The Plain welcomes Seumas Gallacher, visiting today from Abu Dhabi to introduce his newly released crime thriller, Vengeance Wears Black. ‘Vengeance’ features ex-SAS soldier/security specialist Jack Calder, who first appeared in Seumas’s debut novel, The Violin Man’s Legacy.
Pull up a chair and tell us something about yourself, Seumas. Where are you from?
I came kicking and screaming into this world a pension’s years ago in Scotland in a little fishing village on the River Clyde, called Glasgow. It’s got about a million inhabitants now, but I don’t remember seeing half of them.How would you generally categorize the books/stories you write?
Very definitely crime fiction thrillers, usually shuffled around to resemble the kind of books I would choose for myself to read.An exciting genre. How much of your writing is based on people or events familiar to you?
Directly or indirectly, all of my characters have some familiarity with my little grey cells. Like most authors, I think it’s easier to visualize nuances of characters and places if they relate to something I’ve experienced before. My career took me to some great places around Europe and particularly the Far East, and now in Abu Dhabi in the Gulf. Every place has had its sprinkling of memorable personalities, some good, and some that end up as the bad guys copping it in my stories.Some very inspiring geography. What do you think is your biggest strength as a writer?
Seriously, it’s not taking myself too seriously. I really enjoy mentally mingling with the characters that populate my head before they escape into the books. Having an end destination for the book is mandatory for me, but the road to get there can take a lot of sidetracking from the original planned route, and I do enjoy that. I think most of the interesting quirky parts of my writing come out that way.When you first started writing, did anything about the process surprise you?
A social networking musketeer. Love it! I might steal that one. Do you have a set writing routine?First of all, contrary to the ‘advice’ I was given, I did thoroughly enjoy the process of writing. (At my Jurassic stage of non-computer knowledge, the frustration of learning how to handle the thing was soon overlaid with a sense of ‘Wow! Knocked that one over!’). The biggest surprise however, was having completed The Violin Man’s Legacy, then discovering that the real slog kicked in. That meant getting to grips with the whole ‘building a platform’ thing. Now I’m a musketeer of Twitter, Blogging, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn…. And so on. A lot of work, but worth doing right.
I’m very much an early morning person, probably born as the milkman was popping the gold tops on the doorstep, so it’s become a habit to write every day before noon. When the books were getting close to being finished, afternoon sessions kicked in as well. I start every daily session with editing the previous day’s work. Some say you shouldn’t do that, but I’ve come to understand that all rules are there to be broken. Whatever works for you is the way to go.Which authors do you feel have influenced your writing most?
There’s so many, but early pillars were John Steinbeck and John O’Hara, also Richard Llewellyn and the classics of Charles Dickens. Latter day must haves are Stuart MacBride and Lee Child. Also the sheer use of language by Winston Churchill jumps out of everything he wrote, most of which is in my library.Can’t go wrong with a mix like that. What’s next for you? Can we look forward to a new story in the near future?
You certainly can. I already have outline concepts for another three books in the same idiom as the first two, with basically the same set of characters, supplemented with new villains to hate, hiss at, and enjoy watching them get their come-uppance.What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Stop ‘aspiring’, and just ‘be’ an author. If you write and you like what you write, you’re already ‘being’ an author. That’s the attitude part. The practical part for me has been listening to as many respected authors as I can, then making my own mind up what works for me… as I said above nothing should be set in stone…there’s a reader out there for everything that’s being written. Don’t ever, ever give up.Great suggestions. Please name a few of your favorite non-writing activities.
I’m a dedicated 24-carat couch potato every weekend during the football season (we get every English Premier League match televised live in Abu Dhabi); I stop short of actually murdering golf balls on a Saturday morning, but chase them for a long time instead, then invent a score; my waistline is testimony to assiduous application to restaurant samplings, including the grossly underrated McDonald’s; and plonking sounds on an electric guitar that my post-post-post mid-life-thingy fobbed upon me.I don’t know about you, Seumas, but I’ve enjoyed this interview tremendously. Thanks so much for visiting. And now, how about a sneak peek at Vengeance Wears Black?
Vengeance Wears Black / Synopsis:
Jack Calder and his former SAS colleagues at ISP, a specialist security firm, are saved from certain death when an ex-Gurkha is killed smothering a deadly grenade thrown into a lunchtime Chinese restaurant in the West End of London. They learn that murderous turf wars are raging between Asian Triads and Eastern European mobsters vying for control of international fiefdoms of drug smuggling, people trafficking, prostitution and money laundering.
An unexpected visit from the highest levels of international law enforcement offers Jack and the ISP team a means to use their black operations skills to wreak a ruthless retaliation against the drug lords.
Unlikely partners emerge in their onslaught against the gangs as the warring criminal factions threaten an unholy alliance to repel them. The pursuit spins across Europe, Turkey and North Africa before a final reckoning.
* * * * *About Seumas Gallacher:
Seumas Gallacher was born in the cradle of the Govan shipyards in Glasgow in the so-called ‘bad old days’ which were really the greatest of days, where everybody was a real character of note. An early career as a trainee banker led to a spell in London, where his pretence to be a missionary converting the English fell on deaf ears. Escape to the Far East in 1980 opened up access to cultures and societies on a global scale, eventually bringing the realization that the world is simply one large extended village.
The lifelong desire to write has resulted in The Violin Man’s Legacy, the first in a planned series. Seumas’s sequel novel, Vengeance Wears Black, was launched on Kindle in early July 2012, with three other books to follow in the same vein.
* * * * *
Vengeance Wears Black / Available from
The Violin Man’s Legacy / Available from
* * * * *
I enjoy immensely interacting with anybody and everybody
who wants to discuss writing and books.
who wants to discuss writing and books.
My communication channels are the usual suspects: