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🌟 Please join me in welcoming author M.D. Neu to Stories That Make You Smile. M.D. is here today celebrating the recent release of his fabulous science fiction novel, Conviction, book 2 in his A New World series. Pull up a chair and relax as M.D. tells us a bit about himself and his writing! 🌟
Conviction by M.D. Neu
Will the humans and nentraee learn to work together despite mistrust and threats of more attacks by a new global terrorist group, or will the terrorists win? Will this bring an end to an already shaky alliance between nentraee and humans?
Series: A New World (book #2)
Publisher: NineStar Press
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Release Date: March 25, 2019
Length: Long Novel / 103,900 words / 373 pages
Heat Rating: Non-explicit
Pairing / Genre(s) / Keyword(s): LGBTQ+, Literary, Genre Fiction, Science Fiction, Gay, Cisgender
A little blue world, the third planet from the sun. It’s home to 7 billion people with all manner of faiths, beliefs and customs, divided by bigotry and misunderstanding, who will soon be told they are not alone in the universe. Anyone watching from the outside would pass by this fractured and tumultuous world, unless they had no other choice.
Todd Landon is one of these people, living and working in a section of the world called the United States of America. His life is similar to those around him: home, family, work, friends and a husband.
After the attack on San Jose, Todd is appointed to Special Envoy for Terran Affairs by the nentraee, a position many world leaders question. Undeterred Todd wants to build bridges between both people. However, this new position brings with it a new set of problems that not only he, but his new allies Mi’ko and Mirtoff must overcome. Will the humans and nentraee learn to work together despite mistrust and threats of more attacks by a new global terrorist group, or will the terrorists win? Will this bring an end to an already shaky alliance between nentraee and humans?
☆ Author Interview ☆
Welcome, and thank you for stopping by! Tell us a little about yourself and your writing goals.
Thank you for having me today. I’m M.D. Neu and I’m a gay Fiction Writer 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 me greatly. I live in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and I’ve always been fascinated with what could be.
Currently, I have five works published by Ninestar Press with one more on the way. I count myself lucky that NineStar has continued to support my work and me. My current titles include: The Reunion, A Dragon for Christmas, The Calling, Contact, and my newest novel Conviction, both Contact and Conviction are part of my A New World series. Later this summer I have another novel coming out titled T.A.D.-The Angle of Death, so it’s been busy, but I enjoy it.
When I was growing up, I always wondered why there were never stories reflecting me. I felt constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, so my main writing goal is to tell epic stories that reflect our diverse world.
When I’m not writing, I work for a local non-profit and travel with my biggest supporter and my harshest critic, Eric my husband of twenty years.
What was the inspiration for your latest story?
Conviction is the second book in my A New World series, but what inspired me to write this story was the need to tell a story that didn’t cast the typical main character we’ve all seen time and time again. I wanted to tell a story about the none typical hero: a gay man who wasn’t the hero type. In fact, in Contact, Todd’s husband Jerry even says as much. It was important to set that tone from the start. Todd is a normal everyman, even more so than some of my other characters in my other works.
But more than that, I wanted to write an epic science fiction story that wasn’t a dystopian story or a story were its humans against the aliens. I wanted to tell a story where aliens come to us in need, no hidden motives, they’ve lost their home world and have been searching for a new home for twenty years. Then they find us, warts and all. I don’t believe this is a story that we’ve seen before and, for me, it’s important for us to see it. I show the world and both people as they are. None of them are perfect and they all have bigotry to overcome.
This story also reflects two themes important to me, one is immigration and refugees, in the case of the story we can’t simply say no. We have to deal with it. For good or bad, we have to figure out what we are going to do and none action isn’t an option. When you have over 2 million aliens showing up in 400 plus ships in your planet’s orbit there is no brushing it under the rug or trying to pretend they’re not there. The other theme important in the series is religion, again for good or bad, it’s important in our world and now, in the context of the story, it’s been thrown in complete ciaos. Everything we believe, or think we believe, is now called into question especially when it comes to human’s being the end all be all. Both themes are huge and people are going to deal with it differently, and I wanted to show that in this book and this series.
Did your story turn out as you’d originally planned, or did it veer off in another direction?
Yes, and no. I have the stories and the series all planned out, so I know where we are going, however getting there has been a different story (ha no pun intended). In the course of the two books quite a bit has changed, I’ve added a whole new character that wasn’t in the series at the start and I’ve expanded several characters that were nothing more than background players. That has been fun especially learning these new personalities and seeing how they interact with everyone else. These new characters were also a bit trying at times specifically when they have their own plans and ideas. I did have to wrangle a few of them in and promise to use them more in the next books. Overall, it’s been fun to incorporate some of that into the story and the series. So, the destinations remained the same, but getting there took several different routes.
What was the most difficult part of writing this book? Why?
There is a scene in this book near the end where or goodies are facing off with the baddies and that was hard to write. One reason was the amount of research I had to do for that section to work. I had to map out the battle, actually map it out with whatever I had to represent the characters and the surroundings, all to figure out how it would play out. The other reason this part of the book was so difficult was I had to put the pieces together and learn who would and who wouldn’t make it out alive. There were several possibilities. I had created several character trap doors is I needed them, and that left me with a ‘who should live and who should die’ conundrum. This section took several rewrites and with each rewrite came a different body count and different characters meeting their end.
In the end, I am happy with the choice I made and I think that scene works well. I hope people like it and appreciate the decisions and work that went into it. Who knows? If I were to write that section today, it might be a different outcome.
Tell us a little bit about your works in progress!
Currently, I have two works in progress. Both are sequels. The first one is the sequel to The Calling. I have about eight chapters left and I’ll be honest it’s been a challenge to write. I think I need a nice quiet weekend where I can finish it and then start the editing process. The Called, which is the book I’m working on now picks up right at the end of book one and continues the story of Chris’s journey into becoming an Immortal. There will be a new foe and new challenges that Chris and the others have to deal with. I’m also bringing in a few characters that only had brief mentions in book one. So that has been fun. And as I mentioned earlier, I’m bringing in a Native American character that I’m proud of and I’ve enjoyed writing for.
The other, sequel is book three of my A New World series. This novel, Conspiracy, is all written and has been through beta readers. It now needs to be sent off to my editor before I send it over to NineStar Press, but I’ve been dragging my feet because of everything else going on and the cost associated with working with my outside editor. Still, it will head off in a few weeks I’m sure.
Conspiracy, will pick up about six months after the end of Conviction and we are still going to be following Todd and the others as the struggle to bridge the gap between human’s and nentraee. As the title hints at there are conspiracies a foot. I don’t want to give too much away, but I hope people will enjoy it as must as they have enjoyed the first two books.
What do you find to be the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
For me, when it comes to writing not only characters of the opposite sex, but any character that I don’t have direct knowledge of I worry I’m not going to show them in the best possible way. Obviously, if the character is one of my mustache-twirling villains, I worry less about that, then, say, a main point-of-view character or secondary character that deserves better. When I write, I want to show our diverse world and I want to show these characters as authentic and genuine. I don’t want them to turn into stereotypes. That would be the worst. So, I would say the most difficult part about writing these characters is showing them as realistic and real as possible ensuring they are someone people can look up to and appreciate.
Do you ever say dialogue passages aloud as you write them, or make the facial expressions or actions you’re describing?
Yes, I read all my dialogue aloud and I think this is something every writer needs to do. If you trip over the words when you read them, then you have to make changes. If not for you, most definitely for the reader.
For some scenes I will act them out a bit to make sure they are real and people can actually do them. I’ve been called out, at times, for having actions happen in the story that can’t occur in the real world. This is also true with facial expression I will make expressions as I write to ensure my reflects the emotion I’m going for in my writing… it’s a bit odd but it works.
What was your favorite toy growing up?
Growing up I loved to play with Lego, and I still have them, I don’t play with them, but I collect them and enjoy putting them together.
What’s your favorite scene that you’ve written?
I have several favorite scenes in Conviction, but the one that is sticking out right now, is this wonderful scene where our aliens, the nentraee, get to experience Christmas for the first time. I have one of my characters explaining Christmas to them. Can you imagine trying to explain any of cultural events to an alien race? I find it humorous and I hope the readers do as well.
For the readers who haven’t tried your books yet, where should they start?
For readers who don’t know me or my works I suggest that they actually start with reading Contact, that might seem strange to recommend a series, but Contact, I hope, gives readers a good idea of who I am as a writer. Even though I’m a gay fiction writer, I don’t want my books to only be read by the LGBTQIA+ community and our supporters, my novels, I hope, are written for everyone and I think in Contact you will find that. You will see yourself in the characters, at least that’s my hope. I would love for everyone who picks up any of my books to be able to read them and enjoy them.
Thank you so much for having me here today. It was a great treat to chat about my newest novel and to share more about my writing world.
Meet 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) 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 eighteen plus years.
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