…yeeee hawwww! …LUVVIN this!… unusual set of Q and A zingers here, Ms LaRue… great fun… thanks for having me over …
Words With Women’s first ever Author Interview is with Seumas Gallacher, Author of the Jack Calder Series. I recently read Vengeance Wears Black and have talked with Seumas on Twitter and Facebook. When Christin and I decided to begin hosting authors, I thought pairing a book review at the same time would be fun. So when you are finished reading about our chat, please go over to The Library to read my review.
Welcome to Words With Women, Seumas. May I offer you a drink while we get to know you?
SG: Thank you, PJ. I’m a Diet-Cokehead. By the sluice gate flood load rather than a sip or three.
Now that we have our drinks, shall we have a seat in The Living Room? Hmm. We will start with an easy question. Did you have an imaginary friend when you were young? What was his or her name? Do you still see him or her?
SG: When I was young, it wasn’t so much imaginary friends, as it was role-playing of heroes. As five-, six- and seven-year old children, my pals and I would become whatever good or bad guys appeared on the Saturday film matinee Cowboys and Indian sagas, World War soldiers in battle (usually Audie Murphy). Then sometimes, when playing football on our local wee bits of grass, transform on the field to great centre-forward scorers or goalkeepers. Nowadays, I have a host of argumentative committee members in my head, composed of the latest batch of whatever characters currently populate my novels. (They ARE real, aren’t they? Aren’t they?)
I reach over and pat his arm as I replied. Relax, you are amongst friends, Seumas. Authors will all agree that their characters are real, at least to them. And if you make the characters real to the readers, then you are a talented writer. I’ll have to say that when I read Vengeance Wears Black, the characters seemed real to me. And they sounded like they knew their way around black ops to me.
So, what is the most unusual pet you’ve ever had?
SG: I’ve never been the ‘handler’, but years and years ago, my youngest sister had at various times, gerbils, three dogs, several tortoises and a pair of budgerigars. And we lived on the fourth floor of a tenement building. My parents put their foot down when she clamoured for a snake, which she claimed could live comfortably in the flat by wrapping itself around the tall stand housing the budgies. What the birds thought of that wizz has not been recorded.
Those are quite unique. I don’t think the budgies would have cared much for the snake, especially if it looked hungry.
I love to travel. How about you? If you could travel to any country in the world, where would it be? What draws you to that country?
SG: I’ve been blessed with enough travel during my career already and have never owned a camera, preferring to have real memories imbedded in my mind. From these come a lot of my background material for writing. Revisits of wonderful experiences would include Vienna, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Hawaii, but best of all, the beautiful island of Mull in the Scottish Hebrides.
Memories and travel experiences make great fodder for our books. I’ve made it to San Francisco, Hawaii and Japan. But Hong Kong, Shanghai, Italy and France are on my wish list.
On a more serious note, if you could teach one lesson to all mankind what would it be?
SG: Something I picked up from someone else on the Web recently, which only now do I realize reflects much of what I’ve seen all my life: ‘Everybody, and I mean everybody, you meet is fighting some sort of battle you know nothing about. Be kind.’
I saw that post, as well. I have to agree it would make the world a better place if people were to remember that.
What we find embarrassing as a child we often see as humorous as an adult, once we’ve grown to accept ourselves. What is the most embarrassing picture ever taken of you (family-friendly) and are you willing to let us post it, if you have possession of it? If we can’t post it, will you describe it?
SG: Sadly, much of the photographs of my childhood are long gone. But one hyper-embarrassing picture was taken when I was six. I was second overall in school class that year to a girl. At the school prize-giving, with all the doting parents and classmates in attendance, she went up first to collect her prize. She curtsied sweetly, holding her dress out to the sides as young ladies do, and curtseying at the knee. I was supposed to follow and, as a boy, salute before accepting my prize. Of course, I followed what she did, and tried to curtsey, pulling the sides of my short trousers at the same time. The attendant hilarity and laughter I can still hear. P’raps that’s what birthed the comic in me, who knows?
