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Monday, February 6, 2017

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

On Writing, Part 2: Writing With ADHD




I was twelve years old, standing beneath a gray sky in Berkeley, California. Beside me, my mother wants to take my hand but is trying to respect that I'm too old for it. She stands there, in front of the student med clinic at her alma matter of UC Berkeley. She is taking several deep breaths, on the verge of happy tears. After so many years of disruptive behavior, and questions with no answers, I have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder. At last, things made sense.

(c) Grey Brechin

After a few moments of contemplation, my mother looks at me and says; "We don't have to do it, you know."
"Do what?"
"Medicate you."
Mom saw what certain medications did to other kids. She likened it getting lobotomized.
It was a no-win situation. The medication the doctors were advising, Ritalin, would mute me. Without it, I'd be a hyperactive nightmare for my parents. But I'd keep my imagination. I turned down the medication.
Giving me the choice was one of the best things my mother ever did for me.

Attention Deficit Disorder is a learning disability that makes paying attention to one thing very difficult, almost impossible unless it's highly stimulating (like a video game). It's a TV in your mind that is always changing channels, and you are not in control of the remote. The hyperactive variation means the channel changes once every second. People who deal with it suffer from low self-esteem and struggle to form positive relationships (check and check).

TWEET THIS: WHAT IS ADHD AND HOW CAN IT MAKE YOU A BETTER WRITER


It can also be a tremendous boon to creativity because your imagination never stops going.
But sitting down to write, focus that creativity into a single objective can feel like a slow death.

I've been living with ADHD for almost thirty years. I've written and published, a number of shorts over the years, learning to tame the disorder to a point where I can work. Here's how you can succeed as a writer ADHD.

Make Time For Your Writing

The mind craves routine. When you first attempt this, it may be like trying to hold lightning in your hands, but as you get used to it, your mind will acclimate, and then anticipate that the time you set aside is solely for the writing process.

Keep The Browser Closed

Oh, internet, you wonderful, beautiful time sink with your adorable, hilarious gifs and memes and tweets and Facebooking. You have enough open browsers in your mind (it took me three tries just to write this sentence), so minimize the distractions and keep your browsers closed.

Block Out The World

Seriously. No phone, no notifications, no nothing. Music may help the process along. Don't let anything get between you and what must be done. Which brings me to my final point.

Focus!

Ryu learns to focus
One of my favorite animes, Street Fighter 2 V, had Ryu in a temple trying to learn Hadoken. He could see his ki firing over the place like random bullets. He realized these were his intentions, and that he had ''too many thoughts, too many questions". He realized that he could focus these intentions into a single attack and fired off Hadoken. It's the best analogy I can think of for sitting down and getting the job done. You have no distractions, nothing to get in the way at this point except what's in your own mind. What are you here to write? Bring your mind to that. Again you may find yourself wrestling the lightning, but it does get easier over the time. Bring your focus to the project at hand, and focus only on that. Then, put your fingers to the keyboard and trust the process. Living with ADHD doesn't get any easier over time, but it can be a boon if you allow it. I've been writing as long as I've been contending with this disorder, and thanks to these tips, a lot of trial and error and my wonderful mother, I'm better for it.



TWEET THIS: FOUR WAYS ADHD CAN MAKE YOU A BETTER WRITER

Thanks for reading.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

On Writing, Part 1: Respecting the Craft

Welcome to my new series on the writing process "On Writing" because I couldn't think of a better title for the time being. I've been an indie author for eight years and in that time, I've been a ghostwriter, writing consultant, both traditionally and self-published author, and above all else, a tremendous screw-up. 
Right now, I'm working on the final draft of my first real novel "Agoura Hills". Inspired by actual events, this is the story of two kids who get to the bottom of a centuries-old mystery when tragedy strikes close to home. As I wind down the process I'll share my many, many screwups and hopefully triumphs. Hopefully you gain something from them and if not, well, maybe I can make you laugh. 
Enjoy.


I've had pictures in my head--whether I wanted them or not--for as long as I could remember. Writing wasn't really a means of expression as it was a way to quell the voices in my head. Sometimes, they'd scream. Then, I got older and found out I could use writing to inject myself into my favorite stories and suddenly it became escapism.

No one will ever, ever read those. I'm hoping my mother burned them.

Like a lot of other creatures, I was cursed with an overflow of voices of "logic" and "reason" telling me that we didn't need anymore starving artists, that I needed to find something that had a "sure future". I'm sure some of those people, like dad, meant well.

