Blogger news

Friday, February 20, 2015

Universal Warrior: The Ring of Asarra Version 3 is Now Available


I am very proud to announce that Version 3 of Universal Warrior: The Ring of Asarra is now live. Current readers, open your e-reader or app and you should automatically update to the new version.

New readers, click any of these links to pick up your own copy of the story for $1.79.

Revisions include;


  1. Most, if not all, formatting issues have been resolved, including the infamous "double scene" issue.
  2. Free preview of Era of the Scourge Book 2: "Warblooded"
  3. Free preview of science fiction romance "The Anniversary"
  4. General grammar and basic editing
For those of you new to the story, "Era of the Scourge" is a (minimum) four-part short story series that details the events of the Third World, before the split of nations. Centuries after the end of the Thunder Lizard conflict and the disappearance of Adam and Eve, four demigods are unleashed who quickly begin the extermination of all life on the planet. These demigods, avatars of War, Death, Plague, and Famine, would rule the third world for nearly a century and a half before finally being overthrown--at great cost--in Fall of the Scourge.

The Ring of Asarra focuses on Sephtis, an amnesiac who's been granted asylum with the Last Alliance as one of the last of his race.
But Sephtis is no amnesiac; in truth, he is Death Incarnate, one of the four Scourge. Originally sent to infiltrate the alliance, life with them has caused his allegiance to waver. His inner conflict becomes so severe that he can no longer live with his actions.
Rescued from a dire fate by the elven goddess Asarra, Sephtis is offered a choice; he can forfeit his powers, his birthright his destiny, and live as a mortal with the woman he loves as the Scourge complete their conquest of the Third World, or he can use his powers to turn the genocidal tide against his former brethren.

The story is available in e-book format at the following links;







Enjoy the story, look forward to more, and thanks for reading.


Monday, February 16, 2015

The Battle For Equal Rights




I grew up in San Francisco. Sometimes, I take that for granted.

The people I knew, and loved, were of all sorts; straight, gay, trans, hell, some of them didn't even know what they were by their own admission. The point is, they were all cool, so to me, it didn't matter. Someone I used to know, who called themselves "the most confused human being on Earth" had been born a man, undergone gender reassignment to become a woman, and in the middle of the reassignment, had the process reversed. To me, all of this was normal. I didn't even know there was animosity against homosexuality until my late teens, and then, I got into plenty of fights about it.

I am for equal rights of every human being on this planet, and the utter destruction of those who threaten those rights. It really, really doesn't matter what a person is, because the only thing that matters is that they are a person, who bleeds the same color as the rest of us, and as such they should have the same shot as anyone else at happiness.

In fact, I don't even understand why sexual identity or orientation even matter. It has no direct effect on my life, positive or negative. I still have to go to work the next day, so...whatever makes someone happy, good for them.

I wound up in a conversation with a young, passionate advocate of LGBT rights, and this person was angry. Justifiably so, in my opinion, considering how much hate is generated towards that community.

But I never really understood the rage until today. One thing this person was advocating for was the abolition of gender labels and the use of singular restrooms.

I am used to concepts I don't agree with, but this one caught me out of left field. I did not respond to it as well as I should have.

Because I could not overstate how much I disagreed with this.

We argued, he and I. I'm old school; I grew up with these terms. I like being "male" and I like being interested in "females". I know I don't want to share a bathroom with a female and my girlfriend can attest that no one would want to share one with me. I didn't understand what could be gained by abolishing the terms male and female.

Several conversations later with other people who are closely tied to the community, I understood. And that understanding horrified me.

This is a battle for equality, plain and simple. To end the pressuring parents put on children who may not know who they are. To end a growing stigma of conforming to either gender. To cease the killing by doing away with the terms "male" and "female" and simply being referred to as human beings.
Gender fluidity; to be not male, female, or asexual or any label. To simply be human.

And I wondered; Oh my God. Are we really that bad? Do we suck that much? Are we so singleminded in our destruction of all that is different that those who are persecuted are willing to give up being male or female simply to create a society in which they can survive?

This is where I would normally say that we should do better, but honestly, I don't know that we can.

So what I do, my contribution to the world, is to continue to treat everyone equally until they give me a reason not too. I teach my son the same.

Because we gain nothing from our own destruction, but the benefits of acceptance, what we could learn from one another? That's immeasurable.

We were made different to learn and come together. Not condemn.

Maybe we can't do better.

And yet we have too.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Why The SuperBowl May Have Been Bad For Game of Thrones Fans




I find that I fall into this category that can be equally shunned by both groups; a nerd/jock hybrid. I got just as geeked out for Battle of the Five Armies as I did for Super Bowl Sunday. I'm an avid video gamer. I don't play D&D, but my girl does, which means I will inevitably one day play D&D. I'm kind of hopeful for an X-Files revival and may camp out so I can be the first to see Age of Ultron. I can also recite Drew Brees' pregame chant from memory and tell you why that final offensive play in the most recent Super Bowl was...so, so stupid.

I appear to share some of these traits with George R.R. Martin, who, beyond being author of the epic dark fantasy series Game of Thrones, is also a fan of the New York Jets and the New York Giants (do NOT make fun of them on his blog, seriously). As such, he had a somewhat personal stake in yesterday's Super Bowl, as the New England Patriots practically own the division the New York Jets are in.

He wrote from yesterday's Super Bowl, hoping that my hometown Seahawks "deflate" the Patriots.

That didn't happen

After the game he says, and I quote; "Life is meaningless and full of pain."

To which I think oh, shit.

Mr. Martin already has a well-deserved reputation of merciless slaughter when it comes to our favorite characters. I believe the man has greater self-control than I do. However, the final title in the Game of Thrones series is not yet finished.

I am not getting attached to any new characters in Game of Thrones. I'm still recovering from the Red Wedding, and blessedly, my favorite character who I will most certainly not mention here, is still alive.

Just a random tidbit from my observations around the net.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

I AM A GAMER.


Hello all. May I please have your attention for a brief moment?

My name is Avery K. Tingle. I am a gamer. When people ask me about myself, it's one of the first things I say. It used to be something I squirreled away for fear of rejection, it took me years to become comfortable with the term, and now I'm very proud of my thirty-some-odd years of gaming.

And not just the modern stuff, too; I go back to the 2600. Combat, Yars Revenge, Missile Command. I played games when you didn't have to update or install anything to play them.

One of the facets of the Gamergate scandal is how people are suddenly ashamed to call themselves "gamers" and how it's time for the term to be retired altogether.

To hell with that. I used to get beat up for doing things that everyone wound up enjoying, and now because of a few "people" (and I use the term because I'm not sure they're human) we want to abandon the title?

HELL.
NO.

I AM A GAMER. I was practically born playing video games, and I will be playing video games long after Gamergate has settled. Not only am I a gamer but I believe the following;


  1. Rape and death threats aren't fucking funny. I lose, I say good game, and move on with my life.
     
  2. The term "gamer" is gender-neutral. I know girl gamers and guy gamers. You know what I call them? GAMERS. I don't believe that having a vagina automatically hinders one's skill level. My girl will kick your ass on quite a few titles.
  3. We need more women designing video games. It's not going to kill the industry. It will round it out.

I'm a gamer. I have this silly little belief that people should be able to pursue this endeavor without fear of persecution or harassment. And there's no way I'm gonna give up this term just because some misanthropic mouth-breathing caveman doesn't know how to talk to women or articulately refute a point of view.

You Must Defeat Sheng Long To Stand A Chance.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Preview "The Anniversary"



John and Maria Santiago have never had much, but they've always had each other. Saving money to escape the increasingly-violent city they've long resided in, they are on the eve of departure and their twentieth anniversary when tragedy strikes.

When her inoperable brain tumor enters its terminal stage, Maria suggests a radical procedure; her memories and personality be imprinted on a Twen; an incredibly life-like android, fully licensed and designed to take the place of the original. Though John is resistant to the idea, Maria wins him over and the procedure occurs.

Simultaneously dealing with the inevitable loss of his lover and the new arrival of an uncanny doppelganger, John weighs the value of true love against his own happiness, Maria's illness, and the promise of a continued life that just may be too good to be true.


