Sunday, 10 August 2014

Pinkeens to Diddies - Interview with author David R. McCabe

We're delighted to have taken on the publishing of David R. McCabe's delightfully humorous "faction", Pinkeens to Diddies, available as a paperback and Kindle ebook from Monday 11th August.

To celebrate and officially launch the book, David and I sat down for a little chat. He's got a wonderful rich voice, with a lyrical accent that rests easy on the ears. You can find out what that sounds like by visiting his website and following the links to his radio interviews.

Pinkeens to Diddies (info and purchase links):

David's website:

The Interview

Today I'm very lucky to be interviewing David McCabe author of Pinkeens to Diddies.

Hi David, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hello Debbie, I'm retired now. I was born way back in 1940 in Southern Ireland, when Ireland was still in the British Commonwealth. I was brought up as a Protestant in a predominately Catholic country and lived in a large country cottage on the outskirts of Dunlaoghaire. I went to a small private school, formed to cater for the Protestants in the area, had a marvellous childhood, made lots of school friends. In 1957, I took an apprenticeship with the BP Tanker Company to start a career as a Navigating Deck Officer.

A road accident in 1961 put paid to my sea-going days. I then started a career in sales, working for various international firms. I left retail sales in the mid eighties and started a career in insurance, eventually running the sales branch of a large UK Insurance company in Liverpool. In the nineties I opened a company recruiting sales management for insurance companies in the UK. I now live in Lancashire, England with my partner Joan, play the keyboard, paint, write and fly fish.

So, what have you written? And what in the world is a Pinkeen and what are Diddies?

Debbie, I have written many short stories and poems in my time and of course my first book Pinkeens to Diddies. What are pinkeens? They are pink-bellied tiddlers found in streams, whilst Diddies are the attractive pointy upper parts of a female body.

My book is written in a gentle humorous style and tells the story of Brendan Harris, the hero in my book, as a young boy awakening to the delights that surround him in his semi-rural village, he stumbles through confusion and embarrassment as he is introduced to some of life's tough realities: social differences, sexual development, and a mother whose good intentions often lead to disaster and humiliation. This book is sure to appeal to everyone who is interested in self-discovery, and the perils and pleasures of growing up.

Where can we buy or see them?

Pinkeens to Diddies can be purchased anywhere in the world on the internet and is delivered in soft cover or on Kindle. In Google or any well known server just enter the words Pinkeen and Diddie and this will provide you with all the information you require. Sales price on Amazon is £9.95 (£4.99 for the Kindle edition) or the equivalent in Euros or US Dollars.

If this book is part of a series, tell us about it?

From my first answer, you will see I went to sea as an Apprentice Deck Officer with the BP Tanker Company. This was the time when the shipment of oil was really only beginning. I travelled through the Suez Canal on one of the first tankers to traverse the canal after it was closed in 1956 by Nasser. Visited many ports throughout the world. Ran aground off the port of Takoradi in the Gold Coast now Ghana. Was frozen in in the Baltic and had many shore-going adventures in ports around the world. My second book is the continuing adventures of Brendan Harris as a seaman and I should have it on sale by December 2014. Book three will then start, fingers crossed.

What are you working on at the minute?

As a member of a very successful writing group in my home town, here in Formby Lancashire we are preparing a collection of short stories and poems for our second anthology, for production by the end of 2014. I am also working hard on the final chapters of my second book, where Brendan Harris goes to sea.

Did you do a press release or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

My first release of Pinkeens to Diddies was with a large publisher in the USA and immediately had sales in the States, with interest from Australia, South African and numerous countries in the EU. I have now contracted  with Beaten Track to concentrate on expansion in the UK and Irish market.

Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?

I had great support from the local media and did many book signings, with interviews on Radio Merseyside, New Zealand Radio and Irish Radio.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

With the advent  of the wonderful  world wide web, all you have to do is input these magic words into your search engine:  'Pinkeens to Diddies' and you have all the information you need. Of course don't forget my name: David R McCabe.

About Pinkeens to Diddies

In this gently humorous story, young, sensitive Brendan Harris learns much about life, family and the need to fit in while growing up during the 1940s in semi-rural Southern Ireland. Raised in a Protestant household and attending a private school in this predominantly Catholic country, Brendan stumbles his way through the confusion of social differences and sexual maturity while his mother, Alice, often embarrasses him with her good intentions among the local "poor"...which, all too often, end in total disaster.

Life brings the typical surprises for young boys turning into young men, as Brendan grows up fishing for "pinkeens" and later learns his fair share about the opposite sex, and the delights and disappointments of coming of age.

