SUPERVERSIVE SPOTLIGHT: MICHAEL GALLAGHER

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for three years creatively, and for five doing features journalism for my town newspaper before that.

Which writers inspire you?

William Gibson made me fall in love with cyberpunk; Neuromancer will always be perhaps THE singular most formative science fiction book I’ve ever read. Mike Resnick was my introduction to space pulp, and I loved quite a bit of his work. I don’t think anyone could write a chaotic good hero better than he could. Ed McBain’s hard-boiled 87th Precinct police procedurals had phenomenal characters and were so well written you didn’t even care when he’d go on a pages-long info dump or worldbuilding tear. For nonfiction, Lee Strobel has a knack for writing interviews that feel like novels. Michael Lewis can write about literally anything and keep you hooked.

So, what have you written?

I just released my first novel, Body and Blood. It’s set in a  cyberpunk urban setting of high tech and low morals. I wanted to try to write about people of faith in that kind of society, which is often depicted as spiritually unmoored. The vice and decadence inherent in a cyberpunk world would naturally produce a morally weakened populace that would increasingly find itself prey to demonic attack and influence. As such, in this world, exorcisms are common, so much so that new forms of the Rite have been created to combat the pervasive spiritual threat.

My two Catholic priest protagonists find themselves in the sights of a street gang after they manage to fend off a couple of thugs attempting to steal consecrated Eucharistic wafers from their tabernacle. They eventually discover a shadowy figure known as The Blind Witch has the gang in her thrall, and they’re pretty sure she’s behind the string of disappearances happening in their parish. When she makes the mistake of kidnapping the newborn child of the local Russian mafia boss, an unlikely alliance is formed to take the fight to her.

I’ve also got a few short stories being published later this year; one titled Last Chance Lane, for the anthology Shoot The Devil edited by Eric Postma. The central theme is stories of humans fighting the demonic and it’s got an absolute Who’s Who of superversive authors contributing; John C. Wright, L. Jagi Lamplighter, N.R. LaPoint, Declan Finn, just to name a few. I’m really the low man on the totem pole in the bunch, but every story in it is an absolute banger. That’s scheduled to release October 1st in time for Halloween.

Also, I’m going to have a story in the winter issue of Cirsova magazine, The Nighthawk, about a psychic who is unwillingly conscripted into making bets for Triad mobsters, but using his abilities is slowly killing him. So it’s a pretty huge year for me, writingwise.

What draws you to Superversive writing?

The hope. I know there’s debate about when mainstream creativity decay really passed the event horizon in the past few decades, but it’s really rather moot now. When I discovered the movement–and yes I believe it’s as legitimate a literary movement as any other– I felt like there was this bunch of writers, artists and patrons who were ahead of the cultural curve, just working and producing books, animation and comics that reflected the true and the good, ready for when the illusion eventually wore off mainstream consumers. If I’m going to use my talents for anything, let it be to put something good into the world, something that, pulpy though it may be, points to God.

What are you working on at the minute?

Right now I’m on my second book, a standalone set in the same world as Body and Blood, featuring some of the same characters even, but a separate non-sequential work. It’s about a band of vigilantes who fancy themselves a rogue lay religious order known as the Third Order of Saraphiel who uncover a plot by a corrupt megachurch to run an organ harvesting operation. Various parts of their victims are then used to mass produce occult fetishes disguised as Christian religious trinkets. If you’ve ever seen the racket Kenneth Copeland’s got going on, you’ll see what I mean.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I read a ton, thanks to being a contributor for Upstream Reviews; I’ve actually lost a lot of taste for mainstream books thanks to all the cool indie ARCs I’ve gotten thrown my way since I’ve been on board. I’ve chipped in where I can to support the really worthy authors, I’ve got several books by Declan Finn and N.R. LaPoint. I’m currently reading the anthology Pulp Rock edited by Alexander Hellene for leisure. But all-time, as I mentioned above, my favorites for sci-fi are Gibson and Resnick. They’ll never get old to me.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

They can check out my author page on Amazon or go to the website for my publisher, Seven Sorrows Publishing at sevensorrowsbooks.wordpress.com. They can read a few sample chapters, and reach out to me through the contact form there or email sevensorrowspress@gmail.com. Thanks!