Monthly Archives: February 2016

…The View from the Bench…

There’s nothing great about war, my son,
Despite what the generals say
To be out in the void at the end of a gun
Just hoping you’ll live through each day
There’s bile in your throat with each breath that you take,
And nothing to assuage your fear,
For bullets and bombs won’t give you a break
When the claws of the devil come near
It’s not about courage, or strength, or of guts,
And nothing to do with your honour,
With killings and bombings, no ifs and no buts
When you die as some government’s fodder
And what of your family, your kids and your wife?
Will they be grateful you died as a hero?
When you die as a pawn, the next wasted life
–Their future slashed down to zero?
I sit on this bench, and cast my thoughts back,
To the day my luck failed, when caught in a blast
My life’s colour’s gone, it all turned to black
–Now I invite each day as my last
What was left of me came home in a plane,
They cobbled me back best they could,
But the bits left behind were most of my legs
Replaced now with leather and wood
Oh, they gave me a medal, so shiny and all,
And a pension ‘to keep my self whole’,
A ceremonial speech that made my skin crawl,
Thirty pieces of silver exchanged for my soul.
There’s nothing great about war, my son,
Despite what the generals say
To be out in the void at the end of a gun
Just hoping you’ll live through each day.
Seumas Gallacher
February 28th, 2016
…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…faster than a speeding wotsit… Concorde… 40 years young today…



…my good pal, Jackie Beedie, WURLD traveller and trademark owner of ‘hic!’ reminded me today’s the 40th anniversary of the Concorde’s first ever commercial flight… how time flies (see what I did there, Mabel!)… during a lengthy career as a Financial Master of the Universe, this ol’ Scots scribbler has had more than his fair share of traipsing around the planet in pursuit of all sorts of business excuses… airports from Adelaide to Zurich, and Athens to Zaragoza have trundled my luggage across their baggage carousels… I’ll claim I was born to travel in the front of aircraft, the back of limousines and to test drive five-star hotels and bordellos… and not necessarily in that order… with differing levels of success in each of these objectives over the years, I must confess… sum’times my employers saw fit to honour my ideas of my station by allowing first-class tickets… at other times, cargo class was too good a description… but only once did Master Gallacher’s derriere ever plonk into a seat on the Concorde… and serendipitous it was, too… my schedule for a particular business jaunt had the Heathrow to JFK flight on British Airways… on the standard Jumbo jet… at the last moment the first class cabin had been overbooked, and a call was put out in the BA lounge offering a few passengers with minimal luggage to switch to the Concorde at no extra charge… the ‘no extra charge‘ bit for a Scotsman… well, I’m sure yeez understand… indeed the flight time for the Jumbo at 7 hours was more than double the 3 hours the Concorde needed… only 20 of these aircraft were ever built, of which 6 were the prototypes, so was I impressed?… alas, not… first of all, the seats were all the same class—kinda smaller, cramped versions of the Jumbo’s first class armchairs… I don’t think even a thin Sumo wrestler would have been comfortable… it was like flying in an elongated cigar tube… and the bluudy thing made a helluva rattling noise the whole time… the ‘beam-me-up-Scottie’ thing grew tired very quickly… of course on the plus side, there was the finest champagne for those who indulged (and back then one did enjoy a drop), propah canapés, served not by ‘our air stewards’ but by ‘our butlers’… if my wee Docklands Govan Ma could’ve known, she’d have disowned me from her grave…


…it was one of those experiences I was glad to have done once, but funnily enuff, would not have chosen to do again… inverted snob, or sum’thing, me… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…no, Authors… yeez don’t have to be EVERYWHERE on the SOSYAL NETWURKS…


