…it started off as just writing a coupla sentences 8 years ago… look what’s happened!…

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…I s’pose it’s the kinda thing that happens when a few snowflakes roll into a snowball and it goes on a roll, gathering more and more as it  goes along, and ends up as an enormous avalanche… writing… the mystical allure that is the scribbler’s art… the indescribable sensation of birthing yer own wee literary babies… releasing them as fledglings into a huge WURLD of their peers… books, novels, tomes, volumes… Master Gallacher‘s own experience is par for the course, as many of my fellow authors have shared… it started off as just writing a coupla sentences 8 years ago… look what’s happened!… the germ of an idea for a story triggered the Jack Calder series… the characters appeared, and then they basically took over the whole deal… spontaneous committee meetings in my head sprung up, comprised of the men and women who populate the series… and to heck with what the Author intended to write!… even now, with the fifth book, DEADLY IMPASSE, hot off the laptop presses and onto Auntie Amazon Kindle, the characters are demanding to be shoehorned into book #6… no rest for the wicked here, Mabel… coincidentally, this time around, I’ve taken a different tack in allowing the latest wee masterpiece to come to market without the massive advertising and promotional activity as with its predecessors… on the assumption that possibly enuff buzz is already on the Web about Messrs Calder and Company… early downloads and sales reflect well… reviews are cascading in and (thankfully) are gratifyingly positive… my grateful thanks to each and every reader who have honoured me with their support… the link for DEADLY IMPASSE is as under noted… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

http://amzn.to/2d2Avhf

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…PART FOUR of ‘the magic of a return visit to Mull in the Scottish Hebrides’…

…they say ‘nostalgia ain’t what it used to be’… my Docklands Govan-spun response to that is ‘borrox!’… these past few days’ blog posts of meandering back through the mists (and sum’time fog) of fifty years ago has been a wunnerful throwback, captured in a glorious week spent in Tobermory on the idyllic Isle of Mull in the Scottish Hebrides... yeez doubt it’s beauty?… just look at this photo taken from the bedroom window of my hotel, The Western Isles Hotel…

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…the island (thankfully) has thus far avoided the invasion of the mega-star hotel chains, relying instead on the WURLD-famous Scottish hospitality in its smaller hotel offerings and numerous Bed and Breakfast outlets… have a typical Scottish breakfast then try claiming yeez are hungry within ten hours afterward…  won’t happen… the hotel I referred to above, the Western Isles Hotel, is a majestically imposing building sitting above the town… as a young, apprentice, trainee future Master of the Financial Universe back then, like my peers, I spent the non-banking hours doing part-time work around the various hotels and bars in Tobermory… at times my skill set was added to as a cocktail barman, and silver-service waiter in the very dining room where others ployed me with the daily breakfasts of champions during my stay this time … here’s the hotel from the outside…

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…downtown Tobermory, next to the pier, another establishment sits where one day they may put up the ‘heritage plaque’ that ‘Master Gallacher did part time WURK here too’, the Mishnish Hotel

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…an oasis and honeypot attraction for sailing people for years and years… under new management from the family of dance band leader Bobby MacLeod (with whose band Master Gallacher sang from time to time), new ownership has revamped the hotel, but wisely retaining the essence of the Mishnish as was, as is… and coincidentally, the new owners are also Macleods (no relation)… here they are, Meg and Les with yours truly at the fireplace (how many places do yeez know that still have one of those!)…

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…ach, indeed, Mabel, nostalgia’s here to stay… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…PART THREE of ‘the magic of a return visit to Mull in the Scottish Hebrides’…

…yesterday, the blog post series on the magic of my recent week on the Isle of Mull centred on the children’s competitions and ceilidh concerts at the Gaelic Mod Festival in Tobermory… today, the ‘all-growed-ups’ step forward… although the Hebrides have to be reached by ferry from far-flung parts, that doesn’t prevent competitors travelling from all over Scotland to participate in local events such as the one in Mull… as with the initial day’s singing and language competition for the kids, the second day culminated in a ceilidh (concert) where the winners contribute by airing their prize pieces to a knowledgeable and highly appreciative audience… now, I mentioned yesterday, as a revisiting ‘adopted son of Mull’ I was honoured by being asked to deliver all the prizes… one lovely lady, Caitlin Smith from Inverness, with a voice and tone as clear as crystal, and who sang beautifully during the competition, well enough to win her trophy, is pictured here…

