…the inevitable question arrived the other day, when I was Guest Speaker at The Royal University for Women in Bahrain… are the characters in the books modelled after ‘real’ people?… for a split second, I felt that p’raps the audience thought the players in the novels were only figments of my imagination… heaven forfend, Mabel!
…every writer worth his/her scribbling salt will tell yeez that ‘of course our characters are real… they all live in our heads… and argue with us… and disagree with us… and cause us endless sleepless nights with their constant debating with us as to what they are supposed and supposed not to do in our narratives’… but let me hit the ‘pause’ button for a few seconds… and ‘fess up… when I re-read any of my Jack Calder series, it becomes quite apparent that subconsciously or otherwise, the characters do seem to have remarkable ‘dopplegangers’ living outside of the books… Jack, and his mates Malky McGuire and Jules Townsend, are the epitome of the ‘a Scotsman, an Irishman and an Englishman walk into a story’... the common trait for all three of them is their former membership as officers in the Special Air Services, the famous undercover special operations guys, the British SAS...
…the role model is a real acquaintance of mine whom I knew when I was working in Manila in the Philippines over 25 years ago… for reasons that would take too long to explain, I was corporate trouble-shooting as head of a distressed ferry company, during the early days of which assignment I had to fire 600 trade union dock workers and lay off local policeman and mayors who were supposed to be looking after the company’s interests, but in fact were only lining their own pockets… hence the need for special protection for Master Gallacher... an armoured car and a roster of six armed bodyguards round the clock for three years… my pal was the head and owner of the company which trained the men who looked after me… there’s the genesis for the three main characters…. tomorrow I’ll tell yeez about May-Ling and a coupla other people who populate the books … see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!
VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK
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