Microfiction #writephoto: Poseur

This is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

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He stood on the street corner and froze. His mind went numb and he thought he was going to be sick or piss himself. Or both. He knew she was a drama queen, and telling her about Pauline was the stupidest fucking idea he had ever had in his life. Or second stupidest after his famous writer pose idea, the famous writer with notebooks and fucking fountain pen pose, the sort of famous writer who sits in pretentious French-style cafés, the kind of café that plays Edith Piaf and George Brassens songs all day to pretentious famous writer poseurs with their fucking fountain pens and notebooks and their glass of pastis.

What a prat he had been. He’d handed himself over to the drama queen without even realising it. She had the imagination of a boiled potato, but she knew him inside out. He stood there on the corner, the park on one side of the street, his apartment block on the other. And she was there, like all three witches from Macbeth rolled into one, standing next to the litter bin, and the litter bin was on fire. Ash was already floating high in the air, pale flakes like dirty snow. Paper ash. From the street corner he could see the black cover of a notebook curl in the heat.

Eco

An echo verse. What else?

©Università Reggio Calabria

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The words are lost

Frost

Crisped and dry

Sigh

So many stories

Glories

That could have been told

Unfold

Eternal secrets remain

Arcane

No perfumed rose

Repose

The pendulum swings

Wings

Nel buio tenero, ecco

Eco

Promote Yourself: with Elaine Canham

Promoting herself today is short story writer, Elaine Canham. You can read more of her work on her website:

http://www.elainecanham.com

This is a story she particularly wanted to see getting a wider readership. I can see why. Thanks for sharing it with us, Elaine.

Madame Zsa Zsa

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It’s funny how the most familiar things can really turn out to be really strange, while exotic sounding stuff just falls flat when you have it explained to you.

Look at Madame Zsa Zsa. If I told you she was a retired Hungarian tight-rope walker and former Parisian café owner, you’d think whoa, exotic. But if I then told you that really she played the organ in the kirk every Sunday, and everybody knew her as plain old Jeannie Delvine, then maybe you’d think, ‘Oh, well that’s boring.’

But to me it was Jeannie who was the more interesting person. For a start, I didn’t know her in her tightrope days. I was only eight, after all. But I did see her walk out on the rocks in the Tay to save Bugs from drowning, and she certainly had an assurance in that treacherous, whisky clear water, that I knew I would never have. And she was old then. Not old old, but old to me. Old as in her, what, forties, fifties?

She moved in next door to us on my eighth birthday. It was a blisteringly hot day, and my aunties and granddad were all round the table in the back room. Granddad was wearing his blue suit with a watch chain stretched across his waistcoat. He had taken his jacket off because it was so hot, and he kept wiping his face and the back of his neck with a brown and white striped hankie. We were eating ice cream and raspberry jelly. It was Neapolitan ice cream, three glorious stripes of colour in a damp cardboard box from Mr Menzies the corner grocer. Colin, my brother, had been sent up the drowsing street to get it. And when he came back he was full of the news of our new next door neighbour.

‘She’s got blonde hair,’ he said, handing two threepenny bits in change, to my mother.

‘Aye,’ said my auntie Nellie, looking meaningfully at my other auntie, Maggie. ‘Blonde hair? And did she have one of they short skirts?’

Colin wiped his hands on his shirt front and looked confused. ‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘Just normal. With flowers on and things.’

‘Nellie!’ my mother said gently. ‘Don’t ask him questions like that. Asking him to look at women’s clothes.’

Mum pushed back a limp tendril of hair from her forehead and looked at him. ‘Is she nice?’

‘Oh, aye,’ said Colin. ‘She’s awfy nice. I helped her in with a box and she gave me sixpence.’ He looked at Auntie Susie. ‘She didn’t have a short skirt. She talks funny and she’s quite old.’

‘Old?’ said Auntie Susie, catching a look at herself in the mirror and smiling.

Colin dug into his ice cream. ‘Aye. About the same age as you.’

Jeannie, or Mrs Delvine as I had to call her, had blonde curly hair. It was not, as my mother said, ‘out of a bottle,’ and therefore she was not, as my auntie Nellie would have had it, a Jezebel. If my auntie Nellie had known that Jeannie was once called Madame Zsa Zsa, she definitely would have been a Jezebel. But nobody knew anything about Mrs Delvine. She kept herself to herself, except for the odd smile here and there when you passed her in the street.

