Author Profile: Avery K. Tingle

Avery Tingle
Avery Tingle

 

WHO IS AVERY TINGLE ?

 

Avery K. Tingle was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. After a tumultuous, hellraising youth, he set out on an eleven-year sojourn across the United States during which time he was homeless, searching for identity and dodging every responsibility he could.

He eventually settled down (temporarily) in the Midwest, where he (unexpectedly) became a top-level salesman for the telecommunications company known as Centurylink. After two and a half years, he returned to his native West Coast. He is now a full-time author, blogger, freelance ghostwriter and occasional troublemaker.

Avery is a Domestic Abuse and Anti-Bullying Advocate and Counselor. He is currently in a relationship with the woman of his dreams and lives in the Moses Lake area. He enjoys video games, graphic novels (both reading and writing) movies, martial arts, and cooking. He has four children in total and says he writes to get the voices out of his head. His first novelette Universal Warrior: Before Red Morning, is a fantasy that revolves around how the war between Heaven and Hell began.

Avery’s current work is called Universal Warrior: The Ring of Asarra. It is a story about choice, consequence and self-acceptance, set against the backdrop of mankind’s first brush with extinction.

I recently had the pleasure of reading The Ring of Asarra. Fantasy not being a routine flower growing in my garden, I didn’t know quite what to expect. What I found was an extremely well-written and compellingly moral story almost entirely free of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors (very much unlike my own).

Mr. Tingle is definitely an indie author to watch, and to follow, with a very distinctive voice and style. I for one, am looking forward with great anticipation to future works.

 

Thanks Avery. Keep up the great work.

Author Profile: Meilin Miranda

 

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MeiLin Miranda writes fantasy and science fiction from a 130-year-old house in Portland, Oregon. She has loved all things 19th century (except for the pesky parts like cholera, child labor, slavery and no rights for women) since childhood, when she devoured stacks of books by Louisa May Alcott and Frances Hodgson Burnett. More current influences include Neil Gaiman, Patrick O’Brian, Anthony Trollope and P.G. Wodehouse.

MeiLin’s near-death-experience in 2006 prompted her to switch her 30-year writing career from nonfiction to fiction. Her critical illness, and the resulting financial near-ruin, were the basis for her tweet/prompt to Neil Gaiman that resulted in a story he wrote for the Calendar of Tales project in 2013.

She lives with her husband, two daughters, two cats, one floppy dog and far, far too much yarn.

For more information, including free ebooks, new release notices and more, go to: http://www.meilinmiranda

The Books of Meilin Miranda

Author Profile: Jason Mott

Who is Jason Mott?

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Jason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various literary journals.  He was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize award and Entertainment Weekly listed him as one of their 10 “New Hollywood: Next Wave” people to watch.

He is the author of two poetry collections: We Call This Thing Between Us Love and “…hide behind me…”  The Returned will be published internationally in over 13 languages and is a New York Times Bestseller.

The Returned is Jason’s debut novel and has been adapted by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B,  in association with Brillstein Entertainment and ABC.  It airs on the ABC network under the title “Resurrection.”

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The Wonder of All Things is Jason’s second novel. It will be published in October 2014 and is now available for pre-order.

The Books of Jason Mott

Time out of Sync . . . The Returned, by Jason Mott

 

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It was the seventeenth of February–1990, and as my brother and I stood in the small ICU room of Saint Mary’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona, the man lying on the gurney looked dead. He looked as dead as anyone I had ever seen. Used up. Worn out. Finished. Bloated, yellow-tinged. Hardening. Pupils glazed over and fixed–staring into an eternity the living couldn’t see.

He was our Father. He had survived emergency aortic aneurysm surgery, only to die of a heart attack a few hours later–his tired old machine of a body finally run out of gas. Dad never liked to do things the easy way. His end was no different. The Reaper had to drag him into darkness, fighting all the way.

