Saturday, 14 January 2017

Guest Author Seumas Gallacher of Abu Dhabi

SEUMAS GALLACHER escaped from the world of finance seven 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 30,000 direct contacts.  

His 'Jack Calder' crime thriller series, THE VIOLIN MAN'S LEGACY, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK, SAVAGE PAYBACK and KILLER CITY have blown his mind with more than 90,000 e-link downloads to date. His fifth, DEADLY IMPASSE was launched in late 2016.

He started a humorous, informative, self-publishers blog three 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 he's LUVVIN IT!
                          Links are listed below.


…the loneliness of the long-distance scribbler…

…even the shyest of people need company from time to time… hermits, real hermits, measure less than 0.00000648 percent of the WURLD’s population… cloistered monks and sisters of the cloth in their monkeries and sisteries at least have the presence of their own ilk round them on a constant basis… the brooding G. Garbo and H. Hughes had lots of M. Money around them to alleviate their solitary exclusion of the rest of the planet… which makes it apparent to me, Mabel, it is abnormal to ‘want to be alone’… yet, hundreds of thousands of quill-scraper Lads and Lassies of Blog Land choose just such a devoted pathway… yes, yeez can point to the Web, and all its SOSYAL NETWURKIN trappings… where at the click of yer mouse, yeez can be in touch with twenty-five trillion people simultaneously… but, and it’s a big ‘but’... it’s not the same as being with people in the flesh… the myriad virtual candlelit garrets wherein the scribing successes of the future literary generation reside hold their own special importance… being a writer is lonely… no-one else can sculpt the characters, plots, nuances of yer own story-telling… it’s unique to each and every one of yeez… I know I bang on occasionally here about the real WURK starting after yeez’ve finished yer masterpiece, in getting it accepted in the Big Bad WURLD out there… that doesn’t detract from the beauty and the adrenaline rush of actually typing ‘THE END’… yeez can try to share that feeling with others … but it’s impossible for them to feel what yeez feel yerself at that precise moment of conclusion… and all the heartache, all the pain, all the angst, all the suffered loneliness of the long-distance Author, all the alls… are worth every nano-second of this peculiar labour of love… and then, fools that yeez are (me included), what do yeez do then?… yeez start another one!… here’s a wee bit of this ol’ Scots Jurassic’s journey on that solitary trail… eight years ago in Abu
Dhabi, where I was living and working, it struck me that it was just ‘time for that book we all have in us’ to emerge from what’s left of my wee grey cells… and of course I had a full story and narrative ready to leap onto virgin pages, right?… wrong!... not a hint of it!... I decided to go walking for an hour and a half, ten evenings in succession, along the water’s edge of the Corniche in that excellent city, thinking of what kinda masterpiece I should produce… after the first couple of nights, an ending crystallized… it gave me a target toward which to write… and that’s how I’ve done all of my books since… the expected route to that ending changed several times as, first, a main plot theme, and then a secondary, and a tertiary began to interweave and push themselves into the frame… being the oldest self-confessed computer Jurassic on the planet, I purchased my first ever laptop at the age of sixty (my age, not the laptop’s), and perfected the one-finger-from-each-hand typing technique… it hardly encourages smoke trails from the keyboard at that speed, but hey, it does give me time to mull what I’m typing as I go along… positivity in everything, Mabel!... in a few months, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY was ready to breach birth into the heady universe of publishing… in due expectation of a million-dollar contract by return post, I packed off forty solicitations to agents in the UK, and sat back, envisioning the Ferrari salesmen, and Caribbean vacations that this soon-to-be iconic author would have to indulge…


