Interview with Author Michael Gross

Michael Gross

I am thrilled to have interviewed author Michael Gross, who shared with us details of his writing life, his book ‘Spillage‘, which was released on 14th February 2024, and answered a few fun questions. This post contains affiliate links.

Michael Gross

Michael Gross began writing Spillage in 1976, while working as managing editor of Fiction magazine, teaching, and earning his MFA at New York’s City College. Gross holds a BA from Trinity College and an MBA from New York University and received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship.

In 1978, he embarked on a forty-five-year career in crisis communications, culminating in his serving as CEO of Finsbury (now FGS Global). He is married with three children and three grandchildren and divides his time between Brooklyn and Fire Island, New York.

interview picture 2023


1) Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

The inspiration for Spillage came from the musical Damn Yankees, in which a diehard fan of the lowly Washington Senators makes a deal with the Devil to topple the mighty Yankees. In my twisted version, the story gets turned on its head, with the Yankees and the beleaguered city they represented in 1976 being the underdogs. Also, it’s a female fan who makes her deal with the Devil to win the heart of rookie pitching phenom and potential NY-savior Nick “The Swan” Spillage.

2) How did you plan out the plot?

In my original version, written nearly 50 years ago, I started with the first line and imagined the plot as I went along, with one thing leading to the next as I attempted to capture the chaos of the time. Going back to the book with many years of perspective, I kept the basic structure but streamlined it considerably. Where the early version focused on creating a world, the rewrite was more focused on fleshing out the main characters and their engagement with that world.

3) When did you choose the title for your book?

I came up with the title Spillage early in the process of writing the first draft. It’s the central character’s name and is suggestive of the way the book spills out. For a time, during my rewrite, at my editor’s suggestion, I changed the title to “Another Piece of My Heart,” from the Janis Joplin song. But my daughters convinced me to go back to the original, and I’m glad I did.

4) How did you come up with the names for your characters?

I had a lot of fun with the characters’ names, which include a lot of double entendres and get flipped around when the characters go through their many changes.

5) How did you go about researching the content for your book?

The content is all from my imagination and lived experience.

6) What made you choose this genre?

I’ve always been interested in literary fiction with a comic edge. Writers from the time I started the book who influenced me include Tom Robbins, Thomas Pynchon, Kurt Vonnegut, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Hunter S. Thompson.

7) How long did it take you to complete your book?

Nearly 50 years. Of course, for a good amount of that time the book lay at the bottom of a file drawer gathering dust.

8) Can you describe your book in three words?

Damn Yankees redux.

9) What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

Finding a devoted audience who appreciates your vision and enjoys how you express it.

10) Why should our readers pick your book up?

To have fun, be entertained, and take a wild ride through the kaleidoscopic chaos of 1970s New York

Spillage by Michael Gross


Author – Michael Gross
Pages – 286
Release Date – 14th Februaru 2024
ISBN 13 – 979-8865879305
Format – ebook, paperback


It’s 1976, and The Big Apple is in sorry shape. Besieged on all sides, the city has become a graffiti-coated, garbage-filled, crime-ridden cauldron, teetering on the edge of total collapse. Adding to New York’s towering woes, a revolutionary group called the Satanic Vanguard has kidnapped the mayor, set fire to Coney Island and threatened further mayhem. All that Gotham has to hope for are its resurgent Yankees, who’ve come back from the dead to reach the World Series by riding the arm of their rookie phenom Nick “The Swan” Spillage. But Satan and his Vanguard plan to snuff that hope out too, and they’ve targeted a young couple to help with their diabolical scheme.

The rock and roll-loving pair– Joan and Eliot —came of age in the late 1960s when the counterculture peaked. They’ve lived together in New York’s East Village for eight years, making sweet music on the subways while their beloved city crumbled around them. Then, in shades of the Faustian musical Damn Yankees, Joan develops an obsession with The Swan and makes a deal with the Devil to capture his heart. Meanwhile, Eliot wrestles with what it means to preserve his own soul as he makes a valiant effort to win her back and save the day.

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Fun Questions

Talking Owl Interview Pic 2023

1) Do you have a writing buddy?

I don’t, but I do have a special audience in mind as I write – my grandchildren, ages four, five and six. Don’t know if I’ll be around when they are old enough to read it but wish I could see the look on their faces when they see what their Pop-pop created.

2) Do you have any writing quirks?

In my 20s, I used to force myself to wake up at 5 am to write in order to get something down before I reported to my corporate job. Now I write at 5 am because it’s tough for me to sleep later. I also find that proximity to my subconscious state helps.

3) Where do you write?

I do my best writing at the desk I have in my bedroom at my beach house on Fire Island, where I spend a good portion of my time these days.

4) Your book has been made into a movie, you’ve been offered a cameo role, what will you be doing?

I’ll be driving a taxi. There are a lot of cabbies in the book who offer their views on life.

5) A talking owl has just finished reading your book, what’s the first thing he says to you?

‘Wow! That was really something! You humans sure know how to put on a show!’

Author links


A big thank you to Michael Gross for sharing his writing life with us and for a wonderful interview.

The above links are affiliate links. I receive a very small percentage from each item you purchase via these link, which is at no extra cost to you. If you are thinking about purchasing the book, please think about using one of the links above. Thank you.

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