I’m delighted to be joined by Seumas Gallacher today. Seumas is a prolific writer of crime thrillers. He has had phenomenal success as a self-published author and has now partnered with Crooked Cat, who are republishing his novels, starting with Savage Payback. (If you want to know why he decided to do this, the answer is here in the post from 2nd February.) Seumas has also written a very helpful guide to self-publishing called Self-Publishing Steps To Successful Sales. Unsurprisingly, Seumas comes from Scotland. If you thought Ireland, as I did at first, look at the spellings again. And if you need any further proof, one look at his blog is all you need! A more surprising fact is that he lives in Abu Dhabi.
Hello Seumas and welcome to my blog. I thought about conducting the interview face to face. I looked up Google’s driving instructions from Jerusalem to Abu Dhabi and got the message: “Sorry, your search appears to be outside our current coverage area for transit.” Still from the map it looks to be quite a straight road. I’m just wondering whether to go that way, taking in the wildlife sanctuary and Riyadh on the way, or to travel to Eilat and take a leisurely cruise round the coast. In the meantime, I’ll make do with this long distance chat.
Hi, Miriam, pity, that. I could have got you some nice discounted camel passes from a guy I know… and anyway, I’m told that all roads lead to Rome, so p’raps we’ll end up in Italy ……
That’s an idea! I read that you went to Abu Dhabi for a short job and ended up staying. What drew you to that place?
My profession is that of (whisper it) a banker, but by vocation that has segued over the years into being a corporate troubleshooter… on one of those engagements I went to Abu Dhabi ten years ago, for one month… I’m still here …
I was offered terms to stay longer and did so because I like the pace of Abu Dhabi …it’s less frenetic than its partner down the road, Dubai, which is more of a marketing man’s dream… currently I shuttle between Abu Dhabi and Bahrain on business… I like the style of the locals whom I’ve been privileged to do business with…
Do you speak Arabic?
I took six months of Arabic lessons, but hardly made as much of an indent as I would like …it’s a very difficult language, as I’ve discovered there are very few algorithms to follow in terms of tenses and so on.
I empathise with you. I’ve never tried to learn Arabic. I got put off by the script, which looks hard to decipher, and the fact that the spoken and written languages are different. But can you manage there without Arabic? Do most people speak English?
Most people do speak English very well in the Middle East, but I’ve always tried to learn the lingua franca wherever I’ve been… it’s respected locally as an effort to ‘come across the bridge’… I speak varying proficiencies of English, Gaelic, French, Tagalog, Cantonese and Arabic… some may say I’m best at talking rubbish…
That sounds impressive! I had to look up Tagalog and it turns out 57 million people speak it.
Ah, sorry, Tagalog is the mainstream language of the Philippines, which actually has more than 75 various dialects.
Do you miss Scotland?
In all honesty, as regards Scotland, I’ve been away for more than 40 years, so I’ve become very much an ’international’ citizen… fond memories I have in spades, of course, but there’s very little attraction to return…
I’m not tempted to return to England, but I miss little things like wide open spaces, country pubs, salt ’n’ vinegar crisps and shortbread. Is there anything you dream of that’s in another country?
I dream very little of other countries’ attractions, having been blessed with travelling so much already in a life and career around the planet… however, there are places I certainly enjoyed being in: Vienna as a tourist, Hong Kong as a businessman, and San Francisco as a mixture of both.
Of those three, I’ve only been to Hong Kong so far, and enjoyed it immensely.
So where are your novels set?
International range..on purpose… based from their London offices, the proponents travel through the books to many parts of Europe, Hong Kong, Turkey, North Africa, the Balkans and South America.
What else do you want to tell us about them?
Basic story line is of 3 former SAS commando officers who create their own specialist security firm protecting high value clients and their merchandise. They encounter several bad guys in the form of international crime lords, drug kingpins, people trafficked, money launderers. They use their black operations skills to bring justice where needed, away from the eyes of the normal law enforcement methods.
I read that you left home at the age of 15. How does a 15-year-old boy manage in the big wide world?
As the Beatles put it so well ‘I’ll get by with a little help from my friends’… I’ve had some terrific people come in and out of my life at pivotal moments …each a hero in their own way… also being able to use my own fists where necessary has been useful… I loathe bullies, and have always had a kinda reckless attitude toward not backing off from bullying when I meet it…got me into trouble some times, but trouble that I welcomed, strangely enough.
I wish I’d known how to do that! I suppose it all comes down to self-confidence, which is also what you assumed when you wrote, “I go along with the adage that if you believe you can achieve something, or if you believe you cannot achieve something, you’re probably right.”
What if someone doesn’t have the self-confidence to believe they can achieve something?
Tough one… revert to the saying if they don’t believe it, they’re probably right..sadly.. so many people never try , never step out of the comfort zone… it’s okay to be scared sometimes when you do things…
Hmm, I’ll think about that.
I loved this quote from the interview with you at Smorgasbord: “Thus began my growing tolerance for all people who once seemed on the surface to be different to me… we are all the same.” Would the world be a better place if everyone realised that?
We’d better get the word out then!
Seumas, thank you so much for coming onto my blog. I don’t suppose you’ll be surprised to learn that I don’t get many visitors from your part of the world. I wish you even more success with your novels now that you’ve partnered with Crooked Cat.
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 18,000 direct contacts.
His ‘Jack Calder’ crime-thrillers series, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK and SAVAGE PAYBACK blew his mind with more than 80,000 e-link downloads to date.
He started a humorous, informative, self-publishers blog three 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!