...however, with that twisted sense of humour and perfect balance that the Literary Gods seem to possess, back came precisely forty rejection slips… it mattered not a jot to my ego… because by that time, the second book, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK was marching its way across the laptop… around the same time, a friend suggested as a self-publishing option, I should consider the Amazon Kindle channel… I instantly responded, ‘Great… but, what’s Kindle?’… I hadn’t a clue… but learned very quickly the how and what of becoming an indie author… and for emb’dy reading this who’s just starting on this wunnerful mystery tour, let me tell yeez, if this ol’ fella can do it, emb’dy can… go for it… as it happened, by the time the second novel was ready to launch, the first baby already had attracted 8,000 downloads… and that just blew my mind… now, how did that happen?... by the best coincidence, I was following then nouveau indie authoress Rachel
Abbott’s blog in which she advised to treat the writing as a ‘business’… recognizing the scribbling as the comparatively easy part… the rest of the ‘business’ entailed marketing and promotion, budgeting time and whatever money yeez wanted to invest in it, cover art, proofreading, editing, and the whole nine yards… as a businessman, all of that made superb sense to me, and I embraced the philosophy with both hands… I began to ‘build the platform’ of relationships to support the ‘business’… being present on the SOSYAL NETWURKS is mandatory for modern authors in my not-so-‘umble opinion… but harvesting such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ ‘followers ‘ and ‘friends’ who relate to the writing, reading and related publishing fields… and not just acquiring these links for the sake of numbers… my links totalled a mere 400 when I started to develop that ‘platform’… they now exceed 30,000… the next epiphany was the value of having a blog… I write a regular blog which was basically the mumbled sharings of a new writer, bumbling and stumbling his way into the industry… it branched out to cover other light-hearted elements… I’ve found that the blog posts of others which I enjoy are those which entertain, educate, enlighten and often empathize with me… I loosely modelled my own blog after those… and here’s the real beauty of that… all of my blog posts are automatically linked to every one of my SOSYAL NETWURKS, meaning that each post is sent out to more than 30,000 potential readers… the blog is also a marvelous way of inviting Guest Blog Posts from others, be they writers, or otherwise… and an absolute tenet is to help other authors wherever I can… giving back some of the unbelievable support and love that has been unconditionally shown to me… so, in that sense, mingling, even in the Webosphere, offsets the solitary trudge of most of we penspeople… however the creative Muse operates best for me in that isolated environment of my own virtual candlelit garret… pass me my candelabrum, Mabel, I’ve my next masterpiece to write … see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


Please drop by Seumas' website here 

The links where you can purchase Seumas' novels;


Thank you Seumas for being our guest this week.

Dear Readers, please leave a comment below, love to hear from you!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Guest Author Beth Powning of Markhamville, NB

Good news!

One of my favored authors is the guest this week on the Scribbler. So excited to have Beth Powning answer questions for the 4Q Interview.

Beth  was born in 1949. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, New York, where she majored in creative writing, studying with novelist E.L.Doctorow. She immigrated to Canada in 1972 with her artist husband, Peter Powning. Since then, she and Peter have lived on a farm in Markhamville, New Brunswick, where they grow much of their own food in organic gardens. They have one son, Jake Powning, who lives nearby with his wife, Sara, and two granddaughters. Beth Powning photographed two gardening books before publishing her own first book in 1995, Seeds of
Another Summer (Penguin) published in the US as Home – Chronicle of a North Country Life (writing and photograpy), recently re-released by Goose Lane Editions.  She went on to write Shadow Child (Penguin Canada - subsequently re-issued by Knopf Canada, short-listed for the Edna Staebler Award for Literary Non-fiction); The Hatbox Letters (Knopf Canada, a best-seller and long-listed for the Dublin IMPAC Award);  Edge Seasons (Knopf, a Globe and Mail Best Book) and The Sea Captain’s Wife (best-selling novel, long-listed for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award and short-listed for the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award). This novel was published in French in 2014 by Editions Perce Neige. Her latest novel, A Measure of Light, Knopf Canada, March 2015, was a
Globe and Mail Best Book, was long-listed for the Dublin International Literary Award and won the N.B. Award for Fiction. Her work has been widely published in magazines and anthologies, and she has made many appearances across Canada and in the U.S., Ireland and Great Britain. She was the recipient of New Brunswick’s 2010 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for English Literary Arts, and in 2014 received an honorary Doctorate of Letters degree from the University of New Brunswick. She is active in her community, serving on boards and committees. Her newsletters and photography can be seen at



4Q: I’m a big fan of your novels and it is a real treat to have you as a guest Beth. Your attention to detail and place is a true art. When an idea for a story comes along, what are your writing habits?  Do you outline or just sit and write?

