1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I was born and raised in North Carolina. I’m not really into Astrology, but my sign is Pisces, so that may explain the book about the ocean and all the wonderful creatures who call it home.
I fell into the same routine my friends did after graduating university. I joined in the workforce and tried to convince everyone I had “it” figured out as much as they did, but I never really felt like I fit in. It all felt like such a charade at that time.
As my friends all started getting married and settling down, I decided to do the opposite. I picked up and moved overseas. I took a TEFL ( Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course in Prague, then ended up in Taiwan. When I left the States, I really started searching for myself and experiencing life. I ended up all over Southeast Asia, tried Europe once more, and gave Mexico a go, as well.
I’ve always been praised for my writing, but I never did anything with it. That changed a few years ago when the book popped into my head.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
I came up with the idea in December/January 2015-2016 while meditating. I was going through a difficult time in life. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I was dealing with multiple failed attempts at other ventures, and I was searching, really searching for something.
The final scene just popped into my head. That idea caught fire, spread, and Mermaids Are Real became the next venture to focus my energy on. I moved twice so I could put myself in a better position to finish the book. Every decision I made was for the book. It turned into my obsession.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
There are several messages in the book. The largest would be ocean conservation.
I’ve traveled all over the world. I’ve lived in six different countries. Living someplace really opens your eyes to things. When you’re traveling, you’re jaded by the newness. Having said that, there are certain areas on this planet where people really have no clue about trash and what to do with it. Most of it’s an educational problem. That’s where I want Benji and his pals come in to save the day.
My ultimate goal is to be able to use this book as a platform to help raise awareness, to use the characters and scenes as an incentive for people to be more mindful of their actions. I have a feeling there’s going to be a time in the future where the younger generations won’t be able to see or experience these aquatic creatures in real life. That’s a shame.
There are some other underlying messages regarding family, success, and life in general, but I’ll refrain from divulging much about those and let the readers discover them on their own.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I’m a kid at heart. I grew up on Disney movies and Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner Saturday morning cartoons. I think I have a lot to pass on to the next generation, too. I might not have a Ferrari in my garage (I don’t even have a garage), but I’ve seen a lot more and done a lot more than a good majority of people on this planet. I don’t have any children, so this is my way of playing dad. Hopefully, on a much grander scale.
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
That’d be a tough choice. If I could cheat on that question, which I’m going to do, I’d prefer a town hall-style meeting where I get to talk to all of them. Or maybe a party where they’d all be there, and I’d get to bounce around the room chatting with each one of them at my leisure.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Goodreads has been good so far. I’ve relied on it the heaviest. I’ve used Facebook sparingly, but I don’t have an author page set up. I’ve been pumping out reviews and news through my personal page which is the only thing I use it for. I told myself when I started out, I wouldn’t get drawn into the whole social media scene.
Aside from writing a book people want to read, marketing is the most important. However, I don’t believe I have to be everywhere or everything to everyone. If you’re looking for a place to focus on readers, Goodreads makes the most sense to me.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Read. A lot. Figure out what you like, then write a book that you would want to read. After that, get others to help you develop it. Get feedback. A lot. But in the end, remember that you’re the captain of the ship.
You can find beta readers on Goodreads, too. That’s something I wish I had done more of. I used a group of friends, family, and their friends and family. If I could go back and do it again, I would have begun using Goodreads much earlier in the process.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
The biggest thing I’ve been praised for about the book is the detail. I built such an immersive world with the first book. I have plenty of room to expand on with another. I’ve laid the foundation. Once I slow down with the marketing, and I feel like I’m ready, I’ll dive into the next one. I see myself getting to that point before the end of the year.
Goodreads Author Profile –
Goodreads Book page –
Amazon Author Profile – https://www.amazon.com/Bo-Wu/e/B07G3C8P1K/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Amazon Book page –
Facebook page – (feel free to add me as a friend)
Anthony Avina, (Born March 1990), is an author, a journalist, and a blogger. Born in Southern California, he has battled through injuries, disabilities, moves back and forth across the country, and more, yet still maintains a creative voice that he hopes to use not only to entertain but to inspire hope in even the darkest situations. He writes short stories and novels in several genres, and is also a seasoned journalist for the online magazine, On Request Magazine, as well as the popular site TheGamer. Having grown up reading the books of Dean Koontz and Stephen King, they inspired him to write new and exciting stories that delved into the minds of richly developed characters. He constantly tries to write stories that have never been told before, and to paint a picture in your mind while you are reading the book, as if you could see every scene of the book as if it were a movie you were watching. His stories will get your imaginations working, and will also show that in spite of the most despairing and horrific situations, hope is never out of reach. He am always writing, and so there will never be a shortage of new stories for your reading pleasure. http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com