Tag Archives: #Carol J Hedges

…Authoress mate, Carol J. Hedges, she of the coruscating hairstyle, hosts me today on her blog…


…one of my special scribbling pals, Authoress, Carol J. Hedges, writes the superbly entertaining Stride and Scully detective novels, set in Victorian London… if yeez haven’t treated yerselves to a copy of her books, my first recommendation for 2017 is to download her WURK immediately… besides that, she demonstrates immense trepidity by permitting literary itinerant rapscallions such myself to invade her splendid blog, THE PINK SOFA… yeez can follow her on carolhedges.blogspot.com


Carol and I have each individually trodden the self-publishing/house-publishing/back-to-self-publishing trail… here’s my intrusion over there today which speaks to some of that issue…

Sunday, 1 January 2017

The PINK SOFA welcomes Seumas Gallacher

Having seen out 2016 in a blaze of glory which was almost just a blaze owing to some dodgy Christmas lights and a sparkler, the PINK SOFA welcomes its first guest of 2017. Debonair, urbane wit, writer and man about town, Seumas Gallacher pens the sort of fast-paced crime thrillers that keep you turning the pages from the first to the last. He has graced the PINK SOFA on a couple of occasions in the past, so it is a delight to welcome him back, with some sound advice for writers, to start off the year.

…self-published Authors, be careful what yeez pray for…

…as a scribbler of crime fiction, NUTHIN would please me more than to have one, and preferably more, of my wee literary babies become record-shattering bestsellers… when I began this incredible writing journey over eight years ago, my initial objective was to acquire one of those elusive mystical beings… a large international publishing house to carry my WURK to a grateful, anticipative, universal readership, who in turn would drool over every bon mot I produced… reality wasn’t long in pushing its nose in the way, and rubbing my nose into the mud of unrequited Nobelesque Prize aspirations… in turn, I have been a self-publishing author, then a ‘housed’ member of a good, modest-sized, literary stable, and now reverted to being my original persona, an ‘indie’ pensperson… and along the way, the dawning of a few reality-check-type home truths has settled in my brain… there are millions (yes, Mabel, millions) of titles on offer on Auntie Amazon alone… those whose tomes reach the pinnacles of the New York Bestseller lists et al are a miniscule fragment of the legions who reach for the Kindle skies… I’m told, however reliably or otherwise, that sales amounting to just 500 copies of a title constitutes ‘best seller’… most books don’t sell more than 50 copies… nowt wrong with that, of course, as many, many people write for their own pleasure and the real joy of having ‘written my book’… but back to those of us who do have dreams of ‘one of my books in every household’… allow me to share my experience in this… my sales/downloads (aggregated of all my titles) are somewhere in the region of 100,000… made me a millionaire, right?… wrong!… I’ll break it down for yeez… about half of these are ‘promo’ sales on various Amazon programs over these intervening eight years… Amazon counts free promo downloads as ‘sales’… I’ve no problem in letting freebies into the market, as I believe they generate real cash sales… however, and here’s a point to note… the resultant royalties spread over those years, while contributing somewhat to the rent, doesn’t put a Ferrari in the garage, or anything approaching it… as it is, self-publishing gives me much more than I was able to generate through a publisher, and in the event a major house came calling, I would have to think very carefully before I’d surrender my sales destiny to them… why?…  a few things… first of all, control would disappear… even the checking of my sales figures on a regular daily or weekly basis would be taken from me… the publisher sees them, not the author… regardless of whether or not yeez have a publisher, the writer still has the lion’s share of the promotional and marketing burden to manage… a publisher is more likely to be on yer case to produce the next blockbuster, and the next, and the next… the artWURK choice passes to sumb’dy other than yerself… more loss of control… payments are done usually semi-annually, and yeez would have the devil’s own job to audit and check if the figures are correct… with self-publishing on Amazon, it’s every-month payments straight to yer account… and oh, yes, the size of royalty per copy is normally peanuts when sold via yer publisher… and yer books can take up to a year and more to be published after yeez give it over to yer publisher… more control loss… one more wee issue before I leave yeez… consider this… when yeez look after yer own ‘business of writing’ only ONE author is being 100% looked after… yerself… with ANY publisher, let’s say with 99 other writers in their stable, the law of averages says yeez’ll receive at best 1% of their focus…  still wanna be ‘house-published’?… self-published Authors, be careful what yeez pray for, yeez might get it… meantime, I’m off to Guest Speak to another gathering of potential loyal readers of my books… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


