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Interview with David A. Neuman

Born in Adelaide, Australia, David A. Neuman was gifted a vivid imagination that continues to this day to distort memories of childhood. Turning to write early in life to express himself and give his imagination a playground upon which to run, odd scraps became serious tomes about 30 years ago, culminating in Kaleidoscopic Shades: Within Black Eternity.

David continues to live in Adelaide, South Australia, where he remains a child at heart, accepting everyone regardless of their sexual orientation and their take on this big, fantastical universe - understanding that each and every one of us is in this together. His book received Literary Titan Gold Book Award.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
Well, I suppose for the majority, it's my love of our furry four-legged friends. I have three gorgeous girls that scratch a bit, leave small deposits on the lawn that I have to bag up daily, and generously allow me to share the house with them - but I wouldn't be without them.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you shortly? Any new project you’re working on?
A. The Penny Arcade
is a finished product up to the manuscript stage, but it will depend on how well-received Kaleidoscopic Shades is. I could give a brief outline of this sequel, but I have gone with the following synopsis. I hope you enjoy it.

Q.3 When did you decide to write Kaleidoscopic Shades?
The first draft of Kaleidoscopic Shades: Within Black Eternity was actually written about twenty years ago and shelved over a decade ago before a fellow who knew of what I'd done in the past suggested I forge ahead with self-publishing.

Q.4 It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing. Tell us about your marketing campaign?
The main focus now is toward those readers who dive into the portal of horror-thrillers sci-fi. One of the latest reviews from Literary Titan, for example, concludes with, “If you’re a fan of supernatural thrillers, you’ll be right at home. I can not recommend Kaleidoscopic Shades: Within Black Eternity enough. Any fan of supernatural thrillers and science fiction time travel will love it and may have found a new favorite author,” it is a fabulous testimony for others to consider in their desire to escape, if just for a little while. It's gaining that elusive recognition that is the hardest part of this adventure.

Q.5 How long does it typically take for you to write a book?
A. Kaleidoscopic Shades
took over three years and, frankly, The Penny Arcade over one and a half to get to the completed manuscript stage, so, I dare say, there's a bit left to get it polished in as many facets as possible.

Q.6 Were there any challenges you faced while writing this book?
Absolutely. The time differences and nuances in the English written and spoken between those in Australia and America, which is where Kaleidoscopic Shades is set, challenged both my lovely editor Jason Pettus and myself.

Q.7 Do you have a routine for editing your books?
I took Kaleidoscopic Shades through about forty drafts before I even considered handing it up for developmental and copy editing. Thus far, I have taken The Penny Arcade through about as many drafts.

Q.8 What kind of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Be true to yourself. If you have a unique writing flare, then stick to it, regardless of what some may say. After all, not everyone will fall head over heels for your work. And persistence in your own worthiness is vital. 

However, I do believe it is equally crucial to have your book thoroughly proofread and edited. Yes, it's costly, but this form of entertainment is the best in the world because the cinematic event happens right in the center of the reader's brain, so do it justice.

Q.9 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
Yes. Now when that happens, I take those lovely girls of mine for a walk - sometimes we even jog; three leads going hither and thither, not to mention all those legs!! - and clear my head... get away from the story for a while, or start fiddling with other ideas. It's in those moments when you aren't trying that things have a magical habit of falling into place.

Q.10 What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
The cover went through a huge stage of metamorphosis. In fact, the original idea I had shelved completely and came up with four options for GateKeeper Press to go with. 

It cost, but I wasn't going to have anything less than something that stood out from the pack. After all, with 4 million books adding to the oceanic depths of works already existing yearly, every stride you take must be the best you can achieve.

Q.11 Does your family support your career as a writer?
That's a funny one. My immediate family reads quite a bit, but I'm pretty much alone on this, and that's okay. Not everyone will have a huge supportive network, so you get on with things. Life's too precious to get bent out of shape over such matters.

Q.12 How did you select the name of your characters?
You know, names of characters for me are one of the hardest things, and I often scribble down names I see in movie credits. Yep - it's very scientific.

Q.13 What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I'm an earlier riser - then again, since I need as much beauty sleep as I can grab, you'll usually find me off in La-La Land by around 9AM. I find the best times for me, when the creativity hits those elusive spikes, are first thing in the morning and around 6PM... it's then a case of rattling the keys like Elton John used to do when Crocodile Rock was first doing it for the masses.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
Besides what most authors do by keeping a notepad and pen by the bedside - why is it that those great thoughts happen right at the wrong time when the sandman is knocking on the door? 

I do tend to rock back and forth in my chair. It's one of those quirky things that could be added to the very first question of this interview; I have always found the sensation of being on a swing extremely liberating for my creative inner being. It somehow charges me up.

Q.15 How do you come up with the name of your books?
That is a process I take as seriously as every other aspect of my work. For example, why Kaleidoscopic Shades? Monique Snyman has described it as a genre-bender. And many have likened it to the works of Stephen King in both the writing style of character development and Twin Peaks, Alice in Wonderland, and the Twilight Zone, which is precisely the hidden gem behind the title.

Q.16 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
As I work with many women across generations, I absorb what they have to say. I don't hold to it that men are from Mars and women from Venus; the world is enriched by both sexes, by the orientations of people, and by cultures. A global phenomenon that forms a harmonious frequency providing you're tuned into it.

Q.17 Did you do any kind of research for this book?
Lots. Isn't it funny that you might not have expected that in a work of fiction such as this genre-cosmopolitan? But, whilst I live in Adelaide, I have literally walked the streets and gotten to know the background of Corona on such an intimate level through Google; it is my desire to live there someday.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
A. Einstein
, Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Janis Joplin, Karen Carpenter, all the track and field athletes both present and past... I could go on and on. Why? Because their insights would begin turning lights on inside my head which currently remains in darkness. Then again, it doesn't take fame to be a wealth of enlightenment.

Q.19 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
It begins as vignettes that float about in space like planets forming in a new solar system. As they come together, they begin to coalesce. Again it harks back to having a pen and paper always at the ready. For me, there's no sequential method; as ideas form, they are developed and may or may not make the grade. The director's cut if you like.

Q.20 Share the experience of your writing journey so far?
It has been an absolute delight connecting with so many people from all corners of the planet. The journey is far from over, and with each stride, I get a little closer to understanding, both excitingly and profoundly, that there is no finish line.

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