…for good or ill, this ol’ scribbler appears to have developed a wee reputation over the past few years as being sumb’dy who’s managed to get the hang of the SOSYAL NETWURKS’ usage for an author… I’ll let others speak to the veracity or otherwise of that conjecture, but I certainly immersed myself in the philosophy of ‘getting yer WURK out there’ via the web channels… considering the Great God Amazon Kindle now boasts over 6 million titles (I’ll read that again, Mabel… 6 million titles), it’s therefore no surprise to me that gazillions of folks have never heard of my literary masterpieces… however, on the plus side, I know for certain that many thousands of LUVLY readers and quill-scraper pals are aware of them… compared to where that number would be if I had not started to ‘build the platform’ , and indeed continue to maintain and add to it, that’s exakk-ly many thousands more than if I hadn’t indulged the MEDYA elements… ‘so’, they ask, ‘are yeez into hundreds of SOSYAL NETWURKS then, Master Gallacher?’ … ‘decidedly NOT!’ is the robust response… each of we writers, self-published or ‘housed’, is obliged to be active in their own promotional and marketing activity, of which being ’present’ on Auntie Internet is a major part… but… and it’s an important ’but’… yeez don’t have to cover all the channels… we only have 24 hours in a day… the common sense approach is to select a mere handful that suit yer own particular style and and then like Julia Roberts’s character in ‘Pretty Woman’, WURK it baby! … my major outlets of choice are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads, a few lesser tributaries, and of course this ‘ere blog, which ties them all together… after presenting on this stuff a coupla years ago at the Dubai Festival of Literature, several fellow Authors asked me to put this in a book… and I did… a short guide, SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES… yeez can have a look at it on these links :



Aus :

Can   :

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…that Samuel Johnson fellow knew a thing or two about scribbling…


…here’s a wee gem I read by sumb’dy posting on my Facebook wall this morning… ‘A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it. —Samuel Johnson’… what a terrific summary of what this wunnerful authorship gig is all about… no matter how much we writers may try to deliver the ‘complete story’ in any our narratives, the ‘colour’ and interpretation of it is really down to the reader… of course, we quill-scrapers can imbue nuance and deflected meaning into certain passages, but in my experience, both as a scribbler and as an avid reader, the true pleasure in immersing in sumb’dy else’s WURK is how I read it… what images come into my own head, regardless sum’times of the author’s intentions… then why should that be any different when others read my tomes?… it’s one of the reasons I eschew long descriptive stuff in my novels… I write crime thrillers… predicated on characters and action… long before the film industry picked up on adaptations of the great classics and other books, nobody knew what Dickens’s Fagin looked like, or Shakespeare’s Hamlet, or Scarlett in Gone With the Wind… and therein lies the beauty of literature… as readers we are at liberty… nay… almost mandated… to paint the mental pictures of a book’s cast… of course, in my own mind, all my characters are ‘live’ and I know what ‘they’ look like… but I’ll bet yeez all the good folks who’ve read my stuff will have different ideas of what Jack Calder looks like… and May-Ling… and Malky McGuire… and so on… my point is simple… so often the old adage holds good , ‘Less is Better than More’… undoubtedly, if the film industry ever picks up on my series, I will have no hesitation in offering my humble self to play Jack’s part… what?? six-foot two, blue-eyed, fair-haired Scotsman?… who else, Mabel?… who else?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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Seumas Gallacher – a few thoughts on returning to self-publishing

…many thanks to Susan Toy for featuring my blethers once more …

Reading Recommendations

Seumas Gallacher has been a long-time pal of Reading Recommendations and has done a great deal to promote (and become friends with!) many of the other authors I promote, as well as with me, and of my writing! He has been featured in the group, Reading Recommendations Revisited, and has returned to tell us of his recent publishing experience and why he switched back to self-publishing, a story that is best told in the Kind Sir’s very own inimitable style.


The Jack Calder Series
by Seumas Gallacher

… having recently returned to the ranks of the self-published author brigade, I’m delighted to report that the joy of being able once more to track my Amazon Kindle activity on a daily basis makes me a much happier scribbling bunny

… I traipsed into the realm of the ‘housed writers’ for a year, and although the good people at Crooked Cat…

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The Independent Mr. Gallacher.

