The Making of Billy McErlane

(First published as Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper. The title was taken from a schoolyard taunt, but readers didn’t care for it and so I changed it.)

Billy is born into the family from hell. But love comes in many forms, all of them redemptive. A story of tragedy and love you won’t want to put down

Listen to a sample here

There’s a link to advance reviews at the foot of this page; here’s one from an Amazon confirmed buyer on 3rd May 2015:
*****Five Stars Unpredictable and uplifting
John Lynch has certainly found his literary voice in this very realistic delivery of the life story of a disadvantaged soul, Billy McErlane. Billy learns to forgive, let go of the bad things in life, accept with grace the good things and finally reach out to others. While I can see that the genre may be classified as ‘coming of age’, for me, the plot entwines elements of ‘voyage and return’, ‘rags to riches’, ‘tragedy’ and ‘rebirth’ (Booker, 2004). ‘The Making of Billy McErlane’ grasped my attention from the first page to the last, with Billy showing me through his eyes and words his ups and downs. Real, honest and insightful.

If you’d like to try before you buy, you can read Chapter 1 here.

Buy it on Amazon.

Press Pack

Advance Reviews

Wishing Shelf Award Review

Wishing Well Award 2014 Finalist


  1. The Genesis of Sharon Wright: Butterfly | jlynchblogdotcom - December 4, 2014

    […] Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper […]

  2. Bone a Crone Night at the Coed-y-Go Country House Hotel | jlynchblogdotcom - January 7, 2015

    […] you think you’re doing? You had someone object to use of the word “slapper” in the title of Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper. What the hell do you think they’re going to say when they read the first line of this? Okay, you […]

  3. Walking in the character’s shoes | jlynchblogdotcom - January 11, 2015

    […] McErlane is the protagonist of Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper. I got to know Billy quite well while I was writing the book, and not just because he came into the […]

  4. Offcuts | jlynchblogdotcom - February 7, 2015

    […] You can read more about Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper here. […]

  5. Alliance of Independent Authors Members’ Showcase #105 | Advice for Authors Who Self-Publish - February 21, 2015

    […] offering you a chance to read two paperbacks I think you’ll enjoy and save money. Order Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper by John Lynch in paperback direct from this website and we will send you absolutely free a paperback […]

  6. Win a free copy of Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper | jlynchblogdotcom - March 19, 2015

    […] Enter your answer in the form below, and senders of the first five correct answers received will win a free paperback copy of Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper […]

  7. The mess that is a writer’s mind | jlynchblogdotcom - May 16, 2015

    […] mean, the stuff we write. I’ve written elsewhere about my puzzlement when I saw the first line of Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper; what raised the question this time was a memory from sixty years ago that came back when I met by […]

  8. Offcuts (5) | jlynchblogdotcom - May 18, 2015

    […] but that I think had some value – or, at least, some interest. This one was originally part of Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper and dates from the time when Billy was beginning to establish himself as a […]

  9. Bookmuse says Zappa’s mam’s a Slapper is sad, uplifting, shocking, funny, hopeful and frustrating | jlynchblogdotcom - June 12, 2015

    […] You can read more about the book here. […]

  10. What do we mean by selling? (A post for writers, not salespeople) | jlynchblogdotcom - June 15, 2015

    […] of book. You’re not going to do that unless you hear what the person is saying. There’s more. In Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper, I have Billy say something that I’ve often said myself: ‘Good salespeople hear the words […]

  11. He’s behind you! (Oh, yes he is) | jlynchblogdotcom - August 17, 2015

    […] Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper was different—and a very odd experience. I wrote the first sentence: All I’d said was, I wouldn’t mind seeing her in her knickers. Then I sat there staring at it thinking, “Where on earth did that come from?” Then I wrote the rest of the first chapter. And it’s still there. Zappa’s Mam will be published on February 1st 2015 and the opening line and chapter are exactly what they were when I started writing. That has never happened to me before. […]

  12. Where did that come from? | jlynchblogdotcom - August 17, 2015

    […] somebody did because the story, which became Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper,  developed—and, while it did, someone was talking to me. It took me a while to identify the […]

  13. Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper — my favourite chapter | jlynchblogdotcom - September 16, 2015

    […] very bad form to laugh at something you wrote yourself. I can’t help it. This is Chapter 7 of Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper and, whatever this says about me, I love […]

  14. Holiday Book Giveaway | Angela B. Chrysler and Bergen - November 14, 2015

    […] Zappa’s mam’s a Slapper by John Lynch (Crime Fiction) […]

  15. It’s the story? What IS the story? | jlynchblogdotcom - October 4, 2016

    […] I work by the seat of my pants. For example, when I started on the book that eventually became Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper, I wrote the sentence, All I’d said was, I wouldn’t mind seeing her in her knickers. Then I sat […]

  16. Film to Book & Book to Film | jlynchblogdotcom - April 2, 2017

    […] often, there will be a combination of action and thought, as in this description from my novel, Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper, of the first time a rather innocent 14-year-old boy makes love – actually, he doesn’t, he has […]

  17. Place and the novelist | jlynchblogdotcom - May 19, 2017

    […] (I don’t think whinscapes was even a word before I used it). I’ve had people who have read Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper say to me, “I was surprised that you managed to get it right when you wrote about sink estates in […]

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