With every fresh bit of news about a new person in the village, there would either be a collective nodding by the women standing at the counter waiting to be served in Mr Menzies, or a pursing of their lips. Not that there were many new people coming to our part of Perthshire in 1963. I knew by their discussions that, if you were a stranger, you had to get certain things right. That you had to pass a kind of a test. And not just the one.

Anyway, the women didn’t have much to go on with Mrs Delvine, except, as Colin said, she had a funny edge to her voice. Nobody could quite place it. And then, when Mrs Melville got too much rheumatism in her hands, and couldn’t play the piano in kirk on a Sunday any more, Jeannie went to the minister and volunteered. And she was a fine, fine musician. So that was another test passed. But what all the tests were, was something that I spent a great deal of time pondering. Would I have to take these tests, when I grew up? When I went anywhere new, would people walk behind me, inspecting my hair and my clothes, and thinking my voice was funny? And how many tests were there and what were they for?

I asked, I did ask, about these tests, but my mother would just tell me to stop blathering and go out to play. So I would go, with Bugs Leckie and Anne Sutherland and Margo Menzies, up to the field behind the school where the swings sat in deep muddy puddles, and where the older kids would dare you to lick the snowball bushes. ‘They’re poison they are. They’ll kill you if you swallow a berry. Go on, I dare you…’

Or we would go down to the Tay. Not often, because it was fast and rocky where it went past our village, and when it was in flood it scared me. But on hot summer days, when it lay quiet and brown under the trees, we would venture out on to the rocks and dip our hands in the cool water and try to catch the sticklebacks that flitted in the shadows. But we wouldn’t go right out in the middle. It was dangerous out there. It looked calm enough, but it was deep and cold, even in August, and the wrinkles on the surface let you know there were big currents underneath.

Bigger boys would sometimes dare each other to cross the river by leaping from rock to rock. And sometimes they did, and sometimes they fell in. My cousin Kenneth had drowned there in 1942, when he was just a boy going after his football. And his mother, my auntie Nellie, had never really got over it. Sometimes, she went a bit odd and looked in the kitchen cupboards, calling his name, and then she would have to go to hospital for a while. We never talked about going down to the river, in front of her. But we still went.

Anne and Margo would stay on the steep tussocky bank and make mud pies with an old frying pan, but Bugs and I would go out into the shallows, before it got dangerous. Bugs wasn’t a girl. His real name was Bob. But he had sticky out teeth, and the boys made fun of him because his dad had refused to fight in the war. Peter Menzies, the grocer’s son was the worst. It was him that thought of calling Bob ‘Bugs’. But they all called him a coward.

The war had ended 18 years before, but memories were still strong in the village of some of the men who had gone and who had not come back. Peter’s uncle was one of them.

Bugs’s dad came to the school to get Mr Roberts to stop the bullying, but Mr Roberts wouldn’t have anything to do with him. They stood in the dim brown corridor by the school hall, wee Mr Leckie, with his Sunday jacket on and his hair combed flat, and big tall Mr Roberts with his gown and his dark suit. ‘I will not see you, Mr Leckie,’ intoned Mr Roberts, in that same booming voice that he used in assembly. ‘I will not see a man who refused to smite the Germans.’

Smite the Germans. I was standing by my classroom door. I had been sent out for talking. I had to stand there for five minutes. But I had no way of knowing how long that was. I had no watch. I could not see the clock in the hall. All I could do was look through the glass in the door and hope Miss Thomson would see me and wave me back in. But smite the Germans took me away. I could see Mr Roberts dressed like Goliath in the bible with a big shiny breastplate, and metal shin pads, his sword raised. Smiting the Germans as they came over the purple plains in their tanks and low flying planes. Smiting them.

Was he going to smite Mr Leckie? And what with? I could see Bugs’s dad clasping his hands and then standing almost to attention. ‘My beliefs are my own, Mr Roberts,’ he said quietly. ‘It is not right that my son should suffer for them.’

