Anyone here like vampires? Excellent! Because my guest today is M.D. Neu and he brings us a vampire story. 🙂 I’m slowly starting to get into this corner of the paranormal after not having been that fond of the blood suckers so far. And I can certainly sympathise with the frustration at being unable to find a particular kind of writing and sitting down to fix that. I think quite a few writers of my acquaintance got started that way… So if you like to read a vampire story that’s not the stereotypical boys meets girl and one bites the other…. then go right ahead.
And now over to M.D. Neu
Thank you, Jackie for hosting me here today. I appreciate the opportunity to talk not only about my newest book, The Calling but also to share more about my writing.
Here’s a little background on me. I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and back then you didn’t see a lot of gay characters in the media. There might be the occasional remark or side gag, but there that was all. Then in the late 80’s and 90’s as the AIDS epidemic came front and center with the deaths of thousands of men and women, the gay characters you saw tended to be tragic characters. It was great that people were now seeing the LGBTQAI community but none of these characters reflected my world. Jump to today and most of what you read shows gay men and to lesser extent gay women as nothing but fetishized sexual objects that are unbelievable and barely recognizable as a human beings. It’s very sad. When I started to write I wanted to change that. I wanted to show gay characters from all walks of life. To show that gay was cross culture, cross economics, and cross gender. But most importantly I wanted to show the LGBTQAI Community as real people we all know and see on a daily bases. That was my overall inspiration. Well that, and to tell good stories that anyone can relate to.
For The Calling what moved me to write this story was my love for vampires. Vampires were inherently cool and sexy (not all by most). However, the issue I had with traditional vampire stories was that writers expected us to believe vampires could exist in our modern world. Given we have cameras in everything and that we are watched 24/7 I wondered how vampires lived. How could you have a pack of vampires kill people with no one ever finding out? The missing person reports alone would be enough to cause the media to take notice. Also, how would social media and technology play into this? What if someone live streamed a vampire attack, and the video went viral? How would vampires keep their secret and not hunted out of existence?
In, The Calling, I like to imagine I answered those questions that always bothered me. Especially, because I used characters that felt honest and real and not some fetishized version of people that could never exists. So, once you finish the book you shake your head and agree that, okay that could actually happen. Of course, not everything can be explained away and you have to believe in a certain amount of magic, but still in my mind I was happy with what I came up with and I hope most people agree.
Using honest characters and examining how vampires could exist in our modern world wasn’t the only reason for writing this story. I always wanted, in the broader since, to highlight where I live. Almost all my books take place in and around San Jose, CA, USA, also known to people as Silicon Valley. Part of my growing up and living so close to San Francisco was that the media and people in general treated San Jose like the Ugly Step-Sister. Which I never understood.
San Jose has been the heart of technology. The city was one of the first in the United States to have electricity and according to local history Gustave Eiffel copied the design for the Eiffel Tower, from the San Jose Electric Light Tower that was built eight years earlier. Even with that few people know where we are or anything about us. I wanted to change that. I also loved the idea of vampires living and working in the technology center of the United States if not the world. I thought it would be fun irony.
That all said, in The Calling I use the following cities and towns: San Jose, Los Altos, Saratoga, Santa Cruz, and Morgan Hill. It’s an amazing cross section of Silicon Valley and provided me with several locations that most people never heard of. I use the following places in The Calling; The Winchester Mystery House, Santana Row, Main Street in Los Altos, and Westfield Valley Fair.
One of my favorite San Jose locations in the book is the 88 (a high-rise luxury condo building in downtown San Jose) architecturally it’s beautiful and has an amazing style. I had to make a few changes to the building’s design to fit the story, but nothing major. I also changed the name in the book to The Heights. The Heights is the home of one of my characters; Victor (a fan favorite). Victor demands a home with unique style and commanding views. The Heights provided them.
Another benefit of using San Jose is all the fun nods I get to include to restaurants and caterers I love. I mention several by name so local readers will instantly know where and who my characters are talking about. I do this in all my novels, not just The Calling. They’re my local Easter Eggs if you will.
There you have it, a bit about me, a bit about what inspires my writing, and a bit about what inspires my story setting. Again, thank you to my host Jackie for allowing me to hang out and share.
Being 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?
About M.D. Neu
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 nineteen plus years.
Keep in Touch with M.D. Neu
More from M.D. Neu
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Amazon