Seumas Gallacher – Author, Blogger, All Around Great Guy
My fellow scribbler, one of the many ways he refers to himself, Seumas Gallacher has gratefully consented to give me an interview. Without further ado, here it is:
Seumas, tell us a little about yourself and your background?
SG: I started my banking career at 15, and used that as a global travelling passport for the next 5 decades, with employers in the Scottish Hebrides (the Far North); London, (the Far South); the Far East (Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines); and now in the Middle East, (the Far Middle), shuttling ‘twixt Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, running my own corporate trouble-shooting business.
What were you like at school?
SG : Hardly precocious, but prob’ly a bt of a ‘Smarty Pants’ ‘coz it turns out I possess a stupidly exaggerated IQ. (Which does not point to intelligence, but does accord me the ability to think logically, very fast, so I’m told.) Won tons of academic awards including a free scholarship to an excellent college in Glasgow, quite unusual for a lad from the Docklands Govan area of the city. It presented one or two issues, such as walking home through the slums in a posh uniform with a viola case under my arm.
Were you good at English?
SG : Ah, noo ye’re beltin’ me wi’ trick questions, Shawn!… gie’s a break, eh? I was good at the wee bits of it I needed to be understood, particularly in London.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
SG : No limits. Wherever this marvelous scribbling gig takes me, I’m aboard. LUVVIN IT!
Which writers inspire you?
SG : Dickens, Steinbeck, O’Hara, Winston Churchill, and emb’dy who writes my name on cheques.
So, what have you written?
SG : For my novels, I’ve almost completed writing KILLER CITY, the fourth Jack Calder crime thriller … should be disseminated by Crooked Cat Publishing in the next 6 weeks… the first three, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY; VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK; and SAVAGE PAYBACK have already blessed me with 80,000+ downloads.
Where can we buy or see them?
SG : Whack ‘Seumas Gallacher’ on Amazon Kindle, and they’re all there. [editor: See below for links to all of Seumas’s books]
Give us an insight into your favorite (or main) Character. What does s/he do that is so special?
SG : Quite simple really… three ex-SAS (Britain’s Special Air Services) commando officers retire and form their own specialized security services firm… in the course of protecting their clients personally and corporately, they rub up against all manner of international crime lords, drug barons, people-traffickers, cash launderers.. and other nice people like that… being ‘EX’ the forces, there’s no constraints on how they use their black ops skills to combat threats. The principal character, Jack Calder, is a child of the Docklands Govan area of my youth… six-feet two, blue-eyed, fair-haired lad… three guesses on who he’s styled after? A-hem…
What new projects do you have in the works?
SG : The fifth book in the series is already formulating in my head.
Why do you write?
SG : Having fallen into it more by accident than by design, I’ve discovered how much pleasure I derive from being creative with the whole nine yards of the writing business, including the social networks platforms…all part and parcel of doing it 100%.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
SG : Seriously, it just occurred to me one fine day, that it was ‘time’ to write ’that book’ we all supposedly have in us… and that was it… a few evenings thinking of what to write, and off it went.
Tell us about your writing habits, favorite tools, etc. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
SG : I write every day, with no set word targets… I don’t believe in ‘forcing’ production… I’d rather take the time to ‘sculpt’ what I’m writing… contrary to accepted convention, I prefer to edit daily as I go along… I write on the laptop I bought 6 years ago, one finger from each hand… it was the fist computer ‘thing-y’ I’d ever owned, as a self-professed Jurassic re gadgets and computers, I’m ceaselessly amazed at how much I’ve managed to learn in that short space of time after a lifetime of computer ignorance.
Where do your ideas come from?
SG : Everywhere. The cable news channels are a constant daily source of ideas… just change the names to protect the guilty. Background stuff is culled from that lifetime of globetrotting, characters I’ve bumped into… and some real close-to-the–wire experiences of bad guys, and the good guys who put them out of business… I could tell you more… but then I’d have to kill you… you know how that works.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
SG : I like to have the ending before I start, then it’s a combination of ‘pantser’ work and plotting in stages as the narrative develops… although, as most quill-scrapers will tell you, most of the time the characters themselves take over and dictate where the plot goes.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
SG : Still learning… the renowned cellist, Pablo Casals, was asked once why he still practiced at the age of 90 and he replied, ‘I think I’m improving’… that’ll do me nicely.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
SG : The beginnings, the middles and the ends.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
SG : The beginnings, the middles and the ends.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
SG : It varies between 6 to 24 months, depending on how much that other silly little thing called ‘Life’ gets in the way. The requirement to earn a living with the day job can be peculiarly distracting.
