This week I’d like to introduce you to author M.D. Neu. He’s a LGBTQAI Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he’s always been fascinated with what could be. Specifically drawn to Science Fiction and Paranormal television and novels, M.D. Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, Alice Walker, Alfred Hitchcock, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Rice, and Kim Stanley Robinson. An odd combination, but one that has influenced his writing.
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 nineteen plus years.
Let’s learn more about him:
What are your ambitions for your writing career? It’s funny to think about this question, because until recently I never thought this would even be in the cards for me. Sure, I’ve always enjoyed writing and telling stories, but the idea that this could become a career for me. Nope, never even crossed my mind.
Who would think that someone who could barely spell in school because of his dyslexia would even have this as an option? It’s pretty amazing!
I know I’m rambling a bit sorry. To answer the question, I want to be realistic. I wouldn’t mind having a steady income coming in from my writing. Perhaps, even being able to work at it full-time. But if I’m honest, for me, I want my writing to be enjoyed by people. For people to want to come back and re-read my stories again because something speaks to them, that would be the best.
Oh and did I mention a steady flow of income, that would be great as well.
So, what have you written? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest, professional or hobby.) There is more than I realized but at the same time it’s not a huge amount. I have a novel out, The Calling, which came out at the beginning of the year. I have two short stories that came out at the end of last year, The Reunion (a ghost story) and A Dragon for Christmas (a young adult Christmas Fantasy story). Also, I have a weekly blog, I write poetry (also posted on my blog), and I co-wrote a play ‘The Faux Play – Stereotypes’ with a friend of mine who passed away. I’ve also co-wrote a Home Remodelling Workbook. Lastly, I do some script writing for a community access show, ‘Change Lives for Good’.
Also, January and March of next year I have two more books coming out, A New World – Contact (Part 1) and T.A.D (The Angle of Death). So that is very exciting.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Really, typewriter? Longhand? Um… nope. My spelling sucks and being dyslexic makes writing that much harder. I’m grateful to technology and use it to its fullest advantage. I have my laptop and I love it.
Where do the ideas come from? This is gonna sound crazy, and I might just be a little nutty, but my ideas come from all over. The Calling started off as a dream I had, crazy right, but that is how it started. I wrote down what I could remember and started crafting the story. A New World – Contact started out as a play about a family and their drama. And then it morphed into a Sci Fi epic incorporating all the family drama and expanding on it. T.A.D. came to be as a ‘what if’ scenario. My two short stories, The Reunion and A Dragon for Christmas kind of fell into my lap, both the main characters popped into my head and started talking to me and wouldn’t shut up until I wrote down their stories. So, um… there ya go.
It’s odd because, most of my stories come to me in random ways. Some come to me, as I said, in dreams. Others start as a thought. I may be out at the mall and think ‘what if’ or I’ve been on vacation and a character will start talking to me about their story. I’ll put the notes down on the computer (which I never travel without) and see if something comes of it. Right now I have two additional novel ideas stewing away as well as a bunch of random thoughts that may or may not turn out to become something.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? I totally let my books sit and stew. I have to otherwise I get so wrapped into what is happening that I miss things. Even after letting it sit, I still miss things in the editing process. That is why I love the writer’s group I belong to. They catch some of the stupid silly stuff I miss (as well as bigger things), which helps with the editing process. Then I can feel pretty confident when I send it to my editor, for the actual editing. For me it’s the only way I can work.
What is your favorite quote? “Illegitimus non carborundum est.” I think that’s correct. Anyways, it means “Don’t let the bastards grind you down!”
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you? As a kid, I hated reading. Having dyslexia and not being able to see words and letters right made reading a chore. Not knowing how to make the letters come together as words sucked. So, I liked books with lots of pictures that helped tell the story. Sometimes it was the only way I knew what was happening.
The first two stories I read (that I really read) were The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton and The Wump World by Bill Peet. These two kids stories meant the world to me because I could actually read them. They were written with words I knew and I could make out. Plus, they had beautiful artwork. I was so excited that I could read them. They were children’s book meant for kids younger than me, but it didn’t matter I was able to read them and I loved them. I would go to the library, sit and flip through the pages, read the words, and not feel stupid like other books made me feel. They felt like they were written just for me.
Even to this day, I love the books. I don’t own them, but I’ll go and look them up just to see their covers and smile at the wonderful memories they bring up for me. They remind me I’m not a stupid kid who can’t read.
What motivated you to become an author? I wanted to tell stories that reflected who I am. As a gay man, growing up in the 70s and 80s there weren’t a lot of people like me who were visible. I’m not saying I had an awful life or was traumatized, because I wasn’t. But, I never saw anyone that I could relate to. When we did start to see gays in the media, it was in the middle of the AIDs crisis so they were all tragic characters. That wasn’t who I was either. I just wanted to see a normal guy, who happened to be gay, have an amazing adventure, be the hero, save the day. Be Luke Skywalker blowing up the DeathStar to an audience full of cheering fans, that’s what I wanted and that’s what I wanted to create for other people.
I don’t want to write stories that beat the drum of being LGBTQIA or whatever. I’ll leave that to others. For me, I want to create characters that people, all people, can support and get behind and cheer for. Who they love is secondary and not an issue.
That’s what motivates me to write and that’s what motivates my writing. Does a little of the gayness slip in, of course, but it’s part of the story just like you might see straightness, or minoritiness (I don’t think that’s a word, but you get the point) slip into any number of stories. If the story telling is good, and I hope mine is, then people should be able to look past the ‘gay’ parts and still enjoy the story, because overall I’m going for good story telling.
You can check out M.D.’s sites and follow his work at:
Until next time ….
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