Hello!

Welcome to my new website/blog.  First off , I wish to say a huge thank you to the creative and gifted Colleen Sheehan for her work on this site and for giving it its professional gloss.  Anyone who would like support in starting up a new website, or have their Facebook or Twitter pages redesigned, their ebooks formatted or any one of a number of excellent services, click on this link.  You will not regret it.  write.DREAM.repeat Book Design

Sunday, 25 November 2018



WRITER BEWARE 

If you are an aspiring writer, a novice writer, an Indie writer, an experienced writer, or even a published writer, you will come to learn that the actual product you have produced, or are about to produce, is only the beginning of a long and complex journey. Your work is finished, it's not far from a masterpiece, and you just can't wait to get it out there to the reading public. You rub your hands in anticipation and wait for the sales you know are inevitable. And you wait. And you wait.

What on earth is happening? I mean, this is great piece of work. Why isn't it on the New York Times Top Ten already?

Why indeed? Have you any idea of the numbers of books out there that your work is competing with? A quick visit to Amazon's ranking lists on Author Central will reveal that there are some 6 to 8 million books there alone. It's like a huge warehouse that is about half a mile long, shelved from floor to ceiling on both sides and somewhere in there, occupying about an inch width in that vast space, is your book. How likely is it that someone browsing that huge cavern of books will happen upon (and actually purchase) yours?

That’s why marketing and social media work are so essential. You have to do something to get awareness of your book’s existence before the reading public. And that still doesn’t mean that they will actually purchase and read it. Worse still, hundreds of thousands of kindle books are offered at bargain prices, often even free. Thousands of kindle readers buy these books. But research has shown that a huge percentage of them end up lying in people’s kindles, never to be read.

Oh?! Yes, oh! So you decide, “Geez! Unless I start marketing, my book has no chance.” And that is what brings me to the point of this short article. The marketing world is huge, and it is full of wolves in sheep’s clothing, snakes with the siren voices of the serpent in Disney’s Jungle book, sharks with more rows of teeth than you can count, all ready to dive on the innocent, naive writer who is seeking help to get his book noticed. Oh, yes. You WILL have to market your book, you WILL have to accept that there are costs attached to this, you WILL have to rely on the expertise and support of those who know what they are doing. But how does one know who is the shark and who is genuine?

One vital and important step you must take before you do anything is to visit Writer Beware. Victoria Strauss and her team have been fighting valiantly for years to identify the scammers – the Vanity publishers who promise the earth and deliver nothing, the contests and awards schemes that only line the pockets of the organisers, the many marketing services that cost the earth but more often than not result in nil sales. Writer Beware names and shames the fake publishers, the fake agents, the grasping marketers, and offers pages and pages of advice and information on what signs to watch out for if you are approached by anyone offering to promote your work.

Writer Beware is operated by an extraordinary group of people who selflessly work prodigious hours to help writers. I don’t know anything about them or why they do what they do, and, by the way, I have no connection with them whatever. I just happened upon their website and I have been fascinated by the essays and articles they write about all the scams and scammers out there in the literary world. I have learned so much from them and, doubtless, since I tend to spend a bit on marking my own books, have been saved hundreds of pounds that I might otherwise have tossed to the scavengers.

This is the link to Writer Beware. Check them out. No writer can afford to live in ignorance of the work they do. https://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/

Wednesday, 1 August 2018





THE DARK WEB MURDERS

I was supposed to be on holidays in France during July. I did spend my mornings swimming and lying in the sun. But very little of that is enough for me. Thank goodness my wife loves the beach so much. She was happy to lie there while I was able to spend every afternoon in our air-conditioned hotel working to finish Volume 4 of the Inspector Sheehan Mysteries.

And I did get it finished ... sometime around July, 17, 2018. But it needed a thorough revision and several parts rewritten. It is now 1st August. I have spent hour upon hour of those intervening days in my study, revising and rewriting. Now the final draft is complete. The new book, The Dark Web Murders, is now off to the publisher. They already have other books they need to work with, so mine is in a queue. Hopefully it will be assigned to an editor soon, and to an artist to prepare a cover. I anticipate, maybe a bit optimistically, that the book will appear (at least in e-format) early in 2019.