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
SG : I read constantly. I download about one book per week on my Kindle. These days, it’s other newbie authors and self-publishers. I try to leave honest reviews for them as I proceed, as I know how valuable these are for any writer, and it’s part of my ‘paying it forward’/’paying it back’ philosophy.
What books are you reading at present?
SG : I have Yasmin Selena Butt’s ‘Gunshot Glitter’ on the go now, to be followed by a couple of offerings from Tony McManus— ‘The Bangkok SAS’, and ‘Down And Out In The Big Mango’ … they’re among many pals I’ve garnered in the great big wunnerful diaspora that is the internet’s global authors’ family.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
SG : I proofread and edit extensively my own books before they go to the publisher, where a superb editor, Maureen Vincent-Northam, knocks them into presentable reading shape.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
SG : No. My editing is constant, as is the writing process… I’m happy when I type ‘the end’ that that’s it finished from my side.
Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
SG : Maureen Vincent-Northam, mentioned above, is my allocated editor with Crooked Cat Publishing, and is an absolute pleasure to work with.
Tell us about the covers and how they came about. Who designed your book cover/s?
SG : An artist friend in the Philippines, Edward Tan Lu, did the original three novels’ covers, which were then modified by Laurence Patterson at Crooked Cat Publishing. I like to have input in the creation of the covers… I prefer strong colours with sinister features… that way, there’s no mistaking what you’re buying… the contents are what’s written on the tin.
What are your thoughts on publishing?
SG : Each to his or her own… de facto, my initial route was self-publishing, ‘coz, despite the successful sales figures, no traditional publisher accepted my work at the start… I’ve been more than fortunate that the series (as it became) caught on, and the use of the social networking helped enormously in getting my name ‘out there’… along came Crooked Cat Publishing, and I like their hybrid approach… it allows me still to remain hands-on involved in the promotional and marketing side. And get access hopefully to wider readership bases.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors on any aspect of writing, publishing, marketing, etc.?
SG : If you are in it, be in it 100%, Accept the modern author’s lot includes social networking, being your own production editor, proof-reader, cover–creator, social networking person…oh, and write a bit as well.
How do you relax?
SG : Believe it or not, by writing.
What is your favourite motivational phrase.
SG : My lifelong hero, Sir Winston Churchill’s idiom, ‘…never, never, never give up…’
What is your favourite book and why?
SG : Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield… glorious characters, great atmosphere, and wordsmithing at its finest… and with an opening chapter heading, ‘I am born.’… how could it miss?
Where can you see Seumas Gallacher in 5 years time?
SG: I’ll tell you that in five years time plus one day
What advice would you give to your younger self?
SG : Hang in there kid… it does get better.
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
SG : Predominantly eChannels, not only for books, but magazines, newspapers, pamphlets… it’s already pointing that way. Print will still demand a significant place, and I don’t believe as some do that print will die.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
- Blog : seumasgallacher.com
- Twitter : @seumasgallacher
- Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/seumasgallacher
- Email : email@example.com
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
SG : Thanks a bundle for having me aboard, that man.
Seumas Gallacher Bio
Seumas Gallacher was born in Clydeside, Govan in Glasgow and spent his formative teens in the idyllic Scottish Hebridean island of Mull. His career as a banker took him from Scotland to London for ten years and thence on a further twenty-five year global odyssey through Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines in Asia. Along the way he metamorphosed into a corporate troubleshooter and problem solver. He came to the United Arab Emirates for a month in 2004 and has remained in the Middle East ever since.
A late discoverer of the joys of writing, his crime thriller novels, The Violin Man’s Legacy, Vengeance Wears Black and Savage Payback have sold more than 80,000 copies.
Seumas has become a strong proponent of the use of the social networking channels to reach and engage with a global readership market in the new age of self-publishing and eBooks. Seumas is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on how to develop productive online relationships. He was voted Blogger of the Year 2013.
Books by Seumas Gallacher
THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY
VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK