Monthly Archives: September 2014

…it’s deja vu, all over again, Mabel… when yeez need a friend…

…this ol’ Jurassic’s been around long enuff to believe in the truism that plenty of us can have hundreds of acquaintances, maybe even more for the ultra-gregarious among us… but few in our midst have more than a handful or two of enduring friendships … the kind of bonding unblemished by the distance of extended time or geography… the instant-plug-in-where-yeez-left-off-last time-yeez-met sort of deal… the sort yeez can count on when the rest of the world goes to hell in a hand-basket, and yeez look for sumb’dy to stand beside yeez in the metaphorical trenches with imaginary bullets whistling past yer ears… I’ve been blessed with more than my fair share of such pals… some have already moved on to the Big-School-Playground-In-The-Sky… others, happily, still flirt around on this planet… now, here’s the strange thing… maybe it’s because a modicum of common sense has crept into what’s left of my wee grey cells, that I recognise the emergence of a parallel set of buddies… it’s deja vu, all over again, Mabel… over the past few years, as a dabbler in the whirly-birly spheres of the self-publishing other-world, my SOSYAL NETWURK mates have grown apace… what began as a purely promotional, broadening-the-marketing-base-for-my-literary-masterpieces process has thrown up not just a handful or two, but dozens, if not hundreds, of new relationships which smack of solid friendship… yeez know who yeez are… coz yeez’ll have prob’ly experienced the same feelings yerselves… the added ‘no-crap’ dimension on the Web is that there’s no need for some of the stupid posturing that so-called ‘real-life’ situations produce… internet banter amongst like-minded spirits is great fun… adding support to yer fellow Lads and Lassies of Blogland in their own endeavours to reach the quill-scrapers’ Holy Grail of being ‘successful’, (whatever that daftest of WURDS really means) becomes part of a mutual reservoir of strength… rejoicing in each other’s victories, small and otherwise… but most all, sharing, sharing, sharing… sumb’dy once said to me a long, lo-o-o-o-ng time ago, ’to keep it, yeez have to give it away, and that doesn’t mean money’… so, to all of yeez fabulous scribbling pals out there… see yeez later…LUV YEEZ!… have a wee listen to this, if yeez want:




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…that Penelope Dreadfulle woman from Blackfriars Courant has pegged my character hero, Jack Calder in an interview… WURLD exclusive…

…Jack..Jack… how could yeez let yer guard down to talk to Ms Dreadfulle about herself… yes, yes… I know she’s got her ‘ways’….but, ye’ve got yer image to think of, man… here’s what the woman wrote on her web page, :

Greetings, My Literate Darlings!

Today, I have a very special treat for you. I have secured an interview with an action hero of high renown, none other than Jack Calder of International Security Partners. Jack not only looks marvelous in a kilt, he could pretty much run rings around most other security professionals in a tutu with both legs tied round his neck. Yes, he’s that good.

My interest in Jack was piqued during the greatest jewelry heist in London history. Quite the embarrassment of Piccaddilly, all those diamonds and rubies and emeralds going missing like that (rumor has it that some are still missing…I know nothing about that, of course…). Being fitted down the street at Mistress Rose’s, I immediately smelled a story…and Semtex…and smoke… and fire… (And how dare they use so much bang that they put a crack in Mistress Rose’s shop front!) Needless to say, I picked myself up off the floor and sped off half-pinned into my new corset to record the events.

Of course, I was absolutely appalled by the villains’ fashion sense. I mean really, Darling, lab coats and animal masks are so 1980’s … Any villain work her salt wouldn’t be caught dead wearing such pathetic… ah, but I digress.