Three days later I closed his casket. I will remember until my own last breath the soft ‘snicking’ sound the latch made as the lid settled into place, obscuring a face that I had known for forty years. A face I would never see again. Because death was final. Forever. Irrevocable. Irreversible.

And yet, as the quarter century between then and now has played out, I have often met the man–visited with him, sat with him, talked with him. Laughed and cried with him.

In my dreams.

In the dreamscapes of Jason Mott too. He and his dead mother reunited.  One again. Whole again. A reckoning. A repairing.

Time out of sync.

But what if it were not a dream? What if the dead could actually return for a time? Just as they were when they left us. Healthy. Alive–clear eyes and beating hearts. Vibrant again.

Jason pondered this question–and The Returned was born.

The dead are returning to the earth they once knew . . . remembering nothing of their time away from life. They are returning to the places, and to the people they loved.

And they are returning in droves.

Thank you Mr. Mott, for delivering a horror story without Zombies, Ghosts, Hobgoblins or any other such nonsense.  No scenes of empty tombs, or any other such foolishness. He doesn’t even speculate on how all those deceased folks might be coming back. They just are. A miracle. One of either God . . . or Satan.

Those horror-story standards aren’t really very scary anyhow. What is scary, is the monster within each of us. And it is an age-old story. When I was just a child, way back in the fifties, I remember a most remarkable television series called The Twilight Zone. One night the episode was entitled The Monsters are due on Maple Street. Even at that young age, I watched and learned that the scariest monster in the whole entire universe, was, well . . . me.

Or rather what I might be capable of. Or you. Or you. Or you over there . . . that guy hiding in the bushes with the high-powered rifle, and the righteous, if vastly misplaced, indignation. That’s a bad combination. And a perfect prescription for disaster, either in fiction, or in real life.

It’s the man in the sixth-floor window–come to the streets of small-town rural America. This is the stuff that real nightmares of made of. The kind of national nightmare Germans lived through in the age of the Orcs. Excuse me–I meant the Nazis.

But then, it’s all really the same, isn’t it?

Jason Mott understands this, and that is what his most excellent novel is all about. He tells it with raw power and nearly perfect prose, introducing a cast of unforgettable characters. Simple folks, with their world turned upside down. Unable to decide if the beautiful and vibrant eight-year old boy standing on their front porch is their long dead son . . . or an it.

Miracles of God are pretty hard to ignore,  deny, or reject. But things–its . . . well, maybe not so much. Maybe even not so hard to want to kill.

And that’s where my own personal nightmare began. My own sleepless nights pondering The Returned. Pondering life and death. God and Satan. What I know. What I don’t, What I believe. What I want to believe.

What I fear.

And I ask . . . what if my own beloved dad, dead and buried these twenty-five years, were standing at the front door, seeking entrance and welcome. Would I consider him to be my father–or an it?  Would I believe he was the same man who had held me as a child, comforted me when I was sick or injured, helped me with my homework when I was in school, watched with pride when I graduated, and been there for me in all and every way a father can possibly be?

Or would I think he were simply a phantom. A photocopy. Not the real thing.  Would I welcome him? Would I fear him? After all, he is my father. I have dreamed of this moment for years. Why now, does my skin slightly crawl when I look into his eyes?

And how would the government react? Take him away? Hide him away? To be poked and prodded and asked a lot of questions. Would they want to confine him? Make him into a prisoner? Perhaps perform experiments on him.

Perhaps they would want to kill him–just to see if he would stay dead, or come back to life once again. And what does the government do when the dead return by the thousands–and then the millions?

When the dead . . .  begin to outnumber the living.

Interesting questions.

Welcome to the twisted and upside down world of Jason Mott. Welcome to your own sleepless nights. I have had more than a few since I read this most excellent and thought-provoking book. I have rehashed most of my relationships with my nearest and dearest departed loved ones. I have placed myself into scenes from The Departed.

And I have wondered . . . Is the monster at the door?

Or. . . is the monster me.

 

For those interested in a fascinating read, I provide a link to Mr. Mott’s book on the Great Reads page of this website.

Thanks for visiting this site, and for reading my blog. Until the next time . . . have a wonderful night.

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Baby Jane . . . and Joan, and Bette too.

 

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The year was 1962. I was twelve, not quite thirteen, when Whatever happened to Baby Jane? hit the big screen. Yeah, just a snot-nosed kid, but already old enough to know that the real monsters weren’t the ones that ate Cleveland and other big cities. The real ones were the ones next door. Or, worse yet, the ones that lived right inside the walls of your own home.

It was a psychological thriller, and a gothic horror film, and it packed the punch of a prize fighter. There was another element involved as well; one that isn’t so often talked about. That was the fact that Baby Jane was a darned fine black-comedy as well. All of the great horror films were of course. Psycho, Homicidal, The Birds, The Hitcher, just to name a few.

The movie was based on a 1960 novel of the same name by Henry Farrell. It was a smashing success right out of the gate, almost heralded as a classic from the moment the first movie-house projector began to roll. It met with critical and box office acclaim, and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one for best costume design in the black and white category.

It would never have made it big however without the presence of the two starring ladies. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were giants of the silver screen. Both well past their prime in ’62, they proved that a well-worn name, plus about a ton of raw talent, could still pack movie-houses.

They were long-time rivals in real-life. That fact only added to the film’s appeal. Campy in the extreme, the crowds didn’t care. Let Crawford, Davis and Victor Buono chew the scenery all day long. It only added to the fun. The movie coined  new phrases–Hag Horror, and psycho-biddy. It was originally rated an X in The United Kingdom. To this very day, Baby Jane remains a cult classic, and continues to play as a favorite Midnight Movie, right up there with The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Before there was Tim Curry, and Andy Serkis .  .  .  there was Bette and Joan.  They had a presence; and a secret weapon as well. The famous “Bette Davis Eyes,” didn’t hurt the film’s popularity one little bit either.

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In 2003, the character of Baby Jane Hudson was ranked #44 on the American Film Institutes list of the fifty best villains in the history of American Cinema.

It was a plot to relish.

In 1917, Baby Jane Hudson was a vaudevillian child star. She sang and danced. She was good at it too. But youth, like beauty, soon fade, and a couple of decades later, Jane is a forgotten star, by 1962, a lot of people are asking the inevitable question that becomes the movie title.

Baby Jane Hudson is ready for a comeback. She still sees herself as what she was, and in costume performs one of her old routines in front of a mirror. It was, and is to this day, one of the most macabre movie scenes ever recorded on film.

The problem for Jane, of course, is her sister Blanche, a long crippled sister confined to her wheelchair and a single bedroom in the oldHudson Mansion. Blanche had a little car accident way back when, and she blames Jane for it. Of course, as is always the case in a Bette Davis film, nothing is as it seems. Blanche is a lady with a boat-load full of secrets, and some of them are not so nice.

She is about to pay a heavy price for her sins, with Jane serving up large portions of just desserts–and dead rats.

The film plays on our worst fears. As in–we never know what is really going on behind the closed and peaceful looking doors and windows of our neighbor’s houses. Behind the well-manicured lawns and lovely white-washed picket fences. And we never really know what is going on inside their heads either. The intervening half-century between this films release and now has proven that little fact many, many times, much to our collective sorrow.

Scary stuff.

Give it a watch. I guarantee it will be worth your time. If you are a fan of the off-beat and the bizarre, as I am, then this movie is for you.

And thank you, Bette and Joan, not only for this well-remembered celluloid gem, but for two life-times and careers of great entertainment at the old movie palaces. We won’t be seeing the like of either one of you for a long, long time, if ever–I’d venture a guess.

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

 

Next up–a new book, and a good one.  The Returned, by Jason Mott.

Until then .  .  . Good Night.