Find Seumas :

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005D7JNCQ/ref=series_rw_dp_sw/156-0804034-8330652

Twitter: @seumasgallacher

Blog: seumasgallacher.wordpress.com



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…the incredibly talented Authoress, Carol J. Hedges graces me with a Guest Blog…

…witty, insightful, and outspoken in coruscating splendor, Authoress, Carol J. Hedges and I first met (not suprisngly) through the Blogosphere… and later in the company of other excellent reader and scribbly personae at a coffee gathering in a restaurant off St Pancras Station in London… once met, never forgotten… the strength of friendships created through the writers’ global family is superb, Carol is living evidence of that… enjoy what she has to say about large bookshop retailers et al…


                                                                                                          CAROL J. HEDGES


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…Authors… there’s a WURLD of difference between writing humorous books and writing humour in yer books…

…of all the JONGGRs available to the reading public, I remain in complete awe of those scribblers who write humour… Authoress pals such as Heather Hillheather and SuzanneSuzanne Kelman… it demands an ability not only to be funny, but also to have that special skill needed to infuse wit into yer masterpieces… and all on a constant, page after page manner… Suzanne tells me the art is in keeping a rhythm to the writing… of course, many of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land who are part of the writers family will have occasion to have flashes of humour in yer own stuff… generally in the dialogue between/amongst yer characters, more as throwaway lines than lengthy passages of script… and that’s perfectly acceptable… but trying to be funny in a book that’s essentially a hard-boiled crime, or action, or historic, or romantic WURK is likely to be unsuccessful… some do have the knack of knowing where to insert humour in the omnipresent voice in the course of the story-telling… one such gifted proponent of that is my friend, Carol J. Hedges, carolwhose magnificent Victorian-era crime series contains unexpected flashes of oblique humour, which heighten greatly the pleasure in reading her narratives… switching to shorter bits of authorship such as blogs and articles, then it’s more appropriate to dress yer WURDS in humour if that’s yer intent… however, merely telling jokes should be left to the television or music-hall comedians… they do it for a living… and they’ll be the first to tell you how difficult it is to be constantly funny… if needs must, disguise yer punchlines in stories themselves, not jokes… there’s a separate skill set in that ‘business of raconteurship’… the finest of these in my lifetime include the late Peter Ustinov and currently, my own special God of Humour, Billy Connolly… keep smiling… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…Authors… a coupla thoughts on the intangible thing called ‘pace’ in yer writing…

…let’s get one thing understood from the outset… well, two things really… first of all, I’m not a guru on this stuff… this is just an ol’ Jurassic scribbler’s opinion… secondly, the WURD ‘pace’ doesn’t necessarily mean ’speed’, especially in the context of yer writing… we all know there are tons of different JONGRRs yeez can scribble in… from romantic, historical, YA, crime, biographical, sports… whatever… some types lend themselves more readily to prosaic lengthy descriptive narrative… others, punchy, compact, hurl-yeez-to-the-last-paragraph stuff… all are legitimate… and each attracts its own ‘pace’… but I think it’s important for an Author to understand which ‘pace’ best suits his or her own chosen niche… fr’example, I write crime thrillers loaded with action sequences… and the length of each novel (the notorious WURD-count nonsense) rarely exceeds 70,000 WURDS

bb…I learned early in this quill-scraping gig, that most times, less is better than more… ask any editor worth their red-pencil sharpener… a coupla things develop from this (this is the bit I want yeez to note, Lads and Lassies of Blog land, so listen up)… if yeez find ‘slow’ passages in yer book where yeez want it to hurry up and get to the ‘interesting’ bits, then the bit ye’re reading should be taken out… simple as that… what’s left is tight, hopefully absorbing writing… and it lends proper ‘pace’, tempting yer readers on to the next piece…