I tried to the normal life and it drove me crazy. I write not because I necessarily want too, though I do. I write because it quells the noise in my head.

So imagine my surprise when people start telling me my writing is good. One person even compared me to Shakespeare.
But last year, I reached the zenith.

A friend of mine posted to Facebook, commenting that I was doing well for myself. Sure enough, Amazon had included my new release, a short story (!) in their newsletter because first week sales were through the roof. When I published a novel to Kobo later that year, it stayed in their top fifty for weeks.

You know the problem with being really high up there? The fall hurts.
After so many years of hearing what a waste my writing was and how I'd never make it, I felt like I could do no wrong. I could publish anything and it would be a hit (Shut up. I know.). So I quit caring so much. I relaxed (too much). I went through the same routine and published a lot of complete and total shit over the last year. I figured it was better to stay in the public eye than publish good stuff.

I KNOW!!!


The original cover to Reclamation.
I added a subplot one week before release.
That's when I knew it had to go.
A better version is coming at the end of the year.


You know what? I eventually pulled almost everything I wrote, too. Especially the novel. Poor workmanship. I could have--should have--done so much better.

I've learned, especially over the last year, that if you want your writing to be successful, you really have to treat it like a job and hold yourself accountable. You have to respect the craft. Or it will kick your ass.

So thus far, this is what I've done to ensure I do better work.

1). Write (Almost) Every Day.
Writing isn't a painless process. I feel like I've run miles when it's over. Sometimes I'm left with a headache. Bleeding onto the page? That's me. The process is both a relief and a trial by fire. I don't do it, I go insane. I do it, I'm wiped out.
So I write Monday through Friday for a few hours--and then I stop. Sometimes I could keep going, but I stop anyway. Right now it's just about establishing the habit, getting my mind used to the process. Then I'll try to be Superman.

2). More Productive, Less Busy.
I don't want to spend entire days killing my brain in hopes of getting that one scene right. I have time (God willing). I'd rather spend a few hours working, refining, getting things ready to publish, and then the rest of the day seeing to my other obligations. Eight hours of poor work isn't as good as four hours of good work.

3). Get Out Of Your Own Head.
I spend most of my time on social media in groups, rather than posting my own random stuff all the time. I make sure to stay on top of my email (turns out there was son good stuff in there). In the last four days alone I've become aware of more opportunities than I learned of all last year. You can't create in a vacuum, but you what you allow in.

The funny thing is, no matter how good Agoura Hills turns out to be, I still expect to lose money. It's my first real outing, I'm not going to pull it (I won't have too, it's a good story). There are no overnight successes, and you don't start to see real results until you have a backlist--and you have to be damn good at what you do.

So this is my journey. Thanks a lot for reading, tagging along, and there's anything you want me to tackle, let me know in the comments.




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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

Simon & Schuster is WRONG.


I'm familiar with Milo Yiannopolous. Personally, I think he's a used airplane barf bag who's very good at what he does. Do I agree with what he says? HELL no. Do I (begrudgingly) respect his right to express whatever opinion he wants? I did, up until recently. And I still do, but I don't think we should encourage it. I think he should be relegated to the spot underneath someone's shoe where the rest of that sort of thinking belongs. 


Also, I don't think Simon and Schuster gives a damn about hate speech. They care about cash-speech, and they should; they're a business, and a business' job is to make money. Like it or not, the used barf bag has a huge following and these people are willing to part with their hard-earned dollars to hear what he has to say. Do I agree with it? Hell no! Do I respect their right to spend their money how they see fit, including on this guy? Absolutely. 

It would be foolish to think that the execs over at Simon and Schuster didn't sit down and converse amongst themselves about the backlash this deal would represent. They figured that the benefits would outweigh the negativity, and they made an offer. 

That is horrible to think about.

This guy has made a living railing against everything America stands for; diversity, equality, and prosperity for all, but you know what? People want to hear what he has to say. So let's make money off of that. The bad press will die off eventually. Hell, the book will probably launch at number one because of it. 

I had a hard time writing that because that thought process is utterly reprehensible, and pretty much puts on display what made last year such a bust. Not only will bad behavior get you rewarded, it'll make you rich.

I could see both sides of this argument, but you have to come to a point where you realize this is wrong, and it has to be stopped. Maybe you can't stop it, but you can make your opinion known. That's what the internet is for. 

It's no longer enough to say I don't support this and take no action against it.

YOU CANNOT SAY YOU DO NOT LIKE GUNS AND THEN PUT ONE IN THE HANDS OF SOMEONE KNOWN TO USE IT RECKLESSLY. 

I do believe that every human being should be afforded the exact same rights and opportunities as anyone else, and I don't understand why this is such a hard concept to grasp. No matter what people like Barf Bag say, gender and color don't make a damn bit of difference when it comes to who a person is. 

So this is me, a little, unknown indie author, adding my opinion to the pile. Simon and Schuster is WRONG for backing this book. They are WRONG for rewarding this divisive sack of rotten flesh for his hate speech. And they are WRONG for magnifying the platform from which he can spew hate.

Diversity and respect to the First Amendment is one thing. But when it begins to encroach on the rights and sense of security of others, it crosses a line and it's time we faced up to that. 

I will not be purchasing any Simon and Schuster Books, or books from their imprints, for the foreseeable future. 




Thanks for reading, especially this because taking a stand is not easy.
Avery K. Tingle “The Gamer Author” is the author of sci-fi/romance the Anniversary. Titles are available on Nook and Kobo too. If you’re new to Kobo, you can get the novel for free!
Agoura Hills, YA mystery thriller, is due out early 2017.



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Friday, December 30, 2016

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

I Deal With Mental Illness, And I'm Okay With That.



Yesterday, I suffered the worst panic attack I've had in over a year.
It felt like a bomb went off on my chest, immediately followed by a fist closing around my heart. I had trouble breathing. For a moment I thought I was having a heart attack. I almost called 911.

I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. I take Trazedone, once per night, to manage the latter. It's helped. These are conditions I'll likely have for the rest of my life, and I've made peace with that.

Mental illness should never be stigmatized, and no one should suffer both the symptoms and people telling them to "get over it". I hope that if anything is to be learned from the recent passing of Carrie Fisher, it's that mental illness should be brought to light and addressed, not demonized. This is who we are. Trying to belittle us is only going to make things worse, not better. There is no "getting over it". We deal with it as best we can. Please don't make it harder on us. 

Ask instead if there's anything you can do to help. Chances are we'll be grateful for it.

On the plus side, it's really cool when people say you're crazy and you actually are.

Thanks for reading.

Avery K. Tingle “The Gamer Author” is the author of sci-fi/romance the Anniversary. Titles are available on Nook and Kobo too. If you’re new to Kobo, you can get the novel for free!
Agoura Hills, YA mystery thriller, is due out early 2017.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

LG V20 Reviewed

I don't need a phone to do much; it just needs to do everything.

It needs to be a writing tool.
It needs to run my Playstation emulator. 
It needs to play music like I'm in a concert hall.
Oh, and the battery needs to last a ridiculously long time.

So when it came time to upgrade my phone, I nearly returned to Samsung despite the recent, explosive debacle. I still have the first Galaxy they ever released, so the loyalty runs deep. But the S7 was too small for my hands, and the LG V10 had been good to me, so I went for the upgrade. 


The LG V20
The first thing you notice is how smoothly this phone operates, right out of the box. LG smartly moved the volume to the side of the phone. The uncomfortable layout of the LG V10 is a thing of the past, and that's the first of many improvements. 

Once I loaded up my apps, games, and music, I put the phone through the gauntlet.
As a writing tool, the phone is excellent, though the smooth finish tends to cause the phone to slip in your hands. Typing is like playing a game boy, and while I prefer Swiftkey, there are no issues with the default keyboard. Switching between apps, going between OneNote to Jotterpad, is quick and easy. I hammered out about five hundred words in notes without struggling. It doesn't make me forget the Galaxy lines, but for writing, the phone works.

I couldn't believe how long the phone lasted once I loaded my emulator onto it. I keep a lot of Playstation games on hand because you never know when one's gonna need to get their old school Star Ocean or Final Fantasy on. I played FF7 for a good three hours, with no apps running in the background, and from a full charge,  the battery fell to eighty-two percent.

That's unheard of. 

I've had the phone a little under a week, and the average full charge lasts about a ten hours. I'm up at six, down at eleven, and maybe I'm down to fifteen percent. As with any emulator, the phone gets a little warm during long play sessions, but as of yet, I haven't seen my battery suffer for it. 



The Playstation collection. Part of it, anyway.

LG touted the sound capabilities of its flagship phone from the moment they announced it, so I was looking for a reason to make them eat their words. 
I was wrong. 
In fact, the sound quality on the LG V20 was so good that I'm rethinking Bluetooth headphones. There is a noticeable drop in quality when you're not hardwired. But when you are hardwired, no phone produces better sound, period. 

Which takes me to the final, wonderful surprise;

Wenatchee, Washington. Ain't it a sight?


Ye gods, this camera!
The LGV20 sports dual, 16-megapixel cameras which, as it turns out, makes all the difference in the world when taking photos. This is the clearest picture of a winter sun I've ever taken and I can't wait to try the night sky. 

I'm not ready to hail this as the best phone I've ever used, but I have yet to find any glaring flaws. If I want to take down a quick note before I hit the sack or listen to music at dangerously high levels, the phone delivers. I'm curious to see how it'll hold up when the Samsung Galaxy-E series comes out.

Thanks for reading.

Avery K. Tingle “The Gamer Author” is the author of sci-fi/romance the Anniversary. Titles are available on Nook and Kobo too. If you’re new to Kobo, you can get the novel for free!
Agoura Hills, YA mystery thriller, is due out early 2017.





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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

Remembering Carrie Fisher

I barely remember seeing Empire Strikes Back. I was a child, and what stuck out the most was the battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in the bowels of Bespin.

I remember Return of the Jedi a lot more. I was too young to appreciate the sex appeal of Carrie Fisher's slave outfit. What I remember most vividly was when she grasped her chain, leaped behind Jabba the Hut and proceeded to strangle the life out of him. To this day, it's one of the most powerful scenes I've ever seen in any film. It took everything she had, and it wore her down, but she would not let go until that fat bastard was dead.

Leia wasn't a passive leader. She was out there on Endor, in the thick of things with Han and the Rebel Alliance. This was my introduction to the female superhero.

Go ahead. Shoot at me again.

It wasn't until she died that I realized how profoundly I'd been struck by her portrayal of Princess Leia. Today, I still have a hard time reconciling her with what one thinks when it comes to the traditional Princess. Thanks to her, I've never viewed women as weak or a "lesser gender". Quite the opposite; the "lesser gender" will choke the shit out of you if you push them far enough

Shhh Go To Sleep

I saw her in a couple of other films, but like a lot of people, Star Wars stuck. I know she wrote books, but again, Star Wars stuck. I laughed my ass off when I read that she used to have sex with Princess Leia fans. I missed a major opportunity in life. Not that I would've had a chance anyway, but let a man dream.

You know, when I read that, though, it hit me; this woman overcame so much to get to where she got to in life. And she absolutely did not give a damn what the haters thought of her. There was no insult you could piss her off with, no shade you could throw her way because she'd looked in the mirror and faced down every little bit of darkness that stared back at her. And she came through smiling on the other side.

We may not see a life lived freer for quite some time.

The loss of Carrie Fisher is painful not just because we lose an icon, but because we lose an example of how life should be lived; freely, with love and laughter, and brutal honesty in all facets of existence.

But her work is completed now, and I hope she knew how much we loved her at the end.


May The Force Be With Her. 




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Friday, December 23, 2016

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

"Run" A Free Short Thriller, Is Now Available!

"RUN" A FREE SHORT THRILLER, IS NOW AVAILABLE!
Pursued by soldiers, a child attempts to escape what remains of her war-torn city.


This is a FREE SHORT THRILLER. All proceeds received will be donated to Rescue. org to benefit the victims of Aleppo. You can donate by either purchasing from Amazon or by going here.
The link will take you the store of your choice. Nook and Kobo versions should be available shortly.
Thank you for reading, your help, and have a wonderful holiday season.

--Avery K. Tingle
The Gamer Author
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Monday, December 19, 2016

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

Introducing "Run"



Run: A young girl sneaks through what remains of her village, evading soldiers as she tries to reunite with her parents.

Run is a short story that will drop for all e-readers on December 23, 2016.

One hundred percent of all donations received for this story will be presented to rescue.org to benefit the victims of what's happening in Aleppo. This story will be free of charge. If you purchase it from Amazon, the proceeds will be given to Rescue.org.

Links will be posted on Friday.

Happy holidays and thanks for reading!

Avery K. Tingle “The Gamer Author” is the author of sci-fi/romance the Anniversary. Titles are available on Nook and Kobo too. If you’re new to Kobo, you can get the novel for free!