Jack and his team were on scene not long after the thugs left in their stolen ambulances… my, I do like watching heroes do their work… Ever since that day, I knew I simply had to corner Jack for an interview… It took some doing…he is the secretive sort… rather a recluse. Rumors that blackmail of Jack’s ‘tame author’, the amazing Seumas Gallacher, was involved in securing a meeting with Jack over a pint are completely unfounded…

Unfortunately, the photo I snapped mysteriously disappeared from my camera, but I let it be…Given the often clandestine nature of the business Jack is involved in, I can see why he is reluctant to have his photograph in the public domain. First a little history might be in order…a wee bit of digging and crossing of palms brought me this excerpt from Jack’s Interpol file:

Jack Calder left the slums of Dockside Govan in Glasgow by joining the army as a raw lad of 17. The military life honed his physical and mental street-smart skills, and he quickly rose through the ranks. An early streaming brought him to the SAS, which toughened him further. He saw action in many covert actions in third world situations, where the black operations brought its own style of justice where needed. Retirement from the forces brought an invitation from his former C.O. to join a specialist security firm, International Security Partners, where his talents are still used to great effect. He married late in life to May-Ling Wong, a beautiful Eurasian, who headed up the firm’s business in Hong Kong. She considered the capture of the six-foot two, blue-eyed, blonde Scot as the best thing she ever did.

Thus prepared, I was able to meet up with Jack in an out of the way pub near Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow…

Question One: If you were to be caught in the act, what act would it be?

Jack: Not good for my ‘image’, but the act of bringing children safely out of horrendous circumstances across the under-privileged locations in the world. I can handle any number of bad guys, and dispatch them with little or no feelings, but the tragedy of the children cuts me up more than I care to confess. I think it’s perhaps a throwback to my days in the Govan slums.

Question Two: If you were walking down an alley, whistling in the dark, what would you know that the thugs in the shadows ahead would not?

Jack: First of all, I would only be whistling if I already knew or expected the thugs to be there, and it would be as a ruse to make them think I was unaware of their presence. Secondly, ‘taking care’ of myself in hand-to-hand combat is a highly lethal talent, learned from my time in the SAS. No fear. They’re dead men waiting.

Question Three: If I were to tell you that every move you made and every thought in your head were in the control of someone sitting in a pub with a frosty beverage, and a pen and paper, what would you do about it?

Jack: If the control was of the positive kind, I would carry on without a worry. If it proved to be negative, I would do something about it. Also, being a main character in the head of my ‘tame author’, I frequently just do and say whatever I want anyway, regardless of where he thinks I’m going.

Question Four: Describe your perfect getaway.

Jack: If by ‘getaway’ you mean egress from a combat situation, any exit where the operation has been successfully completed and all of our guys get back unhurt is a perfect getaway.

If you mean a vacation ’getaway’, anywhere with a comfortable bed, excellent cable television with streaming football, decent food and a fine library would fit the bill perfectly.

Question Five: Who is your favourite villain and what trait pushes him (or her…or it) to the top of the list?

Jack: Any bad guy played on screen by James Cagney or Robert Di Niro goes near the top, but Al Pacino’s Godfather, Michael Corleone, is as near to the perfect villain as you are likely to find. The embracing of the ‘family first’ idiom is great, and in the third movie in the Godfather series, he is eventually depicted as a paternal head with a heart.

Thank you, Jack, for the lovely interview. If you’d like to read the chronicles of Jack’s adventures (and I know you do!), you can find the links to Seumas Gallacher’s edge of your seat thrillers below.

 wall copy 2

Amazon links:

Savage Payback:

Vengeance Wears Black:

The Violin Man’s Legacy:



SEUMAS GALLACHER escaped from the world of finance five 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 15,000 direct contacts.

His first two crime-thrillers, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK blew his mind with more than 75,000 e-link downloads to date. The third in what has become the ‘Jack Calder’ series, SAVAGE PAYBACK, was launched late 2013.

He started a humorous, informative, self-publishers blog less than two 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!


…sheeesh, Jack… how could yeez?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…a wee sense of perspective for this ol’ Jurassic Author…

…I wonder how many of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land can remember, as I can, those terror-laced school days when yer school teacher was mad at yeez… it could have been coz yeez were ‘talking too loudly at the back, there, Master Gallacher’… or a professorial outrage fuelled by a dreadful homework attempt gone wrong… ‘I would have marked it less than zero out of ten if that were allowed, young man’