    Usually I explore and discard two or three ideas before finally finding the one that is going to work. Sometimes I will write 40-50 pages of something and then know that it’s not going anywhere. I go back to dreaming, scribbling ideas in my journal, keeping my mind open, waiting for that unmistakable prickle of excitement.  The idea that finally becomes a book is usually something that I have written many pages about in my journal, describing the project to myself. My next step will be to study— in the case of my last two novels, at least a full year. When I am ready to write, I know it because I am thoroughly sick of the research and long to enter the story. I simply begin. The novelist E. L. Doctorow, my beloved teacher and mentor, said to his writing students— “You don’t need to begin at the beginning. Start anywhere.” The place I begin writing seldom becomes the actual first sentence of the book. I know that the first draft will be subject to many revisions, so I dive in, flailing about. I don’t know how the book is going to develop; I never have a plot line. If I wrote from an outline, I would not feel as if I were on a quest, a journey. I need to be surprised by what happens. A novel to me is like a question to which I don’t know the answer. I write to find out the answer, I write to take the journey, I write to live in the world that I’m creating.

4Q: There’s been a lot of attention and praise for your latest novel, A Measure of Light and I truly enjoyed the book but my favorite is The Sea Captain’s Wife, both of which are historical. Is this a favorite genre for you?

I was asked this question by someone else, recently, and it made me realize the extent to which I was influenced by E. L. Doctorow. All of his novels are fictions built around actual historical events. I grew with houses built in the 18th  and 19th  centuries, my own childhood house as well as the houses of my grandparents. They were filled with rope-strung beds, creaky floorboards, musty linens. I was surrounded by tangible evidence of the past, so it’s not surprising that history crept into my first novel, hatboxes filled with letters that land in Kate’s living room, whose unexpected stories help her to move forward after her husband’s death. The next two novels were complete surprises to me, and came after stumbling on facts that astonished me and made me aware of my own ignorance and desire to learn. I didn’t know that women went to sea with their captain husbands. I had never heard of Mary Dyer nor knew that people had been coldly hanged for their religious beliefs in New England. These facts inhabited compelling stories, stories that I felt needed to be told. Doctorow was one of the first novelists to blur the line between historical fiction and literary fiction. These days, many novels blend history and fiction. I love history, I love learning about history by reading novels. I consider my novels to be literary fiction.



4Q: Some of your earlier works have been inspired by memories. I especially enjoyed Edge Seasons – A Mid-Life year. Please share a childhood memory or anecdote.

    My memories are vivid and visceral. I remember the iridescent blur of wasps’ wings, sluggish on the sundrenched windowsills of my childhood home. And the sound of the six o-clock bedtime train—the improbable clackety-clack of its wheels as it snaked, hidden, through the dense valley trees. In 1958, when I was nine, most of my friends had televisions, but my parents refused to buy one. I created places to read, like the alternate worlds that I now inhabit when I write. One was a place of many blankets, chair-draped, with a table lamp and pillows, created over the hot-air register, in winter. Another was a tree-house, built by me and my brother (we had several), a platform of boards wedged across branches. One was on what we called “The Indian Rock,” a massive boulder in our horse pasture with a smooth and mysterious oval bowl which we thought had been made by hand-grinding corn. One unfortunate one was built on the ground behind the vegetable garden out of hay bales, where I left a pile of library books in a rainstorm. And under the oak tree that I wrote about in Home was a shipping crate in which my grandparents had sent home all their belongings when they sold their home in Bermuda; its drafty plywood walls enclosed me and my beloved books and the worlds inside them. I carried on a third-person dialogue inside my head, a constant internal monologue that described me to me. “It was getting late, so she started home across the fields.” Only after I spent a two-week vacation with a friend did I lose this habit, and then I mourned it.

4Q: What’s next for Beth Powning the author?


    I’ve just finished the first draft of a new novel. It takes place in New Brunswick, time-present, with (of course!) a historical thread wound through it. I am just now working through it, editing, so that it reads smoothly enough for me to show to my agent, Jackie Kaiser. Jackie is always my first reader. I usually don’t offer the manuscript to my publishers until I have written three drafts, all of which she reads and comments on. I’m very, very fortunate to have her. Gerard Collins and I have formed a literary committee for our new arts and culture centre here in Sussex. I’ll be doing a lot of work on that in the next year.
                              Posing with Beth are authors Gerard Collins, Janie Simpson and Jane Tims.
Thank you Beth for taking the time to be our
Please drop by Beth's web site to discover more about her. I highly recommend her stories.
Read The Globe and Mail review of The Sea Captain's Wife here .
All comments welcome.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Goodbye to another friend. Lockie Young 1959 - 2016

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.”
Isaac Asimov

The Scribbler lost another friend last week. Lockard F. Young passed away on December 27th with his wife Trish and two sons Jason and Ryan at his bedside. Locks was one of our favorite guests, a terrific author and a  man we truly liked.

This week's post is a tribute to Lockie. Below you will find a link to some of the pages  where he was the guest and some of his talented writing.

August 23, 2015        His short story - Are You Sure.

May 23, 2014             The Lone Shepard

Jan. 30th, 2015          4Q Interview

Feb. 21, 2014            Kenny-isms

September 27, 2013 (My favorite) - Not Waxing Poetic.

This story was plagiarized by someone and went viral on the internet with out any credit given to Lockie. Naturally, he was upset but I was impressed at how many people loved and laughed at this story, at his talented writing.

In December, 2016, Lockie's two published stories, Ryan's Legend and The Legend Returns has been published as a paperback called Ryan's Legend. The Early Adventures and is available here

His website   -

Farewell my friend, it has been a true pleasure knowing you.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

What Happened and What's Next?

Christmas Eve Post!

Wishing you the merriest Christmas, the happiest holidays ever.

What a year it has been.

I would like to thank everyone that has visited the Scribbler over the last twelve months. whether it was for a few minutes or for many minutes, stopping by to meet my guests.

Readers from US, Canada, Russia, India, China, Ukraine, France, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Germany, Belgium, Brazil, Australia and others.

Thank you to the tremendous authors and artists that have been kind enough to share their thoughts and work.

Authors from as far away as South Africa, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Tennessee, Florida,  Illinois, New York, Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and good ole New Brunswick.

2016 has been an incredible year for the Scribbler and myself personally.

What is truly exciting is what is coming this year. The Scribbler has a tremendous line-up of authors and artists as guests.

Beth Powning of Sussex, New Brunswick, author of The Sea Captain's Wife and A Measure of Light.

Seumas Gallacher of Abu Dhabi, author of the Jack Calder series.

Chuck Bowie, New Brunswick, author of the Sean Donovan - Thief for Hire - series

Sally Cronin of Great Britian

Tina Frisco of USA

Jane Simpson of New Brunswick

Renee Gauthier of Ontario

Diana Stevan of British Columbia

Victoria Hanlon of England.

And the list continues to grow...


Two consecutive weeks of over 1000 page views.

Over 20,000 visitors.

Good news!

My second novel - Wall of War is finally going to the editors in the New year and keeping my fingers crossed for publication in the late spring.

I've started working on my third novel which remains untitled at this time. It is an historical novel that begins in Scotland in 1911. Fate will bring Dominic Alexander to Canada and the shores of the East Coast where he will make his home. 

The plan is for a trilogy of the Alexander family beginning with Dominic and ending with my main character Drake Alexander, Dominic's grandson, almost a hundred years later.

*I've resurrected one of my favorite characters, detective Jo Naylor and will feature a serial based on one of my earlier short stories. (you can find it above on the Page bar). Should be fun. It is going to be a story that will continue over time and I'm hoping that there will be some reader feedback as you help me.

Finally I want to thank my family for their support, encouragement and love. I am a very lucky man. My beautiful wife Gloria, my son Adam, my stepsons Chris & Mark, their wives Mireille and Natalie and my precious grandchildren Matthieu, Natasha and Damian.