Mr Roberts twitched his gown and turned away. ‘I will not hear you, Mr Leckie. I will not hear you. Your son is getting an education. And that is more than the Germans would have given him.’ And he opened the door to his room and strode in and shut the door in Mr Leckie’s face. And Mr Leckie turned and looked at me, and I wanted him to open that door and go in after Mr Roberts and give him what for. But he just stood there and put his hands deep in his pockets and turned away. Maybe he was a coward after all.

I wanted to go after him and ask him why he didn’t want to smite Germans, or even smite Mr Roberts, but at that moment my class room door opened and Miss Thomson pulled me inside. I was sent out again, half an hour later, for asking too many questions, so I don’t know why she bothered, really.

So there we were on the rocks, Bugs and I, trying to catch sticklebacks when I asked him if it was true he was a coward.

‘I am not,’ he said. His hair, blue black, fell into his eyes, and he swept it out with a wet hand. ‘I am not a coward.’

‘I was just asking,’ I said.

He got up on his feet. ‘I’m not a coward!’

‘All right,’ I said. ‘I don’t mind. Dinne fash yersel.’

He was standing in the light of the sun coming through the trees, and the light was bouncing off the water on his hair and face and arms. It was like he was covered in diamonds.

‘I’m going to walk across the river,’ he said.

‘Like Jesus?’ I said.

‘On the rocks,’ he said. ‘I’m going to jump between them. And if I make it, you can tell everyone, and I’m not a coward, ok?’

‘But the water’s calm,’ said Margo. ‘Anybody could do it now. Even cowards.’

Bugs looked at her, his pale face flushed bright pink. ‘Would you do it then?’

Margo looked out over the broken line of rocks in the water. ‘No. Because I don’t want to get wet. And anyway, if you fall off you’ll get swept down to the weir, and that’ll be the end of you. There’s currents in there. My mum told me. ’

‘Right,’ said Bugs. ‘I’m going.’ And he turned and there was a moment that I saw on his face, that he really was scared.

‘Bugs,’ I said. ‘Bugs.’

But he leapt for the next rock out. ‘I made it!’ he turned and his face was shining. ‘I made it!’ he shouted. ‘I made it, and I’ll go all the way. You’ll see!’

‘Bugs, come back! You’re not a coward!’ The look on his face was so determined it made me clench my hands. I wished I’d never asked him that terrible question.

But he was too busy looking out at the next rock to listen to me. I shouted again. But it was too late. He had leapt, and he had missed and the water was deep and still and cold there, and Margo and me and Anne screamed. And past us came a flash of yellow on the path by the bushes. It was Mrs Delvine out walking in her Sunday best and she glanced at Bugs sinking in the pool and bobbing up again, his face pale against the dark water.

And as neatly and quickly as if she were bending down to get a dropped hankie, she kicked her shoes off, put her handbag on the bank, and then jumped lightly out on to the rocks. It was easier for her, of course, because she was bigger than us, but there was an assurance and balance that she had, that I had never seen before in anyone I knew. She reminded me of the gymnasts I had seen in the Moscow State Circus on the TV. She just moved from rock to rock as if she was avoiding puddles on the High Street, and when she came to the pool she knelt down, reached out and grabbed Bugs by his hair and then she got an arm under him and pulled him out, and he fell against her, and her lovely suit was dark with water and river muck.

Men had come by then, and women too. Anne had run off to get them. Mrs Leckie was standing shrieking on the bank, ‘My wee boy! My baby!’ Mr Menzies was going out, in his grocer’s white cotton coat, to help Mrs Delvine, but Mr Leckie pushed him back. ‘That’s my son out there,’ he said. ‘I’ll get him, thank you.’ And he went out on the rocks almost as easily as Mrs Delvine, and took Bugs from her, and hugged him, and that was all I saw because my mum had come by then, and I was being dragged willy nilly back home for an early tea and bed and no argument, or it will be the worse for you. And all that long late afternoon and evening I lay in my bedroom and watched the shadows lengthen on the wall and wondered at Mr Leckie saying that, ‘thank you,’ and remembering the way Mr Menzies had blinked and stepped back.

