; as her husband would say, as opposed to “his” experiments which often end in a culinary disaster.  She lives in Coastal Kent, UK with two adorable dogs. Oh yes, and hubby too.

…I trust yer palates have been properly tickled, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land…go check out m’Lady, Colette’s books… 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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…Author Brendan Gerad O’Brien shows y’can take the Irishman out of Ireland, but…

…but trying to remove the Eire would be an error…

bren

1 – Tell us about your connection with Wales:

I was born in Tralee on the west coast of Ireland and came to the UK when I joined the Royal Navy at 18. It was while I was on a course in Portsmouth that I met a beautiful Welsh girl, Jennifer Marshall, who was on holiday from Newport, South Wales. After a short romance we got married and when my service contract ended we went to live in Newport to be near her family. We’ve been there ever since.

2 – Tell us about yourself as a writer and as a person:

When I won my first writing competition I was so excited I ran all the way home. I was about eight years old. The Fun Fair was coming to Tralee – our little town on the West coast of Ireland – and apart from Duffy’s Circus which came in September, this was the highlight of our year. Our English teacher asked us to write an essay about it, and I won the only prize – a book of ten tickets for the fair.

So writing was in my blood from a very young age. I loved essays and English literature

My grand-uncle Moss Scanlon had a small Harness Maker’s shop in Lower William Street, Listowel – a rural town in Kerry that was just a bus ride from Tralee – where I spent some wonderful summer holidays. The shop had a magnet for all sorts of colourful characters who’d wander in for a chat and a bit of jovial banter. One famous storyteller who often popped in was John B Keane, and I asked him once where he got his ideas from. He told me that everyone has a story to tell, so be patient and just listen to them.

And I was there when John B’s very first story was read out live on Radio Eireann. I can still remember the buzz of excitement and the sheer pride of the people of Listowel. And the seeds of storytelling were sown in my soul.

Another source of encouragement was Bryan MacMahon, one of Listowel’s finest writers and a schoolmaster to boot, who was a very easy person to talk to.

Anyway, I left school at fourteen and went to work in hotels in Killarney, and I quickly got caught up in the excitement and colourful buzz of the tourist industry – remember, this was in the 60s when the Beatles were creating a heady revolution and engulfing the youth with hopes and dreams of a wonderful future – so I felt no great urgency to write. I dreamed of being a writer, of course. I wanted to be a writer – but somehow life just got in the way.

When I joined the Royal Navy at eighteen I was sent to the Far East. I spent the first three years between Singapore and Hong Kong, and again I was having so much fun I didn’t get to write anything, although there were loads of stories bursting to get out.

It was only when I got married and the children came along that I made any serious attempt to put pen to paper, and the result was Dark September, an alternative history novel set in Newport during WW2.

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I loved writing it – I always write in longhand – but I hated having to type it. After working a ten hour day, I’d be clattering away into the early hours on an old Olivetti typewriter and getting on everyone’s nerves. Then I’d scream in frustration when I’d discover that hours of hard work were ruined by some horrendous typo error, and I’d have to start all over again.

Amazingly, I found an agent almost immediately but she insisted on some major changes so I spent a year re-writing it.

Unfortunately my agent died suddenly and the agency closed. It took ages to find another agent, but he too demanded even more changes. It became too much for Jennifer and the kids, so my manuscript hibernated in the attic for a few years.

Then Jennifer bought me a computer for Christmas – with Spellcheck!

This time finding an agent has proved impossibility – they only want to represent people who’re famous for just being famous – but now I’m delighted to say the book has been accepted by Tirgearr Publishing and I’m delighted with the result and all the hard work they’ve put into it to make it a great success.

In the meantime – while my book was languishing in limbo – I discovered that writing short stories is amazingly therapeutic. I get a great buzz from taking an idea and developing it, often watching it evolve into something completely different from how it started out. And I realized too that great ideas are all around us. Little gems are waiting to be harvested everywhere we look. I found myself listening to what people are saying, and the way they say it.

For instance, the Irish are famous all over the world for their colourful and exaggerated expressions, always using a dozen words when one would have done. So I build on that and set all my short stories in Ireland. The names are changed, of course, because I don’t earn enough to survive a lawsuit. I’ve written hundreds of stories, most of which are still stuffed in drawers somewhere, but I did manage to get more than twenty of them published over the years, in anthologies, e-zines and magazines as well as web sites.

DREAMIN’ DREAMS, published as an eBook with Smashwords.com and in paperback by CreateSpace – contains twenty of my published stories, of which I’m very proud. They’re all based on real people who passed through my life at some time or other, or events that actually happened to me. Enhanced, of course, and sometimes exaggerated out of all proportion.