…my dear friend, m’Lady, Ailsa Abraham, invites me into The Bingergread Cottage for a cuppa …

The Bingergread Cottage

Don’t look up everyone as the passenger on the magic carpet today is Seumas Gallacher and he might be wearing a kilt. Cameron! Eyes down please!

Here you are, Big Man! How lovely to see you. You’ll feel the cold here coming from your warmer climes. Come on into the kitchen and sit by the stove with us while we get you a hot drink with a wee something in it.-em me 14  So how are things?

SG : …hello, Ailsa.. and nice to see you again, Cameron… I checked with Glockamorra prior to jumping on the Magic Carpet you so kindly sent to fetch me, and Things are Just Tickety-Boo… nice threads on there by the way… did you crochet that one yerself, m’Lady?

Oh yes! It was meant to be a dog blanket but now I can’t get Cam to take it off. I know everyone is asking this of…

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…an ol’ Scots scribbler’s view on selling per page… Kindle Edition Normalised Pages (KENP) Read…

…when the the Great God Amazon introduced their ‘Kindle Edition Normalised Pages (KENP) Read’ thing-y there was much ballyhoo and static noise on the virtual waves as to whether or not it was the thin end of a miserly wedge for Authors… at the time, I was already ‘housed’ with a publisher and therefore not privy to the daily access on Amazon sales pages for my wee masterpieces… the furore passed me by… of course, peripherally I picked up on the various comments from writers about the mechanism… some liked it, some were less than enthusiastic… now I’ve reverted to being only self-published, my interest has been ‘re-Kindled’ (see what I did there, Mabel!) I’m looking closer at how it really WURKS… much of the thrust from the negative constituency spun around how tiny the royalty payment amount looked per page… sum’where in the order of US$0.005 per page absorbed… a little pause here p’raps, to explain to the uninitiated how it goes… subscribers pay a monthly fee to have unlimited access to as many titles they can download on Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL)… now let’s make a comparison that makes money sense (is there any other kind for a Scotsman?)… in general terms my books price at US$ 3.99 and if I sell a book on  I get 70% royalty– US$ 2.79 before any taxation… if I assume say 30% tax deduction for US sales that goes down to US$ 1.95… compared with a book of ‘normalised‘ pages of say, 300 pages at US$ 0.005  will yield  to me US$ 1.50… on the face of it it looks as if I’m being short-changed… oh, Lawd… Heaven forfend… but hang on a minute… the flip side is not so much talked about, and it is this… the new mechanism actually creates more readerships for many titles, which heretofore may never have seen the light of a Kindle-day… I’ve been intrigued with the new blue line (at least new to me) charting the pages read of my novels… and must confess I like it… if sumb’dy’s read halfway through one of my books, it will show as a big spike to that number (150 pages) on the graph… okay, that translates to $0.75 in royalty earned … but multiply a little by a  lot and yeez end up with not too dusty a total… and the clincher for me is the old thing about these being eBooks, there is no added cost to me in having the downloads on the KENP gig… I’d rather have lots of small contributions than no contributions, and who knows how much further enticement it creates for a new reader to come back and want a decko at more of yer stuff?… my links are listed below (never miss a commercial plug, Master Gallacher, attaboy!).wallpaper 2





…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…the lines from Oz are open… another pal, Authoress, Margaret Rose Blake, shares today…

…serendipity is a marvellous thing, Mabel… it seems to have allowed me to tap into a wealth of terrific scribblers from Australia… and darn entertaining they are, too… today, Authoress, Margaret Rose Blake has sent me this :


Hello there, I’m Margaret R Blake, author of The Ring of Curses (#1 in the Merlin’s School for Ordinary Children series) – Sword of Stone (#2 in the Merlin’s School series )– is to be released very soon), RIVERBEND; A Collection of Fairy Tales and Other Stories, and BITS AND PIECES – An Anthology of Bits of Stories and Pieces of Poetry. I usually write children’s fantasy but have since branched out to try my hand at some other stuff as well (which is where BITS AND PIECES comes into play). All my books can be found on Amazon, Barns and Noble and Booktopia … see PUBLISHING HISTORY on my web site.

