He is talented and versatile, and a man of great literary prowess. Managing a high-profile portfolio of running his Management Advisory Services business in the Gulf, and particularly here in Bahrain, he also pens down at leisure what is today the bestselling crime thriller series, Jack Calder. BTW talks to Mr Seumas Gallacher, an eminent author and business professional of Bahrain, and a very popular member of the Bahrain Writers’ Circle.
Tell us briefly about yourself, where you were born and brought up, any special childhood memories, etc.
I was born in Docklands Govan in Glasgow, and although the environment was comparatively harsh in the impoverished inner cities in the late 1940s, my enduring memories of growing up as a child there are of a friendly, sharing, close-knit community.
Give us a brief summary of your educational and professional background.
By good fortune, I won a couple of scholarships to an excellent college, and am eternally grateful for the fine Scottish education I received. Eventually, the group I worked with in the Far East sent me to the Harvard Advanced Management Program 30 years ago.
I attained my professional A.I.B (Scot) banking qualifications in Scotland.
How early were you initiated into writing?
I suppose wall graffiti at the age of eight hardly counts, but angst-ridden poetry in bursts began in my teens, and the current novel authorship began in earnest eight years ago. Five novels later in the Jack Calder crime thriller series has allowed me to make up for lost time.
Tell us about your association with the Bahrain Writers’ Circle.
I was delighted to discover the Bahrain Writers Circle when I arrived in Bahrain two and a half years back, and what a wonderfully supportive and welcoming group it is.
What is your favourite genre of writing?
As a reader, I have a broad taste in literature, from Charles Dickens to Lee Child, John Steinbeck and John O’Hara to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. As an author, I’m happy to write in the crime thriller genre, but also enjoy my lighter-hearted blogging page, where I try to entertain, educate and empathize with fellow scribblers.
Please tell us briefly about your published works.
The Jack Calder crime thriller series began as a one-off attempt to produce ‘that book we all have in us’, and it exploded into almost an addictive passion. The narratives involve three former SAS officers who form their own specialized security firm, and their use of their black ops skills in combating various international criminals, crime lords, cash launderers and people-traffickers across the globe.
Any memorable experience in life?
Far too many to be listed here. I’ve been blessed with a career covering five decades and three continents. I’ve discovered that much of the experiences, characters and events, hilarious to the tragic, are reflected directly and subliminally in my writing. I have learned that every person has a story to tell, every person is worthy of dignity, and every person is capable of loving others. And I wouldn’t change one piece of it, even the dark times, as all of these have contributed to my being here right now.
Seumas the professional or Seumas the novelist. Which do you relate to most and why?
As a professional, my ‘day job’ is running my Management Advisory Services business in the Gulf, and particularly here in Bahrain, with a client base of banks and corporates. That aspect has equal weight with my writing, as do so many other aspects of my life. I am the sum total of all of my attributes, positive and negative.
Which is the novel that you have enjoyed writing the most? Why?
Any author will tell you that every one of his/her literary babies are like their children. A good parent doesn’t differentiate, but loves them all. The strangest sensation is when I read my own books after a long time of not having picked them up, and find myself enjoying the writing as if reading the work of another author for the first time—that’s a heck of a buzz!
What is your message to aspiring writers of Bahrain?
Stop calling yourself ‘aspiring’. If you write at all then you are a ‘writer’. However, as with any other vocation/profession, continually strive to improve, hone your craft, read extensively, then read some more, broaden your exposure to a range of great writers. And enjoy it!