Well, what can I say. I was always good with words at school and preferred English and History as opposed to subjects which required a good knowledge of math. :(
I had a great English teacher (hopelessly undervalued by us boys at the time) and I would love to have met him as an adult and bought him a coffee (or a beer) and told him how much I appreciated his tutelage. His name was Mr. Lennox, so well done sir!
So then, really from around the age of twelve onwards, I began exploring writing poems, songs and plays. I was a big fan of the Marx Bros zany humour and wrote a play and sent it off to a producer, Stuart Conn, who basically told me very politely and gently that it sucked! :) The sad thing is...he was right! :)
However, I didn't give up and put my aspirations on the back burner while still continuing to write poetry and songs. I then got into music, playing in pop and rock bands and being either the principle songwriter or co-writer.
Unfortunately as these things happen, I either threw out or lost alot of my early work but at least have loads of songs from all my years playing in bands, with the exception of a few. Lyrics are very important to me, because they can and do sometimes tell us a story.
Examples would be, Bobby Goldsbro, Summer, The First Time, a beautiful romantic coming of age song, or the almost creepy, mysterious and haunting, Bobby Gentry song, Ode to Billy Joe (Gives me goosbumps everytime I hear it).
Fast forwarding to the present last eight or nine years, I have been writing and preparing, if it doesn't sound silly, for this last year, when I finally published my first fantasy action novel which will be the first in a series of books to follow.
WHAT WERE/ARE MY MAJOR INFLUENCES IN WRITING?
Well, actually as a young boy, I read alot, as did my generation when Libraries opened up in towns and books were free to lend. I read alot of the classics such asTreasure Island by RL Stevenson (a fellow scot), Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, based on the real life Scottish castaway, Alexander Selkirk et al.
When I got older, I loved the Jennings books by Anthony Buckeridge and the Just William series by Richmal Crompton (whom, I later discovered, was a woman!!! shock, horror :) But loved those stories...oh, just remembered, when younger, Brer rabbit books, loved 'em.
My first proprer foray into space adventure I suppose, was a book by CE Elliott, Tas and the Space Machine and the Lost Planet series of books by Scots author Angus Macvicar, which whetted my appetite for sci and fantasy books.
Strangely enough, I haven't really read the BIG sci fi or fantasy authors, which is either a deficit or a blessing in disguise because at least when I write my stories, I can try and be as original as I can, bearing in mind there's nothing truly new under the sun.
Lastly, it's probably television and film that have really touched my soul as far as fantasy and sci fi goes. Some examples would be: Gerry Anderson's puppet series: Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray. Thunderbirds and the new CGI Captain Scarlet (excellent). Doctor Who, Space 1999, Star Trek, Blake's Seven, The Martian Chronicles, Farscape, Babylon 5, V, Stargate SG1, Lost in Space, X Files, Space above and Beyond, Sapphire and Steel, Chocky, Tomorrow's Children, The Tripods et al.
INFLUENTIAL BOOKS, COMICS and Authors
The books I have read and enjoyed are thus (of what I can remember) in no particular order: Flowers for Algernon, Hellhouse, (Richard Mathieson) The Fog (James Herbert, Eerie, Strange Worlds, Forbidden Worlds, Dan Dare, General Jumbo (Beano or Dandy) Steel Claw etc. The list goes on and on
There are still more comics, books and tv series i haven't listed, but trust me, I've just about seen 'em all (on uk tv anyway).
So folks, hope that has given you a little insight as to who I am and where I'm coming from. Hope you enjoy my own offerings. JC Gallacher.