On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: an Interview with Author @seumasgallacher
My guest today is a man who moves seamlessly between a career as an international businessman and that of a successful author. He’s also generous with his time and promotes other authors unstintingly. He’s the kind of person who’d be an asset as a guest at any party. Just read his blog: you’ll see what I mean.
Vanessa: What made you start writing?
Seumas: For the novels, it just occurred to me one fine day, out of the blue, that it was time to write ‘that book’ that each of us supposedly has in us. In my younger years, I’d always ‘dabbled’ in bits of poetry and such, but the real writing began about 6 years ago with The Violin Man’s Legacy, the first in what has become the crime thriller series on Jack Calder.
I believe you were born in Glasgow and now live in Abu Dhabi. Does living abroad create more complications for a writer than living in their home country?
I now split my time between Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, in pursuit of my corporate Management Advisory Services business. Complications for a writer in the Middle East are not so evident, inasmuch as I have easy access to the Internet and my personal portable office via my laptop. My ‘home country’ is wherever I land these days, having been a professional expatriate for more than 35 years. As an aside, living as I do in the region, in my writing, I steer well clear of any references to terrorism that may be linked to here.
You had a successful career in finance over five decades and three continents. What did you learn from your career that you have been able to apply as a writer?
Much of what I’ve seen and learned would have been picked up by most expatriates… living experience, people, locations— all provide great background colour material. As for the financial arena, much of my narrative that touches on that is from first-hand knowledge of ‘how it’s supposed to work’.
You have written three books in what you say, ‘Has become the Jack Calder series.’ Did you intend to write a series about Jack from the start?
No. I just wanted to get ‘that book’ out of my system, but I enjoyed the writing of it so much, and especially the characters created, (most writers will tell you they become your ‘babies’) that I wanted to write more about them, and followed it up with subsequent stories.., each book is intended to stand alone, but I’ve built a ‘franchise’ now, and delighted the novels are acknowledged as such… reader loyalty is massively gratifying.
On your blog, you mention the ‘Author’s Voice’ and the ‘Author’s Brand’. What’s the difference?
The ‘Author’s Voice’ is the writer’s style of writing which readers can recognise (think of books by Dickens, Child, Rowling…if you read some of their work without knowing the Author, you would probably recognise them as the writers). The ‘Author’s Brand’ is the personal picture you wish to project about yourself via the Blog… humanising the person behind the author name.
You are pretty good at projecting both of those.
You are also a social networker par excellence. What tips do you have for people trying to build an author platform (apart from a good saw and a spirit level)?
Start building the relationships immediately. Do not wait until the novel/poetry/work is done. And continue to maintain and develop these friends as personally as possible… these are the ‘business’ relationships for a writer, much as other careers would involve building connections within any chosen profession.
Tell us a bit about your work(s) in progress and your writing plans. Who do you ask to read your work in progress?
Work in Progress is KILLER CITY, the fourth in the Jack Calder line. There are plenty of plot ideas in my head for subsequent stories. I don’t use beta readers as such (each to his/her own methodology, whatever works), but I do use editing software and I constantly edit as I go along, much against conventional advice, but I’ve seldom followed conventional advice. With the Crooked Cat Publishers partnership, the wonderful Maureen Vincent-Northam has been my allocated editor, and I‘ve found that a terrific professional ‘finishing’ polish to the masterpieces!
The best advice I’ve had is to rip up the rules and make your own…
What’s the funniest/strangest/nicest thing that’s happened to you as an author?
So many to choose from, I’m continually blessed with kindness from readers who take time to leave a review and say they liked the work. Every author enjoys that.
Whisky or wine?
These days, neither. Gave it away over 30 years ago. I still pour it at home for others and wonder why they fall off their seats…bluudy amateurs!… my poison of choice nowadays is Diet Coke, by the tanker-load.
Many thanks for having me aboard, m’Lady, Vanessa…A pleasure, Seumas. Thanks for joining me today.
You can find Seumas’ books on Amazon:
Violin Man’s Legacy
Vengeance Wears Black
And you can connect with Seumas on:
Copyright © Seumas Gallacher, Vanessa Couchman 2015. All rights reserved.