Merlin’s School #1 The Ring of Curses was nominated for the Ditmar awards, and I was featured in the Premier’s Reading Challenge twice, 2014 and 2015.

I have been writing for about twenty years or more now, but it is not my only hobby. I also like to indulge in some needlework on occasion and I love to read. I’m a bit of a movie buff as well when I get a moment to spare. All these things can be very inspiring and it doesn’t take much for the imagination to get cranked up. As horrifying as it might sound I am working on about a dozen books/novellas all up at this moment, with some in different genres, would you believe. I love the scope that I have to play with and the characters I can invent. It keeps my mind busy and my work varied. Currently I‘m concentrating on a YA novella and an adult fantasy novella, as well as #3 in my Merlin’s School series.

You can follow me at

Or … you can keep up with my publishing progress and other stuff on my site here at

Please find below an excerpt of Merlin’s School #1 – The Ring of Curses

‘Okay,’ the Professor beamed while pulling out a length of black cord from his wonder gadget. He passed it on to Jane Ripley, who was standing closest to him, ‘Hand this on to the next person and so on,’ he instructed as he reeled out more cord. ‘And stand close everybody and wrap it around.’

         ‘What’s this?’ Neville asked with a sneer as the cord was passed to him. ‘Walkies!’

        merlin ‘Not at all, Mr Cormac, it’s a Time Line, and this is what will take us where we are going. It’s faster than a bus,’ he smiled at Cedric, ‘and more suited to our purpose.’

         ‘Well halleluiah and praise the Lord!’ Neville laughed uproariously. ‘This school certainly takes the cake.’

         ‘I’m sure it does.’ The Professor grinned back, taking the end of the Time Line in his hand and attaching it firmly to a clip under the dials. ‘Is everyone inside?’

         There was another chorus of affirmatives. Now, though, with the end of the cord locked into place curiosities were being piqued and there was growing air of expectation amongst the students.

         ‘Hang on tightly, children,’ the Professor encouraged, pressing the small red button on the Time Line firmly and saying in the same moment, ‘Alpha ad Omega, the circle is complete.’

         A low humming began to fill the air, which surprisingly started to grow quite heavy. The students moved closer together, eyes wide and wondering what they were about to experience. The ground began to shake slightly, then more strongly as a whirlwind started turning about them like an enveloping spiral, causing the humming sound to grow and grow, escalating rapidly into a terrible, deafening roar. The spiral spun even faster and faster with each second, creating a vortex that pressed in on them ever steadily. Now, with the incredible noise and the unstable craziness there was no doubt as to what was to happen.

         They were all going to die!

        Daffodil Stimmer screamed loudly, a long drawn out scream that was eventually lost in the echoing void of the vortex, along with the grey dimensions of the castle. And suddenly everything was surrounded by darkness, with everybody feeling like they were being pulled through an extremely long and windy tube of spaghetti. Then … with the sound of a gunshot, everyone was deposited soundly on their derrieres, and the blackness began slowly to fade, bringing everything swimming back into bright sunlight. Boys and girls alike blinked like owls against this glare. Ernest Digby polished his glasses frantically, thinking that there was something wrong with the lenses. It was only Professor Flounder who remained standing, not in the least bit perturbed by the ordeal. He calmly unclipped the Time Line and walked around the jumble of stricken students, winding in the black cord as he did so.

         ‘What was that?’ Cedric Finnegan enquired, still blinking wildly against the retreating glare. He had bright white spots in his eyes that floated about all over the place. In fact, they were making him feel quite dizzy.

         The history professor smiled his usual smile. ‘Just a normal part of time travel I’m afraid. It is worse travelling backwards than it is travelling forwards. I think it has something to do with the fact that the future hasn’t occurred yet so the space isn’t as cluttered with miscellaneous rubbish.’