…my dear friend and fabulous author of the Victorian crime novels ‘Diamonds & Dust’ and ‘Honour & Obey’, Carol J. Hedges explains that she writes not in chapters, but in episodes… how wonderfully put… we read in episodes, whether yeez put a chapter heading to it or not… and it’s a great ROOL of thumb when yeez write as well… instead of ‘watch this space’, think, ‘watch this pace’… see yeez later…  LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…another visit to Author, Carol Hedges’ Pink Sofa…how could I resist?…

…Author pal, Carol Hedges produces captivating Victorian crime novels, which yeez will find addictive reading… visit her blog, http://carolhedges.blogspot.com … inbetween times she hosts unsuspecting scribblers to her Pink Sofa web page… I’d been there before, but despite that, she tempted me back again… here’s what happened:

Carol Hedges


I write. I sleep. I try to resist cake.

Friday, 6 February 2015

The PINK SOFA meets Seumas Gallacher

Seumas Gallacher

Every now and then The PINK SOFA is lucky enough to encounter A Real Character. Such is its current guest, writer Seumas Gallacher. He has graced THE SOFA before – leaving a half-drunk bottle of malt and a rather restless haggis behind. Seumas lives and works abroad – a place The Sofa fully intends to visit once the ban on it leaving the UK has been lifted. This is Seumas’ account of being an ‘ex-pat’ author.

Seumas of Arabia… on being an Author in the Middle East.

I’ve been asked several times over the past few years what it’s like being a writer based in the Middle East. I never gave it much thought before that question was posed, but I suppose there are some salient things that differentiate a scribbler’s life out here, compared to elsewhere in the world.

At the outset, much of the routine of producing masterpieces for the universal readership consumption is much the same wherever the writer’s den is located.

The need for researching detail; attention to grammatical correctness; knowing your readership market; all of these are constants, plus many others I’m sure you can all think of.

However, closer focus will reveal some variations from the European, Australian or American writer’s lot. I speak only from personal experience on this, and I’d be happy to learn how others situated in different parts of the planet find it.

First off, with my writing, I produce crime thrillers, populated by all manner of international bad guys. By choice, I have elected not to jump on the bandwagon that many others have done, by tagging their villains as ‘Islamic Jihadists’ of all kinds of hue. Living in the Middle East, I count innumerable friends in the Muslim society that I’ve been privileged to live amongst for the past ten years. I choose not to ‘bite the hand that feeds’ even in my scribbling. It has been too easy a soapbox for too many writers, I feel. That said, I suppose I now have to be careful on my travels to Albania, Turkey, Serbia and Lithuania!cover21

I also published hard copies of two of my novels locally and that has required having my galley proofs vetted by the National Media Council in Abu Dhabi. In one of the books, I was asked to ‘tone down’ a couple of paragraphs with an adult bedroom scene. I simply removed the ‘offending’ passage. The result made me realize that I don’t need these passages at all in what are essentially crime and action thrillers.

Another difference entails getting the books onto the shelves here. I visited each head office of the major book distributers and did hand-to-hand combat on pricing, discounts, deliveries and so on. All of it managed personally. I don’t think that would work in the UK.

Following that theme, because the newspapers and magazines are principally local in focus, my name and work is easily broadcast if I so choose. That also leads on readily to invitations to Guest Speak at clubs and associations, with the attendant book signing and sales opportunities.

With the Internet, access to information is at my fingertips. The availability of the social networks is probably the biggest factor in overcoming the geographic distance from potential readers and physical attendance at other author groups. I made a conscious decision when I began this late-in-life immersion in authorship to embrace as far as possible the baffling diaspora that is the Web. I’m glad I did. Without that continual application to building my own platform and connections, I think very little, if any, of the success that I’ve enjoyed to date would have happened.

Despite the credibility that self-publishing has acquired, as a businessman, I am not wont to turn away the opportunity to partner with a good publishing house. After six years of striving to find the right ‘home’ for that, along has come Crooked Cat Publishing, who have contracted to take my Jack Calder series aboard, starting in January 2015.


Had I not been based in the Middle East, I think my chances of garnering an Agent or Publisher may have come along quicker, merely because I know that I would have made the effort to visit addresses and people in the publishing industry in the UK.

