[LIFE] The Write Stuff: Neal Litherland Has An E-Book Online

The Write Stuff: Neal Litherland Has An E-Book Online
by Mike Siroky
The Write Stuff: Neal Litherland Has An E-Book Online
by Mike Siroky
Neal Litherland is one of those writers who considers every event in his life an opportunity for a story.
So it is not surprising his latest book is both online-only and came about in a roundabout way as he was on his way somewhere else.
He works for the publisher, Jupiter Gardens, as an editor. Even how he came to be there is interesting.
“I was hanging out in Chicago with some friends and was looking for work to pay the bills and one of them mentioned Jupiter Gardens. I asked if they had any openings and they did and I applied,” he said.
“When they sent me the contract, I asked if I would still be eligible to submit stories. I was. So I took the job.”
Spin ahead a little and he notices a writers’ call for a six-story anthology with young people as the target audience.
He submitted “Summer People” and was rejected. But the publisher liked it well enough that they want to issue it as a stand-alone “Paranormal Romance” novella. And so it is online, offered through Amazon.com, among others.
It has a virtual cyberspace cover like any traditional work of fiction.
The main character, Bethany, starts out to get a job and get away from home for the last summer before college. Her aunt’s café seems like the perfect place.
Of course that was before she met Sean, with his angel’s voice and devil’s eyes. And it was before Danny, who keeps paying mysterious calls, came into her life. It might be her last summer as a girl, but does she want to become a woman with a man that has secrets?
That is the synopsis.
“I did some self-publishing a while ago, so this is not my first published work,” Litherland said.
“Though this one is only available electronically. You just pay for download to wherever you’re at to whatever device you use.”
He marvels at the two-sided considerations of traditional publishing vs. e-books.
“The Porter County (library) system has e-books,” Litherland said. “So it will be in the library.
“The thing I’ve learned about a physical, traditional book is that is sort of the top of the mountain of publishing. You’re lucky to get there.”
He said he noticed three separate calls for writers for anthologies.
“There was ‘Boys of Summer’ and I didn’t make that collection,” he said.
“This one was submitted for ‘Summer Fling Romance.’
“I really do not consider myself a romance writer yet here I am as a romance writer.”
He also said he does not classify himself as a writer for “Young Adult,” yet here he is in that classification as well. Finally, writing from the voice of a young girl as another new perspective, which Litherland calls “amusing” when he thinks about all of it.
“Even though the main character is a young girl, there is nothing objectionable,” he said.  “:I would say it is an Interesting experience to try and see things from a teenager girl’s point of view, as a male writer.”
He did interject a hidden treat for local readers, using one setting that is an easily-recognized Valparaiso coffee shop.
Once he began in earnest, he did not pay particular attention to word or page counts, saying there is great leeway in such things in books.
“It is evidently a short long piece or a very long short story, but it was a ball as a writer,” Litherland said.
As an author, it is most difficult, he said, identifying if you have a base of readers and then building on one.
 “In a non-fiction background, real people don’t actually know you,” he observes.
He started his post-high school career at Valparaiso University and eventually transferred to and graduate form Indiana University Northwest.
His degree is in Criminal Justice, which means “I can work in law enforcement or corrections,” he said. But he long before knew he wanted to write when he attempted a first novel at age 13.
“I just now found my voice,” Litherland said. “One of the most important things a writer can do is find his unique voice.
“Once you got it you can just run with.”
He is already at work on his next anthology submission, with an “End of Days” theme, due out in December.
He calls that a “post-apocalyptic romance.”
“I had to write it 15 times before it would work,” he said. “Of all the short stories I have written, this one is definitely not for younger readers.”
And, next year, he will submit to a call for “Bad Romance.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s