Today I am so pleased to welcome M.D. Neu to Joyfully Jay. M.D. has come to talk to us about his latest release, Volaria. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving him a big welcome!

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M.D. has brought some questions and answers to share with us today! 

Thank you to Joyfully Jay for allowing me to stop by today and talk to you about my new book, Volaria. Today I thought I would answer some questions about the story and why I’m so excited about this new book:

Why did you write a Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy Mashup?

Why not? I know there are some Sci-Fi and Urban Fantasy mashups out there, but I’ve never read anything like Volaria. The story is set in the future, about 100 plus years or so from now, and space travel is as common as hopping on a plane today and going to Hawaii. In this book, we see the future that we have been talking about longer than most of us have been alive. We have cities on the moon, and Mars has colonies as well. But in this future, something caused humans to change (they refer to this change as The Shift), there are now vampires, arcanes and lycans living among us. And this causes a whole new set of problems that we get to explore via our characters.

Take our current issues with bigotry and racism, amp it up, and you will see what some of the people in Volaria deal with.

 

Who are the characters that we follow in this story?

For this story I decided to focus on two characters.

First, we have Tobin. He’s in his late thirties and lives in San Jose, California (for anyone familiar with my writing, you know most of my stories take place in Silicon Valley). Tobin is our everyman. He lives and works a typical office job. He has a sister, and he’s got some close friends, including an arcane and a lycan. He’s far from perfect and I did something I’ve not done before. I gave him some mental health issues that are front and center in the story. Tobin lives with depression and anxiety, however, in the story we learn that he is working on improving his mental health.

This plot point is something I’m proud of and quite glad I included. It is also something we see addressed in a matter-of-fact way. There is no shame or hiding. These health-related issues are treated in an open and honest way, which I feel is extremely important. There is no sweeping these illnesses under the rug or concealing them away from the public.

Our second character is Malifo. He’s our dark sexy vampire (and I love him). Malifo is a man not to be messed with. He doesn’t so much enjoy killing people, but if you piss him off, he’s coming for you and he has nothing but time. Malifo has a home on the moon, where at one point in time the vampires of Earth were going to move to, to create their own community and get out from under the yoke of the humans and the UN Government. Although Malifo appears to have it all, he has his baggage as well, which was fun to play with.

These two characters are our focus in the story. There are several other characters that populate the story and have significant roles. However, with Tobin and Malifo, we see life in this future through very different eyes. Who knows if they will end up together in the end?

 

Speaking of characters ending up together, is there a romance in the story?

Let me say this: there is fate and destiny that bring our characters together.

 

Who is your favorite character to write in this story?

Malifo, hands down. He was a blast to write and create. Don’t get me wrong, Tobin was a peach to write and I adore everything about Tobin. In fact, I relate mostly to Tobin. However, Malifo gets to do and say a lot of things that I wish I could do and say, plus he’s smart and sexy. And that is something that is always enjoyable to write for. Oh, and did I mention he gets to live on the moon… I mean, that is way cool.

 

What are you most proud about this book?

What I’m the proudest of, when it comes to Volaria, are the topics I tackled in this book. In my opinion, we don’t see enough about mental health issues addressed and the struggles that people face on a daily basis. How every day can be a challenge for someone dealing with trauma, or depression, or anxiety and yet a majority of us go through this and typically say nothing.

Another big topic I hit on (quite hard as a matter of fact) is bigotry and racism. I’m so frustrated with who we are and who we have become. When are we going to finally start treating each other with dignity and respect? Why must we continue to fight each other over stupid pettiness? So, yep, I tackle that in the book as well and it’s something I’m quite proud of.

One other item that I address in this book, as well as all my books, is all my characters are more mature, they tend to be in their thirties. Why is it adventure and romance are only for the young? It’s like, once you hit 25, you might as well crawl into a cave and vanish, especially in the queer community. I know this is starting to change, but we need to move this change along.

I hope you’ll enjoy Volaria. In the mean time you can find me on BookBub, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on my website at www.mdneu.com.


Blurb

volaria coverHumans are no longer alone; they have been joined by Arcanes, Lycans, and Vampires. It’s been over a hundred years since the Earth went through The Shift. Where once almost eight billion humans lived, the population now holds at four billion. But that wasn’t the only change.

No one anticipated the branching of human DNA to produce new species of humans. Arcanes, Lycans, and Vampires are hidden throughout the genome, awaiting puberty before they manifest distinctly unhuman abilities. Finally, the new species of man were welcomed. No longer studied or treated as outcasts by most. People accepted these new humans and they integrated into society, albeit not easily. This allowed the UN Government to focus on colonizing space, in order to secure a future for all.

Risks remain however, permitting a vampire to feed from you can cause shared memories. Tobin Corsian took such a risk. He resides in a newly reopened district of San Jose, California, where his family’s old home stood. He lives there with his friend Mikel, a Lycan, and his dog Begger. Instead of making his mandatory monthly blood donation at the government blood bank for the vampire community, Tobin decides, with the help of his therapist, to visit Biter, a vampire spa.

The spa allows vampires to feed from humans directly while providing spa and sexual services, granting the donor a three-month reprieve from their required donations. Tobin’s encounter at Biter opens a window to his past and an experience he had as a child on the moon. Questions abound as he tries to unravel his past and make sense of his life.

Warnings: This is a dark tale and does not have a Happy Ending, It’s not a bad ending, just not a happy ending.

Universal Buy Link: https://mybook.to/volaria


Bio

M.D. Neu bio photoM.D. Neu is an international award-winning inclusive queer 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 twenty plus years.


Giveaway

M.D. is giving away a couple free eBooks. Two winners – 1 free eBook copy of “The Calling” and 1 free eBook copy of “Contact” via Amazon.

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