There is a virus, and that virus is unpredictable. Having already caused devastation for one group, it is on its way to wreaking havoc on a much more catastrophic scale. The small team of Tensey Damian and Evelyn and Gordon Starling, fearing for their own futures, set out to make things right in the best way they know how. Armed with little more than determination and a healthy fear of the unknown, the trio perseveres while combating one obstacle after another in their quest. Is willpower enough to make them victors or will the answers they need continue to elude them?
Right out of the gate, Aberration: Arana’s Premonition by A.A. Ayinde, is an edge-of-your-seat ride unlike any other book in its genre. The visuals presented by Ayinde are intense and gripping as readers are immediately introduced to the perils of Hell’s Teeth. Watching the mountain-sliding race, which can only better described as a suicide mission, readers become invested in the story line, the characters, and leave wanting more of the backstory. By jumping in headfirst with an action scene, Ayinde succeeds in hooking readers from the first chapter.
Exchanges between characters are both entertaining and engaging. There are no two characters in Ayinde’s work whose conversations don’t hold the reader’s attention as conflicts escalate. The author has a way with words, and that is most definitely conveyed in the conversations throughout the book. From humorous quips to the most terrifying of circumstances, the characters’ exchanges heighten readability and provide an even more relatable element to an otherwise fantastic story. My only issue is the inclusion of two different characters’ dialogue within single lengthy paragraphs. For some readers, that can make for a slightly confusing read.
Whether planned or not, the virus as a featured plot point will appeal to many readers. It’s timely, relevant, just frightening enough to be interesting without off-putting. Ayinde has handed readers a way to read about a situation not so dissimilar to our current state of affairs. Seeing it under the light of a fantasy helps readers refocus their attention and regroup.
As I read, I found myself coming back to Ayinde’s choice of setting. The style of writing, the dialogue, and the tone of the writing give this book an Old World feel at times. At other points in the reading, those same elements provide readers with the feeling that the entire story could easily take place in the present. There is a distinctly futuristic feel at times, as well. I found this to be a very unique characteristic in the writing, and it distinguishes this author from any other. Anyone seeking a quick fantasy read by a promising author will enjoy Aberration: Arana’s Premonition.
The Autobiography of Charlie Lord is a coming of age story following a teen trying to navigate life’s hurdles in the 60’s. How did the idea for this novel start and change as you wrote?
The book definitely grew and changed over time. I began writing this story in 1982 or 1983, shortly after moving to California. I wrote about 50 pages then put it aside. Every so often I’d pull it out and work on a chapter, then put it away, again. Then in 2017, while I was lecturing my 16 year old daughter on not squandering the gifts and talents we’ve been given, that she asked me point blank when I was gonna finish my book. Busted! I wrote a chapter that day, and a chapter the next, then another, and another. In 30 days I’d finished the book. Initially Charlie was going to be a member of the Mythic track team, but I made him a wrestler, instead, but the real difference in the book from how it was originally conceived is in the perspective I gained in the 35 years it took me to finish it. Charlie, and I, both developed tremendously as characters over that time.
Charlie is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some obstacles that you felt were important to his character development?
I’m not sure if Charlie’s navigation of life in Mythic is fraught with any more obstacles other than those that the average kid growing up in the 60’s and 70’s faced. Charlie is growing up in an era defined by generation gaps and social upheaval in terms of race relations, the assassination of political leaders, and the Vietnam War. Charlie tries to make sense of this with what limited tools he has. You might say that the book is really Charlie’s attempt to make sense of the America he loves, both the country and the character America Lightshadow.
I enjoyed the authenticity with which you told this story. Was there anything from your own life that you put into this book?
The book certainly contains elements of my own life. I wrestled in high school and planned on wrestling in college until I accidentally put my arm through a window the day before heading to the University of Connecticut. My father was a career Army non-commissioned officer and my mother is from Japan. The house Charlie grows up in is an exact copy of the split level l house I grew up in as a child, but I tried to extend the book’s authenticity beyond the physical descriptions of Charlie’s life. I wanted the book to be emotionally true. I wanted Charlie’s emotional reactions to be as complex as they are in my own life.
This is your first novel. What do you think this novel taught you about writing?
Well, first, I learned that writing a novel is a lot easier than it looks. Rewriting, on the other hand, is brutal, but that’s where you actually learn the craft of writing. I also discovered my “voice” as a writer while putting Charlie Lord, together. That, in itself, was worth the price of admission.
