My interview for May is MD Neu!
MD writes Sci Fi and Urban Fantasy with LGBTQ characters as well as poetry and scripts for a local public access TV show. Way to go MD!
Give us an insight into your main characters. What does he/she do that is so special?
Oh, my main characters. Man, what I wanted to go for was the ‘everyman’ or ‘everywoman’. Not all heroes are beautiful or smart. They don’t all have superpowers or anything special about them. They are normal, average people who get put into extraordinary circumstances. I wanted main characters that people in general could relate to.
With that said, my main characters tend to be gay. Not all of them of course. I didn’t want that to be the only interesting thing about them. I wanted them to be equally relatable to both men and women, gay and straight. It doesn’t matter. When you sit down and pick up these books and start to read, I want you to see yourself in these situations. My characters are just the vessel to allow you to do that.
What drew you to write in these genre?
That’s easy. I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, really anything Science Fiction. I loved the messages they all had. I loved the questions they raised. These shows held up a mirror to society and made us take a look at who we are. Yes, they did this via aliens and so forth, but they made us questions ourselves. The other things they did were give us a glimpse of hope, and showed us a future that may not be perfect but that we could strive for.
Now, when it comes to my vampire story. I’ve always loved the classic horror monsters: Vampires, Werewolves and Witches. They were so cool so powerful and had so much style about them. I wanted to write a story that honored them. I didn’t want to make them moody and emo, or crazy sex machines (nothing wrong with any of those, that just wasn’t what I was going for). I wanted to explore how could these creatures actually exist in our world and what that would look like. Would all the supernatural creatures be around? Would some have died out? What does a supernatural world look like in our modern society, without us knowing especially in this day and age of technology?
Would you hire someone else to format, edit, or create artwork for your novel, how would you select them and how much weight do you put on reviews?
Here’s the thing, you can hire people to do everything, even ghost write your story. If you don’t have the skills and you’re unable or unwilling to learn how to do it, then hire away. It’s your money. There are many talents I have. Drawing/graphic design, formatting and editing are not any of them. So, yes, if I self-publish I would hire the people I need to create the best possible product (and a book is a product, make no mistake about that) I can.
If I go the route of traditional publishing, these would be a services the publishing house provides, so no worries there.
As for selecting someone to do the work, I would look at their portfolio, ask for references, and get everything in writing. I would also look at reviews (hopefully they have them), but reviews are tricky, because most people only review services if they have a bad experience (that’s not always the case, but it happens a lot). So, you have to take the bad with a grain of salt and see what the real issues were.
The key for me would be to have it all in writing in a contract, then you are covered. You both know what is expected and there should be no surprises. Sadly, the days of a ‘gentlemen’s’ agreement are gone. I’ve had the misfortune of being caught up with two different graphic designers who vanished on me, luckily I had the contracts and got what was due. Of course it also meant I had to pay them for what work they did. However, it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
When it comes to offering advice, on any subject, I tell people, go with your gut. You know what you want. You know what you need. If something doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. But at the same time, don’t be afraid to take risks. You never know if opening up that Instagram account, may be all you need to break the New York Times Best-Sellers List.
What do your fans mean to you?
Since I haven’t really published anything yet, I don’t have a fan base. Well that isn’t quite true, I have people who have Beta read my stories and others who are excitedly waiting for them to be released. Do they count as fans?
I’m gonna say they do.
Anyway, for me the support and the encouragement are amazing.
I’ve had a few Beta Readers come back and tell me how much they loved certain parts of the story and how touching they found it. That always makes me happy. Others have come back and said that I need to hurry up with the next book because they want to see what happens.
So that is pretty darn amazing.
I would still write, even if no one ever read the stuff, but knowing that there are people out there who want to read more and who are now helping me with the process to ensure that I get it out there. That is a special feeling. One that I’m very lucky to have experienced and means the world to me. So fans, my fans, they are a big part of why I do this and I hope I never disappoint them.
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.
When MD Neu isn’t writing he works for a non-profit and travels with his husband of eighteen years.