Tag Archives: new author

A-hem, (slight cough to get your attention), Ladies and Gentlemen, permit a slight departure from normal transmissions ( which WILL be resumed shortly hereafter…

My dear friend and fellow scribbler, @Susan_Buchanan, she of the outrageously successful novel, SIGN OF THE TIMES, has decided to put my new-found computer and web-by skills to the test by goading me to respond to a challenge that goes like this:-

The Lucky Seven Challenge

The Challenge

To post seven lines from an unpublished work of fiction or non-fiction. My seven lines are taken from VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK, due out around the end of July this year. VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK is the second in a series featuring Jack Calder, an ex-SAS soldier and his former colleagues in their specialist security company, ISP, as they use their black ops skills to tackle triad drug mobsters and East European gangsters.

So, the rules:-

–Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript, fiction or non-fiction

–Go to line 7

–Post on your blog the next 7 lines or sentences as they are–no cheating

–Tag 7 other authors to do the same–and have fun.

Here are the 7 lines from page 7 of VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK:-

“There,” Jules pointed to a mangled part of what had been the man’s chest. Jack eased away a two inch flat piece of dark grey metal. “And there.” Another part, curved this time, about one and a half inches across. His partner nodded as Jack slipped the two pieces into separate jacket pockets. Whatever evidence the local bomb squad would get, ISP at least had a comparable start. Just then the dying wail of sirens announced the arrival of the Metropolitan Police SWAT guys. Reaction time from the blast to their arrival was only four and a half minutes. Jack nodded in approval. Good team. Response doesn’t get much better than that.

My nominations for those I would like to display their 7 lines or sentences for the world to see go to:-

Stephen Edger

Mike Thomas

C.R Hiatt

Anya Lipska

Kate Laity

Colin Baines


Post it on your blog or failing that on Facebook or Goodreads ( or ALL of the above). Will you accept the challenge?


Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

Once more unto the blogging breach, dear friends…

Undaunted by visions of an exploding laptop, we trundle on with the next epistle. There’s none so dumb as those who haven’t a clue about what’s going on around them…I readily plead that I am the unrivaled leader of that pack. In Glasgow when I was growing up a thousand years ago, we used to have a saying, ‘act daft and you’ll get on the trams for free’… Fast forward, and read, ‘if you’re clueless on computers and web-by stuff, barge on regardless’. The mystical science for the new indie self-publishing author ( and probably for some of the established grandees too ) includes what seems like a straightforward phrase, ‘building a platform’. For those of you who hail from a construction or show business background, this may seem weird, but it has nothing to do with either of these. What it refers to is having the gall to stick your name in front of people, (who would normally call the police if you turned up at their doorstep), and expect them to embrace your labours of lyrical love with open arms. minds and wallets. “Easy” I hear the insane amongst you mutter, covering your sniggers with a half-closed fist. The nearest corollary to this kind of campaign was Samson’s seven improbable tasks. Already shorn of locks and brains, I stepped up and dived headlong into it. This week saw the prising open of the Pandora’s box that is the modern day Facebook. Getting in and on was relatively simple ( in fact, maybe far too many relatives). Then the toughie …who to invite? How to invite? It is strewn with booby traps. The capacity to upset or insult a legion of people simultaneously lurks at every press of a keyboard cypher. In the end, I merely tapped my finger on every name thrown at me by Facebook itself, until they had the audacity to tell me I might get blocked for asking too many fellow travellers to join my happy trip. So, now I pause for Facebook breath, not wishing to upset Mr Zuckerberg and his zillionaire associates. How does that compare, Mr Samson? Check it out. Twitter, Done. LinkedIn, Done. Goodreads, Done. Facebook, Doing. Blog, Done, Kinda. That writers’ Nirvana may be no closer than this time last week, but heck, it feels like fun, and that probably makes it illegal…so much the better. I hear the scraping of the key in the cell door lock, time to stash this under the pillow. The breakout’s planned for next month. Until then, snicker bars and ice cream, please, tons of ice cream.. pretty please… sound and picture fade…


Filed under Blether

Excuse me, ma’am, am I doing this right…?