A coming of age story about a half Japanese-American kid growing up in the mythical town of Mythic, Connecticut, in the 1960’s and 70’s. Charlie Lord discovers the sport of wrestling and the art of playing the saxophone while attempting to navigate the thornier questions of life, love, family, and friendship surrounded by a comic cast of characters in this poetic and brilliant first novel.
The Young follows a war veteran who must take up arms to protect his family and friends from the evil forces in the Deluge lands. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?
Well i was watching the fellowship of the ring one night and i thought wouldn’t it be cool to make my own universe with its own lore, characters, environment, creatures, supernatural entities etc. and i was really inspired by that Tolkien fella and so i decided i would try my hand at making a story about the battle between good and evil on an epic scale.
Sven is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some ideas that guided his character development?
Well i made him across between Aragorn (LOTR) and piccolo (DBZ) and i wanted to make him an over the hill warrior who struggles with his own wrongdoings, sins so to speak and have him to be tested with his loyalty and devotion to his family and his faith.
I thought that this story was about good ultimately triumphing as long as there are people who believe. What were some themes you felt were important to the story?
Well i felt that good always wins and triumphs in the end particularly when their likewise minded people behind it and that its essential for mankind to have the three major components in life: family, country, god i think those fundamentally extremely important to humanity particularly in this mythology. But the ultimate theme of the book is passing on a legacy onto your offspring, your young and making sure you raise the next of kin properly with those three major components taught to them.
Unglued: The Book of Strafe is an entertaining and sometimes humorous look at a young man who’s trying to make his way through life. What was the inspiration for the setup to this story?
Unglued: The Book of Strafe is a fictionalized version of my experiences as a young man. I worked in a New Jersey chemical factory, in the glue department, each summer while in college and graduate school. Many of the events that happen in the book actually occurred in real life. I would work midnight shift in the factory then go home and sleep during the day. In the afternoon I’d get up and write crazy stories before heading back to the factory.
I enjoyed Peter Strafe’s character and how he continued to develop throughout the story. What were some driving motivations behind his character creation?
I actually created Strafe as a character while writing my first novel in college. The story was basically unreadable, but Strafe was meant to be a “wise fool”, the character who moves foolishly through an absurd world but somehow retains his child-like innocence. When I started writing Unglued, I decided to make it the story of Strafe who I’d first written about in 1975.
Peter utilizes Zen Buddhism to help him throughout his life. Why was this and important idea to include in your story?
I started reading about Zen while I was working in the glue department. Like Strafe, I’d sit up on the tank trucks and meditate while they were loading with glue. I had no idea what I was meditating for, to, or from, but none of that seemed to matter. I was determined to understand the real meaning of “one hand clapping” and become enlightened, dammit! Today, I’m not religious in the sense that I practice or follow any religious traditions, but I try to practice mindfulness in my affairs, and I wanted to have Strafe make small steps in the arenas of mindfulness and right living, too.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently working on a sequel to my first novel, The Autobiography of Charlie Lord. The book’s working title is The Apocalypse of Charlie Lord, and takes place in California against a backdrop of pandemic, fire, and other environmental catastrophes. It’s a comedy. Publication date late 2020.
It’s 1978, and for recent college graduate Peter Strafe, the path to enlightenment zigzags absurdly through his mother’s basement, a disaster-prone New Jersey glue factory, the Coconuts strip club, a sports arena that offers ten-cent beer night, dog ownership, the Museum of Modern Art, his girlfriend’s bedroom, a tornado, and (of course) California. In an attempt to make sense of the absurdity around him Strafe begins studying Zen Buddhism and practicing meditation atop tank trucks as they fill with glue. His foray into the world of Zen leads him to discover his inner writer. He writes poetic Zen gems like “We be” and “I shy” before moving on to wonderfully bizarre short stories and epic genre-bending novels that span continents and solar systems. Of course, all this growth has Strafe headed straight for a crossroads– company man for the American Starch and Adhesive factory or Zen Master writer?
The Bit Dance follows a teen genius who must outwit an ex-KGB agent who uses a cutting edge toy for nefarious purposes. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?
I have spent 30 years as an IT professional. That provided the technical facet to the story. The fascination with bees and their built-in intelligence comes from my uncle, Fred Ingram. He kept bees to support his fruit trees. He knew a lot about bees and spent time talking to me about them. That has always been in the back of my mind stewing among my technology-oriented thoughts. It all kind of emerged as a complete stew in this book.
