Monthly Archives: April 2013

Guest Post: Seumas Gallacher talks about SOSYAL NETWURKIN (!)

..My great pal, Author David McGowan, he of the excellent THE HUNTER INSIDE, has dared to carry one of my pieces in his blog.. here it is : 🙂


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…literary promiscuity works…a Marriage made in Virtual Heaven?…or a Union Doomed in Internet Hell?…#TBSU…BAT…

literary promiscuity works... the well-baited fishing line thrown out in yesterday’s post by Master Gallacher has snared its first success… here’s yer maiden offering of a JOINT BLOG... from a fair maiden in her own right… my friend AUTHOR CAROLE REMY... she of the prolific novelling ilk… about to dip her prosaic toe into the enticing waters of the Kindle Select Program Free Promo… allows her post to be wrapped by commentary from this old spider lurking in his own tentacles of the WEBMs REMY encapsulates so well the angst, the trepidation, the JITTERS… oh bluudy hell, the absolutely mind-freezing scariness of letting yer wee baby into the clutches of the, strike that, I meant the KDP… being of a more capricious bent than my ally, Ms REMY, when I first linked up with KDP, I harboured no doubts as I entered yet another one-night stand with the femme fatale of the indie publishing world… or was that a five-day stand?… and I must ‘fess up … I have not LUVVED ‘EM and LEFT ‘EM… I’ve LUVVED ‘EM and LINGERED. KDP has been gentle with me… let’s find out what Ms REMY thinks of it all… here she is:

Wedding Night Jitters: She Said, He Said

My first marriage was to Royalty. The wedding was lovely, posh and all. I even received a small dowry. At the time, I was young and naive, and didn’t know enough to have wedding night jitters. Besides, there was no performance evaluation for six months! What more could a first time bride want.

The marriage went the way so many marriages do these days. The first six month’s Royalty Statement was stellar! Our baby was a grand success! We immediately had another, also a winning performer! And then Royalty’s interest began to wain. He didn’t show up for our child’s starring role in the school play, missed soccer matches, you know the story. Royalty just wasn’t interested in promoting our children. We eventually divorced when I declined to have a third child with a disinterested parent, and that was that.

Now, I find myself on the eve of another wedding night, this time to Kindle Direct Publishing Free Days, filled with the jitters my first wedding never provoked. Of course, I have the reassurance that this marriage is forever. KDP can’t divorce me and my darling offspring TWELVE NIGHTS without also canceling all it’s other two million partners. Publishing is a polygamous, but equal, enterprise these days. And I know that this wedding night is but the first of many occasions for free-spirited bliss.

The Law of Attraction tells me to feel successful and abundant, and really, I do! I love my life, and book sales are the icing on an already delicious cake. Mmmm, wedding cake. Did I remember to call the caterers? I put in twelve orders for company Tweets, and invited all my friends to celebratweet with me. The Facebook invitations are in the mail. The wedding is even being filmed by my other new partner, T. N. Mohan, the producer who just optioned my TWELVE NIGHTS baby for her own movie!

And yet, I have the jitters. The problem is that tomorrow morning when I wake up, my new partner is going to give me a by-the-numbers evaluation of my performance. I don’t know if I can stand it!

Seumas, I need a hug!

…Seumas here, Carole… settle down, m’Lady.. it’ll be alright on the night… mega-hugs aplenty to you… just don’t wanna make your new KDP beau jealous…

…to all you wunnerful Lads and Lassies of the Blog Land out there, your support for Carole’s virgin traipse into Freebie territory will be much appreciated…

…the promo starts on Monday morning, April 29th,  00.01 am Pacific Time and here’s the links…


Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…hi Gorgeous!… would ye like to come to Blog with me?…#TBSU…#BAT…

… it was  a far-away time, in an even farther-away Land in what’s correctly named ‘Bonnie Scotland’… Master Gallacher’s teens and twenties were regularly marinated to a lesser or greater degree in what we Gaelic Celts call ‘Uisge Beatha’… it means ‘Water of Life’… but in common parlance… Whisky…Scotch… Firewater… Electric Soup... name it as ye please, but I sampled more than my fair share before sensibility, (and a nudge or three from Doctor’s Orders) labelled it as ‘stuff not to be dabbled with anymore ‘ by this ol’ Jurassic… and I have no regrets about that… I still pour it for guests at home the way I used to swallow it…and wonder why they fall off their seats… bluudy amateurs…tsssk!…. one element, however, was an attractive facet… the dulling of the senses to the extent that confidence in approaching the fairer sex was in abundance… fuelled by the rubber-leg-making juice, asking women in bars and dance halls if they’d care to share a sotted cot overnight was never a problem… 9 out of 10 replies may have constituted no more than a slap in the face… but the tenth!! … YEE-HAW!... result!… fast forward to the wanna be iconic Blogger… the mask of siphoned bravura, alas is no longer here… BUT, Mabel, in its place there is the knowledge that  a refusal on the WEB is no more than a cypher to be deleted… no physical slap in the cheek… no pride and dignity publicly shattered… no laughing stock ribbing to live down among one’s fellows… DONCHA JUST LUV THE WEB !!! … comes now the pitch… like any self-respecting Blogger, I thrive on the linkage with others… we started THE BLOG SCRATCHERS UNION (#TBSU), as kind of a matchmaking tie-in of bloggers around the planet… (you scratch my blog and I’ll scratch yours)...and so far it’s going very well… so, if ye’ve read thus far, yours truly invites one and all to follow his blog… and he’ll follow yours… it’s not merely a numbers game.. great internet relationships for me have so far developed from this … it’s a bit of a polygamic group relationship we’ve got going here .. so, hi Gorgeous!… would ye like to come to Blog with me?  … ... see yeez later…


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…yet ANOTHER returning Guest Blogger (gotta stop the free haggis here)…Stephen Edger {and pals} with a grand idea…#TBSU…#BAT…

…here’s a great ploy from my mate, Author Stephen Edger who joins a motley crew of literary assassins in a neat short story anthology, with a maliciously murderous menu of macabre mayhem…(killing folks, Mabel…)… and yours truly, Master Gallacher gets to hang his name at the bottom of their book cover…  not often I’m gonna get headlining, or even foot-lining with these great title-huggers … Stephen Leather… Alex Shaw… J.H.Bogran… Liam Saville… Howard Manson... as well as the aforementioned Master Edger… the foreword ‘s by Jake Needham... have a decko …
Hi there Seumas, thanks for inviting me over. Matron told me I wasn’t allowed to bring you grapes due to the nil-by-mouth diet she’s got you on. You seem to be looking well so I’ve no idea how she’s getting food and fluids into you…maybe there’s more than just ketamine in those syringes she chases you around with.
Anyway, I’ve snuck a bunch in under my jacket so let’s get them eaten before she comes back…
The reason for my visit is to share a crazy thought with you. We’ve both been doing this independent writing malarky for a couple of years now and we’ve been following the rule book to the letter (building the platform, tweeting, blogging, running promotions etc.) but where has it got us? I still don’t hear literary agents, publishing houses, movie producers or rich Russian oligarchs calling at my door. At least you’ve got Matron heading up your fan club!
You’ve achieved some fifty thousand downloads by following the rules and for that I take my imaginary hat off to you and stand to applaud. That means between 25k and 50k people have read (and probably enjoyed your quill scribbling). That’s an audience dear Seumas. That’s epic.
Now, imagine if you got together (in the literary, not biblical sense, you understand) with another indie author who had also built an audience. What if the two of you produced a book together? Your audience and his / her audience would read the book. Suddenly his / her audience would see your work and your audience would see his / her work. Each of your audiences would grow.
Now imagine if 3 of you put your heads together. Or 4 of you put your heads together. Or 5. Or 6?
Imagine how that audience would grow.
Seumas? Seumas? You’ve gone all quiet, your eyes have glazed over and your drooling slightly. Oh, I see, you’re imagining the impact the project could have.
It’s a great idea right? Of course you’d have to find some great indie authors to work with and you’d each have to produce an outstanding piece of work and agree on a fantastic looking cover. Sounds like a lot of work but just imagine that audience…
Well, it can be done Seumas and in fact it has been. That little idea has gone live on Amazon on Kindle and in paperback.
DEATH TOLL is an anthology of short crime thriller fiction with contributions from me, J H Bográn, Alex Shaw, Liam Saville, Howard Manson and Stephen Leather. It is a sensational entry into the indie writing scene and I’m so proud to be a part of it.
But of course, there’s no reason why the process couldn’t be repeated over and over again but with new up and coming indie writers. Just imagine it Seumas: we could take over the world!
Uh-oh I can hear Matron’s clogs on the laminate floor. Hide those grapes quick. I better run as I have a fear of needles (ironic considering I’m diabetic!) Thanks for listening to my idea. Maybe I’ll pop back round once DEATH TOLL  reaches the bestseller list.