Okay, so here I am, a fully-fledged certifiable nutter with a one percent chance of getting any of this stuff right first time. The first two blog posts surprisingly resulted in neither an arrest nor any report of mass suicides anywhere on the planet. So far, so good. Let it not be thought, however, that I actually understand any of this gobbledegook we call home here on the web. Familiar? Stay aboard, there’s more. Tweet Deck is now up and if not actually running, maybe stumbling along fairly well…at least I don’t have to scroll through ten zillion tweets every morning to see if anything’s relevant to me. I’ve caught the infection of RT-ing other authors’ works and am pleasantly surprised as to how good that feels, helping other lost souls like me on here. Generous writers who can really write have been open-handed with their blogs and interview/review posts to include some of my lunatic ramblings ( see “NICE FOLKS SAYIN’ABOUT ME” page attached to my blog… neat sophistication right there, huh?…sounds almost like a genuine author’s blog, heaven forfend). Now comes the biggy… my next novel is nearing completion, well, it should be done before 2018 at any rate and the pros are telling me to start nudging it out there already. Notices in the local supermarket and telling my next door neighbours is a good start I think, as well as alerting Uncle Fred and Auntie Mabel to stand by ready to purchase on day one and send it rocketing up the best seller charts. That’s the theory anyway. And like everything else I’m told on here , of course I believe it. VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK (already copyrighted, so pirates be gone), should be ready for Kindle-ing toward the end of July (this year…only kidding earlier). I suspect my faithful followers (both of them) will support this bludgeoning of the scribblers art with all the impact of a chocolate teapot on a stove. Oh, the triumph of hope over mundane practicality shines undimmed in this poor Scottish breast o’mine…meantime, the minders are letting me type even with my pajamas on, so it should get finished on time…don’t forget to send the ice cream, lots of ice  cream…until later……..picture of candle-powered writing desk with quill pen fades into sepia…………


Filed under Blether

So how does this thing work, Mister…?

Having dipped my toe in the bubbling waters of Writer-dom, the rest of my leg has suddenly been tugged under as well. I’m uncertain as to whether it’s a pleasurable continuing excitement or p’raps the start of a niggle of fear. Being the new social-media-challenged kid on the block here, I’ve been scratching around at other people’s blogs and stuff. None of your rummaging in dustbins or sneaky industrial espionage, you understand, just a peek at this fella and that gal, just trying to figure out really how it all works. Results of that research, you’ll not be surprised to learn, is that I’m mostly none the wiser. I think I may have the equivalent of a black belt in ignorance. However, people who have had to suffer me in the past will tell you that being ignorant of matters has never deterred me from lunging right ahead a la Bull in the China Shop. So, if you hear the metaphorical tinkling of disintegrating porcelain, send me the bill. But here’s the thing. It seems (whisper it if you must) that there’s a growing swell of opinion that ‘going the self publishing route’ may be casting off its former stigma. Shudder the thought, it might even start to become fashionable. What is clear to this neophyte at any rate, is that droves of hitherto unpublished authors now rejoice in the fact that their name is attached to the ‘published’ label. It may be that Uncle Fred and Auntie Mabel are the two sole purchasers of the masterpiece that’s taken blood, sweat, tears, and not a little psychiatric  counselling to tease out, but their baby is breathing somewhere in the ether world of Kindle et al. Of course, it doesn’t really matter to me if anyone downloads my book or not ( who the hell am I trying to kid!!). Another flash of the blindingly obvious is that having tasted that sweet, sweet ambrosia, the hypnosis of seeing my own name on Kindle, my approach to this whole adventure is radically changing. As sure as eggs is eggs, I’m becoming resigned to the fact that I’m now destined to spend the rest of my life trying to catch up and understand even a smidgeon of how this all works. In the meantime, my minders here at the writing asylum would like you to know that I can be visited at weekends and other days with a ‘y’ in them. Bring ice cream, lots of ice cream. I’ll report back soon….


Filed under Blether

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 you later…


Filed under Blether

“The Violin Man’s Legacy” (available on Amazon Kindle Store)

Thriller with bloody twists and turns as ruthless killers meet their match in former SAS hit squad.

Former SAS commando Jack Calder leads a manhunt across three continents to bring to justice international gold and diamond highjacking killers. Along the way he is forced to confront the ghosts from his own dark personal history.

“On either side of him, one man each took hold of an arm… two others stepped forward swiftly and acted in concert… two meat cleavers flashed and thudded through the flesh of each arm. As the dying triad was folded into the tarpaulin, the man in the middle seat spoke, very quietly.

“Remove this scum and park it with the fishes. The hands that have been stealing my money will be taken and shown round the streets to the rest of our people. Remind them all how much I value their honesty.” 

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May 7, 2012 · 6:17 pm