G. J. Leckie

About me - The Author
                                 It's been a long, long way from there to here.
A long time ago - in a galaxy far - far away I was required, without warning or rehearsal, to take to a stage before an audience of strangers and talk about myself for sixty seconds. It was my introduction to public speaking; a training course I was attending at the behest of my then employers. Money well spent it turned out.  But apart from it being one of life's more singular minutes I learned that planning and preparedness is all. What better subject to talk about than yourself - the argument went - you are your own expert. But without preparation you're stymied; I dried after thirty seconds. Additionally, the philosophy goes, you should start with a good opener, something to draw the audience in, to whet their appetite. Now if you're still reading thus far, then I suppose the point's been made and I can get on to the me part.
    So here I am decades on with more to talk about than I could modestly shake a stick at. It's not where do I begin it's what I should leave out. 
   Do I reminisce my early years in local newspapers on England's south coast, and then London's Fleet Street when at weekends I could be found busking tube stations or gigging Soho's folk clubs, pulling all-nighters at Cousins and Bunjies; drinking far too much and rubbing shoulders with the folky famous? Nah, too hippy; apart from which, all my heroes, Jansch, Renbourne and Graham have all gigged off. But there was always the desire to write.
   So, what about the wilderness years when I became a slave to the dollar - working my way up through print publishing? Nah, too mundane, though the European exhibition circuit had its moments! By now, though, I'd established a reputation as a wordsmith but writing creatively remained a dream.
   Then there are my own escapades when I branched out on my own and inadvertently got involved with some, shall we say, 'interesting' characters. That was a tad scary and nearly proved terminal.
   Finally there was the corporate period; me an indy minnow in a three way split with a multinational and a Scandinavian outfit. Obscene wealth beckoned, but ever elusive it still crooks its gnarled finger at me. The time was now right - writing fiction became a reality.
   So here we are, in the now. The kids have grown and flown and the grandson's too big to dandle upon my knee. At a time when some of my contemporaries are kicking back and putting on carpet slippers, awaiting the inevitable slide into oblivion, I hang on in there, keeping the creative dream alive; writing fiction and travel pieces and still earning sufficient corporate dollars to keep me and 'da missus' in airline tickets and travel funds.
The dream's now being fulfilled.
   There are, however, sunrises and sunsets still to be seen from too many foreign shores for me to stop soon, with many stories yet to be told. 
   Why not hang on in with me - join me on the journey - it could be fun.
A cast of thousands.
When I write I often draw upon a cast of characters I've known; from down and outs to city high-flyers; gypsies, junkies and judges; ordinary Joes 'n' Jills to pop stars, musicians and luvvies, petty criminals, some rather more than petty criminals, ministers - both cabinet and clerical - and the odd belted earl. I've even shared a mug coffee at 3am at a motorway interchange with a very intense and scary gentleman dressed in a dapper black suit, driving a black Merc'. With unsmiling candour he confessed to hurting people for a living. I didn't doubt him. You can take it from me then, that when I'm writing about someone, facets of the character are likely drawn from real life.
Other stuff.
My other writings include newspaper and magazine pieces, a slim volume of poetry and a number of short stories. The plots and narratives of the latter are based in the Caribbean islands and come under the 'supernatural' heading.  The Moonpool and Other Stories, as it is eponymously titled, has in fact just been published on Amazon Kindle. Print versions will likely be available too.
   Being an experienced independent traveller around the West Indies, South Africa, mainland Europe and UK, as well as a devotee of good (and sometimes inadvertently, bad) restaurants, I regularly contribute, as Caribauthor, to TripAdvisor and freely offer advice to anyone visiting those parts of the world.
Next Up.
Currently work in progress is my next historical novel, God's Paladin, which spins-off from Saints' Gold & Sinners. In it we follow the adventures of Owin, the youngest of the four 'clerical' warrior brothers. We first meet him in ancient Spain - Al Andalus - where having escaped from slavery he makes an unlikely alliance with a muslim sidekick in pursuit of the true cross, which of course has mystical powers. In the process Owin meets good and bad guys and falls in love, at least twice, which is not bad going for a medieval monk. God's Paladin promises to be a more complex challenge in the writing but hopefuly the first draft should be ready by the autumn.
The Future
There's a crime/intrigue thriller in the pipeline - working title, Chicken Street - set in London and downtown Kabul, Afghanistan. There's also another historical adventure: The Drowning Wind, which is set amongst the battles for supremacy, violence and intrigues of the Caribbean's 17th century sugar isles. Whichever is written and completed first will depend on you my dear friend the reader. Please let me know which appeals to you most.  Equally I'd appreciate any feedback you may care to offer regarding my work. Reviews, especially positive ones, would be very much appreciated.