Agoura Hills, YA mystery thriller, is due out early 2017.


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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

What Unites Us. Part 2

A long time ago, in a state far, far away (Michigan) I was doing security in a small town called Pigeon. No, I'm not making that up. It's in what's locally referred to as the Thumb area. The neighboring town is called Bad Axe.

By then, I'd been there long enough to know; small town people were some of the most loyal people in the country, and I'd been well-acquainted with the term "colored".

Pigeon, Michigan. I don't remember it being so conglomerated.


So at the processing plant, there was one person, in particular, I'll never forget. I won't say his name. I will say he wasn't shy about letting me know, each and every single night, how he felt about having a black person work in the office.

I hated this guy.

I don't mean that as a euphemism. I mean I literally hated this man. I caught his crap night, after night, after night. These nights dragged into months. It got to the point where, if I even saw him, I'd be irate. My chest would get hot. I couldn't unclench fists if I wanted too. Plus, back then I was still fighting, so I had vivid fantasies about exactly how I could send him to his end.

One night, he emerged from the office with something new to say. When I got up, I was telling myself that I was going to be somewhere he wasn't, but honestly I wasn't sure what I was going to do.

But then, in mid-insult, the man has an episode, seizes his chest and falls to the ground. After a moment, he's still.

I froze.
I stood over him and as I write this, I'm telling you, I would have been happy to let him die right there. Doing anything to save his life wasn't within even my jib description. I would not have lost a moment's sleep if he'd simply expired, right then and there.

But.

I believe in God. But even if I didn't, I believe in karma, and I really wasn't interested in how I'd be repaid for letting this giant flaming racist die right in front of me.

I can't tell you how I was screaming at myself as I got on my knees and began chest compressions. I did manage to start his breathing back up by the time the ambulance got there.

He pulled through.

After that, he avoided me, completely. I didn't see him for a few weeks after he returned.
When I did see him, he wouldn't make eye contact.
It was another few weeks before he began to say hi. The first time he did it, I was so shocked that I looked around to see who he was talking too.

Then, one day, he walked up to me and we spoke. Honestly, spoke. We opened up to one another. I was amazed we were actually having that conversation, considering he had once alluded to every wrong name under the sun when addressing me and I had thought how best to feed him his own guts. But here we were, talking, laughing, and...enjoying each other's company.

I can claim faith and all that when I think about why I revived him, but the honest truth is, I really couldn't tell you what was going through my head when I did that. It was mostly me yelling at myself; "ARE YOU CRAZY?!"

But in the end, what it became was two people who hated one another for all the wrong reasons found common ground. He never thanked me, nor apologized, but when I left that job he did shake my hand.

Thanks for reading.

Avery K. Tingle “The Gamer Author” is the author of sci-fi/romance the Anniversary. Titles are available on Nook and Kobo too. If you’re new to Kobo, you can get the novel for free!
Agoura Hills, YA mystery thriller, is due out early 2017.
  
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Monday, December 12, 2016

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

What Unites Us

A couple lifetimes ago, I was homeless in San Francisco. These were the days before Internet was mainstream, when benefits were a lot easier to get but a roof was difficult to come by. Survival was an adventurous, day-to-day prospect.

If you ventured out to Seventh and Market back then, in the heart of vampire territory known as the Tenderloin, you'd find yourself at a Carl's Jr. You may know it as Hardee's. This place was distinct for being open twenty four hours a day, having security, and actually needing security.


Twenty years ago, this was Carl's Jr. I'm not sure what it is now, but I know it's not open all night anymore.

Back then I was known as Kermit. I was this nineteen year old kid who knew karate, dammit, and therefore felt invincible.

Yeah,

I had no idea.

I had been taken in by this ragtag group that hung out in Carl's Jr. every night. There was Chad; ex Air Force, mellow, I most likened him to Guile from Street Fighter. That guy never raised his voice, could take a shot from Tyson and had the fastest spinning backhand I've ever seen.

Christian was a tall, lanky goth who was always smiling and to the uninitiated, had death in his eyes. Bonafide, proud atheist. He fought to end the fight, not to enjoy it. Once he was committed, he was putting you down. And he would indeed put you on your back.

Terry had been bit by a bus years ago, and half of him didn't work. You'd think that would've hindered him. It didn't.

