At last – Crooked Cat’s most intriguing member is gracing my table today. Welcome to Master Blogger Seumas Gallacher. I dont always understand what he’s going on about, but he’s definitely somebody to know…
Seumas, I’ve been intrigued ever since you joined the Crooked Cats. Do you always talk the way you write on Facebook?
If you mean the lapses into Docklands Govan, Glasgow-ese, the answer is a definite ‘No’… I’d never be understood anywhere, except p’raps in Govan itself. When I first transferred to London all those years ago, I truly had to slow down my speed of speech delivery, and to learn to enunciate in a way that my English could be understood in the Big Smoke.
I see you live in the United Arab Emirates. It has the best airline in the world for food (though I don’t appreciate the terminally long waits in Dubai between flights). Care to tell us what it is like living in the desert and why you chose to be there?
I came to Abu Dhabi 11 years ago on a supposed one-month corporate trouble-shooting assignment to help a friend, who happened to be the new CEO in a bank there. After the month was completed he made me ‘an Irish mafia offer’—one I couldn’t understand!… I accepted and I’m still in the region, having left that bank 6 years ago. The locals whom I’ve been privileged to deal with corporately and personally have been among the straightest dealers I’ve known. You keep your side of a deal, and they will deliver on the other side…that’s been my experience, anyway. As for the heat, it’s back to the Noel Coward thing, only ‘mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun’… and I’m Scottish!
You must have visited many countries, judging by your books. Which destinations have produced your most amusing memories?
I’ve found humour everywhere I’ve been…I think maybe I carry a twisted, droll, dry Scots slant on things. Amusing scenes have included people and sometimes just watching tourists being, well, being tourists… hilarious creatures in the main. ‘Lost in translation’ scenarios are ripe with humour.
You are the self-professed “oldest computer Jurassic on the planet.” Please translate! I first used a word-processor 27 years ago, and bought a laptop 25 years ago. I don’t suppose I can compete…
What I mean by that is I bought my first-ever laptop only 6 years ago to type the first Jack Calder thriller, one finger from each hand at a time—still the way I work. The simple so-called ‘logical’ process of computers seems totally illogical to me—that has caused great anguish in punching wrong keys and misinterpretation of instructions…it’s a bluudy wonder any of my books got produced. So by ‘Jurassic’ I mean it all passed me by.
I’m impressed at your blogging expertise. Care to give us some advice on how you became Blogger of the Year 2013?
It defeats my understanding—an international voting system, of which I was blindingly unaware, went on, and I was informed when my name appeared in the top 10, then the short list of 3, then Hey Presto, Blogger of the Year… all I can say to that, is there must be a dearth of good bloggers out there!
From where do you find the inspiration for your fast-paced thrillers?
When I was in the Far East, one trouble-shooting engagement in the Philippines involved a difficult turnaround of a shipping company. I was obliged to fire hundreds of trade union dock workers, plus local policemen and local mayors who were not best-serving the company’s profits. It was recommended that I have an armoured car and armed bodyguards for the ensuing three years. The guy who owned the security firm was ex-SAS. Ten years later, that became the nub for the genesis of Jack Calder and his colleagues. The story lines are easy… just watch the cable news channels and change the names to protect the guilty!
Like to give us your thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?
It may not work for everyone, but I liked the idea of being, or at least thinking I was being, partially in control of my writing destiny. I had a steep learning curve on the ‘business of writing’ including editing, proofreading, artwork, Kindle, marketing and promotional activity. That experience carries easily into having a good publisher alongside.
How did you find the Crooked Cats?
Several of my social networking connections were already aboard with Crooked Cat Publishing, and spoke highly of Stephanie and Laurence Patterson, the owners. When they had an open month of submissions, I applied, and am delighted to be moving ahead with them.
You’ve had an eventful life, so I’ll just end with asking where in the world you fancy finally finding a peaceful retirement, and why?
I’ve retired three times already in my life and became something of a professional ‘retirer’. My mind will not permit me to be idle. I like to be ‘engaged’ so now I still have my own corporate trouble-shooting firm, as well as being immersed in my writing, which I’ve embraced with a passion. So ‘retirement’ is not currently in my vocabulary.
Many thanks for a great slate of questions, m’Lady, Jane. Mwaaah! J
You’ll find Seumas’s books by clicking on the pics below….