…yeez knew yeez were in trouble… but here’s the horrible thing about all of that… if yeez never saw that teacher or professor again for, say, another six months, for all of that six months, in yer own head yeez felt they were still fuming at yeez… a wee bit of that can creep in these days as a writer… it can sneak up on yeez… if yer sales figures drop (peeking at the numbers on the Amazon Author Sales pages ten times a day? who? moi? never!!!)… or deeper calamity still… one lone, single, solitary, negative review crawls on to yer feedback page… if yeez prick me, do I not bleed Nobel ink?… where’s the road to the nearest high precipice from which to hurl this useless excuse for a quill-scraper?… recognise this syndrome?… if yeez do… cheer up… relief is nigh… I know from the extensive amount of commentary I read on my fellow scribblers’ web pages, that there exists on this planet not one author worthy of the name who hasn’t at some time or other felt their work was so substandard that they were mere squinches away from packing it all in… then, oh, then… the blessed literary cavalry gallops over the hill in the form of a positive sales day… a flurry of good-hearted readers who deem yer stuff fit enuff to merit a grand review… and suddenly a wee sense of perspective seeps back into yer pysche… and the WURLD looks a bit rosier…


…doncha just LUV this novel-ing gig?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…time to take a few minutes to yerselves… and just listen to this stuff…

…I make no bones about the fact that there are days when the best thing to do with the Cable News Channels is just to switch them all off at the one time… and maybe consider not ever switching them back on again… the nonsense, garbage-speak, political truth-benders, and horrendous goings-on around the planet, in this so-called civilisation of ours sum’times becomes too much… and this ol’ Jurassic feels the need to do the ‘walk-away-from-it-and-don’t-look-back’ number… at least for a little while… my steal-away mechanism is prob’ly known to quite a few of yeez by this time… I spin myself into a wee mental private corner in my head … and play the music of the Gods… the soulful Celtic pibroch skirls… it WURKS every time for me… I’m well aware it’s not everybody’s aural delight (yes, Master Andrew Peters, that’s why I usually give yeez fair warning when it’s coming on again)… I pitched some alongside my regular virtual awards today, labelling the current Award the ‘Braveheart Awards’ and included the theme tune from the movie (saves me singing it for yeez!)… I’d be interested to hear what yeez all do when yeez need to get that ‘break-from-current-supposed-real-life’… in the meantime… take a few minutes to yerselves… and just listen to this stuff… see yeez later … LUV YEEZ! 



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…watch what yeez bid for in a charity auction in Hong Kong… yeez might end up in sumb’dy’s novel…

…so yeez have to ask yerselves… what do one of Hong Kong’s best Independent Financial Advisers and an Andy McNab special operations agent have in common?… they both rejoice in the name of Dino Zavagno… with a name like that, how much of a coincidence can that be?… well, I know the Financial Adviser lad, and despite the fact he supports a different football team to me (they all have their crosses to bear), he actually does a great job at keeping ol’ Jurassics like me on the right financial straight and narrow path… this other bloke, the special ops guy?… oh, yes, that… well when yeez sit in a charity auction in Hong Kong raising funds for the Help for Heroes Charity and the self-same top-line scribbler, Mister McNab, offers to feature yeez in his next novel as the auction prize, yer hand goes up quick as an AK47 chamber load… hence, Maestro McNab’s latest blockbuster, Silencer, has yer man Dino front and centre from the first few paragraphs…


…the intrepid hero, Zavagno, doubles as the Managing Director for Gladstone Morgan based out of Hong Kong… I’m still checking out the rumour that his office now has body-armoured secretaries and all sorts of James Bond-ish gadgetry to meet yeez at the front door… given the perils of slaloming through the financial markets these days, p’raps it’s an appropriate inference that there may well be more than just a touch of fiction about it all… I will draw the line however at meeting Agent Zavagno with both of us disguised as rickshaw pedlars… we quill-scrapers do have some dignity to preserve, yeez understand… anyway, hats off to Dino Zavagno for supporting the charity drive, (gonna embarrass him here!), with a heftily generous winning charity bid and for Mister McNab for casting him in his book (not a bad handle for an agent though, huh?..Dino Zavagno… I knew him when I was nuthin!)… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




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…my mate, Author Craig Hurren, has a barffday, and a new book launch today… Hippo Barffday Two Ewe…


…so, here’s my pal, Author Craig Hurren, with his Royal Birthday portrait above, looking not a day over 90… a special day also in the life of his superb ‘Beach & Riley’ series, with the launch of The Killing Chase….gotta love that cover page (see below)… his first offering, The Killing Code, was a terrific intro to the characters… I posted a review on it last July, as follows:

‘The Killing Code

…compelling thriller,…loads of well-paced action… excellent unexpected twists… and a good, solid narrative bounces along admirably … Hurren’s novel debut bodes well… enough police work and special forces mix to absorb the reader… most of all, credible, human characters with foibles and strengths… some heroes really are like the rest of us… thoroughly enjoyable read…’

…have a decko:


…the current read carries on in equally splendid vein, The Killing Chase:


The Killing Chase Final Low Res

…yeez can find it here:

Amazon US:

…the good Master Hurren also welcomes yer comments (preferably on a hundred dollar bill) here:
…now let’s hear yeez all singing together, ’Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday to you…’




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… ‘the desire to be a politician should bar yeez from ever being one’… Billy Connolly…

…following my piece yesterday on ‘The Big Yin’, master comedian, Billy Connolly, his succinct pearl, ‘the desire to be a politician should bar yeez from ever being one’ meshes in neatly with the advent of the British Political Parties Conference season… the Labour Party drum started today, but let me assure yeez, this ol’ Jurassic is entirely a-political… however, I AM decidedly anti-Politicians of any denomination… p’raps it’s a function of having been around far too long, listening to the same trite diatribe after trite diatribe for decades… it has long since been apparent to my grey cells that the spouters on the Sky News cable networks and everywhere else that the talking heads want them to be, are more concerned about being elected than caring for their supposed constituents… an unfair statement?… I think not… empirically, all yeez need are a pair of ears and half a brain to hear the same nonsense, promises, and ‘our lot will lead yeez into national, social and political Nirvana’ rallying cries from every party… aye, right!… oh, where, tell me where, Mabel, have all the statesmen and stateswomen gone?… in the last twenty-five years or so, they’ve been as scarce on the political hustings as hen’s teeth… and it’s not restricted to the (allegedly) United Kingdom… it’s everywhere, all across Europe, Australia, and sadly, in the Home of the Free, across the pond in ‘Merica… it seems strange that so much money gets channelled into getting into such a short-lived period of office, when the good folks starving on the bread line are asked to come put their mark against their supposed elective heroes and heroines… and how crazy it is, that entire populaces can be split almost 50/50 across the political divides, and then watch the chat merchants on the television screens constantly and relentlessly launch pejorative after pejorative at the opposition parties… where the single most important issue for any party is ensuring that the other side has no success in pushing through their policies… where are the concerns for the voters in all of that?… I can’t help but feel that Mister B. Connolly would have been a good buddy of my other life-long hero, Sir Winston Churchill… now there was a statesman for yeez… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




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…the most naturally funny man I’ve ever known… Billy Connolly…


…I make no secret of my admiration of the Scottish comic genius nicknamed ‘The Big Yin’Billy Connolly has had me convulsed with laughter so often for over 40 years… from the first appearance on the Michael Parkinson Show on a Saturday evening chat show, way back when… he came on stage in a leather suit, together with an enormous kilt sporran… he told the racy ‘somewhere-to-park-my-bike’ story… and the rest is history… his ability to take the mundane, everyday trivia that makes up our lives, and hilariously magnify bits of it, is the stuff of stage and television legend… over the years, I’ve been privileged to watch him perform in over half a dozen different countries at various stages in his peripatetic meanderings around the planet… sum’times I wonder, ‘who’s following who, here?’… he never fails to make me and whatever his audience respond to a brand of humour that’s born of the hard slums of Glasgow, honed in the pubs, clubs and cafes of the throwback ‘folk-singing groups’ of the sixties, and polished to perfection on the most prestigious international theatres… he’ll be the first to tell yeez that he’s not a ‘one-off’… in the shipyards in Docklands Govan, and the bars around Glasgow, there are hundreds of men (and women) whose wit sparkles with the mostly irreverent brand that he has made famous… now, ‘The Big Yin’ is 71 years old… I seem to have grown up with him as a constant in my own life… in Scotland… in London (first real ‘foreign’ posting for me)… in Asia… in the Middle East… I have just about every DVD of the comic tours and the superb ‘travelogues’ he’s done, which showcase not only his wit, but greatly insightful intellect… and like all the best performers, I can re-run any of his DVDs (and have done dozens of times) and still laugh as if it’s the first listening… I can only recall Peter Ustinov as another presence on live stage who so completely was able to hold an audience like that… I’m writing this coz I saw a snippet today on Facebook where he talked about his close friend, Robin Williams, not as a comic, but as a ‘pal’… and I just wonder how much guys like Billy and Robin realise that to hundreds of millions around the world they have been and are real ‘pals’… I’ll give yeez an early bit of Billy to laugh at below…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




