Author Spotlight: Interview With Andy Gallo

andy gallo author
Andy Gallo

Andy Gallo’s stories capture how he wished he’d spent his formative years, instead of how it really happened. Unfortunately for his characters, they find themselves infused with some of Andy’s less noble qualities.

A hopeless romantic, Andy writes seated next to a hundred-year-old Smith Brothers typewriter he inherited from his grandfather. He also dreams of superheroes and wizards and sees no reason why two men with superpowers can’t fall in love just like everyone else. Although not all his stories have a paranormal bent, a touch of the supernatural never derailed a good read in his mind.

Married and living his happy every after, Andy helps others find their happy endings in the pages of his stories. He and his husband of more than twenty-five years spend their days rubbing elbows with other parents as they raise their daughter. Embracing his status as the gay dad, Andy sometimes has to remind others that one does want a hint of color even when chasing after their child.

Note: This interview was first published in The News Hall on April 2. To make sure you’re the first to read all the magazine content, consider joining the mailing list squad here.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to someone who just started writing?

Andy: Oh my, there are many best pieces of advice I’ve gotten over the years. The one that stands out most is write what you’re most passionate about. Don’t write in a genre or trope you’re not into just because you think it will sell. Readers are savvy. They will pick up it. It also turns your passion into just a paycheck. Write what you love, and it will shine through.

If MM romance wasn’t an option, what would you be writing about?

Andy: Andy Gallo is my second pen name. I began writing under Andrew Q. Gordon. Andrew Q. writes fantasy/speculative fiction with LGBTQA characters. I split the two when I started to get homophobic comments on my fantasy. Given the “gay shit,” as one person wrote in a review, was such a small part of the story, I felt any MM romance needed a new pen name. I expect to release more as Andrew Q. Gordon in the future.

You collaborated with Anyta Sunday on the Harrison Campus series. How did that come about?

Better Be Sure is the first book in the Harrison Campus series.

Andy: Anyta is one of most talented writers I know. She funny, original, imaginative, and is always working to get better. She and I met on the Gay Authors website. That is a site where people can release stories and find readers. Anyta and I fell into a friendship, but it grew when she and her family lived in the US for a time. We wrote the precursor to Better Be Sure for a contest Gay Authors ran. We ended up winning first place. It had issues we needed to address before we could publish it. We did a pretty major rewrite to get the story ready for publication. Once that happened, we quickly got the next two stories ready. We were able to release the first three books in the series in the summer of 2020.

Your works are light-hearted, sweet, and featuring true first loves. Where do they come from?

I think I’m something of a romantic, and I bring that to each MM romance I write. The plots are harder to pin down. Inspiration for those come from so many places. Often, I’ll have an image of a character first, then need to write a story for them. Those can shift as I write them. But the romance itself probably draws on things I did on dates, or wished I’d

Do you lend yourself to your characters? Is there a character who has the most Andy in them? Who is it?

Andy: Probably more than I’d like to admit. I think each of the MC has a bit of me or someone I know well. It’s hard to disassociate things I’ve done from things my characters do. Nico Amato from Better Be True, is by far the most like me, and the least. Nico is big he’s out, loud, proud and in your face. That is not me. He’s also part of a close-knit New York, Italian American family. That is very much me. Like Nico, my great-grandfather was a baker. Unlike Nico, that bakery closed when my great-grandfather retired. There is a bit in the book where they talk about these made-up words Italian Americans use. That is totally taken from my life. No other character comes close.

What are your writing goals for the near future? Are you working on anything new and is there perhaps a romance trope that you would really like to explore?

Interesting timing for this question. The last book in Harrison Campus, Better to Believe will be out in April. I wrote this one alone. The timing wasn’t great because Anyta has this amazing new series called, Love Austen that she poured a lot of time into. Better to Believe is a best friend’s brother story. I say it’s the last book because the plan had always been to age up a bit after this story. We would follow Nico and Luke from Better Be True, to Philadelphia and the stories would revolve around the bakery and people in that orbit. I’m about fifty percent finish with the first draft of that, but….

The last part of your question – a trope I’d like to explore – is very prescient. I’m taking some time off from work this summer to write a series that will be meld my two passions in writing, MM Romance and magic/speculative fiction. The series will be a paranormal romance with an urban fantasy influence. I’m looking forward to writing that, so I’m following my own advice and writing what I’m passionate about. Hopefully it will resonate with readers.

Andy Gallo’s newest book in the Harrison Campus series is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

You can find Andy in all the usual places.

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Chatting with Andy Gallo was an absolute pleasure for me and Xander. We hope you enjoyed this new segment in The News Hall and we are wishing a very happy release day to the author of the hour. Better To Believe will release on April 19 on Amazon. Be sure to follow Andy all over the place and don’t miss the exciting finale to this wonderful series.