Pinkeens to Diddies (info and purchase links):

David's website:

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

It's Like This, plus meet Magical Tragical Edward and Arthur Magennis: new releases, apologies, hopeful promises...

This is a quick post to announce our newest releases and give a quick news update.

We're Sorry
First, the mandatory apology - we haven't posted since April 2nd, because we have a huge number of projects on the go, and we're still trying to adjust to the sudden shift in workload. We isn't "the royal we" as such, but blood ties do not equate to salary-secured assistance, if you get my drift. The hopeful promise follows this apology - we really are going to try to post more often from now on.

Without further ado, here's a quick round-up of some of what we've been up to in the last three months:

Larry's Triple Whammy
We're very proud and excited to announce that not only did Larry Benjamin's novel Unbroken make it through as a finalist to the Lambda Literary Awards (Lammys), but it was also awarded the Gold Independent Publishers Award (IPPY). Also awesome is that Larry's hometown of Philly, USA, finally saw the light so that Larry and long-term (long-suffering?) partner Stanley tied the knot on 28th June, 2014. Congratulations, Larry (and Stanley), for snagging the loot.

Knights of the Sun - Author at Work
The amazing JP Walker, author of young adult fantasy novel, Knights of the Sun is on a roll - she was in Ormskirk School last week, pulling a blinder, selling books, inspiring new authors, all as part of the school's literacy day. Up at five to write book two, on top of the day job and the smally, we honestly don't know how she does it, but we're very glad she does.

Rock FM Cash4Kids
Beth has been liaising with RockFM radio - we're doing some stuff (technical term) for their amazing charity Cash4Kids. She'll be posting about that soon (not that she knows it yet).

Author Video Interviews
I spent yesterday evening listening to Nige and Frederick RJ Hartman (author of our very first and most excellent publication - It's a Game of Two Halves) test out the possibility of interviewing our authors over Skype. It was most entertaining, and when Mr. Hartman does his interview for real, you're guaranteed hilarity from start to finish. Plus sarcasm. Lots of sarcasm. But anyway, all of this came about because most of our authors don't live close enough for us to interview them "in the flesh", so to speak. JP Walker (Jem) did an amazing "at home" interview, which you can watch on YouTube - she lives just down the road, which is how we were able to do this.

The Skype research came from trying to get an interview set up with Peckham lad, Eddie Allen (author of the incredible, autobiographical A Cockney's Journey - we're currently working on his first novel - a thriller of the supernatural, murder mystery, gangland variety, entitled Villains and Demons - seriously, you authors have no idea what a trauma it is to assign categories for your novels). And again, with the stories he was telling me, of how he got the Jamaican Patois right in his novel, his interview promises to be utterly brilliant (or cushty, maybe?).


We've had six new publications last three months. Six!

It's Like This
by Anne O'Gleadra
(7th July, 2014)

A brave and funny love story about the anxieties, insecurities, and heartaches that drive people apart and bring them back together, It's Like This is the journey of Niles and Rylan, as they learn to communicate in the shadow of a life-changing illness.

Niles and Rylan have been together a long time. They have great sex, they are deeply intimate, and Rylan never holds back on displaying his affection. As far as their family and friends are concerned, they're an established couple, and yet, after three years of being "together", Niles is still unsure if they're actually in a relationship.

As their sexual intensity reaches a dangerous tipping point, Niles must find the courage to articulate how he feels in order to try and keep the only thing he has ever wanted. Emotional and compelling, It's Like This is a must-read for true romantics.

NOTE: this is an 18+ publication, focusing on a BDSM relationship.

The Magical Tragical Life of Edward Jarvis Huggins
by Stuart Ayris
(5th June, 2014

Hello, the moon and the stars...

Edward Jarvis Huggins is a ten year old boy brought up in a shack in eighteenth century England, his father an alcoholic, his mother dead.

Fleeing their father, Edward and his sister find themselves in Kent, on a farm peopled by other restless souls who have arrived at that same place over the previous ten years for reasons unknown to them.

Edward is convinced that he is the re-incarnation of Jesus, the returning Messiah, the son of God. Could it be that he really has been sent to earth to save mankind or is he just a troubled little boy who talks to the moon and the stars?

The Magical Tragical Life of Edward Jarvis Huggins is a novel of courage, humour, cricket and destiny.

Living in the Past: A Northern Irish Memoir
by Arthur Magennis
(4th April, 2014)

When Arthur Magennis was put on chemotherapy in 2012 he found that he had two sleepless nights each week. To fill the dark hours he began to write the story of his childhood in Northern Ireland in the 1920s and 30s, through the second world war and up to leaving his home to work in England as a pharmacist in the early 1950s. His wife and daughters had asked him to do this many times before, having heard the stories often over the years.

