Seumas Gallacher is an amazing man. He was Blogger of the Year in 2013 and has an eye-watering number of followers. I met him - once - and he is warm, welcoming and gives you his entire attention. He has what used to be called the ‘common touch’ and it is clear this stems from the fact he is interested in people. When I heard he had written his autobiography Strangely, I’m still here, I wondered why the title included the word ‘strangely’. When I read the book, I discovered why.
Seumas is very open about his, now defunct, relationship with alcohol. He is not quite as open about having to travel around parts of the Far East in a bullet-proof car with two armed bodyguards in constant attendance, but you certainly get the picture of a very genuine human being who hates bullies, is endlessly supportive of fellow writers and who repays good fortune in his own life by paying it forward to others whenever he can.
It is also a life story where I cried, giggled and laughed so hard I was unable to read the relevant paragraphs aloud to my husband. I also winced a few times, especially the part when, as a child, Seumas was outraged about treatment of a friend of his at the hands of two bigger boys.
He is very upfront about saying that he isn’t telling you his story warts ’n all and that is fine with me because although I am interested in somebody’s life enough to want to read their story, it is very right and proper that some things are kept private. However, there were some things I felt needed further explanation, so I asked a few questions. Read on.
Q : In the book you show a Puckish sense of humour. Where did it come from or was it a bequest from one of your parents?
A : Humour is in the Glasgow DNA – I think it derives from the history of the large influx of Irish and other immigrants in the 19thcentury – my comedic God is Billy Connolly, who tells stories with wit and humour, rather than jokes per se. Dark, gallows humour is also strong in Govan and other districts of Glasgow, for obvious reasons – and we enjoy poking fun at ourselves and our real pals… but we reserve the ‘take-downs’ for snobbish posturing and the ‘establishment’.
Q : It has to have been frightening facing down people who put out a contract on you. How do you summon the wherewithal to confront such people calmly and what were their initial reactions when it became clear you weren’t intimidated by them?
A : I hate bullying of any kind. All my life I’ve faced it down, finding that most of the time the bullies are cowards with runny mouths. With the rogue cop captain in the book, he could easily have shot me and claimed I was resisting arrest – these things can and do happen in some of the places and situations I worked in. It’s not a case of courage, it’s more a case of being more scared of backing down.
Q : Tell us three things you are thankful for every day.
A : My life. My sobriety. My faith.
Q : It’s clear from the autobiography that you are persistent when you set your mind to it. Let’s say that you have decided you want to go to the Moon in 5 years. Take us through your thinking process for giving yourself the best chance of success.
A: Preparation, preparation, preparation. Research as much as I can about every detail of what would be required - cost, vehicle, material, support, physical and mental fitness, proper assessment of survival and decision on how much risk I would be prepared to take.
Q : One thing that shines through the book is your ethos of paying things forward, something the world desperately needs right now. Tell us more about how that ethos developed.
A : You will have noted, I’m sure, that at several, not just one, but several, critical junctures in my life, some amazing people were put in my sphere. Some I recognised at the time, some I came to understand and appreciate much later. The biggest was the gift of sobriety, in understanding that I was not a bad guy because I drank to excess, but that I had an illness that could be tackled with the magnificent help of others just like me, who gave unconditionally of their time and love, Reciprocation of that comes so easily, and so gratifying, that it truly is an inherent core of my life now.
Q :I have to talk about Jack Calder. Now we all know why we haven’t seen Book 6 yet. Is he anywhere on your horizon and if so, can you give us a taste of what we can expect him to be fighting next?
A :Jack Calder and the other characters are never far from my author’s mind. Book six, ‘NO IMPUNITY’, is work in progress. I never put deadlines on my writing, but I expect it to be ready before the end of the first quarter, 2020. The story will have the team tackling organised biker drug gangs across Europe, who are not averse to murder in the wake of their business and who also coerce young ladies into prostitution. A few bad authorities also have to be dealt with along the way.
And there you have it - from the man himself. But don't take my word for it. Not only has he written the aforementioned thrillers, but also a guide to promotion and marketing for writers, not to mention the poetry! You can't say this man isn't proactive!
All his books are available on Amazon Kindle Unlimited. You can find his new book, Strangely I'm Still Here here: https://amzn.to/2oL18xq for Amazon UK and here: https://amzn.to/2o82vqb for Amazon US