So what is this latest Sheehan mystery about? Well, I suppose it is a bit strange. Here is a preliminary version of the blurb that will appear on the back cover of the book's jacket.

I am Nemein. I am not a murderer. I am emotionally detached from my killings. I am, therefore, an instrument of Nemesis, a punisher. This is a theme running through a number of blogs on the Dark Web, written by a serial killer. He is highly intelligent and employs philosophical argument to justify a series of gruesome murders. However, he describes the killings in lurid detail, and with such gloating relish, that he utterly negates his delusion of detachment and reveals himself to be a cold-blooded, narcissistic psychopath.

Sheehan and his team rush headlong down a series of blind alleys in the pursuit of the psychopath, who continues to murder his victims with impunity. He is fiendishly clever, utterly ruthless, and tests Sheehan's famed intuition to the limit. Indeed, Sheehan only learns the truth during a horrific climax when some members of his team experience a most harrowing ‘laceration of the soul’ that they will never be able to forget. It is unlikely that the reader will either.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

WHY DID I WRITE FALLEN MEN


Some time ago a very nice lady asked me to write her story for her. She told me that until her late thirties she had a complete belief that she had had a wonderful childhood and a most loving mother. She was very successful in her job (manageress of a large office), Lady Captain of the Golf Club, and very much the life and soul of any gathering she found herself in.

Then out of the blue she was attacked by some very debilitating symptoms - first her shoulder, then her neck and, finally, most of her body… aching pains for which the doctor could make no diagnosis and for which he could prescribe no successful remedies.

This phase of illness was followed by a very severe depression which could not be explained by the physical symptoms alone. She could no longer function normally, had to give up her job and began to lock herself in her house. But counselling, followed eventually by hypnotherapy, revealed that she had for most of her life been blocking out memories of most horrific abuse (sexual and physical) by her mother and that the life-long memories of a wonderful mother-love had been a mental sham.

I spent a number of hours (over several interviews) talking with her, hearing details that froze my blood, details about what the mother herself did to the child at home, details about how she hired out the four-year-old child to local paedophiles. The more I heard, the more I did not want to write this book. It came as a huge relief to me when the lady lost her nerve and asked me to abandon the project.

The lady did find some sort of healing and still receives counselling but she remains very fragile mentally, insecure, and still unable to hold down a job. The book will never be written now, but the awful story continues to remain stuck in my head.

Then came the terrible revelations in Ireland about paedophile priests and the resultant fall-out on perfectly innocent priests, about the clerical ambition and cover-ups that made matters worse… and a story started to form. I wanted to write about priests who were good, men who were solid, but men who had flaws that were simply human. I wanted to show that good men can fall and that good men can find redemption I wanted the ‘good-looking young priest’ to have an affair with one of the choir girls…but how to do that and still preserve the character’s essential integrity? It would only be believable if he had somehow lost control of his will, of his spirituality.

And then I thought about the lady’s story…..and…

….Father Ray was born and Fallen Men came to be written. It’s a rather strange sort of book. I think the idea that it is religious fiction (it is actually a lot more than that) puts people off but those that actually read it are giving it 5* reviews …even a self-confessed atheist. Go figure!

AUTUMN 2015
I have just heard that Fallen Men has been awarded Top Medallist Honours in the 2015 New Apple Summer Awards for Contemporary Fiction.

Friday, 30 March 2018



REVIEWERS: BE FAIR TO WRITERS


When an author presents his newly published book to the reading public, he is invariably taking a risk. He is leaving himself vulnerable to the whims and vagaries of the reviewing cadre. Many writers also write reviews and they generally understand the psychological niceties. But many reviewers are not writers. Nevertheless, for the most part they tend to responsible and fair-minded. Criticism from these, positive or negative, is tolerable even to the most thin-skinned writer.

There is that small coterie of reviewers, however, who believe that their job is to find a weakness in a work and spend the bulk of their review focussed on that. It may well be that such negative reviewing is in some way related to the reviewer’s ego, but I cannot be sure about that. To my mind, however, it is a very poor way to review a whole book.