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The title comes from something my father said years ago, when I got poor grades at school. ‘What do you expect?’ he said to my mother. ‘He never does any studying. He just sits there, dreamin’ dreams.’

The image on the cover is the statue in The Green, Tralee’s town park, and it represents the characters from the song The Rose of Tralee.

3 – Why did you decide to write in your chosen genre?

My favourite reading material has always been fast paced thrillers, murder mysteries, war stories. I write what I think I would like to read.

4 – Tell us about the concept behind your first book

The idea for Dark September came to me when I was in the Royal Navy and we were on exercise in the Brecon Beacons. I wondered what it would be like to be running for your life through such inhospitable terrain from someone who wants to do you a serious injury.

Later on I saw some disturbing footage of Nazi guards disposing of people with special needs and I felt tremendous sympathy for their families. How would I react if I was in that position and Germany invaded the UK? Where would |I take my child? Being Irish I felt it would be natural to gravitate to Ireland, which was neutral during WW2.

Of course once I started writing the story it took on a life of its own. Characters reacted in ways I never intended. People who were created as decent characters turned into monsters half way through a chapter, even a sentence. It was exciting and disturbing all at the same time, and I enjoyed every moment of writing it.

My favourite character is Danny O’Shea – vulnerable, naïve, basically honest but thrown into a situation that he has to face into or go under. I see a lot of myself in him. Not sure who could play him in a film – someone who was sensitive – Aidan Turner, perhaps. The theme tune would be Running up the Hill by Kate Bush, all thudding drums and loud pulsing music.

One concern I did have about the story was making Cerys and Bethan Frost direct descendants of the famous John Frost, a treasured character in Welsh history. They started out as beautiful, kind and loving girls but they got corrupted by both love and promised riches. But so far I haven’t had any negative feedback on that aspect, although some people thought the sudden sex and brutal violence should have been flagged up in the blurb.

5 – Which Welsh person would you like to invite to dinner and what would you serve?

John Frost. I would love to know what makes a man stand out from the crowd and put himself in harm’s way while pursuing a principal. What did he think about the justice system at the time, and people who were steeped in religion but oozing hypocrisy from every pore? And I would serve Welsh lamb, carrots and new potatoes with Welsh Ale from a keg.

6 – What’s the best thing about Wales?

Its similarity to Ireland. Parts of West Wales are so like the places where I ran as a lad in Kerry. Listening to Owen Money every Saturday makes me laugh. The warmth he displays fascinates me – I could be listening to Kerry Radio. And of course my wife …

7 – What are you working on now?

I’ve just finished self-publishing another thriller called Gallows Field.

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This one is set in Tralee during WW2. A crowded pub. The music is loud. The singing is louder. Joe McCarthy is shot dead. And no one sees a thing. Available through Smashwords and Amazon.

8 – How did you find the experience of self-publishing?

To be honest I always hoped my work would be snapped up by a main stream publisher who would take responsibility for the sales and advertising. But the reality is totally different. Most publishers now demand that the author does as much self-promotion as possible while imposing restrictions on pricing. I love the writing aspect of it all, but I’m not comfortable pushing for sales and reviews. There are companies who will promote your work for you but it cost more than you’ll ever make in sales. But if you want people to read your stuff you have to put it out there so the world will notice it.

9 – What’s your advice to new writers?

If you are a budding writer, or just thinking about trying your hand at writing, remember to have fun with it. Be aware that very few writers make it to the top of the tree – those that do will tell you that it involves a copious amount of self-publications and a shed full of luck. And of course a good story too.

Yes, take your craft seriously – it’s a God given talent and it’s your duty to share it with the world – but enjoy it too. Just don’t get so immersed in it that you lose track of the people you really care about, the ones you’re proud to show it to first. (And listen to them, as well, even if what they’re saying isn’t what you want to hear!)

And keep working at it, even if it’s just 100 words every day, because every time you write something, you’re fine-tuning your skills.

10 – What are you currently reading?

Val McDermid Wire in the Blood. In paperback.

11 – What’s your favourite book?

So many it would be hard to whittle it down to just one. The Wind in the Willows had the most magical effect on me – I lived in that story and still get the feeling whenever I sit on a riverbank. I also remember running home from school to listen to Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe being read on the radio. In my teens I was hooked on Mickey Spillane and Zane Grey, but now I have to say Val McDermid is my all-time favourite. Followed closely by Ann Cleeves and Andy McNab.

…thanks for sharing, Brendan… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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