Wednesday, 26 February 2014

When the reviews come in twos ...

Book reviews are rather like buses: you wait ages and then two come along together. I am thrilled to say that Someday Never Comes has recently received two excellent reviews. 

The first came on the wonderful Confessions of a Reader. Marilou George also reviews for The Kindle Book Review.

The second review of Someday Never Comes (copied in part below) arrived on the Amazon UK site and, in a way, is even more satisfying because it’s an Amazon Verified Purchase, which means the reviewer bought the book and enjoyed the read enough to come back and comment.

"I think this is a difficult way to spend a few hours but I thoroughly recommend it."

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Ten Facts About ... Seumas Gallacher

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?

SG : I don’t think it was a ‘realisation’… more of a slow dawning that the immersion in writing was giving me so much pleasure. The first novel was written only 5 years or so ago, after a decades-long career in the financial world as a corporate trouble-shooter.

That initial writing foray was to salve the ‘I can write that book that everybody’s supposed to have in them’ feeling. It’s taken off from there. Since then, the added allure of the SOSYAL NETWURKIN whirl to help BUILD THE PLATFORM is something this old Jurassic has taken to like a duck to water. LUVVIN IT!

How long does it take you to write a book?

SG : The first book, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, took only three months to get the first draft finished, the second, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK absorbed seven months, the third, SAVAGE PAYBACK, gobbled up thirteen months. Much of that extending time was spent honing editorial skills, which is paramount to get the work to the point where I’m happy for people to read it. The next one is not going to take anything like that length of time (fingers crossed!)

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
SG: For me it’s paramount to have a disciplined routine, at least for the writing/creative part of the business (I look on the writing as a business, encompassing the ‘after-scribbling’ work as much as the actual writing.) I write in the mornings for a couple of hours, and if time permits later in the day, I’ll write then, also. In between, I spend daily allocated time on the SOSYAL NETWURKIN channels, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn and my Blog, all of which are important pieces of the jigsaw for getting my name and my work into the readership universe.

How many crime novels have you written?

SG: So far, the three mentioned above, and currently on the fourth, with at least another two to follow… the ideas for crime thrillers are so easy…all I have to do is watch the cable channel news for ideas. 

Which is your favourite and why?

SG: That’s like asking a parent which is the favourite offspring. I get so engrossed in each of them when I write, I like them all equally (they’re my little babies!)

Where do you get your ideas? The theme for all the Jack Calder series (he’s the main character) originated from my time in the Far East, where one of my engagements was managing the turnaround of a stricken ferry company. I fired six hundred trade union dockworkers, and took several local policemen and mayors off the security payroll in the townships we served, as they were helping themselves to the company’s money and assets. Death threats followed as did the need for an armoured car and a squad of armed bodyguards for three years. These guys were trained by a former SAS officer. Hence the genesis of the Jack Calder character.

Who is your favourite character from your own work and why?

SG: Strangely, a minor character from the first novel. A South American ‘fix-things’ guy who helps with some of the undercover black ops scenes. His role was needed for only a couple of chapters, but I had such fun with the scenarios created through his presence, I was sad to have to write him out of the book (I didn’t kill him off, so perhaps I can bring him in again in another novel).

Which character from the work of others do you wish you’d invented and why?

SG: There are so many, but I recall what an impact ‘Lee’ made on me from John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. The character is an educated housekeeper of Chinese immigrant parents. Throughout the novel, he acts as the philosophical voice and stabilising force in the household of the principal proponents, the Trask family. Terrific characterisation, and a piece of genius in deflected story-telling from Steinbeck. you could have been someone from history involved in crime (good or bad) who would that be and why?

SG: Easy one. Eliot Ness. Champion of the good over the bad guys. Gutsy, maverick, determined.

What are you working on now?

SG: The fourth in the Jack Calder series, KILLER CITY, and hope to have it up on Amazon Kindle soon after New Year.

Seumas Gallacher was born in the cradle of the Govan shipyards in Glasgow in the so-called ‘bad old days’, which were really the greatest of days, where everybody was a true character of note.

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.

The lifelong desire to write resulted in THEVIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, the first in a planned series. Seumas’ sequel novel, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK was launched in early July 2012. The third, SAVAGEPAYBACK, was released in late 2013 with at least two other books to follow in the same vein. Ebook downloads on his novels exceed 70,000 to date.

Seumas lives in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Blog                :
Twitter             : @seumasgallacher
Facebook         :
Email               :

Crime Thrillers by Seumas Gallacher


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Interviewed by Declan Burke

Author and journalist Declan Burke shone the spotlight in my eyes and threatened me with a rubber hose unless I coughed up the answers to some searching questions. You can read all about it on his blog, just click here.

Although I cowered in fear, I knew my revenge would make it all worthwhile. Coming soon to this blog - Declan gets the torch in his eyes for a change.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Excellent review from Crime Fiction Lover

Knowing one of your novels is going to be reviewed by a highly respected review site, such as Crime Fiction Lover, can be a nerve-wracking experience. I know this because Someday Never Comes was accepted for review (and this is a site that is very picky indeed about what they will and will not feature).