And the next day apparently, Mr Leckie went into Mr Menzies shop, and the women stopped their talking entirely and the men went into the back room and talked for an hour together. And auntie Nellie wanted to go in and see what they were saying, but Mrs Sutherland stopped her. So nobody ever knew what was said. But when Bugs came back to school Peter asked him how he was. So that was all right, because that is the ordinary thing that I wanted to tell you.

Later on, days later, maybe weeks, I can’t remember now, I was round at Mrs Delvine’s because I was having a piano lesson, and there was a picture of her on her piano in a spangly leotard, balancing on a tightrope. Everybody had seen it except me. And exotic as it was, it was given only a minute’s worth of attention by the women waiting to be served in Mr Menzies. ‘Oh yes,’ they said. ‘See that Jeannie Delvine. She used to be a tightrope walker, in Hungary. And then she got arthritis, and her husband, aye, John Delvine, from Glasgow, that she met in the war, he died, poor soul. And then she ran a café in Paris, and it failed and she came here and saved wee Bugs Leckie fae drowning. Fancy that.’

Author Hot Seat with Misha Burnett

Today my guest in the Hot Seat is Misha Burnett, an author I didn’t know before I decided to try and tempt the more off-beat authors to reveal themselves. I’m pleased that I did as it has given me the opportunity to discover some really original writers. Misha is one of those writers who seems to have defied every convention in the book—an ideal candidate for the ‘unclassifiables’ I was so keen to get into the hot seat.
Handing over now to Misha, to tell it as it is.

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G. K. Chesterton once remarked that when inscribing a circle, one can begin anywhere. To begin trying to explain the world that I have created in my novels, I want to start with a drunken conversation at a party some years ago in which I was discussing William Burroughs with a friend of mine and someone entered into the discussion under the impression that we were talking about Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The confusion didn’t last long, but the chance juxtaposition of two very different writers, both of whom I happen to enjoy for very different reasons, started a chain of thought in my mind. What if (and “what if” is writer talk for “hold my beer, I want to try something”) I took what I liked from both writers and put it together?
The world has changed and grown some since then, but the seed crystal with which I started was an attempt to combine the cosmology of William Burrough’s Nova Express novels with the very prosaic and quotidian style of an Edger Rice Burrough’s narrator.
My novels are set in a world that seems very much like ours, but is under attack by bodiless parasites from outer space, creatures that exist only as information and feed on order. They have destroyed their own worlds and have attached themselves to the Earth, entering the minds of human beings to sow madness and chaos, increasing entropy and sucking the sanity out of everything they touch.
They also make deals with human beings. They sell technology that allows humans to change themselves into other things—ambimorphs, blue metal boys, necroidim, minraudim, hives, pale surgeons. I deliberately set out to create a new mythology of semi-human creatures, avoiding the standard vampires, werewolves, zombies, elves, and so on.

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Now, that’s the half that’s easy to explain. The other half is my narrator, James, and his alter ego, Catskinner. This gets a little personal. I have a mental condition that is known as Dissociative Identity Disorder—what they used to call Multiple Personality Disorder. In creating James & Catskinner I wanted to capture the subjective experience of dissociation. I fictionalized it and made it into something with a fantastic explanation because I wanted to concentrate on the feelings rather than the facts behind them. (I, myself, do not believe that I have an alien demon living in my head, nor do I kill people. Just so you know.)
Clearly, I have some difficulty giving an elevator pitch on my novels. I have a main character who isn’t entirely himself, in a world where nothing is quite what it seems. I deliberately blur the line between science fiction and fantasy, keeping the true nature of the Outsiders ambiguous. My narrator is not a hero, he is, at best, the least of a host of evils. My romantic lead is a half-plant hermaphrodite. My protagonist’s sidekick makes his living conning government agencies into thinking that he works for them.
And don’t even get me started on James’ family.
My experience with traditional publishing has been somewhat underwhelming. I queried twenty-something agents when I finished the first novel, Catskinner’s Book. I carefully sorted through listings for those agents who were currently looking for new authors, who accepted science fiction and fantasy and horror (since my book could be considered any of those), and who specifically said that they were looking for works that broke new ground.
I never got a single reply. Not even a “no, thanks, this isn’t for me.” Nothing. To be honest, I don’t know if any of them even received my query. I know that people say that I should have kept working on trying to get representation, that I should have sent out two hundred or two thousand letters, but when the first twenty—the ones that I had hand-picked as being most likely to accept something really different—failed to reply at all, I gave up.
I decided to self-publish.

