Crime fiction by the seat of yer kilt

It’s a pleasure to welcome crime fiction author Seumas Gallacher to the blog today, all the way from Glasgow via the Middle East. Seumas and I have known each other via this writing malarkey for quite some time now, so it seemed prudent to invite him over for a chat here…

Welcome, Seumas

…hello, m’Lady, Rachel… thanks for having this ol’ Jurassic Scots scribbler aboard your great blog page… I trust it won’t inflict too much damage on your reputation… I write the Jack Calder crime thriller series, which features former ex-SAS officers who form their own specialist security firm… in the course of protecting their clients, they rub up against international drug barons, crime lords, people traffickers, money launderers and other nice persons like that… and no longer being bound by military codes, they utilise their own black ops skills on dealing with the baddies… so far, the series has four titles on Amazon, and a fifth, DEADLY IMPASSE, as work-in-progress… Kindle has been generous to me in allowing 85,000+ downloads to date…

What attracted you to writing in the crime/thriller genre? Was there a particular author that inspired you to do so?

…the SAS angle stems from my time in the Philippines, where I was doing my day job of corporate ‘turnaround’ stuff for an ailing ferry company… during the course of that engagement, I was obliged to fire 600 trade union workers in the first month, and laid off local policemen and mayors who were ostensibly on our payroll looking after our interests but were merely lining their own pockets… the need for armoured protection for me became apparent… my team of six armed bodyguards were trained by an ex-SAS man who became a friend… the rest as they say, is the future… so no particular author… just some up-close-and-personal experience…

 

What sort of research did you undertake for your latest Jack Calder novel, Killer City? Do you have any skills that match your protagonist’s?

…not so much correlated skills, p’raps, but the main character, Jack Calder, hails from my home town area of Docklands Govan in Glasgow,… he’s six foot-two, blue-eyed, and fair-haired… I’m sure you’ll note the immediate parallel with the Author, (a-hem!)… research is generally the same for all my work… where corroborated detail is required, Google is a really great source of material… pretty much as the reference libraries must have been in the not-so-long-ago era for writers…

 

Do you outline/plot, or do you prefer to start at the beginning and see where the story takes you? Why do you prefer this method of writing?

…I start with an idea for an ending and then slalom my way through a mix of planning (sparse) and seat-of-my-kilt (my a*se)… so far it has been the optimum method for me as it often leads to surprises and twists that even I didn’t know were coming…

What does your writing space look like?  Do you have any pre-writing rituals to get you “in the zone”?

…my desk top is fairly organised around the laptop itself… with a coupla trays for assorted paperwork and a Manchester United mug for holding pens and pencils (none of which I use, but, hey, it’s Manchester United, right!)… pre-writing rituals are simply sitting down and starting to write… I immerse easily into the story… the characters are ‘family’ already…

How do you structure a typical day to ensure you avoid distractions and hit your word count targets?

…I don’t consciously structure a typical day, but I am a creature of habit, and swing back and forward between working on the novels and the SOSYAL NETWURK stuff that I do constantly… I eschew word count targets, ‘coz I don’t think for me it’s productive to give myself unnecessary stress in ‘getting finished’… the writing takes whatever time it takes…

We all occasionally hit a brick wall with our creative endeavours – what do you do to overcome any stumbling blocks?

…so far, I seem not to have too much trouble in that regard.. I flit between the masterpiece-writing, which is basically hard core crime, and my almost-daily blogging, which is much lighter in content… that has served me well until now…

In 2015, you made a trip back to the UK and arranged ‘meet ups’ with your readers and fellow writers – how did that go, and do you plan to do it again?

…by far the best thing I’ve ever experienced as a writer… meeting one’s fellow scribblers is magical… I’ve promised myself from now on, as much as possible, if I travel abroad to include these kinds of get together… readers and writers … great chemistry and marvellous bonding…

What have you got planned for 2016?

…more of the same… writing the book(s) of course…I’ve recently amicably parted company with my publisher and reverted to self-publishing only, in order to have the ‘control freak’ in me sated… I’ve already mapped out my marketing and promotional activity for 2016, essential for the modern author, whether self-published or ‘housed’…

Seumas, it’s been a pleasure (as always!) chatting with you. On a final note, where can we buy your books?

… all my titles are eBooks on Amazon Kindle at the links below… and again, thanks for having me, m’Lady

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