Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Avery Tingle Interview
1/17/2011 7:18:42 PM
For todayís guest blog, Iíd like to introduce you to author Avery K. Tingle. Iíd like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, Avery. Where do you call home and what do you enjoy doing when youíre not writing?
AKT: Hey, Lorna. I was born and raised in Northern California, so thatís always going to be Ďhomeí, to me, but after bouncing around twenty-two states in eleven years (no joke), I call mid-Missouri home. In the two minutes per day Iím not writing, I study martial arts, play video games, watch DVDís, read graphic novels, and cook.
Has writing stories always been a part of your life and becoming a published author a life long dream?
AKT: Writing and storytelling has, yes, but to be honest, I only considered becoming an author a couple of years ago. I wanted to work in video game and animated film development and went about it the wrong way for a number of years, and then a friend of mine introduced me to NaNoWriMo in 2008ÖIíve been working on becoming an established author since then. I was published late last year.
Letís talk about your upcoming release. I understand your novel ĎUniversal Warriorí is spread out over several periods. What was the inspiration behind this series?
AKT: It is; Universal Warrior is spread out over five time periods, the Alpha period being the beginning of time to After Omega, which picks up after the end of the world. Of the hundreds of things that inspired Universal Warrior, Iíd have to say that religion, martial arts, and war are the three biggest contributors. The world is filled so many religious beliefs, most of which have merit in my opinion, but Iím especially fascinated with societies that rewarded strong warriors such as the Norse and Roman gods, as well as feudal Japan. Although we hold some of these beliefs as legend, they were worshipped once as gods. What if they were right? What if those gods still exist? What if all of the religions of the world are right? What would happen if we faced undeniable proof of their existence?
Iím also really intrigued by the idea that there have been so many wars, and so much bloodshed, over conflicting religious beliefs. Yet, the things we accomplish when we come together are staggering. I wanted to tell stories like this; people from all sorts of different backgrounds working together to achieve a common goal.
Martial arts is amazing in that it has the ability to kill and heal by a practitionerís hands alone. Itís beautiful to watch, but deadly when in conflict with another practitioner. Itís a physical chess match. I wondered sometimes if those who were especially skilled were trained to that level for a reason. Under what circumstances is it okay to take a life with your bare hands? To defend someone you love? When faced with the destruction of all you love, and all you hold dear, is it time then to bring those abilities to bear, or do you believe in a higher purpose and let it happen?
That, and many other things, factored into the creation of Universal Warrior.
Without giving away too much, can you reveal whatís in store for the reader when they crack open the first book in the series ĎUniversal Warrior: Atherean Defendersí?
AKT: I wanted to tell the very first story of the war between Heaven and Hell. This means at this point, Hell is undiscovered and Lucifer still fights for the Heaven. The reader is going to be taken from the idyllic paradise that is Heaven to the depths of its largest ocean, to an undiscovered city and a secret buried for thousands of years. The reader will take steps into what will become known as Hell and witness the destruction of the ideal of Heaven. The war will begin; everyoneís right and wrong at the same time. I hope itís a good ride.
I am so intrigued by the whole storyline! Now, as a martial arts practitioner Iíve found it very helpful in writing realistic fight scenes. Being a martial artist, have you found it had impacted the way you write these scenes and your whole philosophy about being a fighter as opposed to being a martial artist?
AKT: Oh, absolutely. Itís also forced me to do a lot of research (a lot of people thought that a roundhouse kick was a spinning heel kick, so I had to adjust my writing). Writing fight scenes is probably, in my opinion, what I do best, because I think I understand how a fight is supposed to go. Iíll even stand, pace, and map these scenes out physically just to see if they work. Itís also way easier to do that than have someone actually coming at me.
As for my philosophy on martial arts and fighting, itís had a huge impact; it took writing to make me realize what everyoneís been saying about ďtraining to never fightĒ. Unprofessional fighters may do it for glory or worse, to instill fear. Thereís no glory in beating someone into the ground. There is honor in defending yourself or someone you loveóbut only going as far as you have too. Thatís just me.
The road to publication is difficult at the best of times. Do you have any advice youíd like to share with the author struggling to find representation?
AKT: Yes. Stay with it, no matter what. You may be rejected a half a million times or more. But if you stay with it, if you genuinely believe in yourself and you donít become discouraged, odds are pretty high that someone, somewhere, will say yes. Itís a huge world, populated by billions of people. The harder you work, the luckier you may become; someone, somewhere, will like what you have to say. Be patient, stay the course, no matter what.
What made you decide on self-publishing and what are some of the perks in doing so?