Dude threw his left hand like it didn't matter. He would knock people out cold with it.

I...may or may not have been one of those people. But this isn't about me.

There were others; a child sex abuse victim, a prostitute trying to turn it around, a woman who was quite proud of her HIV-negative status, a Tae Kwon Do black belt white tried his damndest to keep his bisexuality in the closet. We were quite the group, interchangeable but loyal.

Then there was Dee.
He was the only one of us who actually worked there. He had the calmest demeanor I've ever seen in someone. He was huge, built like a sumo, but the exact opposite of slow. Aikido expert.

I made the mistake of challenging him one too many times. I have fond memories of that flight.

Dee was also devoutly Muslim in the time before 9/11.

One year, just before the holidays, Dee got us together in the restaurant and proposed the idea of Christmas dinner. Strange, I thought, knowing nothing of Muslims at the time, I didn't think his people celebrated Christmas. Anyway, he told us that anyone tho put in gets to eat.
He then pointed at me and said, "I don't care if you're homeless and you ain't got no job. You don't put in, you don't eat."

Talk about motivation. I hustled my ass off that day. I banged on all the change machines and pulled that old 'I lost my dollar' scam, did whatever little odd jobs I could find, you name it. By the end of the day I had seven bucks to show for it. Just to make me sweat, Dee didn't take it right away.

When Christmas rolled around, we had the most wonderfully ghetto dinner you could imagine. McDonald's, KFC, the questionable Chinese food place across the street, whatever Carl's Jr had kicked in... We'd brought together three tables to fit all the food.

Then Dee demanded that we all rise, join hands, bow our heads, and pray.

Everyone complied except green, confused me. "With all respect," I said, "I don't believe in the God you do."
He looked at me like I was stupid.
"I don't care. Pray to who believe in."
And so we did. We each of us held hands and gave thanks.

There you had it. A Muslim, an Agnostic, a Christian, an Atheist, and people who didn't typically give a damn about such things held hands, bowed heads, and said thanks in our own way.
And then we smashed the food.

There are far more things that unite us, than what divides us. It's important, in these most turbulent times, to remember that, and seek it out.

Happy Holidays.

Thanks for reading.

Avery K. Tingle “The Gamer Author” is the author of sci-fi/romance the Anniversary. Titles are available on Nook and Kobo too. If you’re new to Kobo, you can get the novel for free!

Agoura Hills, YA mystery thriller, is due out early 2017.
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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Avery K Tingle, The Gamer Author

The Road To Agoura Hills

About a year ago, a friend of mine told me about the hundreds of people across the country who go missing each year in our national parks. In a moment of sheer hubris, I told him I could figure it out.

Sure; a mystery that's been going on for decades, but I'm gonna be the one to put it together. Humility wasn't one of my strengths.

Of course, I was only able to put together the slightest bits of info, but I have far more qualified friends. So I asked them to look into it.

That's when things got weird.

All I kept hearing about was the unbreakable wall that no one had been able to get through when it came to looking at these disappearances. For whatever reason, law enforcement did not want to discuss the issue. At all.

Which begged the question; just what the hell is happening to people out there?

The reports strain the limits of plausibility. People aren't just disappearing; some of them reappear, miles away from where they were taken in a relatively short time. No one seems to have an explanation for this. The missing can't recall what happened.

People don't just disappear. Something happens to them, and no one wants to talk about it.

So I approached Agoura Hills with the idea of telling a thriller; people are going missing, but if you read the prequel Agoura Territory, you'll at least have an idea why. The question these characters face is, can they stop it from happening again?

This is the most difficult story I've ever undertaken because these characters are not like me. The central character, fourteen at the time, is logical, timid, and very forward thinking. No one will ever call me those things. So writing a personality that doesn't so much sync with mine and making it plausible has been a challenge.

Agoura Hills could be small town USA. Everyone knows each other, grew up together, looks out for one another--and keeps each other's secrets. There isn't a soul who lives in Agoura Hills who does not have some idea as to what's going on, and watching them wrestle with the morality of their choices has been both gut wrenching and fun.

Both the first drafts of Agoura Hills and Agoura Territory are done, and the second drafts are underway. I'm trying to have them out on all e-readers and in print early next year.


Thanks for reading.

Avery K. Tingle "The Gamer Author" is the author of sci-fi/romance the Anniversary. Titles are available on Nook and Kobo too. If you’re new to Kobo, you can get both stories for free!
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