Kayla is a intriguing and well developed character. What were some ideas that guided her development?
Thank you for the kind words about Kayla. I lean hard on my characters to drive my stories. They are of utmost importance and their internal drive, motives, and personalities have to take precedence over my own. Sometimes, that ends up in an argument inside my head. It’s one I have to let the character win. Kayla started out in early drafts as a male of the same age. I have two daughters, both older than Kayla. The struggles I have had trying to drive my girls to be the most they can be in a world that isn’t always easy for females while simultaneously being a loving father that allows them to be themselves drove me to change that character to a female. The whole father-daughter challenge is complex and can be even more so if a father is a driven personality and the daughter has skills of her own that may lead her in multiple directions. I think it added a lot to the story.
I enjoyed the technological explanations you provided for the eBots. What kind of research did you undertake for this book to get these as accurate as possible?
I did a lot of reading about the Bees Algorithm to understand how it is being used for real-life applications today. I also had to dig into a lot about how communication technologies like Bluetooth work. Other things like the technology borrowed from robotic vacuum cleaners and file-sharing technology used by social media is pretty easy to research, but it does take time to get it right. I also made sure that the history around the KGB and other Soviet-era topics was right. Koslov’s back-story had to be convincing. The car he drove is real. The explosives he used were thoroughly researched. The history of the KGB and the crumbling of the old Soviet Union is all accurate. The sniper rifle mentioned in the story is real and accurately described as well. When you write stories that might attract sci-fi fans, you have to realize that they are picky people when it comes to realism – or at least the suspension of disbelief.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on a young adult-oriented fantasy novel set in 1976. The protagonists are 11-year-olds (a boy and a girl). It centers around the concept of multiple universes and a means to travel between them. It’s slow going because my day job still dominates my life. If I could earn enough from writing to pay the bills, I could change all of that. That story is probably around 40% of the way to first draft. I’m hoping to have it out before the end of this year. The working title is Talisgate. I wrote one book before The Bit Dance. It’s called Motes. It’s a first-contact kind of story with an unusual twist. You can find it on Amazon.
What happens when millions of tiny minds find a way to work together? At what point do they become one? At what point are they no longer merely machinery, but actually alive? Kayla Henry is a genius. She has a grasp of technology that far surpasses that of people three times her tender age of fourteen. She has mastered every skill she has attempted to acquire – except the ability to impress her father and appease his overbearing perfectionism. The eBot is the newest offering from her father’s employer that will set the company’s course for as much as a decade. It is a revolutionary toy endowed with groundbreaking technology and an online community that will encourage consumers to share their experiences. Kayla is fascinated by it and longs to be a part of it in any way she can. When an ex-KGB officer appropriates the technology for his own nefarious purposes, it responds in ways no one could predict – or even imagine.
A Literary Smorgasbord: Memoir, Fiction, and Poetry, by Migel Jayasinghe, is a unique collection of largely autobiographical shorts juxtaposed with fictional short stories, poetry, and a drama. Jayasinghe, well-traveled and a virtual genius in his own right, provides readers with a smattering of brief excerpts from his own life while also offering a nice selection of stories of varying genres. To read Jayasinghe’s work is to take a peek inside his mind.
Jayasinghe’s autobiographical excerpts, presented throughout the book in no certain order, allow readers to venture alongside him through trips abroad, on a special visit to see one of his former teachers, to meeting and marrying his wife. We, as readers, are not often afforded the opportunity to truly get to know the author as we pore over his/her work. Jayasinghe is changing all of that for us. Interspersed throughout this short read, we get to visit with him and his family before being dropped quickly back into one of his short stories and glimpsing his imagination at work.
I am not an avid fan of poetry, but there is something different and captivating about Jayasinghe’s poems. Having the generally more serious tone of the fiction short stories, some of the poems included in Jayasinghe’s book do venture a bit away from the somber side. Not one to chuckle aloud when reading, I have to admit that Jayasinghe’s “Halloween Day” gave me cause to laugh out loud. Each poem brings something new to the table and shines a light on a different aspect of the author’s life in Spain.
Readers will easily relate to the play, “Market Forces: A One Act Play.” Timeshares are a thorn in the side for far too many people. Following along as the main characters are subjected to a wordy presentation while they want nothing more than to claim their promised prize, readers will shake their heads knowingly, groan along with them, and cringe at the pressure they experience. The drama is an overall fun read and different from any of the author’s other writing.