AKT: Iím a control freak; my primary concern was keeping the IP (intellectual property) rights to my own work. I want to keep everything I make from my publications, or if I have to split up the profits, I want a pretty big say as to how that happens. Also, because I want to publish in games and movies, I want to be able to pick up one of my titles and pursue any route I want without dealing with any red tape. Thatís both the best and worst parts of self-publishing; youíre completely on your own.
Iím curious about your writing style. Are you one of those disciplined writers who must dedicate a certain time each day to producing so many words, or are you more relaxed and tend to write when it strikes your fancy?
AKT: Oh, I suck at traditional planning, although I like to trick myself into believing Iím pretty good at it. If I try to make a word count and fail, that can throw me into depression for weeks, make it feel like Iím trying to climb Mount Everest with my bare hands. Instead, I get up every morning a few hours before work and try to write a certain number of scenes within a couple of hours. I average about 2k words a morning, and then I goof off at night before bed with it. My point is to just get something done during the day, and then the next day, and itíll fall into place.
So yeah, I definitely fly by the seat of my pants. But I havenít crashed yet.
Still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.
AKT: I most definitely lean towards the pantser, although I plan out difficult scenes in outlines and the hundreds of notebooks I have laying around here. Although Iíll have a scene pretty well-thought-out in my head when I sit down, itíll usually go in a completely different direction than what I had intended, and thatís when I seem to be at my best. So what I do is plan out what I want to see, and then let the characters do their own thing.
Some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers, that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?
AKT: Coffee, coffee, and more coffee in the morning. Iím about to start taking it intravenously. I warm up my computer for about fifteen minutes, this way, my seesmic programs (iTunes, Word, Firefox, and Seesmic) boot up instantly when I give the command. One sip of coffee, one bite of cereal, start a tune on my writing playlist (ďTurning of the TideĒ by Future World Music has my attention lately) and then get to work.
At night, I shower, warm up a cup of chai, take the laptop into the bedroom, start up a tune in the iHome, and close the night with a difficult scene.
At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writerís block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
AKT: Get up and walk away. Do something else. For some strange reason, doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen seems to kick my writerís block. Usually by the time Iíve exited the room, Iíve gotten the urge to start writing again, but I give it between fifteen minutes and a few hours before I get back at it. I just think about something else for awhile and return to it fresh, or if all else fails, work on something else.
Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
AKT: My mother, first and foremost, because her stories taught me that the good guys donít always win. Geoff Johns has to be my favorite writer right now because of what he is doing with the DC Universe; completely revamping a bunch of older characters and making them fun again. I havenít been this enraptured with comics since I was kid.
What is the most profound discovery youíve made in terms of your writing and how it has touched the lives of others?
AKT: The written word may be the most effective tool humans ever created. Beyond its ability to tell fantastic stories and weave all of these unbelievable tales, they can help you come to terms with aspects of your own life, which Iíve found has allowed me to connect with a lot of people whoíve had similar experiences. The written word both unites and divides people, can be held up in a court of law, can be held as absolute truthÖitís almost limitless in its potential. I didnít know this until I became a part of the process.
What is the most important lesson youíve learned on the road to publication?
AKT: Tenacity may be more important than talent. But donít neglect talent.
What are you reading now, and how did this particular book make it onto your to-read list?
AKT: I am currently reading Superman: Earth One by J. Michael Straczinski and Green Lantern: No Fear by Geoff Johns. The Superman story is a brilliant retelling of Supermanís origins in the modern day, and Shane Davisí artwork on the story is gorgeous. Iíve never seen Clark Kent more human than he appears here. Green Lantern: No Fear continues to showcase what a phenomenal writer Geoff Johns is as Hal Jordan (Silver Age Green Lantern) continues to re-establish himself in the modern day.
What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out into other genres? When can our readers expect the ebook release of ĎUniversal Warrior: Atherean Defenders?
AKT: Iíd like to be working full-time as an author, meaning that Iíve made enough from my own work to sustain myself. Iíd like to be a bestselling author by then, spoken in the same vein as James Patterson and Brad Meltzer. Iíd love to branch out in science fiction and even romance, but romance from the guyís perspective.
Iím trying to get Universal Warrior: Atherean Defenders out between March and April of this year.
Thank you so much for taking the time to discuss your stories and to share in your writing experiences, Avery! I wish you all the best in life and your writing career.
For more information about Avery and his works, check out:
Follow Avery on Twitter: .Ironman1176
Where to buy the book: The book will be free of charge on Smashwords and my own website. Other places the story will be available will be released in the future.
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