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Am I a financial success? Not so much. I have reached people, though, and I have a small but very enthusiastic fan base. My work isn’t for everyone, but those who like it seem to really like it, and it’s not something that they can get anywhere else. The reviews for both Catskinner’s Book and Cannibal Hearts have been very positive, and I have a lot of interest in the third book, The Worms Of Heaven. (I’m working on it, okay? It’ll be done when it’s done. Soon, though, I promise.)
I have tried a lot of different kinds of promotion, ranging from expensive stuff that doesn’t work to cheap stuff that doesn’t work. I’m a terrible salesman. Most of my new readers learn about my books from other readers, one friend telling another, “You’ve got to check out this book… it’s so weird!”
I also pick up new readers from my blog, where I talk about the art and business of writing and post samples of my work.
Now that I have some reviews on the two books that I have out there and a third nearly finished, I have started looking for a publisher again. There are a number of reasons for this, but the main one is that there is a lot more to putting a book together and selling it than just writing the damned thing, and I am very willing to share the profits in exchange for help with editing, formatting, promotion, and the rest.
It is still an uphill battle, but now I can point to my fans and say, “See—people will actually pay real money for this stuff! And say nice things about me, too!”
So we’ll see what happens.
To whom would I recommend my work? People who like books that mess with their heads. I consider myself a New Wave writer, in the tradition of Phillip Dick, George Alec Effinger, Ursula K Le Guin, Samuel Delany, and, more recently, Tim Powers, Clive Barker, and China Mielville. I don’t think that speculative fiction—by which I mean science fiction, fantasy, and horror—should be safe or comfortable. I raise a lot of hard questions in my work, and I don’t even try to answer most of them.
I like questions that don’t have easy answers. I think that they’re the only questions worth asking.
For more of my work you can check out my blog at: http://mishaburnett.wordpress.com/
My Amazon author’s page is here: http://www.amazon.com/Misha-Burnett/e/B008MQ8W4K/

Thank you for telling us about yourself and your writing, Misha. I think many of us would agree with you about the discomfort factor being somehow necessary in spec-fic, even if it is possibly easier to win over a certain readership by slipping in a romantic element that distracts attention from the potential nastiness of futuristic/fantasy worlds.
Your reasons for self-publishing will also seem pretty familiar to many of us. Interesting that you are going to persevere with your search for a publisher. I hope you’ll come back and let us know how you get on.

The Author Hot Seat: Second round

My first guest in this second round of The Author Hot Seat is an old (in blogging terms) friend, Seumas Gallacher.

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We all know you as the Scottish crime writer who wears a kilt even when he’s trolling about among the dunes of Abu Dhabi. What we might like to know is what he did before he became a camel driver that inspired him to write international crime novels. So, to satisfy the morbid curiosity of the red top readers among us, I’ve shoved said Scot into the hot seat, manacled him and got the irons nice and hot just in case he wants to hold something back.

J : Do your early years in Glasgow influence your writing?

SG : Undoubtedly. They say you can take the boy out of Glasgow, but you can’t take Glasgow out of the boy. Much of the grit and values that I’ve instilled in the main character in my crime thriller series, Jack Calder, reflect much of what tens of thousand of Dockland Govan residents were like sixty years ago. Survival there, as in many similar inner city post-war environments, demanded resilience, adherence to decent human values, a strong work ethic, and not least, a communal sense of humour.
In fairness, however, having left Govan in my mid teens, time spent in other locations, such as the Scottish Hebridean island of Mull, and a decade in London, also shaped the memories from which I believe most authors write.
A further 25 years in Asia, and the last 10 years in the Middle East, contribute immensely to differing experiences and character descriptions.

J : Where does the inspiration for these very high-powered heists come from?

SG : I’d like to say they come from personally having perpetrated one, but they’d come and lock me up and throw away the key if I owned up to that. My credo in writing my type of crime thrillers is to have ‘high impact’ passages where relevant. This also translates into an almost minimalist descriptive style. I aim to provide enough to let the reader colour in as they imagine, which I think we all do anyway when reading fiction. That ‘punchiness’ also lends the writing more pace.