I enjoyed guessing where each of the author’s shorts would take me. Jayasinghe, without a doubt, is comfortable with all genres and hands readers a wonderful mixture of texts. Readers will appreciate the personal peek into the author’s life as they absorb the uniqueness of his writing.
Pages: 156 | ASIN: B07QY7L1TJ
The Blood of the Nephilim follows a man who’s never been sick and a billionaire that wants to profit off of it. How did the idea for this novel start and change as you wrote?
The idea started as I was researching blood types, as I have the rarest blood type AB-, and I wanted to know where the blood types originated from. What I found out was that the Rh- factor is only found in a very small percentage of the population worldwide. There are theories that it was a mutation somewhere during the evolution of mankind but there is no definitive proof of that. And the one ancient alien theory states that it comes from aliens breeding with humans. The story started out with the young boy never getting sick and how he had a passion for archaeology and eventually searching those sites mentioned by ancient alien theorists. As I began getting into the background I thought how interesting it would be if a billionaire found out about this person and decided he wanted his blood to create a serum for all of the wealthy people so they never have to worry about ever getting sick.
I enjoyed the interplay between science and religion in this book. What were some themes you wanted focus on in this story?
I wanted to focus on themes that are present in society today. One is how people perceive the wealthy as having so much power to do anything that they want by generally using their wealth to influence the laws, property values and politicians and never feeling any repercussions. So I imagined how one wealthy person would use his money and influence to create a serum from a person’s blood so that he would never get sick again. Of course by saying he would help all mankind everyone trusted him.
Another theme I wanted to focus on was the ancient alien theme. If you look back at many of the religious writings many can be interpreted in ways of showing that aliens did come to this planet and interacted with mankind. For example the book of Enoch talks about fallen angels interacting with man and taking wives as well as in the book of Gensis. The Nephilim were known as fallen angels or spirits in the bible and in Arabic they are called Jinn. The offspring of the Nephilim and the human wives they took were said to be giants. Of course this one of many theories about them.
What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
One of my goals was to have people who read the book see that things are not always as they seem. Perhaps the things we read in the ancient texts could have been about aliens who came to help mankind. How did the Rh- negative factor actually come about? There are theories but no definitive proof of how such a small percentage of the population has it. What I want is for people to look at the world and not take what someone says as truth but to do their own research and come to their own conclusion. Many people take what the so called talking heads say as truth when in fact many of them are paid entertainers.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?
I have a few ideas that I am working on right now but I believe the next one will be a mystery that revolves around an author. I hope to start outlining it soon and having it down in the fall of this year.
A scientist investigates archaeological sites that could have been built by aliens. No one knows why he has never been sick a day in his life. A billionaire believes his blood is the secret to perfect health. And, he wants it.
Posted in Interviews
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Too Deep In With The Auditor is an exciting story that turns an otherwise mundane job into a steamy romance novel? What was the inspiration for the setup to this provocative story?
I have been working for 20 years in the audit industry and had a passion for writing (there are other, non-fiction, books available from me) all the time. Now after 20 years I thought that it was the time to free from dust the profession of auditors. While some actions in the book are – naturally – a bit exaggerated, there are always true storys behind, that gave me the ideas.
I enjoyed the relationship between Martin and Ellis. What were some ideas you wanted to explore with their relationship?
I can let the cat out of the bag here: I have already laid the foundation for further books to come. I hope I can explore this relationship later on an make references to it.
You’re an Audit Director for a large auditing company. How has your professional experience informed your writing?
I am able to look back at all I have experienced and can use this to write Martin Muller’s story. I have so many ideas at the moment, which makes it – at least from that point of view – really easy to continue with the series.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
If all goes well, it will be the next Martin Muller Audit. As I had another idea in the meantime I combined audit & steampunk & cruise and wrote a short story “A Steamy Steampunk Cruise” which tells about Monica Jackson, an auditor working on an audit assignment on a cruise ship. So, if you like Martin, she will definitely shorten the time until the next Martin Muller audit appears. This should happen this summer.
Martin Muller is an Audit Manager working with one of the big auditing firms. On a newly assigned auditing engagement, he is challenged by fulfilling the demands of his boss as well as coping with deadlines. And then there is the attractive mid-forty female CEO of the small regional bank he is auditing this week. As the door of the vault of the bank closes unexpectedly and both of them are locked in it gets hot down there…