His book is a fascinating and amusing insight into a lost way of life in a poor farming community where the main mode of transport was the bicycle and, as such, when a weekly bus was introduced to the area the excitement was immense. It features an interesting cast of neighbours and local characters each with their own individual views on life.

I'll pause here to say I do write a lot, and quickly, so the next three publications are all mine. Breaking Waves and In the Stars were written in 2013, when I got the crazy idea that my next Hiding Behind The Couch endeavour should be "A Year in the Life of..." and discovered that a lot can happen to nine characters over the course of twelve months. Champagne, on the other hand, was written long ago (1996-2003), and in need of an overhaul, as it was my first novel and the original publisher is no more.

Breaking Waves
by Debbie McGowan
(1st June, 2014)

Breaking Waves is a short interlude between In The Stars Parts I and II.
"So, was it any good?"

"You know, it was the usual sort of thing. Basically, there's this guy, a farmer, handsome, rugged, acts all tough."

"Typical romance novel character."

"And he meets the most unlikely person to have a relationship with - this bookish academic, a psychologist, I believe."

"Really? Sounds improbable."

"Yes. That's what I thought."
You are invited to join Josh and George on their Cornish honeymoon - a sweet, summertime romance, in which they discover the beauty of their love against an awe-inspiring backdrop of breaking waves.

In The Stars Part II: Cancer-Sagittarius
by Debbie McGowan
(1st June, 2014)

 In The Stars Part II: Cancer-Sagittarius is Book Five of Hiding Behind The Couch.

"You must learn to look beyond the evidence. It shows only what you wish to believe is real, not what you really wish to believe."
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar,
But never doubt I love...
(Hamlet, Shakespeare)
The Circle is in flux. It's been a hectic six months, and as the friends head into the heat of summer, more trials await that will truly test the bonds of friendship.

For whilst a circle may contract and may even at times constrict, it can also expand, accommodate, embrace.
And it is always whole.

Champagne (second edition)
by Debbie McGowan
(9th April, 2014)

Haunted by the abuse of his now missing father, seventeen year old Sammy stumbles upon the seedy world of drug addiction and prostitution of London's West End in the 1980s. Cold, desperate and exhausted, he takes shelter in a trash-filled alley behind a strip club, unaware that what is about to unfold will change the course of his life.

Set during a period of significant social and cultural change in the early 1980s, Champagne opens up a world of seedy revue bars, prostitution, abuse, drug addiction and the devastating effect of AIDS. Centred around the events of a declining revue bar and its regeneration, a young man comes of age and finds his first love whilst looking for his estranged, abusive father. Through dark humour and strong characterisation the book is not only eye opening but also manages to capture a truly unique time in popular culture.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Let's Talk About Sex - A Roundtable

There's been a bit of a discussion going on down at Larry Benjamin's place. I got to call the shots (a little).

What were we discussing? Sex in gay fiction. AND there's a giveaway too.

Who are we? 
Authors  Larry Benjamin, WS Long, Andrew Q. Gordon and Hans Hirschi, all of whom write gay fiction, and me, Debbie McGowan, acting as moderator.

To find out more, go have a read. You will find the first part of our discussion here:

And you can also comment / join in. The link to the giveaway is also there.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Lambda Literary Award Finalist - Unbroken by Larry Benjamin

Unbroken, by Larry Benjamin
We received the very exciting news today that Unbroken, Larry Benjamin's 2013 novel, has been selected as a finalist in the 26th Lambda Literary Award.

This is a BIG deal, and it's awesome (for us, as well as Larry)!

"Now in their twenty-sixth year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2013."

For more information, and to see the full list of finalists, visit:
Now in their twenty-sixth year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2013. - See more at:
Now in their twenty-sixth year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2013. - See more at:
Now in their twenty-sixth year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2013. - See more at:


My parents, unable to change me, had instead, silenced me. When they'd stilled my hands, they'd taken my words, made me lower my voice to a whisper. Later, I remained silent in defense, refusing to acknowledge the hateful words: Brainiac. Sissy. Antiman. Faggot.

Lincoln de Chabert's life is pretty unremarkable until he comes home from kindergarten and announces he will marry his best friend, Orlando, when he grows up.

His parents spring into immediate action, determined to fix him, igniting an epic battle of wills as Lincoln is determined to remain himself, and marry whom he chooses, at all costs.