First came the delight of knowing Someday Never Comes was going to be in the company of some really big hitters in the crime genre (my reviewer recently covered such names as Val McDermid, Ann Cleeves and Peter May). Then followed the fear of knowing I was going to be judged as an author against those same names.

After a few uncomfortable days worrying about how I would fare, I finally got the message that the review was up on the site. To say I was delighted would be an understatement akin to mentioning the earth revolved around the sun.

I was thrilled by lines like these: ... this writer is adept in the art of creating realistic characters and their complex relationship with each other. and There are twists and turns galore as we all try to work out who the enigmatic Joey actually is, and the final reveal is neatly executed.

You can read the review in full here.

Some other news regarding Someday Never Comes - it is in the running for a Crime Writers' Association Dagger Award. Once again, it will be up against the top names in crime. Fingers crossed I'll be able to bring some good news in a few months.

If you want to take advantage of the publisher's kindle sale, all three D.I. Paolo Storey titles are on sale at 99p/99c as a Valentine's special.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Ten Facts About ... Nik Morton

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer
When I was about 13, when I handwrote stories. I was given a Remington portable typewriter for my birthday when I was 16 and wrote my first novel, A Man is Known by the Company He Kills. A short pithy title; its sequel wasn’t much better – Kill a Man while he’s Down. I should have been studying for GCEs, though…

How long does it take you to write a book?
It varies. A short novel of 50,000 words – that can be written in a month, that is 240 hours; it’s rare that those hours are concurrent, as life intrudes; longer work can take 3-4 months. And some have been known to gestate for years. 

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I’m usually writing two novels at once, alternating maybe on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the narrative flow. Of late, now I’m no longer editor in chief for Solstice Publishing, I find I have more time to get to grips with the ubiquitous social media; that takes time, too, though.

How many crime novels have you written?
Three. Pain Wears No Mask (which is out of print, looking for a publisher) and Blood of the Dragon Trees. Sudden Vengeance is due out from Crooked Cat in April. And they’ve recently published my crime anthology about Leon Casador, a half-English, half-Spanish private eye, Spanish Eye. It might not seem like many – because I write in other genres also.

Which is your favourite and why?
That’s difficult. They’re all favourites in their own way. Maybe Pain Wears No Mask because it was in the first person, the story being told by a nun who used to be a policewoman. And it won a Harry Bowling award. Reviews suggest that I captured her voice – and several readers were surprised to learn that the book wasn’t written by a woman!

Where do you get your ideas?
From the news, newspapers here in Spain, from wide reading, from research for articles and other books.

Who is your favourite character from your own work and why?
Another difficult question! I’m enamoured of Tana Standish, my psychic spy in the 1970s/80s; she features in two out of print thrillers, The Prague Manuscript and The Tehran Transmission. Of current available work, probably Leon Cazador; they’re written in the first person too and I feel I’ve captured his voice.
Which character from the work of others do you wish you’d invented and why?
It has to be an icon, I suspect, someone who became a household name, like Tarzan, Sharpe, or Philip Marlowe. Possibly Simon Templar, the Saint – and Leon Cazador is in fact the modern version, righting the wrongs of the ungodly.

If you could have been someone from history involved in crime (good or bad) who would that be and why?
Perhaps Professor Keith Simpson. I’ve had his book Forty Years of Murder (1978) since it came out in paperback in 1980. And of course now he’s in the public eye thanks to his assistant Molly Lefebure’s ‘adventures’ on TV. Because his intellect and persistence spared innocent people and condemned the guilty.

What are you working on now? 
Catalyst, the first of a series for Crooked Cat Publishing. I’m trying to find a new home for Pain Wears No Mask, with a different title (The Bread of Tears) and some changes. On the crime scene, I’m working on the next two ‘Cat’ novels, plus researching for Bradbury & Hood, a Victorian crime series. Non-crime, I’m halfway through To Be King, a sequel to the co-written fantasy quest novel Wings of the Overlord, due out in June.

Nik served for over twenty years in the Royal Navy, appropriately as a Writer, then went into IT. He has sold many short stories and articles and edited several books and magazines. He now lives in Spain. From 2011 to 2013, he was hired as the editor-in-chief of the US publisher, Solstice Publishing. He has had 20 books published/accepted since 2007. He writes as Ross Morton, Robert Morton, and Robin Moreton, among other names.

Last year his book Write a Western in 30 Days was published; reviewers say it’s useful for writers of all genres, not only westerns.

Books in order of publication – Visit Nik’s Amazon Author Page for more information on the list below

Death at Bethesda Falls (2007), Pain Wears No Mask (2007), The Prague Manuscript (2008), Last Chance Saloon (2008), The $300 Man (2009), The Tehran Transmission (2009), A Fistful of Legends (2009/editor), Assignment Kilimanjaro (2010), Blind Justice at Wedlock (2010), Death is Another Life (2011), When the Flowers are in Bloom (2011), Old Guns (2012), Bullets for a Ballot (2012), and Odd Shoes and Medals (2013/ghost-writer), Blood of the Dragon Trees (2013), Spanish Eye (2013), Write a Western in 30 Days (2013), Sudden Vengeance (April, 2014), Wings of the Overlord (June, 2014), The Magnificent Mendozas (July, 2014).

Twitter - @nik_morton