Recently I have spent some of my other business time in Bahrain, (I have my own corporate ‘trouble-shooting’ firm) and now shuttle between there and Abu Dhabi. Discussions with the local distributors may see my books in the retail outlets in Bahrain soon. It was an indescribable pleasure to see THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK on the bestseller shelves at the W.H. Smith shop at Abu Dhabi International Airport, listed at #6 and #11 respectively. When it gets to that level at Heathrow, I’ll let you know!

So, yes, there are differences in being located in the Middle East compared to elsewhere, but somehow, perhaps mistakenly, I feel a tad more in control of my end of the ‘business of writing’. Oh, and the weather’s not too bad either.

Contact Seumas:

Blog:                 :seumasgallacher.com

Twitter             : @seumasgallacher

Facebook         : http://www.facebook.com/seumasgallacher

Email               : seumasgallacher@yahoo.com



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…an interlude with Her Pinkness, The Lady Duchess, Carol J Hedges… #TBSU…

…Her Regal Pinkness, the Lady Duchess, Carol J Hedges, issued a Royal Summons for this ol’ Jurassic to attend at her web with a Guest Post… I escaped without hearing her famous dictum, ‘…off with his head…’.  gotta be doing sum’thing right! … here’s the result :

I write. I sleep. I try to resist cake.

Friday, 10 January 2014

On The Bench With Seumas Gallacher

An early career as a trainee banker led to a spell in London, where his pretence to be a missionary converting the English fell on deaf ears. Escape to the Far East in 1980 opened up access to cultures and societies on a global scale, eventually bringing the realisation that the world is simply one large, extended village.
 Seumas now lives in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, which is nowhere near Scotland.
”…my kinda Blogger… my kinda lady, that Carol Hedges… on my perpetual slalom through the SOSYAL NETWURKIN whirl, I try never to miss the opportunity to accept invitations to Guest Blog, be the subject of Q and A, wannabe-darling-of-the-Web, me… when Ms Hedges offered to endanger the quality of her pages by allowing this ol’ Jurassic aboard, I asked the standard gambit of ‘…what would ye like?… WURD count?… topic?…’ …the response was immediate…and blunt… ‘an opinion post’, she said… ‘…length, short-ish, like I usually do,’ she said… and more than a wee hint that just getting on with it would be a good idea… LUVVED IT!… but, ‘opinionated?’… Moi? Moi?… yeez bet yer sweet a*ses, Moi!… when yeez reach my longevity milepost, it would be a bluudy miracle if there wasn’t a major streak of opinion coursing through these ancient veins… I could give yeez dozens of posts on opinion material, but let me focus on where my head’s at with the modern self-publishers’ eternal question… is it better to labour away at finding an Agent and/or Publisher or to polish yer WURK and devote yer energy to BUILDING THE PLATFORM as an indie?… the answers are ‘open’ …if ye’re lucky to get a goodAgent/Publisher relationship early in yer writing adventure, go for it… most will not get that immediately, myself included… but that can actually be a positive thing, and here’s why…yeez get to own and drive a major part of yer own destiny… first opinion, understand the competition for readership eyeballs is massive… getting heard through the cacophony of blether on the virtual channels is difficult… second opinion, define realistic ‘success’ for yerselves… sometimes achieving a few positive reviews does the business… for others, trillions, or hundreds, or dozens, or a pair of sales/downloads suffices… soothes the angst-ish beast that lurks in the breast of every quill-scraper, the doubt, ‘am I good enuff?’…’fess up time… I’ve been amazingly fortunate thus far… my first two wee crime thrillers have so far managed to garner 70,000+ downloads on the Great God Kindle… but the peaks and troughs on the sales figures would drive yeez nuts if yeez let it… which brings on, the third opinion…don’t get hung up on measuring yer own success against the gazillions of other WURKS out there… developing and nurturing relationships on the Web will help to zone in on yer market, which JONGGR (‘genre’ to the grammar police) to pitch at, get marketing support… and the fourth opinion… welcome critique in order to keep honing yer craft… the universal scribbling family is the most generous-spirited bunch of Lads and Lassies yeez will ever have… LUV ‘EM… and fifth, and most important, opinion…ENJOY YERSELVES… I’ll keep the other million and a half opinions until a later date…off yeez go now…”
Blog                : seumasgallacher.com
Twitter            : @seumasgallacher
Email               : seumasgallacher@yahoo.com
Amazon Links for SAVAGE PAYBACK


Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff