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Interview: M Todd Gallowglas

About M. Todd Gallowglas

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Michael Todd Gallowglas

M. Todd Gallowglas is the author of the Tears of Rage Sequence, Halloween Jack books, and most recently, Dead Weight: The Tombs. While not up to his ears in homework while earning a BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, he fought crime as a costumed vigilante to relieve stress. Since then, he has returned to his career as professional storyteller at Renaissance Faires. He is currently corrupting his children by raising them with a rich education of geek culture. Shiny!

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When did you first start writing?

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M Todd Gallowglas:
I remember my first creative writing assignment in the third grade. We had to write a story where we went to explore a haunted house down the street from our house. In the story, I went to the house and accidentally freed and army of ghost, goblins, werewolves, and vampires. No need to worry, I ran back to my house. Slid down the pole in my closet to my secret, underground base, grabbed my light saber and laser blaster and chased those nasty beasties back into the house and cast a magic spell (using the force) to trap them back in side.

I have vague recollections of writing other things before that, but that story sticks in my brain with vivid clarity even today. It taught me how much fun and exciting making up stories can be, and that in playing on paper, I wasn’t limited to the pesky limitations of playing in my own body in the real world. That’s probably the day when my mind and spirit decided, yeah, that’s what we’re going to do.

 

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever written?

M Todd Gallowglas:First Chosen
From August in 2012 to March of 2013, I worked for Reading Rainbow. I handled all their social media, Facebook, Twitter, and their blog. Writing those blog posts week after week are the hardest things I’ve ever had to write. I grew up watching Reading Rainbow. It’s part of the reason why I’m such a voracious reader today. The last thing I wanted to do was let LeVar Burton down. Granted, he doesn’t do much with the day to day operations of Reading Rainbow, but still…it was a lot of pressure.  No, I never talked to him. The closest I got was bouncing a small handful of emails back and forth.

 

If you had to live the rest of your life as a characters from any book which one would it be?

M Todd Gallowglas:
I really wouldn’t want to be any of them, because: 1) I write some pretty bleak stuff with an extra dose of suckage for most of my characters, and 2) I wouldn’t be able to have fun torturing… er… writing about the other characters.

Dragon Bone FluteNow, I’ll actually play along with the question.

Of the books I’ve already written, I’m going to have to go with Halloween Jack. The Halloween Jack books have a much happier outlook than anything I’ve done so far. Sucky things happen to some of the characters, but ultimately it’s a universe where good-guys win by being good guys even if they have some bumpy roads along the way. Also, Halloween Jack is the smartest of all my characters, and who wouldn’t want to run around with a magic coat, magic stick, and three magic candles, scaring demons, tricking the Devil time and time again. Though in book three, we’ll see how Jack does against creatures outside of the Irish mythic tradition with rules and laws of their own stories that Jack might not be able to manipulate.

 

Do you write by hand first, type, or dictate?

M Todd Gallowglas:
I type directly into my laptop. I prefer writing by hand. The trouble is, it’s too slow. Once the words start flowing, and I get a good groove going, I can’t keep up with the words in my head if I’m writing by hand. Also, with the family, I don’t have time to transpose from paper into the computer.

 

Cast the movie for one of your novels

M Todd Gallowglas:
I think the only books of mine that would work in film are the Halloween Jack books, and those would have to be from Dreamworks Animation.

 

Halloween JackHalloween Jack: Norman Reedus (doing the accent he used in Boondock Saints.)

Moira O’Neil: Saoirse Roman

Daniel McRory: Sean Patrick Flannery (see note for Norman Reedus.)

Father McDermott: Colm Meany

The Devil: Jonny Depp (in one of those rare moments without a hint of influence from Tim Burton.)

Mickey the Ogre: M Todd Gallowglas (Giving me the role of Mickey would be a requirement for getting the right to these books.)

Naberius: Jeremy Irons

Captain Jameson: Anson Mount

Saleesh: Emilia Clarke

 

However, since I just released part one of my latest project DEAD WEIGHT I think I’ll have some fun casting that one two. (Note: Some of these characters don’t show up in the first installment.)

First off, the roles of Boy Scout and Roland are far too close to me for me to cast. I’d have to trust the studio to do right by those characters. Now, for everyone else.

Cendrine: Emma StoneViolet: Hailee SteinfeldTaylore: Jennifer Lawrence

Whisper: Dakota Fanning

Wish: Norman Reedus

Sunshine: Jamie Foxx

Cuban: Neal McDonough

LT: Anthony MackieMary: Chloe Grace MoretzSnip: Chris Hemsworth

Kenna: Karen Gillan

Presto: Daniel Radcliff

Snow Shade: Andrew Garfield

Black Rose: Jennifer Connely

The Beggar: Benedict Cumberbatch

 

Those are off the top of my head.

 

What inspires you to write?

M Todd Gallowglas:
This is the big question that most writers get, and the one I think is the hardest to answer. It’s kind of like asking an athlete why they compete or a musician why they play. It’s just kind of what makes us tick. That being said, I’ll try and come up with something clever.

Jaludins RoadHere’s the artist response: I like telling stories. It’s why I have my storytelling show at renaissance faires. It’s why I write.

Here’s the practical response: Sadly, I don’t have the good fortune to be independently wealthy, I’ve got to work somewhere. Being a writer sure beats clocking in somewhere, and the humanitarian in me wants to spare anyone from having a cubicle next to mine. So, when I’m really having a rough time getting the words out of my head, through my fingers, and onto the keyboard, I put my empty wallet on my desk where I can see it. Did I mention that I make sure it’s empty? Reminding myself that I have bills to pay is a huge motivator to get the word going.

 

Describe your work area.

M Todd Gallowglas:
I have a favorite corner at my local Starbuck…and then, I have my work space at home. I work in a corner of the front room of our house. We live in a two-story house, and most of the time, when people are home, they hang out up in the loft upstairs. I have a small, black desk from Ikea. It’s pretty clutter free. M Todd Gallowglas's Work AreaI have a couple of bookshelves on the two walls behind me – the desk is at a diagonal – with my signed book, out of print editions and proof copies of my own books, reference books, and stuff I haven’t gotten around to reading yet. On top of the waist-high book cases just behind my right shoulder, I have my comedia masks, my collection of Boba Fett memorabilia (yeah, so I have a Boba Fettish, don’t judge), and my single malt scotch. Behind me, just over my left shoulder is my tooled-leather chessboard, the “writer” clock some good friends made me for a joke, and various odds and ends and nick knacks.

I try to keep my desk as free of clutter as possible. I used to be very bad at doing this. As the years have gone on, I’ve gotten better and better as the years have gone on. Mostly I’ve become better at understanding what actually needs to be on my desk. Someday, I’ll probably finally get it down to my laptop, my kindle, any dead-tree edition book I’m currently read, notes to whatever project I’m working on, and my coffee mug.

 

Tell us about your newest novel Dead Weight: The Tombs A Tale Of The Faerie War, we understand release is in just a few days.

M Todd Gallowglas:
Actually, I released it on February 1st. It’s now available at major eBook retailers.

DEAD WEIGHT is a meta-fiction, near-future, urban-fantasy, noir thriller set during and in the aftermath of a conflict between the United States and the Unseelie court of ancient Faerie. I’m releasing it as serialized novel in six parts. The first part “The Tombs” is out now. I’m working on final touches for part two “Paladin” while doing this blog tour. This is probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever attempted. It’s a jumble of non-linear storylines, where some characters beginnings are other character’s endings…its narrative is kind of like Pulp Fiction on peyote.

Deadweight: The Tombs The overall story deals with the start of the Faerie War, a Platoon of Marines fighting in the war, and then the aftermath of the war from the point of view of a few of the characters’ who survived the war. However, the story doesn’t unfold that way. This is a tale dealing with the fey of ancient Irish mythology. Nothing involving them could ever be that straight forward.

DEAD WEIGHT: The Tombs opens in the aftermath of the war, focusing on Boy Scout, one of the survivors of the war. He just wants to be left alone to numb his mind and try and forget the horrors of what he saw and did during the war. Unfortunately, fate has other plans for him. Powers that be from both Earth and Faerie want to use Boy Scout, because the conflict isn’t truly over. Will Boy Scout dance the same old dance from the strings tied to him, or will he cut those strings and write a new story?

Over the next five installments of DEAD WEIGHT, we’ll find out Boy Scout’s role in the war, and how his actions will determine the fate of two worlds.

 

 

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About Ryan Griffeth

Born & raised in California, lived all over the U.S. G33k since i can remember, brought on board by Jeremiah as the lead designer for G33K-HQ and took off running now Writer / Photographer / Webmaster for G33K-HQ.

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