Here are books I have published…





Four Degrees

Clean Weiss thought it was a simple matter of visiting a shrink for an honest assessment of his state of mind. But when Clean is invited along to group therapy, the shrink in question turns out have other plans besides guiding his patients through the labyrinths of their psyches. Why is Dr. Wright so secretive about his “extra-curricular activities”? Is there something sinister behind the cryptic messages he keeps writing in his notebook? As Clean precipitates headlong towards a final showdown with his nemesis, the stakes become impossibly high and in the end may cost him his life.

This laugh-out-loud hilarious novel has a gem on every page, a villain round every corner and a girl in every port. Smart, funny and deliciously complex, Four Degrees grabs you from page one and takes you on an exhilarating white-knuckle ride through the windmills of a mind on the verge of collapse to the surprising and devastating twist in the tale.

Muscle for Hire

“Shamefully entertaining… Sean O’Neill pulls it off masterfully!” – The Dirty Lowdown

In a rollercoaster ride of plot and counter-plot in the grimy and violent side of the Midwest, Tooley, a Scottish student on sabbatical becomes entangled in the gangland underbelly of the Twin Cities. Murder, illegal dog-fighting, robbery, gang warfare and a suicide bomber conspire to sink him deeper into the mire of the criminal world. Can he find a way of escaping without incurring the wrath of the rival mob bosses, the FBI and the police, and still manage to stay alive?

If there is a hilarious side to noir, this is it. This “oh-so-damned cynically funny” novel will keep you alternately on the edge of your seat and rolling on the floor laughing.

The Blood Menagerie

In St. Paul, Minnesota, during the long hard winter, two friends discover a corpse in the trunk of their car during a road trip and are left trying to disposed of it without being detected. They along with a colorful cast of interconnected characters, are caught up in the warfare between rival gangs and the fall-out from a serial killer on the loose. Murder, violence, two hopelessly thwarted robberies, disemboweling by wild animals, car chases, and even romance culminate in a tense and explosive showdown in the eponymous “Blood Menagerie”, where only the fittest survive.


In this comic thriller, the classic tussle between the good, the bad, and the well-meaning plays out in the freight yards of St.Paul, MN. Anderson is in it up to his neck. Fed up with being the linchpin in multiple train robberies, he attempts to extricate himself from the clutches of the unscrupulous construction magnate, Norstream. His feeble effort at going straight drive him to desperate measures. He and his friend, Brent, decide to kidnap Norstream’s son, Randall, and play a dangerous game of chicken with one of the most powerful citizens in the Twin Cities. As the pressure mounts, with each player struggling for leverage over the others, things can only end with disaster for everybody. Or can they?

This novel charts a comedy of errors that, in the end, shows that occasionally it’s the unexpected underdog who comes out on top.


When Frank Bainbridge, art dealer, former art forger, and failed husband, is suddenly faced with the choice between financial ruin and death, circumstances force him to take desperate measures. He undertakes a heist of breathtaking daring and complexity at what is arguably the most secure art repository in Europe. He gathers together the members of his team, Tony, a security expert, Sergio, a computer hacker, and, rather reluctantly, Taf, his estranged wife, to tackle the famous Torresani art gallery in Milan, Italy. They play a dangerous game with the ruthless owners of the gallery, a game that takes courage, nerves of steel, and Frank’s irrepressible optimism, but where one slip could mean sudden death.

This international thriller, set in London and Milan, hits hard and fast, grips and does not let go, and builds to a stunning climax where the forces of good and evil vie for supremacy, ultimately crossing swords with the power players in the world of Italian organized crime.

Non-Fiction Books

How to Write a Poem: A Beginner’s Guide

This is a practical book. By the time you finish reading it, you will have all the tools you need to write convincing, compelling, and beautiful poetry. Whether someone has asked you to come up with a poem for a special occasion, or you have suddenly been struck by an intense emotion and are looking for a way to articulate it, or you want to express love to your sweetheart on Valentine’s day, “How to Write a Poem: A Beginner’s Guide” provides all the necessary techniques to enable your poem to be a success.


How to Write a Novel: A Beginner’s Guide

This is a practical book. By the time you finish reading it, you will have all the tools you need to write a convincing, compelling, and publishable novel. “How to Write a Novel: A Beginner’s Guide” provides all the necessary techniques to enable your novel to be a success. Packed with insights and tips, it gives you everything you need to start the novel you’ve always wanted to write and see it through to the end.


How to Write a Non-fiction Book: A Beginner’s Guide

This is a practical book. It tells you everything you need to know about writing non-fiction, from choosing a subject for your book, through the various ways of researching that subject, to the daunting process of structuring your material, what style you write in, how to edit, and ultimately how to get your book published.


How to Write an Essay: A Beginner’s Guide

This is a practical book. By the time you finish reading it, you will have all the tools you need to write well-structured, logical and convincing essays. It is the only guide to essay-writing you will ever need and is ideal for high-school and college students This book provides detailed instructions on the four main essay types: argumentative, expository, descriptive and narrative. “How to Write an Essay: A Beginner’s Guide” explains all the necessary techniques to enable your essay to be a success and achieve top grades.

Books of Poetry

this stage of life

This collection of Sean O’Neill’s poems is his first. The poems cover periods when the poet lived or worked in London, England; Milan, Italy; Drummore, a small fishing village on the West Coast of Scotland; and St. Paul, USA. The subject matter of the poems therefore varies from the grittily descriptive ‘Bridges’ and ‘Sweet Thames’, which are set in London, to the pastoral ‘The Hill’ and ‘in this atlas of headland’ set in the South Rhins peninsula. The poems cover several years and a multitude of situations and yet a consistent voice emerges finding meaning in apparently insignificant details, and clothing mundane events in a tapestry of rich wordplay. Several poetic sequences are contained in this collection including the four-part ‘this stage of life’ a wry commentary on modern life and ‘Winter 2011’ which centers on the view from a window during the harsh weather conditions of that year. Some of the poems are satirical; others celebrate the joy of simple things. Some are dark while others are full of hope. Whatever the reader’s disposition he or she will find something valuable in this volume that echoes the mood of the moment or the season of life.

Casting a Line

With this new collection Sean O’Neill explores the relationship between the child, the youth and the adult. What are the key moments that have contributed to the construction of a fully-formed human being? Here a number of poems masquerade as memoir but have a deeper message, sometimes wistful, sometimes humorous. Here, too, he draws on his Celtic upbringing and the questions of identity that it raises. Some of the nature poems are a new departure and celebrate the complexity and beauty of animals, insects and the weather. This book of poems is more playful than O’Neill’s first book “this stage of life”, and uses a more accessible idiom to convey mood, but nevertheless offers a coherent voice full of color and depth.

The Snipe in Winter

This is Sean O’Neill’s third collection of poetry in print.

The Hunting of the Bees

This is Sean O’Neill’s fourth poetry collection in print and it marks a progression from the sonnet forms of his previous book “The snipe in winter.” These poems range from the memories of childhood in the country to darker memories of foreign hotels and sleepless nights. As always, the lyrical language shines through in both the free-verse and formal poems alike.

Black Dog

Winston Churchill referred to the depression from which he suffered, as his “black dog.” In this poetry book, “Black Dog”, Sean O’Neill explores the path of his own clinical depression, the effect that it had on his life and family, and his gradual recovery from the life-threatening illness.

Songs of Hunger

Like great music, fine poetry has power that can infuse the soul, transform the mind, and transcend the mundane everyday experience of life with what is timeless and supreme. Songs of Hunger is an exceptional collection of poems – rich in language, imagery, symbolism and breadth of thought, feeling, and place. Sean O’Neill is a poet of great skill and exceptional spirit. His poems take you on a quest of the soul in search of wholeness, healing, cleansing, and discovering a home for the restless heart. It is a journey of mercy and hope, love and faith in the One who paid the price that sets us free. You will find plenty here to feed and nourish both mind and spirit. O’Neill has published five previous collections of poems. This book not only builds on the others – it soars to a new level of feeling and spirit, hope and joy. – Don Schwager

An Act of Courage

An Act of Courage is Sean O’Neill’s seventh collection of poetry. Set primarily against the background of a Midwestern American industrial city, its streets and strip malls, factories and parks, interwoven with soliloquies evoked by portraits, photos and memories, the poems explore courage in the face of weariness; of loss of domestic and spiritual illusions; of the frightening approach of personal intimacy; above all, in the face of the transience of life and the prospect of a final reckoning.

These poems are, by turns, haunting, consoling, bracing and surprising.

Leap Pretty Target

In this his eighth book of poems, Sean O’Neill explores the meaning of life through a tapestry of disparate images which, when viewed from a distance, offers a rich and thoughtful display of life in all its poignancy. From the rhythmic logic of ‘Love Song’ and ‘Letters to Noah’ to the wistful “Getting By”, the poet carves out a spiritual vision of modern life that refuses to ignore the pain of existence, but strives to place it in an eternal context. Balancing tax bills with stargazing, news programs with the kerygma, O’Neill tackles the conflicting experiences of being alive with unexpected metaphor and symbolism.

That Fair Beguiling Thread

Each of the prayers in this volume uses imagery to express ideas and petitions in a lyrical and finely-crafted way. This affords the person praying a more heartfelt time of prayer which, in turn, gives greater glory to God. The book is intended for anyone who is sincere about their relationship with God and wishes to express that in ways that reflect their own experience of life and the cry of their heart.

Among the Judas Branches

This is Sean O’Neill’s 10th book of poetry, which charts the poet’s spiritual awakening and mystical experiences after a dramatic healing that occurred in 2017.

Wordless Witness

What if you imagined yourself in a scene from the ministry of Jesus. What if you imagined yourself as an inanimate object: a cup, a rock, a mountain; or an animal, like the donkey on which Jesus rode into Jerusalem; or even something as insubstantial as the cloud that parted at Jesus baptism? All of these played a key role during the ministry of Jesus. What if you could see things through the eyes of these Wordless Witnesses.The poems in this book take on this point of view and present Gospel events from a new and surprising angle, which sheds light on the nature of Jesus, and also what it must have been like to be up close and personal with the Person who created the universe but humbled himself to visit us as a man.

Sickles of Roughcast Mercy

This volume brings together for the first time a range of poems from the early part of this century to the present. Each of Sean O’Neill’s eight volumes of poetry are represented in chronological order so that the reader gets a sense of the poet progressing and changing idioms, styles and diction depending on the mood, the subject matter and the particular moment in time in which the poem was being written. The poems tend to lie somewhere along a continuum between the formal at one extreme and free verse on the other, and there is much experimentation with form, punctuation and even typography. I hope you enjoy this selection of poems and that the messages contained herein find a place in your heart as it has in mine.

Lazarine Meditations

An illustrated collection of 31 poetic meditations on everything from a barbed-wire fence to a sunrise, from a pulpit to a chisel, and from a robin to a mandolin.


A collection of poems in both form and free verse that explores the role of the individual in the modern world.

A Twitch Upon the Thread

The title of this book of poems comes from the name of a long-form poem in the collection, the eponymous “A Twitch Upon the Thread.” The book has 77 poems of various lengths and subjects, but each of them teases out the philosophical meaning behind everyday objects, scenes, and people.

Tacit Testimony

Like Wordless Witness, this book of poems muses on what would happen if some inanimate object, for example, could speak and give witness to what happened in the Gospels. The poems in this book take on this point of view and present Gospel events from a new and surprising angle, which sheds light on the nature of Jesus, and also what it must have been like to be up close and personal with the Person who created the universe but humbled himself to visit us as a man.

Saint Ninian’s Cave

It is said that St. Ninian used to retreat from the priory at Whithorn, to a cave at the end of the Machars peninsula to use it as a hermitage for prayer and meditation.
The poems in this chapbook are “voiced” for St. Ninian; in other words St. Ninian is the speaker. They center round an imagined visit to the cave, in January 431 AD, a year before his death.


A chapbook about the Italian city of Verona, exploring the ancient bones of the place from ancient Roman times to the present day.

The Seven Ages of Man

Based on the seven ages mentioned in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 7, these are seven fairly long poems on the progress of a human being from birth to death. An additional long poem, “Anatomy of Hope,” is included in the collection.

Books of Light Verse

Clever Limericks for Childish Adults

This hilarious and superbly-illustrated book of fiendishly clever limericks is not only a sure antidote to melancholy but a work of comic genius. From the jockey who traversed the Sudan on a cow, to Don Juan who came to a painful and unmentionable end, these limericks are a triumph of the verse form. The ideal Holiday or birthday gift for a friend or family member who needs cheered up.

Cautionary Verses for Childish Adults

From the dangers of eating cabbage to the inadvisability of rotten eggs, from punch-ups at a village fair to larceny, forgery and insanity “Cautionary Verses for Childish Adults” will ensure that your barely-suppressed titters receive funny looks from your fellow train passengers. This superbly illustrated volume is a collector’s piece that will go down in the annals of history as one of the most brazen attempts to subvert the canon of English literature with heavily-salted doggerel.

Madhouse Verses

Preposterous, ruminations from the madhouse that will curl you hair, break your teeth and have you rolling in the aisles of the supermarket. These excellent verses are for children and for adults who wish that they had never grown up!

Other Books

The Doodle Space Notebook

The Doodle Space Notebook is the only notebook that leaves proper space for doodling. Everyone doodles from time to time. How annoying is it when you’ve just completed an epic doodle only to have the effect spoiled by the lines on the page disfiguring your artwork? The Doodle Space Notebook solves this problem. Each page has, not just one, but three spaces in which you can doodle away to your heart’s content, while filling the surrounding lines with notes, poetry, nasty comments about your neighbors or any other literary masterpiece you like. Each of the 100 pages contains a starter squiggle that you are challenged to make into something recognizable by drawing on it using the squiggle as a basis. The Doodle Space Notebook combines sketchbook and notepad in a wonderful blend of art and literature that you won’t find in any other notebook or journal. It also comes with a tasteful and elegant cover that is reminiscent of the Victorian journals and diaries of many moons ago. All in all, the Doodle Space Notebook is a welcome addition to all the other notebooks, journals and scribble pads that you have collected over the years and can take pride of place on any bookshelf.

Comments (2)


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  • I enjoyed your books about how to write a novel, a poem and an essay. I wonder if you ever contemplated writing one on short story formats or possibly flash fiction.
    I’m interested in this because I write short stories (and was recently encouraged during a writing course to write poetry) and have read various books about short stories to help develop my own ideas. Perhaps you could write something on the blog if you don’t feel like writing a book on the subject. which I know is a bid committment.