…many thanks, m’Lady, Margaret

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…Michael Tyne drops in for a fascinating blether about his new book… The Last Five Days…

…here’s sum’thing to whet yer reading appetites… my mate, Author, Michael Tyne leads yeez with consummate ease into his new book, THE LAST FIVE DAYS… he’s being a tad coy in this photograph culled from the undercover files at Interpol… relax and enjoy:

authorxcf monochrome



Waits for the applause to die down

Realises there isn’t any.

So this is new. I’ve never done a guest blog post before.

In this situation I’m reminded of Olivia Manning’s fictional Cambridge Professor, Lord Pinkrose, who travelled half-way across war-torn Europe to give a lecture on the poet, Lord Byron: something I am unlikely to do, not least because I can’t stand Byron; although I am quite fond of Europe.

Evacuated from Bucharest and then from Athens in the face of the Nazi advance, Pinkrose finally winds up standing in front of an excited audience in Cairo. He utters four words:

“It seems not inappropriate…”

And then someone shoots him dead.

Pinkrose, in Manning’s narrative, was a pompous, silly and unpleasant man. But it’s hard not to see a parallel between his situation and that of the independent author, travelling a violent and uncaring world in search of an audience. I’ve been writing for thirty years, and large swathes of that period have been occupied in attempting to get people actually to listen.

So I’m grateful for the opportunity to do this post today. Sincere thanks to our generous host. And one can only hope that no-one in the audience is actually, erm, packing heat

Some years ago, I wrote a series of comic bedtime stories for my son, in which a small group of ill-matched characters confront alien invasion and Ultimate Evil on the tiny mid-Atlantic island of Bermuda. It fell, loosely speaking, into the Fantasy genre, which was something I had generally avoided in the past, because I was trying to write the Great Novel; despite being entirely unqualified, either intellectually or in a literary sense, to do such a thing.

The bedtime stories were easily the best fun I’d had as a writer in years – possibly decades – and I began to look at ways in which I might carry that fun on. I quickly realised that, while the storyline I’d created for them was untenable in a published work, the characters themselves had taken on a life of their own – as they will – and, if I were to transplant them to another situation, another story, I might have the makings of something special. I figured I could knock over a first draft, just for the fun of it, in a couple of months, and then see where we were standing. Eight weeks, I figured, should be plenty.

Eight years later, I finally published it.

It’s called The Last Five Days, and it’s a long way from the bedtime stories I wrote for my son.

I’m fascinated by history, and in particular by the two World Wars, and the way in which these colossal events affected the lives of entire populations. I’m also fascinated by the idea of ‘secret worlds’ – worlds, communities, societies which might exist beneath, or wrapped up in, the fabric of our ‘normal’ day-to-day world. Finally, there were my characters: an odd, almost archetypal group of individuals – The Baroness, The Identity Man, The Assassin, The Security Man – who had existed for decades, moving through the ordinary world, unnoticed, unregarded.

These were the elements which made up my story – along with my Aliens, lurking in space, enigmatic and unfathomable.

One fundamental thing changed during the writing of the book: I had thought I was writing about a group of extraordinary characters – superhumans, even – in an ordinary world. But the more I wrote about them, the more they changed. They acquired, names, histories, flaws, loves, hates and conflicts. They became, to cut a long story short, human. And I realised that actually I was writing about a group of very ordinary – painfully so – characters in an extraordinary world. Which, some might say, is as good a definition of the fantasy genre – or a corner of it – as one might hope for.

Naturally, a novel which charts the last five days of England as we know it (to quote a recent review) has a certain apocalyptic quality. Fantasy and Science Fiction writers will frequently tell you of the glee they take in destroying entire worlds – it’s one of the perks of the job – and I’m no different.

But in all of this, I found myself coming back, always, to my characters, to their humanity and weakness, and ultimately to the one quality which seems often to raise humans to nobility: the ability to love.

Because I do my research, I acquired an unhealthy level of knowledge about, for instance, guns; about the internet (and, specifically, how one might destroy it); and about our major cities and their populations (and, specifically, how one might destroy them). The tagline for the book is England Is About To Die. There’s a reason for that.

