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Neale Sourna is a Midwest USA author/publisher with a strong preference for and aptitude for great characters that generate unique stories with a powerful interpersonal and erotic nature.
Neale is an individual owner of three overlapping companies: writing for others as Neale Sourna’s Writing-Naked.com as a freelancer with worldwide clients (ghostwriting, creative writing, and editing of screenplays, game stories, short stories, novels, and more); publishing and marketing ebooks and print books (fiction and nonfiction) through PIE: Perception Is Everything [pie-percept.com]; and as Neale Sourna the writer, editor, design layout artist, marketer, publisher.
MO: What influenced your decision to get into the publishing and marketing aspect of the writing industry?
Neale: The interminable slowness, from months to year(s) each, of finding an agent, then finding an editor, then finding a publishing company for film and/or literature or separate ones for both paths; hoping they don’t move to another job or fold and have your projects locked in contract and unavailable to readers. I spent a solid year or so just absorbing from every avenue and searching online the kinds of publishing avenues there were: “traditional,” online, electronic, author publishing. I printed contracts to see what was “really” offered, what their costs and legal strengths and hamstrings, like a super long contract versus an open and easy to end one. Only one company survived my search: InfinityPublishing.com.
Watching how Infinity handled my print on demand (POD) needs and then watching the ebook company I chose, Overdrive.com, work on my books both showed me that I could do a lot of it myself, since I was good with handling long PC documents in corporate offices. I chose the most popular formats and found a great printer/distributor online, LightningSource.com at Ingrams, and I was good to go.
MO: What inspired your early interest in erotic literature? I know that for most women, Anais Nin, is the first encounter they have with erotica.
Neale: My mind was the first encounter! Actually, I was writing a romantic paranormal fantasy screenplay called FRAMES, which placed as a Finalist for the New Century Screenplay Contest. [http://www.neale-sourna.com/FRAMESintro.htm] The story required two major love scenes, each depicting the emotional and erotic relationship of one man with two different women: an evil witch and a powerful psychic. The bad and the good. The bad sex scene was easy to write and was tweaked only a little, while the good sex scene was written and written, relocated and rehauled about six times. I found that I was blocking writing the truly naughty stuff that goes on between lovers, just like a TV censor; but, when I let it flow, and just let it be on the page, it wrote itself. And I found I had a really fine knack for erotic literature, that I heard more great voices if I didn’t try to edit them BEFORE they told me what they were about!
MO: What does your creative process look like and how do you bring your ideas to life?
Neale: It varies. I’ve pieced together bits of this and that; I’ve had a double novel rough draft come to me, in story order, straight from the lead character’s voice and into my typing fingers—to the point where I had to tell my lead to “shut up and hold it until tomorrow,” so I could sleep. Literally.
I get inspiration by watching movies, TV, novels, and even my dreams. I have a bunch of handwritten (scribbled, scratched over with edits, too) notebook/journals. I prefer traditional journals that are already the size of a 6 x 9 book with blank, lineless paper stock. I transcribe into a word processing doc from my scanned PDFs of the journal pages; typing from my notes with the screen half PDF the other half my new doc.
I organize it, expand, delete. I edit and reedit, and distill until I’m happy; although I can forget I’m editing and get lost in the stories. I love to reread my stories; and I feel that if I don’t want to read them, why would anyone else…?
MO: How old were you when you wrote your first story and what was it about?
Neale: Everyone writes stuff for regular school but it always cramps your style and I could start strong but have no middle or end. They didn’t teach nor encourage that in class. In college, my scripts I wrote for screenwriting class were my first solid and fairly complete stories, or ones I could see the endings being sweet.
The first story, well, stories I wrote for pay, include one short screenplay with a kid lost in time and a full feature from another’s short stories, I was 34. The latter is a kid’s detective thriller, “Toy Guns … And Truth,” as a boy gets involved with a neighbor and best friend of his dad’s trying to find the man out in a crime and having it prove deadly dangerous [http://www.neale-sourna.com/Toys1.html]. The first story I sold to an established publisher, I was … older. :) and it went to Playgirl Magazine; “Hesitation,” published May 2005. [http://stories.neale-sourna.com/hesitation.html]
MO: How challenging has it been to balance being a writer, editor, design layout artist, marketer, publisher and blogger, all in one?
Neale: It’s a teeter totter; sometimes clunking from side to side, sometimes balanced just right. I have to remind myself from hat to hat to end projects, get it good, great even but there’s a point where “good enough” doesn’t mean badly done simply “publish the damn thing, already!” Because someone will want to read it.
MO: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Neale: Write what you want. Think and feel it through top to bottom, inside and out on as many levels as you can: emotional, intellectual, all the senses, how you feel about it, how someone else might feel when they read it, would an actor LOVE to play your character. There are so many writers stymied because someone’s telling them NOT to write something. Or HOW to write it. Write it. Your way. No matter what anyone or your own thoughts and feelings say in censorship. Write it, without editing. You can edit it, change it, correct it … LATER, or even delete it, if it is of no use; but, the story may not work properly without it, IF YOU NEVER WRITE IT.
Also, give your stories time to breathe, give them energy and the room for growth, or to be pruned ruthlessly. Make your stories intimate, real, and deep. And write with personality not just to some far away and constantly changing editorial rules. Writers write and craft stories; that’s your main rule.