Unbroken is a MM romance, available as a paperback and ebook from all major online retailers. For purchase links, visit:


Find out more about Larry Benjamin:
Twitter: @WriterLarry


Beaten Track Publishing · @b10track ·

Friday, 20 September 2013

Unbroken - a novel from Larry Benjamin

Officially launched today is Unbroken, the second novel (and third book in 18 months) from Philadelphia based author Larry Benjamin, and it's quite a story, already receiving rave reviews.

In short, with as few spoilers as possible, the novel is the pseudo autobiography of Lincoln de Chabert, whose story begins when he falls in love with Orlando at kindergarten:

"You can't marry another boy," they told me.
"Why not?" I asked, confused. "You said I could do anything. You said I could grow up to be President."
"You can't marry another boy!"
"But you said I'd grow up, and fall in love, and get married."
"You can't fall in love with another boy!"
They began to watch me closely.

And so Lincoln's fight begins, and, like the author, he takes no prisoners. Lincoln lives, fights and loves with a fury, a fierce passion fuelled by the hatefulness of others in the face of his refusal to deny who he is. It is a journey of courage and pride, of growing up and falling in love, of trying to survive in a world of bullying and hostility:

I let myself go silent in defense, refusing to acknowledge the hateful words: Brainiac. Sissy. Faggot. I refused to acknowledge their hostility, this hostility, this constant hostility, which seemed to be driven less by the fact that I was almost certainly gay, than by the fact I had never denied their accusations. I knew instinctively that to deny, to lie, was to agree they were right, I was wrong, I was broken. That I would not, could not, do.

And it is a story told with that same courage and pride.

Unbroken is available in paperback and ebook editions, from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kindle and all good book retailers. For more information and purchase links, visit

Friday, 5 April 2013

Damaged Angels paperback? Don't mind if we do!

This is the official announcement!

Beaten Track is proud to present the paperback edition of Damaged Angels, a truly extraordinary collection of short stories from Larry Benjamin.

First published in October last year by Bold Strokes Books as an ebook, I was privileged with the inaugural read. I'm still not quite sure what I did to deserve this, for it is truly an honour. I won't repeat myself here, but I gave it a five star review, which you can read on Amazon or Goodreads.

Now, in my review, I made a comment, indeed a compliment to the author about the thoroughness of his research. His response? Well, knowing what I know now, I can imagine it went 'Hah hah!' and sounded a bit like Pitch - the narrator and star of 'A Working Boy'—one of the stories you'll find within Damaged Angels. "How ungracious!" you might think, but, well...let's just say that Mr. Benjamin's research might have been a little more thorough than even I gave him credit for! Indeed, you can read more about the real life inspiration for these stories in the article 'You Deserve Better', which Larry wrote for Ellis Carrington's blog back in November. Despite my flippancy here, the article carries a very important message that needs to be read / heard.

This is also true of the stories you will read in Damaged Angels. So go buy it. Enjoy it. Review it.

And now that's the professional, aloof publisher bit done with...

Oh, oh, oh, oh...we got to publish a book by Larry Benjamin!

Better still, we're working with Larry on his next book, Unbroken, due for publication in early summer. I'll say more about that nearer the time.

But, to quote Andrea (who does some rather splendid editing and proof-reading for me on a freelance basis - yes, that was a bit of a plug for Express Editing Solutions):

Squeeeeee! We get to publish more Larry Benjamin!

I have to add to this our gratitude to Matthew and Graham from Hungry Bitches Productions for permitting us to use their photo for the cover of Damaged Angels. It really captures the feel of the book, in particular, that which is portrayed in 'The Hunger', the story that has become my absolute favourite in this collection.

What makes this really special for us is that we've known Matthew, Graham and Megan (the other Hungry Bitch) for many years and watched them nurture their incredible gift, putting everything they've got (energy, talent, drive, charisma, sexiness) into their award-winning theatrical production company. How proud? I could (and may very well at some point) cry, that's how proud.

Guys, you are just awesome (and fabulous and amazing, but they're not my words, if you see what I mean).

Finally, to round off this ridiculously exuberant and terribly unprofessional expression of joy (make the most of this gush, because it's really not my usual M.O.*), since I read Larry's first novel, What Binds Us, last summer, we have developed something of a connection. It's a bit—weird. Want to know more? Read our novels and you'll see for yourself!

And finally finally, as I've done a bit of a Oscar speech post here, I have to thank my incredible proof-reading sister, Tracy. She has checked every book we've published, for free, and is the one I have thank for picking up the missing and extra the words. (ho-de-hum).

On that note, this is your Editor in Chief duly heading off to guzzle more lager, belch a little and generally man up.

* Larry is also responsible for getting me hooked on Glee, and pointed out recently that I am, in fact, "passionate about...well ...most things". Yes, it's true.

Over, and out!