Since our genial host is of the Scottish persuasion, it seems only courteous to mention that Scotland is not – despite the tagline above – excluded from the fun. Part of the back-story to my series is tied up with the history of the Clans, with the Highland Clearances and, specifically with the tragedy of Culloden and its aftermath. I’m Lancastrian, born and bred, and my son is a resident of the Isle of Skye: naturally, I’m going to have more sympathy with Scots than with soft Southerners. And while Scotland largely escapes the mayhem in The Last Five Days, there are still two more volumes to come…

You see, somewhat to my disappointment, I was unable to finish the job in a single volume. Five Days is the first book in a trilogy, the last part of which I am now racing frantically to finish.

Then I’m going on to something even bigger.

You know what authors are like. We always want to talk about the next thing, not the last one….


The Last Five Days” is available as an e-book at all your favourite ebook retailers, and as a paperback via Amazon. Sale page links, and lots more, can be found at Michael’s facebook page:

Michael Tyne was born in 1964 in Lancashire, England. He has been writing for thirty years, and has built a small but devoted following for his Young Adult fiction (published as MJ Kingston).

In 2015, he returned to an eight-year-old project, an apocalytic contemporary fantasy trilogy entitled “The Shattered Land”. “The Last Five Days” is the first volume of that series. The remaining volumes are (nearly) finished and will be available later in the year.
He has lived, at various times, in London, Norfolk and Bermuda, but settled in a small town in the Peak District of England fifteen years ago, on the basis that he’s been dreaming of a quiet life since he was seventeen and has finally found one.

…cheeers, that man, Michael… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…my, my, Master Gallacher… we seem to have travelled a long way in such a short time…

…I cannot escape the great feeling of ‘belonging’ in the Blogosphere… and it seems to have been with me for almost an eternity now… imagine my astonishment, therefore, to realise my FIRST EVER blog post was in May 2012… less than four years ago… wow, me!… and wow, me again!... for the consumption of any relative newbies on this glorious wonderment of the ‘Internet Authoring For Dummies’... and p’raps for the enlightenment of some of yeez who’ve been around these virtual parts a lot longer that that, here’s what the early blog post content from Master Gallacher looked like … enjoy:

‘ A whole new world… an endangered species pleads for patience…

I am an endangered species, trying to make myself a tad less endangered. Computers and Web-by things and I are fundamentally incompatible. Without a safety net or a plethora of shrinks, I am plunging into the deep end here in cyberspace. By all accounts, Web Jurassics like me should have vanished off the face of the earth eons ago. But, hell, I look in the mirror, and I’m still here. Evolve or be damned they say. Keep up with the times they say. Embrace this world of Twitter, and Facebook, and LinkedIn and Godknowswhatelsesocialnetworks you can find, they say. Well there’s a misnomer if ever there was one . ‘Social’ networks. It’s basically non-instinctive for any human being to press buttons on a piece of electronic hardware and be ‘communicating’ anywhere. Yes, yes, I know we’ve had telephones and televisions and going back a wee bit, tons of radios and such for quite a while now. But I bet they were the cause of untold anguish to our forebears when they first encountered them. Well that’s how I am.  I wanted you to know that, so that when I press whatever button (or is that ‘key’) to send this virgin, maiden missive into the depths of ‘out there’, and all the town and city lights suddenly go out, you’ll know who to blame. I’m a new author. New, not in the physical bodily sense, for that was quite a while ago, but new to the family of fellow suffering scribes who sit staring at computer screens until their heads twirl backwards and their eyeballs fall out from plot and character development fatigue. And right here it’s appropriate to sneak in a confession…I’m loving it. The whole Twittery, Kindle-y, eBooks versus printed books debate-y, blog-gy, beautiful nine yards of it. I’m hooked, and don’t wish to be un-hooked any time soon. Thanks for being out there lovely people. talk to you in a while, I’ve got to go and discuss a little Point of View (POV to the author-y cognoscenti) with the writing committee in my head…’

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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