I listened to an interesting radio interview today. Seumas Gallacher was talking on Radio Dubai about ‘Building the Platform’. Seumas is an author and a wonderful blogger. He has three novels out and his conversation was about how he launched his novels into the world. He is a delight to read and his blog is a daily stop for me because I always come away with a smile on my face as well as feeling motivated.
His radio interview was especially interesting to me as I saw others sides of this gentleman and felt I got to know him better. Like many readers, I can become very interested in the authors I read. I can fall in love with a book and the world it creates for me. If the words speak to me and if the story engages me I become a part of the world I am reading. Perhaps because I can become so engrossed I feel that they too, the characters, become a part of me. I often think about the author when I am musing about the book once completed. These days one can always Google them and wander around picking up tit-bits or read their blogs. Am I an author groupie? I think probably yes. I still hold authors in pretty high esteem and the ones I love do sit on a pedestal. I am in awe of those that do it well and a good book is one you always want to go back and visit with. I don’t go in for comfort food, but I am certainly a comfort book person and have two or three that I turn to in moments of need!
Until recently I haven’t spoken to too many authors, perhaps because I still see them in slightly God-like terms and so would not presume to. Having recently become involved in a MOOC course I found myself surrounded by a good number of them and I found (and currently still find) them to be an incredible group of people to talk to. There are times I feel like the pigtailed teenager with my mouth open, gawping, at idols – thank goodness there is a computer screen to hide behind. They share incredible knowledge, offer tips and hits to those that aspire to be like them, and just have interesting things to say on a whole range of issues.
I can’t count the number of times when asked the question at some seminar or other, “If you could sit down and talk to any person who would it be and why?” I would choose the author whose book I was currently in love with. Or saying to friends, ‘….that’s an author I’d love to sit beside at a dinner party.’ Suddenly I find myself at that dinner party on a daily basis and I am living a little slice of heaven. I think a book becomes even more interesting when you get to know its creator, so Seumas’ interview was especially enlightening.
Initially he sounded so serious and yet I think of him as a wonderfully witty raconteur that has the perfect response to everything. I never think of him in formal business terms although I understand he had a very successful corporate business role prior to becoming a full time write. This becomes quite apparent in the first half of the interview where he talked about ‘the business’ of being an author and he manages to get his message across in a very succinct and understandable way. He was the master of the situation, stated what needed to be done and expected that this advice would be followed as he knew what he was talking about. This was Mr Gallacher as the business man and he was good at it.
Then Seumas talked about relationship building by building a platform. He talks about his blog as his brand and the witty raconteur emerges. Seumas is a master of building relationships. He innately knows how to connect with people, to put them at their ease and to draw them to his side. He works hard at relationship building and he talks about the process of this on his blog a lot, but he writes about it in such an entertaining fashion that you don’t realise that he is teaching us what he is learning. He talks about the importance of sharing and acknowledging others and this is something he does well too.
I was one of those lucky ones that Seumas mention in his interview, I got to read his new book the day it was released on Amazon. He had mentioned on his blog that he was going to have some people read it and I flew to the email offering my services. (I really wanted to send him my CV to ensure I was one of the chosen, but perhaps I shouldn’t admit to that!) He is a true gentleman and he responded favourably to my appeal almost immediately. He was gracious and thanked me for offering and let me know he’d send me a copy shortly. Fortunately I was at home when I got the email so I could do the happy dance in private. I have emailed him a couple of times since, and posted my review in all the relevant places. He is such a gentleman, and is profuse in his thanks, he practices what he preaches and there is no doubt in my mind that it works. I feel honoured that I got to read his new book before others and write a review, he sees it as a favour. Please don’t tell him any different because I want to be on his reviewer’s list for the next book.
The Gods have been good to Seumas I think, the business man, the raconteur, and the crime thriller novelist are an interesting package. I look forward to hearing from all three of them again and seeing what rabbit he pulls out of the hat next. Whatever it is is sure to put a smile on your face and get you looking for the next challenge. He knows his business and he’s good at it.