The Anniversary is a short story completely unrelated to the Universal Warrior franchise. This is a story about love versus science and dealing with the loss of someone we cherish. I wanted to ask the question all of us who've lost someone have asked; what if we didn't have to say goodbye?

The Anniversary will be available sometime in February for .99 for all e-readers. All newsletter subscribers will be getting a free copy. If you'd like one, email me through the web form.

TIDBIT: John was one of MMA's top prospects until a devastating injury brought his career to aa premature end. Maria was the daughter of his financial manager, which was how the two of them met.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Promoting Fiction: Sales Vs. Exposure (An Anecdote)




When I released my short story Universal Warrior: The Ring of Asarra late last year, I had modest ambitions. I only wanted to sell a certain amount of copies. Day one sales weren't what I was hoping for, so I adjusted the price and sales blossomed. I steadily sell about one copy per day.

So yesterday, I was checking my Amazon Sales Dashboard and the numbers weren't adding up. A fellow writer warned me that something like this might happen, but there's nothing that can prepare for the idea of being ripped off.

So I call in my girlfriend, who's far better at math than I am. After going over the dashboard, she shrugs and says something that resonates;

"Who cares? This is your first book. It was never going to make you rich or even much money at all. Right now, we want people reading your story. It doesn't matter how they're getting it. Every person that reads it and enjoys it spreads your name. That's what we want right now. Free marketing."

She then promptly dropped the mic and left the room.

It got me thinking; the Ring of Asarra is my first work for the paid market in my own name. Its exceeded sales goals and continues to sell. Amazon made it a recommended read and I have two positive reviews.

My experiences with the Ring of Asarra reinforce the truth about first-time authors. Chances are you won't make it big on your first title, or even your fifth. The idea is to build something that people will love and then continue building to keep them hooked.

Walk before you run.
Hard, hard work before exposure and then hopefully sales.

We all have a long road ahead.

Thanks for reading.


Universal Warrior: The Ring of Asarra is a short story available for $1.79 at the following links;

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

Kobo

Sign up for the newsletter and never miss another post. Get updates about my writing and learn how to promote your own fiction. Send me an email to atingle at aktinout dot com and I promise to never spam you or sell your info.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Three Ways To Stand Out On Churn Sites

Image Courtesy of Timedoctor.com

Freelancing. Arguably one of the most difficult and lucrative sources of income available, if you've got the guts and the time. Choosing the freelance route means you are solely responsible for your own income, which means you'll spend a good amount of time networking and building relationships. You'll also spend a lot of time on the net mining for clients.

Sites like Guru, Elance, and Freelancer are known as "Churn Sites" because you are literally competing with thousands of people for the same contract. Many people burn out after being rejected time and again and to be fair, raising your voice above the others is a tremendous challenge.

However, if you can stick it out and see the process through, churn sites can become one of your most viable streams of income. Here are three tricks I use to make myself stand out.

3). Make Sure Your Profile Is Up To Date.

If your prospective client is interested in your pitch, the first thing they're going to do is check out your profile. They'll want to verify you've done the work before. Consider it a surprise visit to your home. Make sure all of your contact information is up to date, as well as your work history and references. Make sure your reviews are front and center. This is your first impression. Make it a good one.

2). Have Work Samples Available.

After reading your bid and examining your profile, chances are that your prospect is going to ask for work samples. You need to have samples on demand. You won't be given time to write something on the fly (DON'T write something on the fly if your prospect asks you too, more on that later). If you don't have something available, expect to be left behind.
Keep a portfolio of between three and five work samples available. This will keep you in the running for that contract.

3). Know Your Niche!

This is the most important aspect of standing out. Unless you're paying for them, churn sites give you a limited amount of bids per month. Use those bids wisely and lock down the assignments you believe matches your skill set (and profile).
If ghostwriting fiction is your thing, then go for that. If research and non-fiction is your thing, then go for that. Whatever you do, don't waste precious bids on jobs simply to win them, because working on a job you really don't want, or can't do, is a recipe for disaster.
This can be especially hard to stick to when your preferred sort of work becomes scarce, and you're afraid of falling into obscurity because there doesn't seem to be anything available. This is where patience--and having a steady client list--pays off.

These are three ways to remain employed on churn sites. Best of luck to you and thanks for reading.