Having written something in the region of 120 reviews, I have unconsciously developed an approach to reviewing which might well be something reviewers should consider. Some books, of course, are so badly written, so poorly structured, so lacking in plot or coherence, that the only approach is simply not to review them. But if a book passes muster and is worth reviewing, then the following points should be part of a reviewer’s thinking:
W
1. The writer has expended a lot of time and energy on his work. Respect that and offer positive feedback where possible.

2. The writer will have written this book with a specific intention. Figure out what that is and assess the extent to which he has achieved his purpose

3. To achieve his aims, the writer will have set his book in a specific milieu. Don’t complain about this milieu, arguing that you don’t like it. Review what’s there, and it’s relationship to the author’s purpose. You own preferences are irrelevant.

4. The writer will have established a set of values for his characters. If you find these diametrically opposed to your own values, don’t sneer or mock them. You must put your own predilections on hold and review what’s there. You can question their relevance, but if they are part of the fabric of the story, do not criticise or belittle them.

5. Then, of course, there are the standard areas that might find mention in a good review – the quality of the writing, characterisation, complexity of plot, structure, story-telling ability, originality, coherence. All of these areas do merit examination by a reviewer and, should there are genuine weaknesses here, then by all means, they should be pointed out.

These few thoughts were prompted by a comment I read in a review a few days ago.

“.... was not exactly the right book for me. It is a much better book for someone who is more religiously inclined ... While I do feel like the elements, its rituals and beliefs, felt real enough, I had trouble taking them seriously. There were several times during the book, with earnest dialogue between characters, that I found myself giggling and scolding myself with a firm "Yep, yep, you're definitely going to Hell." (The bold lines are the reviewer’s)

This is a perfect example of the kind of comment reviewers should avoid. It is clearly snide, panders to the reviewer’s own ego, and attempts to impose values that are irrelevant to those of the story. It offers nothing constructive for the author to consider and, indeed, seeks to present the story in a very poor light.


Monday, 19 February 2018



Comments from Early Reviews of The Coven Murders


A whirlwind of a ride, frightening, disturbing, and so intent do we become in rescuing the sacrificial victim in time that we almost forget that the murderer has not yet been named. Hang on, because the final scene is a shocker! [C. Todd, Amazon Review]

It's impossible to get into without some serious spoilers, so I'll leave you with this: It will make the hairs on your arms and neck stand up straight.
[Kendra Morgan, Amazon Customer]


The end took me completely by surprise. I’m willing to bet there are few out there who will guess this one. [Denna Holm, Para-normal and Sci-fi novelist.]


Head and shoulders above most mystery authors who are published today, Brian O’Hare deserves far wider recognition. [A.C. Amazon reviewer]

Wednesday, 14 February 2018




I am glad to be able to finally announce that my latest book, The Coven Murders (a dual genre novel, probably best classified as 'an occult mystery thriller'), is now published in e-book format. It is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Nook, iBooks, among many other outlets. The paperback version will not be available for another couple of weeks, i.e., the beginning of March, 2018.

If you would like a taster of the writing and the story (i.e.' The Prologue and Chapter One) click on the link below, and click again on Look Inside (which you will find at the top of the book cover on the Amazon page)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coven-Murders-Detective-Sheehan-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B079SHVTKH/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518567065&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Coven+Murders

The e-book is available from Amazon.com at $2.99 and Amazon.co.uk at £2.14.

However, if you order direct from the publisher (Crimson Cloak Publishing) on the either of the links below,

between February 15 and March 15, quoting this purchase code:
SH14Y1EBLD20


you will get a $1.00 discount.

This code can also be used to purchase any of the full-length Murders books. Here are the links to the Crimson Cloak Publishing shop.

http://www.crimsoncloakpublishing.com/visit-our-shop.html#!/~/search/keywords="o'hare"&offset=20&sort=relevance

and

http://www.crimsoncloakpublishing.com/visit-our-shop.html#!/~/search/keywords="sheehan"&offset=10&sort=relevance


NOTE: If you would be prepared to read the book with the intention of posting a review (on three sites, please: Goodreads, Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk ) then we would be prepared to offer you a FREE copy (in mobi, epub or pdf)

ALSO: If you have not read any of the Inspector Sheehan Mysteries (check out the reviews on Amazon.com), Crimson Cloak Publishing is offering a special deal for all three in one package for $4.99 or £3.58.