It’s fortunate you understood that laughter is good. I’m glad you were able to find the humor in that situation, as it could have been dreadfully painful. You must have had a wonderful sense of humor, even as a child.
Let’s talk about your writing and your books for a while. What questions would your characters ask you about their futures?
SG: So far, I’ve kept all my characters non-unionized. Should they ever gain that status, I fully expect their requests for Starbucks allowances, vacations to the seaside, bullets and gun-handling bonuses. Oh, and free access to Wifi. I keep them too busy in the novels to have time to ponder why they have to continue to put their lives on the line to satisfy my lust for drama and action. I don’t see them ever being depicted as old enough to draw pensions.
Non-unionized is smart. You don’t want that gang coming after you. They are too talented to risk their wrath.
Have you written, or do you plan to write in any other genre, than your crime/thrillers? Will you tell us about it?
SG: Funny you should ask. I’ve often been exhorted (doncha LUV that word?) to carry my supposed humorous blog writing into novel form. That may happen one day. Also, for the last five years, I’ve been mulling over the scope of a story about an itinerant Arabic language tutor, teaching the children of expatriate families (and one Arabic child learning English). From the mouths of babes will spin the truisms of how all people and cultures should properly interact.
I enjoy your blog, and your tweets because you make me laugh.
Most authors like to talk about their current work in progress. So, what are you working on now? Do you mind providing a teaser sample here?
SG: The fourth novel in the Jack Calder series, KILLER CITY is the current Work in Progress. Here’s the opener:
In the old days, they worked directly for the local council. Nobody ever called them anything but bin men. Until the elected officials decided rubbish collection was better handled by private contractors, bin men they remained. Then the title changed to solid waste removal officers. The money they earned was more or less the same as when the council ran the pay packets. Nothing much else differed. The street rosters, the squad team, the early morning shifts. The trucks had modern hydraulic lifts with fluid cylinder hoists, making it easier to tip the wheelie bins into the back of the crusher. They still had to manhandle the wheelies from outside the household gates to the vehicle.
The chill morning air clouded with their condensed breath as they worked their way down Mulberry Street. This was Oldham, a large town in the Greater Manchester region in the north of England. Once a thriving textile area, the economic depression hit hard in the latter part of the century. Few of these homes were owner-occupied now, the majority rented by a spread of immigrant communities.
The gaffer and his mate were a good pair. Same-sequence colour bins in rotation for each gate, just as they’d done for twenty years. The blue wheelie at number 3 didn’t move on the first lift.
“Jeez, that’s damn heavy,” said the gaffer. “Feels like a ton of bricks.”
“Ach, you‘re getting weak in your old age, Pete,” said his mate. “Let’s have a decko.”
He lifted the lid and slammed it back down again.
He moved to the gate and steadied himself before throwing up into the bushes.
“What?” said the boss.
His pal waved his hand and retched again.
The gaffer gingerly lifted the lid a little and swore.
The body of a naked woman lay on top of the rubbish. The slashed throat and mutilations on her chest clogged with flies. Both men would have nightmares later about the lifeless staring eyes.
SEUMAS GALLACHER escaped from the world of finance five years ago, after a career spanning three continents and five decades.
As the self-professed ‘oldest computer Jurassic on the planet’ his headlong immersion into the dizzy world of eBook publishing opened his eyes, mind, and pleasure to the joys of self-publishing. As a former businessman, he rapidly understood the concept of a writer’s need to ‘build the platform’, and from a standing start began to develop a social networking outreach, which now tops 15,000 direct contacts.
His first two crime-thrillers, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK blew his mind with more than 75,000 e-link downloads to date. The third in what has become the ‘Jack Calder’ series, SAVAGE PAYBACK, was launched late 2013.
He started a humorous, informative, self-publishers blog less than two years ago, never having heard of a ‘blog’ prior to that, was voted ‘Blogger of the Year 2013′ and now has a loyal blog following on his networks. He says the novels contain his ‘Author’s Voice’, while the blog carries his ‘Author’s Brand’. And he’s LUVVIN IT!
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