Filed under Blether

…some of the finest fun ye can have with yer clothes on (2)… being an Author at a Book Fair…#TBSU…#BAT…

…just when ye think it can’t get any better’n this… along comes another buzz… last year I was at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Book Fair, principally as a bystander… wand’ring around waiting to be ‘recognised’ as a writer… ye know the kind of thing?.. ‘hey, look, book persons…I’m a scribbler…one of them quill scrapers what produces all these lovely print-y things ye see on the shelves here’... recognition?.. not a jot of it, Mabel… I was as visible as a black cat with its eyes shut in a coal cellar at midnight… comes now the 2013  Abu Dhabi Book Fair… oh, my goodness, it’s all different this time around…hold on to yer seat, Master Gallacher… it’s only one day into it and already yours truly has been interviewed on the  old colour radio… and this morning getting calls and funny emails from pals who heard it… then engaged in a spot of book signing corner stuff… flashed that picture onto Facebook and Twitter, and hey presto, got a gi-normous bundle of hits and comments of support from the global writing family…LUV YEEZ!... a man could get used to this very easily… today, we venture on to a panel chattering about Self Publishing... and the impact of SOSYAL NETWURKIN for we indie laptop tappers, followed by ANOTHER book signing session... next Monday, a pitch at the Royal Stand to an audience of royalty and invited VIPs (wonder what my probation officer would think of it all ?)…. and then, dream of dreams, yet a third book signing session… I must have done SUMTHIN right in another life… the marriage of ‘doing the writing’ and ‘getting in amongst yer readership public’ couldn’t be better expressed by this wonderful experience this week… Lads and Lassies of WriterWorld…if ye ever have any doubts about the efficacy of ‘muscling yer work’ to the outside universe, dispel these and jump on to this … it’s magic .. not even the approach of Matron now with that bluudy syringe is gonna spoil this lot.. LUVVIN’ IT!...see yeez later… to be continued… :):)


Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…doncha just LUV repeat Guest Bloggers!… y’all see and come back, now, y’hear?…David Swykert shows his new literary baby…#TBSU…#BAT…

…the door’s always open, and the ‘Welcome’ mat’s ever at the ready…put the kettle on, Mabel… our good pal, Author David Swykert  has brought his new offspring round to show us …THE DEATH OF ANYONE… looks intriguing…


I’ll let David speak for himself:

The underlying theme in my latest book, The Death of Anyone, poses the Machiavellian question: Does the end justify the means? I developed this story around an impulsive homicide detective, Bonnie Benham, who wants to use Familial DNA, a search technique not in common use in the United States. Only two states even have a written policy regarding its use, Colorado and California.

Bonnie is a no nonsense cop who describes herself as a blond with a badge and a gun. She has her own answer to the ethical use of Familial DNA, but the actual legality of its use will be determined in a real life courtroom in the California trial of a serial killer dubbed by the media: The Grim Sleeper.

Lonnie David Franklin, the Grim Sleeper, was caught because his son’s DNA was the closest match to DNA collected at the crime scenes in the database. Investigating Franklin’s son led them to investigate Lonnie Franklin. But there was no direct DNA evidence that linked Lonnie to the crime scene until they obtained a sample from him after his arrest. Lonnie Franklin will be the first person in the U.S. to ever stand trial based on Familial DNA evidence, and its admissibility issues in court will be thoroughly tested by defense attorneys. These are the very same issues form the plot of my story.

Detroit Detective Bonnie Benham has been transferred from narcotics to homicide for using more than arresting and is working the case of a killer of adolescent girls. CSI collects DNA evidence from the scene of the latest victim, which had not been detected on the other victims. But no suspect turns up in the FBI database. Due to the notoriety of the crimes a task force is put together with Bonnie as the lead detective, and she implores the D.A. to use an as yet unapproved type of a DNA Search in an effort to identify the killer. Homicide Detective Neil Jensen, with his own history of drug and alcohol problems understands Bonnie’s frailty and the two detectives become inseparable as they track this killer of children.

I first heard about the use of Familial DNA working as a 911 operator in 2006. It came up in a conversation with officers working a case. I thought at the time it would make an interesting premise for a book. I began writing the mystery some three years later after leaving the department. I had just finished editing a first draft of The Death of Anyone in the summer 2010 when news of The Grim Sleeper’s capture in Los Angeles was released. I read with interest all the information pouring out of L.A. regarding the investigation and the problems confronting prosecutors. All of which are explored in The Death of Anyone.