J : Is it easy being a Scot writer in Abu Dhabi?

SG : Abu Dhabi, where I live, is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It’s somewhat more laid back than Dubai, which tends to attract the more ‘lifestyle’ headlines and interest from the international press and magazines. It’s an Arabic, Islamic society, but is liberally accommodating of other faiths. Living expense is relatively high compared with the UK or most of the USA. I find it easy to write here. Having been an expatriate for the best part of 45 years (if I consider London a ‘foreign’ posting), I tend to adapt readily to wherever I land.

J : Did you try to get publishers/agents interested in your books or did you go straight for the self-pub route?

SG : When I drifted off the pink cloud of having written ‘The End’ on the first novel, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, I spent a considerable amount of time researching the best way to acquire that elusive endangered species… an Agent… or that even more under-threat-of-extinction creature, a Publisher… in the end, I sent 40 Query Letters to addresses in London… 40 rejection slips/non- answers later, I was persuaded to consider the new-fangled Amazon Kindle route… the rest is history, and the stuff of legend for me… 75,000+ downloads later, I’d still welcome a top-class Agent or Publisher if one knocked my door, but I thoroughly enjoy the freedom and the hard work that goes with it, in being an independent self-publisher.

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J : On the face of it, your writing looks as though it fits quite easily into the crime category. Is that too simplistic an analysis?

SG : It’s probably the principal tag that describes the novels, but as with most authors, there’s usually divergence and some overlaps into other part descriptions in the writing, such as with mine for example, I could add ‘action’, ‘thriller’, ‘police detection/procedure’, ‘black ops’ and so on.

J : How do you deal with promotion?

SG : I fully believe that the writing is the comparatively simple part of what I call the ‘business’ of writing. Promotion and marketing is where the ‘slog’ comes in. And it’s so necessary. I saw a quote the other day that says ‘you don’t make money from writing—you make money from selling your writing’. I determined from the outset to get aboard properly on the correct usage of the so-called ‘social networks’… ‘social’ it isn’t… hard work it is… I’ve developed a presence on my chosen channels of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon, Google+, etc… but the most vital part of all is my blog, on which I try to post daily… every post is automatically linked to all of my social networks. The potential marketing/promotional ‘reach’ is staggering. For example, when I launched on Kindle my third title, SAVAGE PAYBACK, I asked a few hundred select followers to Re-Tweet the message. I tracked the potential ‘hits’ through the algorithmic ‘delta’ extent of their ReTweets, and after three days I stopped counting at 2,750,000. The strength of the Web is powerful.
I’ve published on Kindle how I deal with this stuff, with SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES.

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J : Self-pubbed writers are often criticised for clogging up the machinery with poor quality, poorly edited writing. How hard have you found it to be taken seriously as an indie writer?

SG : There’s no doubt that tons of, at best, ‘average’ offerings have come on stream. The eBooks phenomenon allows the dream to become real for many new wannabe Rowlings, Pattersons and Childs. The tenets of good ‘production’ includes excellent proof-reading, editing, cover art, and so on. The more successful writers will adhere to that, if not immediately, but eventually as they progress through the maze of self-publishing, improvement should develop. For my own work, I strive to sculpt my writing to the best of my ability, but only to the point where I am pleased with it myself, not overly concerned about how other people regard it. If we try to please all of the people all of the time, we know where that leads us. My sales figures tell me I’m on the right track.

Well, Amazon has one satisfied customer at least! Those are pretty impressive figures. Thanks so much for sitting in the Hot Seat today, Seumas, and presenting such an up-beat take on self-publishing.
All aficionados of thrillers can find Seumas’s books at the links below
http://bookShow.me/B00JBL6K80
http://www.amazon.com/seumas-gallacher/e/B005DVJY8U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
http://www.amazon.co.uk/seumas-gallacher/e/B005DVJY8U

I thoroughly recommend The Violin Man’s Legacy to readers like me who have problems following the plots of standard thrillers. This one is much more character-driven and appeals to the softy just as much as the hard-boiled. You can read my review here.

Biography
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

Blog : seumasgallacher.com
Twitter : @seumasgallacher
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/seumasgallacher
Email : seumasgallacher@yahoo.com