I want to welcome author Mike Galloway to my Scribbles Page today. Mike is the author of TCS: The Studio (Tribal Culture Studio Book 1) and Before the Game: Drake.
Mike thank you for stopping by today for a chat. Before we dive in why don’t you introduce yourself and your writing.
Well, my name’s Mike, and I’m working on a coming-of-age erotic LGBT novel series (wow that’s a handful). It’s about a young college dropout named Jason who wants to pursue his dream of having his own modeling agency while getting a boyfriend along the way. TCS: The Studio is the first book in the series, and Before the Game: Drake is a spin-off involving Drake and Gage, two water polo players Jason interacts with during the first book.
Excellent. Let’s jump in.
First, I want to compliment you on your website I checked it out and it’s really cool that you set it up from the characters’ point of view. Considering all the work that goes into creating a website, how many books do you plan on having in the series? Is this going to be an ongoing series with books for each of the models?
There will be at least three books in the main series, more likely four, with each one building on the events of the previous book. In addition, there will be some spin-offs that can be much more erotic in nature or focus on events that don’t fit in the main series. The main series mostly focuses on Jason, while the spin-offs would focus on the others. Ryker, Noel, and Tyler are also heavily featured in the main books.
Tell us what inspired you to write this series.
I was heavily interested in photography while I was in high school, taking pictures of friends and sporting events. Several friends of mine were water polo players as well, so I decided to combine the two interests to make the core of the series. Jason is based off me when I was in high school, except a little bit more eccentric.
As for why it’s in San Diego, I wanted to set TCS aside from the numerous stories that take place in LA and San Francisco and breathe life into a fresher setting. I am also more familiar with that city as I have family down there. The last couple of years, I’ve made a few trips down there to visit family, scout out settings, and watch a whole lot of water polo.
Clearly you enjoy water polo, did you play? Or were you just a spectator?
I wasn’t able to play myself, since my parents didn’t want me hurt. I was on the yearbook staff in my senior year of high school, so I got to go to a lot of the games to take pictures.
Well, I guess if you couldn’t play then being a supporter is the way to go. Moving on from water polo, what can you share with us about the book and the series?
The first seeds of the series were planted around six years ago, with three of the main characters living in a dorm room in San Diego while attending college. While a lot of the original work for that is lost (About three computers ago), the setting and the characters marched on. As time went by, I decided to age the characters up a bit to further reflect the new story ideas I had. Other characters came and went, and a few that didn’t make the cut in Studio might appear in other books.
Sounds like a long journey. It always amazes me how the writing process works like that. You may have one idea and by the time you finish it’s completely transformed into something you never expected.
I guess I’d say so. On the other hand, I don’t consider myself a pure pantser, since I have to know where the story is going to go before writing it. This is especially true when writing a series, since every book has to be intertwined with the others to make one whole arc composed of several smaller ones.
Nicely said. So, I have to ask, who is your favorite character right now?
That’s a tough one. Everyone’s got their quirks, and it’s hard for me to pick just one. In some ways, I kind of like Tyler because of how brutally honest he can be. Tyler’s also the easiest character for me to write as he’s not afraid to speak his mind.
I have a few characters like that, and I would have to agree. The free speakers are always the easiest to write for. If you don’t mind I want to jump back to your website, if you decide to write something different are you going to create a special website for that as well?
Depends on its size. I’ve written some short stories, and those can be found in the archives section of TCS’s website. That section is not “in character” so that I can showcase my other work. If I plan out an unrelated series or standalone book, then there may be a site for that.
Cool. Well considering how much work you put into this website I can’t imagine wanting to waste it.
Of course not. TCS is my passion.
From your bio I see you were raised in Central California, what was that like? Everyone thinks that California is either San Francisco or Los Angeles, so what was it like where you lived?
I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley, which is the closest place California has to a Bible Belt. Until the 1990’s, members of the Ku Klux Klan ran Visalia where I’m from specifically. Growing up, my brother claimed he had seen a cross burning a few blocks south of our house.
It’s hard to believe that people are like that, but sadly they are, and things like that happen everywhere.