Amazon link :

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…doing a book synopsis?…LUV IT!…doing a query letter to a literary agent? …LUV IT!…#TBSU…#BAT…

…no, don’t ask Matron…but I’m NOT nuts…a bit crazy at times p’raps… a tad loopy sometimes, maybe… I’m in hot pursuit of the combined holy grail of having my very own agent/publisher in the cupboard… this past week has seen more drops of blood appear on my furrowed brow… my remaining little posse of grey cells gathered round the cranial campfire and plotted, schemed and finagled …result?… the PERFECT query letter and the ACME of a book synopsis… my first ever tilt at these…and it only took about ten thousand attempts… but now they’re mine… my precious… I shall hold them and hug them.. I shall call them George.. no,wait, that’s in another parody innit?… anyway… they’re DONE!…  COMPLETED!… FINISHED!… and how good it feels… so many times in the last couple of years I’ve read of the dread which many newbie indies have felt approaching this most basic of requirements when hunting the elusive agent/publisher relationship… then out of the blue came a remembered story regarding the great South African golfer,  Gary Player... in his days on the golf tournament circuit, every week the Professional Golf Tour visited a different course… each venue had its own style of grass … they varied … Bent Grass, Bermuda Grass, Rye Grass, Zoysia Grass, and so on … every week players would  complain that they didn’t like this grass or that grass… Player ALWAYS said he liked the grass… whatever grass it was… he said it loud and he said it often…  regardless of the grass… he LUVVED IT!… see where I’m going with this, Mabel ?… pick it up, Lads and Lassies of the Authors Aura… LUV the book synopsis!…LUV the query letter!… LUV whatever it is that’s gonna get you where you wanna be with your writing… ME?... I LUV IT so much, I think I’ll do another synopsis right now… or maybe not, coz here comes Matron with that bluudy syringe….. shouldn’t ‘ve mentioned her to start with… see yeez later…


Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…altogether now, sing, … ‘he ain’t heavy… he’s my Blogger’ …#TBSU …#BAT…

…the journey of the long-distance quill-scraper need no more be clothed in loneliness… in the days of Billy Shakespeare and Chuck Dickens, I s’pose it was a pretty solitary  grind being a pensmith… the isolated candle-lit garret more the norm than the exception… fast forward to the current environment, with speed of communication measured in nano-seconds… the attention span of the average Cable Television viewer measured in goldfish-brain retentiveness… the unrelenting competition that permeates every part of modern living… from the ill-abused term ‘sport’ (what a misnomer THAT is these days…)…to scrambling for university places scarcer than the proverbial hens’ teeth… so we Lads and Lassies of WriterWorld are cast even further adrift, right?… but wait… I kinda think not, Mabel… my little grey cells are usually quite tardy at picking up on ‘stuff’…but picking up they have been over the last year or so… to the extent, that a mini-epiphany has twinkled its light into my tiny brain-box… the very speed of the WEB has brought quite a different angle to the lot of Authors and Authoresses… the miracle of SOSYAL NETWURKIN is with us… instead of cut-throat activity squeezing out any perceived literary competition, the OPPOSITE is happening… at least that’s how I see it… as some of ye will know from stumbling across my blogs from time to time, I’m a great believer in supporting other writers in any way possible… and here’s the thing I’ve found… there are tons of us out there doing ‘zacktly that… a kind word of encouragement on sumb’dy’s Facebook page, or a smiley response to a tweet or three… better yet, even a few lines of positive review commentary on a budding scribbler’s Amazon Page … costs ye nuthin’… give some neophyte a leg-up…and if like me, ye believe in the adage, ‘ye reap what ye sow..”, …well, who knows where it’s gonna take ye… now, before Matron gets at me again with that bluudy syringe, here’s the link ye can listen to… enjoy the original…:):)


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…ain’t it spooky when sumb’dy else writes ‘zacktly what yer thinkin’?…Author David Leadbeater on Indie Publishing…#TBSU…#BAT…

 … superbly successful Author of the Bones of Odin series, David Leadbeater lays it on the line about getting really serious about the BUSINESS of self publishing…. great piece… prescribed reading for ALL of we Lads and Lassies in Quill-Scraper Country…and hark at the bits re SOSYAL NETWURKIN... enjoy…

