I’m excited to welcome author M.D. Neu to my blog today to talk about life, writing, and his latest book.
About the Book
Title: The Calling
Publisher: NineStar Press
Date: January 1, 2018
Tags: dark, gay, immortal, magic, paranormal, vampires
Synopsis: Being a nobody isn’t Duncan Alexander’s life goal, but it’s worked for him. He has a nondescript job, a few good friends, and overall he’s content. That’s until one fateful trip to San Jose, California, where he is “Called” to meet the mysterious Juliet de Exter. Juliet is a beautiful, wealthy, powerful Immortal who is undertaking The Calling—a search for a human to join her world of Immortals. Inexplicably, Duncan’s calling is more dangerous than any of the Immortals, even Juliet, ever thought it would be.
There is more to this nobody, this only child of long-deceased parents, than anyone thought. When Duncan experiences uncontrollable dreams of people he doesn’t know and places he hasn’t been, Juliet and the other Immortals worry. Soon, his visions point to a coven of long-dead witches. The dreams also lead Duncan to his one true love. How will Duncan navigate a forbidden romance with an outcast Immortal? How will he and the others keep the balance between the Light and Dark, survive vicious attacks, and keep the humans from learning who they truly are? More importantly, who is this implacable foe Duncan keeps seeing in his dreams?
Thank you AM, for taking the time to welcome me to your Blog and for doing this interview. I’ve been looking forward to it.
Glad to have you here! I’m always excited to meet new-to-me writers. How has your life changed since becoming a published author?
Since publishing, I’ve found that I’m a lot busier. I have to spend a lot of time on marketing and PR. I’m also finding that I spend more time on social media connecting with people. It’s cool and all, but what happened is it’s sucked up my time to write. I don’t get nearly as much time to write as I used to. The not writing is frustrating because I have a backlog of stories that I want to get to. There are so many stories floating around in my head I just need to make the time to get them all down on paper.
One nice benefit is I get to read many other people’s works. It sounds odd, but since I was published I’ve been reading a lot more. I’ve been a judge for the Rainbow Awards which was an amazing experience and I’m hoping to get to do it again this year.
The other thing I’ve found is fellow authors coming to me seeking my advice, which is both flattering and a little strange, because I’m still learning. There is a lot about this industry that I don’t know or understand. Of course I try and offer whatever advice I have, but I remind them that I’m still learning and that there are no magic bullets. You have to keep writing and keep looking for people who will support you and help you along the way.
Other than that, being published has been amazing. People seem interested in getting to know more about my work and me. They also want to know what’s coming next. Which is fun, because as I’ve mentioned I have a tone of ideas floating around and I’m hoping this next year you’ll see more of my work being published.
It’s definitely a challenge, balancing how much time to spend on which aspect of writing and publishing. You mentioned having lots of ideas floating around. On that topic, how do you choose names for your characters?
When it comes to my main character names, I have a general process of creating a character bio with all kinds of information on the character. I use that information to help me pick out a name. I will look at when the character was born, where they were born, and what race they are, with that information I try to find a suitable name using popular names from that period and that region, for the most part it works.
For any non-human names, I get to be creative. I still have rules that I have to follow of course, but I make them. If I’m creating a culture I have to create some of their naming rules. An example is from my upcoming novel A New World – Contact I have an alien race, which I have a son and father that share the same name. Were we would use junior and senior they use cin and ko and it is added to their name. So, in the case of my alien son and father their names are Mi’cin and Mi’ko. It’s a fun detail that I created for this race, not many people will pay attention to it, but I have it all there.
Sometimes (more often than I care to admit) the character will come to me with a name. They will pop into my head and start telling me about them. Who they are, name included. That happened with my novella A Dragon for Christmas. The main character appeared and the first thing she said was, “My name is Carmen Maria Garcia and I want my Dragon for Christmas.” Insert a foot stomp on the ground and that is how I met that main character.
Other characters and their names are a little harder to figure out. In my novella The Calling one of the characters went through two names. He started as Vincent DelRey, which I liked as a name but for some reason it never stuck. I kept calling him Victor. So, I finally changed his name to Victor Rey (dropping the Del) suddenly the name just flowed and I never looked back. Also, in The Calling I have a large cast of secondary characters that needed names so I pulled names that would be easy for folks to remember. I used more common names that would hopefully stick with the reader (even if the character was only around for a few scenes).
I have to admit, I’m terrible at naming things, whether it’s characters or the book’s titles. But the process is fun. Sounds like that aspect isn’t much of a struggle for you, though. Are there any types of scene you do find hard to write?
The hardest scenes for me to write are action and romance scenes. I like detail and descriptions so with action scenes I can get bogged down and it really slows the pace down, which is a bad thing for action. I also tend to lose track of where my players are. That was especially difficult in The Reunion and in The Calling; both have actions sequences with a lot happening and I had to make sure everyone was accounted for and had something to do. There is nothing worse than having a character there and they don’t do anything. They just fade in the background and at the end ‘poof’ they return. So, that can be difficult.
Also, for action scenes (or any large event with multiple characters) I try and map out the scene. I figure out where everyone is and what he or she is doing and go from there. I think it works. Of course that is up to the reader to decide, so I hope it works.
The other tough one for me to write is romance scenes. Again, my love of details and descriptions can get in the way here. I’m not an erotica writer that is never the focus of my stories however, when I write these types of scenes (unless I fade to black) I can get very descriptive. Normally after I write these scenes, I have to go back and edit them down so they don’t mess up the type of story I’m trying to write. Luckily in these situations it’s easy to cut, which is why in The Calling there is really only one sexy scene and my hope is it’s more emotional than physical.
I hear you on that. It’s definitely easy to get caught up in the details. Okay, how about some word sprints?
What’s your favorite movie?
Oh, my favorite movie. There are so many great movies out there. I love movies so this is a tough one. I guess I would have to say my all-time favorite movie, would be The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. It was so creepy. He is the master of slow burn. He spent most of the movie building the tension and at the end he left you with more questions than he answered. It’s a wonderful movie and still holds up today.
Do the people in your life know about your writing?
Yes, absolutely. I couldn’t do any of this without their support. My husband Eric is both my biggest fan and harshest critic. I really wouldn’t be here without him, or any of my family for that matter.
What are your hobbies?
Besides writing, I love to cook and bake, although Eric is a much better baker than I am. I love to travel, there are so many places to see and go I hope I get to see them all someday. I love taking pictures, which leads me to another hobby scrapbooking, but I haven’t done that in a while. Yep, that pretty much covers it.
Thank you for having me.
You’re welcome here any time! Just give a shout if you’ve got a new release.
About the Author
M.D. Neu is a LGBTQA Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) he’s always been fascinated with what could be. Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.
When M.D. Neu isn’t writing, he works for a non-profit and travels with his biggest supporter and his harshest critic, Eric, his husband of eighteen plus years.