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Saturday, 20 April 2013

Saturday Storyteller Interview: Neal F. Litherland

Please welcome Neal to our blog today. He talks getting in the mood for sexy scenes and life outside of writing.

What’s your name and where do you come from? 
Neal F. Litherland, from Northwest Indiana

Tell us a bit about your latest release. 
The Unusual Transformation of Abraham Carver” is a dark steampunk/erotica novella told in the form of three short stories. A love letter to “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” as well as “Beauty and the Beast” the story deals with Iris Carver trying to help her husband through the trials and tribulations of a rare blood disease. When an experimental cure works a little too well though, she has to find out where Abraham is going at night, and how much of the man she fell in love with is still there.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 
For shorter works like this, inspiration comes from questions. This trilogy deals with the question of “how does a marriage survive when one person changes so drastically?” The other, sub-question here is “can you love a man even if he may have become a monster?”

How do you go about creating the perfect "Swoon" worthy man? 
I don’t actually. When I create characters I create them to be who and what they are. If someone in the audience finds them beautiful, or witty, or handsome, then that’s all well and good. Abraham was a civilized man forced to confront the worst parts of his nature, and he was partially eaten by them. If someone finds that sexy, then so be it.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be? 
If I couldn’t be an author I’d likely try to get editing work, or get a job as a book reviewer. Stories are one of my favourite things in life, and I couldn’t be happy working a job that was too far away from them.

How do you decide how hot or not your book is going to be? 
A lot of that depends on who I happen to be working for. Because so much of my work is for anthologies, or specifically geared toward a particular company, how “hot” my stories get is completely reliant upon what that company requires. Often a romance publisher will turn up its nose at something without smut, so as an author I have to make that decision when I choose who I’m going to write for.

Is there any erotic scenarios you wouldn’t write about? 
I have written a lot of different scenarios, and some very objectionable ones as a ghost writer. However, the question is whether the eroticism works for the story. I won’t shoehorn in a fetish or act if it makes no sense and doesn’t add to the tale, but if it works to deepen the drama and it provides insight to the characters participating, then I wouldn’t pull the punch.

What do you do to get in the mood for writing love scenes? Candles, music etc? 
I do the same thing I do for any other kind of scene. I pop open something with a lot of caffeine, crack my knuckles and dive back into the world. Love and hate, violence or drama, it’s all part of the same labor.

What do you do when you’re not writing? 
Aside from storyboarding new ideas and meeting with creative friends, I fence, workout, go to the movies when I can afford it. I read a great deal, since the city library is only a few blocks from my humble abode.

Tell us something that might surprise our readers. 
I take a very different approach to romance as a genre, especially when things heat up. If a sex scene isn’t necessary, then just like a fight scene or a bit of dialogue, it gets cut. I have a personal standard that I refuse to bend, and it’s that sex as a spectacle is completely unacceptable. I’m here to tell a story, and all elements have to come together as a team to complete that story.
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Iris’s husband Abraham is slowly dying of a blood disease. The only hope is an experimental procedure, replacing his bone marrow with that of his brother, who has been sentenced to hang by the neck until dead. However, while Abraham’s life is spared, he begins to change. Will Iris discover the extent of it in time?

You can purchase The Unusual Transformation of Abraham Carver from Amazon and find Neal on Facebook.

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