Friday, April 19, 2013

Her Scottish CEO by Christy Olesen: Character Interview


Gregor McInnis from HER SCOTTISH CEO by Christy Olesen


Hello Laurie, Thank you for inviting me he here today. For those who don’t know, my name is Gregor McInnis IV, but my mates call me Greg. I’m CEO of the Inverness branch of my family’s publishing business, McInnis House Press. Mostly we publish travel guides and photographic books of Scotland and international points of interest. I am also a photographer, shooting for MHP publications, some freelance and stock photos. What else would you like to know about me?


If I came to visit early in the morning would you impress me as being more like a chirpy bird or a grumpy bear?

That depends on what time in the early morning. Most likely you won’t get an answer to your knock on my front door if it’s after six. I’m usually out jogging the streets of Inverness. If it’s too cold or icy, then I’m out early with my camera. The best light is morning. The low angle of the sun spotlights the buildings on the River Ness. It’s beautiful. 

But that doesn’t answer your question. I don’t think anyone could say I’m chirpy. Awake will do.

Tell us about your family.

Got a week? No, really, my family goes back a long way and I was raised to remember that. Immediate family: there’s my Grandfather Gregor McInnis II. At 82 he still runs the family publishing business that his father started. He can be harsh and demanding but once in awhile he shows he has a heart. My father died three of years ago and that’s still hard to talk about. Mum moved to British Columbia recently with her new husband and seems to be happy. I miss her. My sister and her family are near so I see my nephews quite often. Then there’s my uncle Rowan, married to my father’s sister, Madeline. Rowan is in charge of our Fort William office. He’d like to take over the Inverness office, too, but I won’t let that happen. He’s not a McInnis and there’s never not been a McInnis heading McInnis House Press. It hasn’t been easy convincing Granddad that I will be ready to take over from him one day.

What is your favorite meal?

Bubble and squeak, the way my mum makes it, with lots of sausage. A close second is Marcie’s enchiladas. I could eat a plate of those every week.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

Grab my camera, jump in my Land Rover and head for the mountains or the coast. The outdoors has always rejuvenated me. I love that I now have Marcie to share it with. She’s adventurous and eager to go with me. She loves the outdoors, too, and likes to paint while I shoot. It means a lot to have someone to share the spectacular Highland scenery with. I used to be a full time photographer, but I took over my father’s position after his death. I’ll admit, it’s been a giant learning curve, sitting behind a desk. So getting out doors helps the stress.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

Aye, there are several, but I’ll say Emma is at the top of that list. She was part of an expedition I put together to photograph the Himalayas. We were trapped in a blizzard on the mountain and she died. I’m sorry I didn’t insist on more comprehensive medical exams before she joined the team. I’m sorry I couldn’t help her. Her death still haunts me.

What makes you happy?

Och, an easy question, finally. Marcie. From the moment we met her cheerful manner, optimistic outlook and infectious laugh brought light back into my life. She’s an amazing woman and a brilliant artist and I’m happy to help her realise her dream.

What one word best describes you?


You just won a huge lottery, what is the first thing you'll buy?

What I want in life can’t be bought with money. When you lose people close to you, material goods lose their allure. Family and friends are the most important part of life and you can’t buy them.

Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?

“If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.” ~ Grace Hopper

I have this on the wall in my office to remind me not to wait for permission from Granddad when I have a good idea. Just go for it and take the responsibility.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

You know how dig in, don’t you? I have to say there have been two equally scariest moments. First was when Emma died in my arms on that mountain. The second was when I realised it was Marcie’s car in the accident I witnessed a few cars ahead of me.   

Who should play you in a film?

I think Kevin McKidd would be brilliant in the role.

Fleeing disappointment, American artist Marcie Winters puts her hopes on a job that takes her to Scotland. She needs the illustration job, what she doesn’t need is a car wreck. Greg McInnis was a cocky photographer until one fateful moment thrust him into the top position in his family’s publishing business, now he needs brilliant artwork for the project that will prove he can handle a desk job. He finds it in the paintings of Marcie Winters, the beguiling American artist, but after the accident neither know for certain if she'll paint again.

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Born and raised in L.A., romance writer Christy Olesen found a home in northern Nevada just over the hill from Lake Tahoe, where the winters aren’t as harsh, the tourist traffic isn’t as heavy and the lifestyle isn’t as hard to live up to. The Sierra, the high desert, and her travels inspire her contemporary tender romances.

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1 comment:

Christy Olesen said...

Laurie, thanks for interviewing Greg. It's great to see him so candid, he's usually reserved.