 Are you serious about your eBook? Being Indie, is being ‘inBUSINESS’…
1. Once your book starts selling you will attract a certain amount of reader interaction. Don’t engage in this lightly. It should be genuinely desired and encouraged. In my humble opinion it should be the goal of every author (yep – EVERY author) to chat and connect and interact with their readers. I absolutely love receiving the hundreds of messages of enquiry and encouragement from my readers. There was a tough time not so long ago where the heartening messages were the only thing that kept me stuck to my gruelling schedule. Don’t forget – they like your stuff so much they took time out of their day to contact YOU.
2. Following on from the above…it is important to include a personal contact email address in your book. No, include it at least twice. Make sure it’s at the beginning and, because Kindle books can start on Page 1, also include it at the end. In addition, include links to your website and blog where, again, it will be easier for readers to contact you personally.
3. The email address is the starting point for your next big project – The Mailing List. Once questions and contacts and queries and messages of support start flooding through your email then create a contacts list. This list will be the first thing you turn to when you publish a new book and, like me, you might find it useful to bounce new ideas off some of your readers.
4. You become a serious Indie author when, as the title of this post suggests, you understand it’s a full-time business. To help with this, direct traffic from your established social marketing site to the quieter ones. Create a circle. Call it a ‘nail that sale’ circle. Direct traffic from twitter to your website to your blog to Facebook to Goodreads to Pinterest to LinkedIn etc, etc, and leave an easy and helpful link on every site that leads to your ‘buy’ page. Take some time to learn the way these sites work (I am sadly guilty of not doing this myself – yet.)
5. Twitter may or may not be your best social medium, but it has been mine. Do not let your marketing tweets grow stale. Change them regularly. Think up new tweets, almost as if you were an advertising agent. Oh wait, you are! Freshen them up every week or even every few days. Get a friend or loved one to give them a brand new perspective. Once the great reviews start rolling in use the rich content within them. Keep it inventive, original. And don’t forget your fellow authors – they will support you and you should support them.
6. Speaking of keeping it fresh – change your marketing strategies often. One month write a new and interesting blog post. Another, write an informative or a personal blog. On another engage in several interviews. On yet another month host a guest blogger or a fellow author. Each new approach introduces you to a different audience and lends greater visibility to your name and what should fast be becoming your brand.
7. Join an author group on Facebook or Goodreads and other Social Marketing sites. You will find new friends and new outlets for your work. Listen carefully to what these people have to say. Share your experiences and give your advice freely.
8. Here’s one I intend to try soon, but haven’t yet had the chance beyond a single interview. If anyone has had any success with this perhaps you could drop me a line of advice. LOCAL marketing. Most places have a local press, a free paper, a giant supermarket and coffee shop that enjoys promoting ‘local’ initiatives. Some supermarkets have a free paper. Perhaps there are some book clubs in your town?
9. Organise a Blog Tour. There are many bloggers out there interested in your stuff, but it’s unlikely they will come to you. It sure can’t hurt to send a note of enquiry, and there are guidelines around to help you write it. Clearly, it would be useful to coincide the tour with a new release, but be careful – I’ve seen these overdone, and it can be boring as hell!
10. GIVEAWAYS! Everyone loves a freebie! Maybe coordinate one before a new release (this helps to form your marketing campaign.) There are many ways to organise a giveaway, KDP being the most obvious. There is an Amazon page that links you to all the sites where you can advertise your free book, along with the respective forms to complete. Check it out –
It’s a tough one, this giveaway lark. I personally don’t believe it has ever helped me sell more books, but then I haven’t embraced it to the max like some of my author friends. Not yet. In addition, you could have paperback copies available and run an entirely more personal giveaway. Goodreads also offer coupons.
11. Please remember, there are many forms of ‘art’ out there, and many people trying to self-promote their work. Diversity is good. Help your fellow ‘artist’, as well as your fellow author and your potential audience broadens dramatically.
12. A final and important point- this is a self-fulfilling journey, no matter how you measure a person’s success. If you can’t try to help your fellow author to sell more books than you, then you shouldn’t be here. If you are a genuine supporter of the new author movement – then hop on and enjoy the ride! The way ahead, though veiled in mystery, promises to be a thrilling one.
13. Brag a little. You wrote this thing. You created this entire world from nothing. Someone out there is reading your creation before they go to sleep or instead of watching Greys Anatomy. They bought your work and they’re loving it! It’s stopping them turning the light out! Damn, isn’t that just one of the best feelings in the world?
Catch more of David ‘s blog along with these other Blogs To Follow :
Blog Scratchers Corner
Blogs To Follow:


Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…seems we’re having a bit of a Scottish-y run on the blog posts this week, Mabel…keep this info ‘under wraps’…#TBSU…#BAT…

…as ever, the question of the ‘sous-kilt’ apparel sets the greatest minds on the planet pondering… no less than that of my pal, Author Eric J. Gates, who endorses this article for broader consumption…I need comment no further on its contents, lest awkward questions be raised in the Houses of Parliament, or, even worse, at the Committee on Weapons of M’Arse Destruction…:):)


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