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…she approached me later, after the ceilidh, to tell me that sum’thing clicked in her head when she heard my name… and she remembered where she had seen it before… she had won another prize some time ago, and among the list of names as previous winners was ‘Seumas Gallacher 1969’… 1969! fully 47 years ago, long before the young lady was born… she said she was ‘thrilled to meet me’... you have no idea what a moment that was for me!… during the ceilidh, the good people allowed me to sing a song called ‘Mo Mhathair (My Mother), it’s an extremely special song to me as it was one of the songs I sang in the same hall, 52 years before, when I won my first ever prize as a learner in Gaelic… stuff yer ears now, coz, here it is…

…I’m still getting goosebumps playing that song back over and over… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…PART TWO of ‘the magic of a return visit to Mull in the Scottish Hebrides’…

…from the mouths of babes, those sum’time charming ‘angels with dirty faces‘, can come the sweetest music… on this ol’ Jurassic’s recent journey back to the Isle of Mull in the Scottish Hebrides, I was privileged to be asked to present the prizes at the local Mod in Tobermorythe Mod is the competitive annual Gaelic festival of music, poetry, and bagpiping, held in provincial centres around Scotland, culminating in the National Mod at a different location each year… (for people in the UK to understand a bit more, it’s the Scottish equivalent of the Welsh Eisteddfod)... as a young man in my mid to late teens, I spent six years on the island working in a bank there, and as a Gaelic language learner, winning singing prizes in various places each year… many years ago, I donated a trophy in my name, dedicated for learners, the Gallacher Prize, (original eh, Mabel?) and for the first time ever, after decades, I was allowed to present that at the Tobermory Mod... a real ‘bucket list’ item… what a buzz!…the children ranged from pre-schoolers to 12 year -olds… what a joy to hear the wee-est of the them deliver ‘Baa-baa-black sheep’ in Gaelic… the clip here shows them on stage, totally uninhibited… in typical nursery-school abandon, one kid waving to his Mammy, one looking at the stage curtains, another with her finger in her nose… some of them actually singing together, others filling in bits and sounds when they felt like it… pure magic!…

 

…in the first evening of the two days of the Festival, the children’s ceilidh (concert) featured many of the winners from the day’s events… one of my (many) favorites is the song here by three delightful developing soprano voices… the video doesn’t do it proper justice, but yeez’ll get a sense of it anyway…

…then came the pleasure of distributing the prizes to the day’s winners (I did so also for the adults the next day, but that’s for another blog post )… in my eyes and to my ears, they are ALL champions… indeed,  one choir came up to receive their prize from me en masse… what a laugh… here’s the ‘smash and grab’ presentation as they all wanted to be holding it…

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…European Champions League winners  have NUTHIN on these kids!… there’s so much energy being devoted at grass roots levels around Scotland to ensure the Gaelic language and heritage remains alive and well… these children and those who teach them, are testament to the ongoing success of that effort… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…PART ONE of ‘the magic of a return visit to Mull in the Scottish Hebrides’…

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…like most people, when yeez’ve lived for more than six decades, I’m sure yeez have experienced dark passages and unbelievable highs during the course of yer lives… this ol’ Scots Jurassic is no different in that respect… I’ve also come to understand that the longer I’m on this planet, my priorities in the things that give me real pleasure are bound to change… I’ve just returned from a glorious week in Tobermory, on the beautiful Island of Mull, and realize now that I’m back in the Middle East that it was probably the most emotionally gratifying seven days of my conscious life… big statement that, eh, Mabel?… let me put it in perspective… as a young teenager, I left Glasgow over 50 years ago to work in a bank in Tobermory… (the bank is the grey building in the middle of the photograph below)…

