I’m delighted to be hosting Seumas Gallacher on An Author’s View again. For a while now I’ve been a huge fan of Seumas’s highly entertaining and often hilarious blog, and I’ve recently read and enjoyed the first of his gripping thrillers THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY. I can highly recommend both. Seumas was kind enough to submit a guest post to An Author’s View a few weeks ago which proved to be very popular, and today he’s visited me in Blogland to chat about his life, his work and his inspirations. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome – SEUMAS GALLACHER.
Alison – Good morning Seumas – or good whatever time it is where you are! Thank you for stopping by today and allowing me to bombard you with questions. What made you decide to write action packed thrillers? Is it a favourite genre (or should that be jongrrrr?) of yours to read?
Seumas – I like any kind of literary JONGRRR that pulls me into the book and keeps me there. Writing the action stuff seems to come easily to me, and being the lazy sod I am, I’ll go with ‘easy’ in the meantime.
Alison – Do you find it difficult to switch from being a light-hearted, jovial blogger to the author of serious and sometimes brutal novels?
Seumas – On the contrary, being able to switch between the two styles keeps the little grey cells moving. I love the company of people who have humour (and wit) as primary traits. The welcome self-discipline of the almost daily blogging balances off the heavier material the novels call for, kinda freshens the approach each time. Plus, the blog is the prime channel for propagating my ‘Author Brand’ as distinct from the ‘Author Voice’ in the novels.
Alison – Jack Calder, the hero of your novels, harks from the same area of Glasgow as you do. Are there elements of your own past and personality in Jack?
Seumas – I think most authors either directly or subliminally reflect much of their own personal experiences in their writing. I didn’t intentionally craft much of the personal stuff as such in THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, but when I edited and re-edited, I was astonished to see how much of me actually seeped into the various characters and circumstances in the book, not just Jack Calder.
Alison – The action in the Jack Calder novels is very convincing, as is the skill of Jack and his colleagues. What research did you need to do? Do you have experience of your own on which to call?
Seumas – Well, I could tell you… and then I’d have to kill you… you know how that works! One of the trouble-shooting engagements I undertook in Asia involved cleaning up a distressed ferry company, with more than its fair share of criminal elements around it. Cleaning that up resulted in the need for an armoured car and a squad of SAS-trained bodyguards… that was the seed for the story line idea. Apart from that, with the Web at our fingertips, it’s simpler now to check on facts as far as possible.
Alison – You have lived, and currently live, in some exotic places. What inspired you to move around the world? Have you based the locations in your books on the places in which you’ve lived?
Seumas – Originally, 43 years ago, the move from Scotland to London for ten years as a young banker was massive. Thereafter it was the money trail. Hong Kong was followed by Singapore, then a year in Australia. Next up was the Philippines, and eventually to the Middle East. The underpinning career of banking edged into the Foreign Exchange dealing and Money Markets, then on to being a corporate trouble-shooter. The assignments took me all over the planet. I’ve never owned a camera in my life, preferring the visual memories and interface with characters I’ve met along the way, good ones and not so pleasant ones. A lot of that is present in the books
Alison – You are a prolific blogger, treating us to a highly entertaining post daily. Do you plan your blogs in advance, or write about whatever’s on your mind each day?
Seumas – During the day, I may or may not get a simple idea to build a blog post around. However, the approach to the daily piece is ‘blank sheet of paper and blank mind’, then press the mental ‘GO’ button. The flow of words is simply a flow of consciousness, with no capital letter sentence starts or full stops… it’s quirky, but my friends on the Web seem to approve.
Alison – It certainly works for me. You’ve made a success out of publishing your work via Kindle. Briefly, what is the process from finishing your ‘wee masterpiece’ to sending it out into the world?
Seumas – It starts loooo-ooo-ooo-ooong before finishing the wee masterpiece. ‘Building the Platform’ via the extensive use of the social networks is constant and, in my opinion, absolutely vital to a modern scribbler. It’s no use throwing your masterpiece out there unless somebody’s gonna catch it. I reciprocate as much as possible for others through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and other channels. I also mix the offerings on Amazon Kindle… paids, Free Promos, and now the discount route via the Amazon Countdown Program.
Alison – Will you continue writing thrillers, or are you tempted by any other genres?
Seumas – For the meantime, there’s a whole raft of ideas for stories in the Jack Calder thriller series, and I’ve become part of the characters’ family. I don’t want to desert them just yet. As a (much) younger lad, I used to indulge in some poetry, a bit of which I’ve teased on to the blog from time to time. For the past four years, I’ve harboured a storyline in my head, a lot more ‘literary’ in style to the present stuff, but I think that may take a lot longer to indulge while my name is associated with the Jack Calder series.
Alison – Was it always your ambition to be a writer, or was it a skill you discovered you had by chance?
Seumas – I’ve always dabbled in bits and pieces, but never really got motivated to do ‘that book we all supposedly have in us’ until about five years ago. I now wish I’d started 40 years ago, as I enjoy the whole self-publishing ‘writing business’ experience. However, 40 years ago, there were no eBooks or Kindle, so it may not have developed as quickly as it has done recently for me.
Alison – What does the future hold for you personally? Is a return to Scotland on the cards?
Seumas – I live for the moment, and Abu Dhabi is okay for the meantime. I’d be delighted to see my writing progress to a regular international recognition as a novelist.
Alison – Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions. Luv ye!
Seumas – Thanks , m’Lady for having me aboard again. LUV YEEZ back!
I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading Seumas’s interview as much as I’ve enjoyed hosting it. It’s always a huge thrill to chat to an author whose work I love, and Seumas is always happy to connect with his fans via a variety of networks:
Follow Seumas on Twitter
Connect with Seumas on Facebook
Connect with Seumas on LinkedIn
Follow Seumas’s blog
If you’d like to BUY THE BOOKS here are the links: