MD Neu is a 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. MD Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, 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 MD Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing. Wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.
Did you come across any specific challenges when writing? What did you do differently the next time?
Writing villains is very challenging for me. I live in a Pollyanna World where I believe that people are generally good. That belief is unrealistic and as an adult I know better. Just look at the news or on-line and clearly I’m wrong. However, that is just part of my mindset and I can’t change it. Having to write cruel characters, who are just evil and mean it’s not easy, and it normally puts me in a dark place when I do write them. As awful as this may sound, I tried to base my first villains on real people. People who had been awful to me and who I didn’t see as good people. It made it easier and it allowed me to take the character traits I didn’t like in them and amp them up. Make them over the top for the character in my stories.
As I continue to write my process for writing the ‘bad guy’ has changed. I still make them over the top. I don’t want people to ever see their point-of-view or have anything in common with them. They are the villain after all. However when I write them, I now work to make them believable, or at least as believable as possible. They may have a family, probably have friends, and believe they are doing the right thing. In general, I try and make them more three-dimensional and I think it works.
Of course that is for the audience to decide.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
When I do have time to sit down and read, I like to read off my iPad. However, I have a bunch of books in hardback and paperback. So if I want to read something from there, I can pull it off the shelf and read it. There is something to be said about a physical book. I enjoy the feel of a book and flipping through the pages.
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. 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 and sit and flip through the pages and 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.
Will you do a Press Release, Goodreads book launch, or anything else to promote your work?
When I release, or have released, my books I will use whatever tools I can to get the word out. I’ll use Press Releases, I’ll do a book launch on Goodreads, I’ll do announcements on Facebook, I’ll send out an email blast to my subscribers to my blog and to my web page, and I’ll even do local book tours (if I can). There is no such thing as too much publicity. On average, people have to be told or see something seven times before it sticks and I want to make sure they see and hear me.
What is your favorite movie and why?
The first movie I fell in love with was Alfred Hitchcock, ‘The Birds’. I only saw it on TV, but I can quote lines from that movie and I can tell you all kinds of silly trivia from it. There was just something about the story telling and the acting. The story built up slowly they didn’t rush you from action scene to action scene, they filled the world with people you could relate to, and it ended with the unknown. It was magical (okay that’s hokey), but ask anyone who watched it. I bet they will tell you how it affected them. It’s a movie that even today stands up. It’s great storytelling.
When MD Neu isn’t writing he works for a non-profit and travels with his husband of eighteen years.