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…six awesome years later, I left the island, having become an ‘adopted son’ of Mull, a phrase I heard often during the stay there this time… I’ve told part of the story before of how the local community took me to their hearts, teaching me how to speak, sing, and win medals competing in Gaelic singing competitions in the annual Mod Festivals… the place certainly left its imprint on my soul and has been with me ever since… what I didn’t realize until the week just spent there, is that apparently I left some of my own stamp on the community… time after time, in the shops, in the hotels and in the restaurants, I kept meeting folks who knew me from ‘way back when, and the fondness of greeting was absolutely humbling… I had dinner with a collection of marvellous pals and the entire evening was filled with laughter… real sharing laughter at mem’ries and stories from all those years ago… great people with whom I had sung at ceilidhs… great people with whom I had been in digs… great people who had become such an integral part of my life growing up amongst them… and it was instant ‘plug-in’… the type yeez can’t buy… I don’t possess skill enuff in WURDS to describe how emotional I felt… my roots were laid down, not as a boy in Docklands Govan (which is still very dear to me), but as teenager in that expanded, inclusive island family… in subsequent posts, I’ll try to describe some of the outstanding events, places and people involved in the past week there… suffice for the moment to understand it was arguably the best week of my life to date… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…April come she will… Simon and Garfunkel MUST’ve had Ms Taylor in mind…

…if yeez ever doubt the strength of virtual friendships on the Web, here’s sum’thing about what happens when yeez eventually get to meet in so-called ‘real life’… many thanks to terrific Authoress, April Taylor (she of the Georgia Pattison mystery crime novels)… her blog post today encapsulates a microcosm of the WUNDER of it all:

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…Author pal, Alan McDermott interviews yours truly today…

…the remarkably successful author of the Tom Gray novels, Alan McDermott, let me loose in an interview on his blog today… and here it is :

Monday, 12 September 2016

Interview with Seumas Gallacher

 Former businessman Seumas Gallacher left the finance world seven years ago to launch his writing career, and I’m here to find out how that journey went.  Seumas was voted Blogger of the Year in 2013, and his network boasts over 25,000 direct contacts.

Tell us about your latest book

Current work-in-progress is DEADLY IMPASSE, the fifth in the Jack Calder crime thriller series. The characters are familiar to my readers— the team at International Security Partners (ISP), ex-SAS officers, Jack Calder and his mate Malky McGuire; Jack’s Asian wife, former Anti-Triad fighter, May-Ling; and former London Serious Crimes Squad commander, Donnie Mullen, take on international drug barons and people-traffickers. The action ranges from the usually calm backwater of a private bank in Luxembourg to the shores of Libya and the perils of migrants in the Mediterranean, all the way to drug-running cartels in Central America.

You’re based in Abu Dhabi.  What took you there?

Twelve years ago, I went to Abu Dhabi for a month on a corporate trouble-shooting role for a major local bank. I’m still in the Middle East.

Tell us how you first got into writing.

I’ve been scribbling and writing since my mid teens, graduating from the usual angst–ridden poetry to short stories. There was a gap of several decades until I decided about eight years ago, it was just ‘time’ to write ‘that book’ we all have in us. Wish I’d gotten the bug again a bit sooner. LUVVIN IT!

Who has been the biggest influence on your writing career?

For writing style, my eternal favourite authors are Dickens, Steinbeck, O’Hara and Ruark. The other principal influence has been an international career that has revealed characters, events, places, humour, tragedy and the whole nine yards of life in the raw.

How important are book reviews to you?

They are important inasmuch as people take time and trouble to share their opinion (but, always to remember it is only their opinion). It tends to guide other folks toward the work, good or otherwise, and as the former actress, Mae West, used to say, “I don’t care what they’re sayin’ about me, just so long as they’re sayin’. ” However, reviews should always be taken with a pinch of salt, as most people usually give four- or five-star reviews for publication… the negatives are seldom ever posted, or are, in large part, written by trolls.

If you could go back to the start of your writing career, what if, anything, would you do differently?

Start the ‘building the platform’ of a following on the Internet, including an author’s blog, constantly, before, during and after the book(s) is (are) in process. Modern writers have to be heard above the ‘noise’ and all of the social networks provide channels for readers to get to know them as well as their wee masterpieces.

Who does your book covers?

A friend in Manila is a superb commercial artist, and ‘gets’ what my books’ contents need. I’m delighted with the many positive comments the covers have attracted.

Where can we find out more about your books?

All of my books are on Amazon. Here are the quick links:
THE VIOLIN MANS LEGACY
myBook.to/theviolinmanslegacy
VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK
myBook.to/vengeancewearsblack
SAVAGE PAYBACK
myBook.to/savagepayback
KILLER CITY
myBook.to/calderkillercity

…many thanks for having me aboard, Alan… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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