Many of the people were homophobic, and in high school, the school district had one of the schools make a “bullying” documentary targeting LGBT people. In short, the message was, “If a straight person gets bullied, it’s the bully’s fault. If an LGBT person gets bullied, it’s their own fault.” Keep in mind this was in the 2000’s, and there were several people in the valley who have been killed due to their sexuality, even to this day.
I’m glad I got out of there and into a more accepting environment.
I can’t imagine growing up like that. We forget how lucky we are. Especially when you hear stories like that. I’m glad you made it out of all that.
You mention you’ve been writing since you were fourteen, care to share a little about what you wrote early on? For me, when I was younger, writing was a way for me to process my emotions, what did writing mean to you at that time? Does it still mean the same thing now?
Writing’s been a form of therapy. I’d rather not go into specific details regarding the stories I wrote as a teenager, but when I was a senior in high school, I had written a script for a full-length RPG that will never see the light of day. The plot might return, but the script itself is long lost and wasn’t very good.
Fair enough. Still a full-length Role-Paying-Game sounds pretty amazing. I hope you are able to use it again.
I see that you now live in Las Vegas, that has to be quite a change from where you grew up. Obliviously you must like it there, care to tell us about it?
Vegas has given me a lot of opportunities that I could not get before moving here. There are things to do every single day. Just about every weekend, people can go to different fairs, open mic nights, and on the first Friday of every month, we have the aptly-named First Friday, a block party south of Downtown where people sell their goods/art/local food. I’ve gone a couple of times, and it was great to see all the different performers and people having fun.
That sounds amazing. Tell me, when you aren’t writing what do you like to do, other than going to street fairs?
I like to travel around. I’ve been all over Europe, been to the east coast a few times, and a few other spots. I’ve got plenty of stories of different experiences I’ve encountered. In fact, the hotel in Before the Game: Drake is based off the hotel I stayed at in New Jersey. I’m also a bit of a gamer, playing Final Fantasy XIV in the few spare hours I get whenever I’m not working on something.
Is part of that ‘something’ creating the characters you have on the website? Did you create them or did you hire someone to create them?
I hired an artist on Patreon to do the base artwork. I’ve worked with Finch for around two years. He drew all the guys, while I did all the typography, editing, and formatting for the website and for the novel. His page (NSFW) can be found here.
Very cool. I’ll have to check it out at some point. What’s next for you? What can we expect to see in the near future?
I am working on the second book, TCS: Into Summer as we speak. It focuses more on Tyler, who’s (mostly) on the back burner in the first book. I am also writing some non-TCS related stories that I hope to share soon.
Sounds like you have a lot going on. Is there anything else you want to share with us today?
First, I’d like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity to be interviewed here. It means a lot.
It’s my pleasure.
Second, please look forward to the next free promo weekend on Amazon, which will be in either November or early December.
Oh, free promos. Cool. Where can people find that information?
Facebook’s the easiest way to get into contact with me (as myself). There and Instagram are where I will provide info for the free promo weekends or other events that will be happening in the future. Twitter’s “in character” just like the site, so the guys won’t be advertising as much.
Excellent. Well thank you for stopping by and spending time with me and my Scribblers.
Find the books on Amazon here.
That’s it for this week Scribblers. I hope you check out Mike’s books and go find him and his boys on Facebook, Twitter, Instgram and on their website. Until next time have a great week. Remember you can share and like this below. If you have questions for Mike, leave them in the Comments section and I’ll ensure he pops on over and answers them.
About Mike E. Galloway
Raised in Central California, Mike E. Galloway grew up in a world filled with the expectations of heteronormativity and homophobia. He overcame these expectations by writing LGBT stories and vignettes ever since the age of 14 and has never turned back since.
Mike lives in Las Vegas, NV and is currently working on a 3 to 4-book series featuring a young gay photographer who is on a journey to find love and his way in the world. The first of the series, TCS: The Studio, was released in September of 2018. Find out more or join the community by clicking here.
Social Media Links:
Find Mike on Facebook here.
Find TCS Studios on Instagram here.
Find Jason’s Twitter Page here.
Find Ryker’s Twitter Page here.
Find Noel’s Twitter Page here.
Find Tyler’s Twitter Page here.