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…reading yer own wee masterpiece ‘from a distance’…

…just over two years ago, in July 2012 to be precise, I published on the Great God Amazon the second book in my Jack Calder crime thriller series, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK… a year or so later, in September 2013, I punched SAVAGE PAYBACK on to the same virtual shop window… and time since then has seen an immersion in the fourth in the series, current Work In Progress, KILLER CITY… why am I repeating all of this, Mabel?… coz, as an avid reader and reviewer of other quill-scrapers’ stuff, I get exposure to the product of many and varied scribblers… lots of them have my respect, and of course, as a fellow traveller on the Amazon-maze, I admire and recognise the sweat, toil and not a few tears that have evidently attended the birth of their respective wee literary babies… on a whim, I decided to re-read VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK… mainly to see if my view of it has changed since typing the last full stop… with no false modesty (not that I’m regularly accused of that attribute), I was gobsmacked… in a positive way… it didn’t seem like my own writing… I enjoyed getting into the narrative, as I’ve done with so many other writers’ books… I had forgotten many of the little nuances and quirks in the storyline, which had taken much late-into-the-night virtual-candlelit-garret labour as the novel was sculpted day after day, night after night… I felt like an escapee ant from the huge anthill… a detached onlooker… some of yeez may think this post is nowt but a puff piece for myself… and yeez are entitled to yer opinions… but yeez would be wrong… in all honesty and, yes, humility, I would recommend to any of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, to go back and have a read of yer own masterpieces after a distance of some time… it’s okay to like yer own WURK… even better if yeez feel yeez are reading the story for the first time… I’d be interested to know if any of yeez have had the same experience… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




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…for Brits of a certain age… how many of these do yeez remember?


…toward the end off the 1950’s, our home in Docklands Govan was invaded by a visitor who’s presence would rule our lives forever more—television… television in the form of a four-foot high polished-wood cabinet, framing a 10-inch bevelled screen… two manually operated knobs controlled the volume and the channels… none of yer remote control mechanism rubbish… and yer transmission colours were black and white… or white and black… with varying degrees of greyness, and ‘screen snow’ depending on external weather conditions affecting yer rooftop aerials… channel choice included Auntie BBC or the local Independent Rediffusion channels, in our case, Scottish Television (STV)— ‘STV’—sounds like an early venereal infection… but, in amongst the mixture of great Cowboys and Indians Western series, Panorama and its splendid documentary coverages, we watched Armand and Michaela Denis traipsing through the jungles of far-off lands, capturing on black and white film the wonders of these distant continents… but  ‘les pieces de resistance’ eventually centred on the novelty of commercial television channel’s slew of advertisements… with jingles that still linger after 50 years… now that’s creating brand recognition for yeez… how many of these do yeez remember?…

…I’m still unable to eat only one of these ‘Caramel Wafers By Gray Dunn, 12 For Only 1/7d’ in a solo sitting…


…and, just imagine the Crooner of All Time, Mister Bing Crosby, warbling about the joys of being able to ‘Keep Going Well, Keep Going Shell’ in an age when a gallon (none of yer ‘litre’ stuff back then) of petrol cost yeez less than yer mortgage payment…



…dentists across the country rejoiced in echoing the fact that ‘Yeez’ll Wonder Where the Yellow Went, When Yeez Brush Yer Teeth With Pepsodent’



…countered by the same dentists’ occupational confection nemesis, ‘Murraymints, Murraymints, Too Good To Hurry Mints’


…for the majority of my countrymen, however, probably one of the more welcome exhortations was in knowing that ‘McEwans Is The Best Buy, The Best Buy, The Best Buy… McEwans Is The Best Buy…The Best Buy In Beer!’


…ah, the simple mem’ries, Mabel, huh?  see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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