Author Anthony Avina's Blog

Good books don't give up all their secrets at once. – Stephen King

It’s a new year. 2018. The time to make changes, set goals and decide what you want your life to be. While some things are out of our control, there are so many things we as people are capable of doing to make positive changes in our lives. As an author, a blogger, a writer …

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October 4, 2016

Powered by Indie: Why I Love Being An Indie Author

It’s not easy doing things on your own. Yet as many have said before me and as many will say once I’m long gone, nothing in life worth doing is
easy. It’s these words that have kept me inspired to pursue a career as an author, and have kept me going all these years. Over time, my writing
has improved and has grown, as have my ideas and ability to connect with readers and writers alike. The sense of community, of creative vision
and of belonging have helped reinforce my belief in the written word, and that’s why in honor of Amazon’s month long celebration of indie writing,
I thought I’d talk about why I love being an indie author.

There’s a very simple reason why I love being an indie author: I love having creative control over my story. While I dream of being able to work
with a publisher someday, I love being able to decide how to develop my story. I like having a say in not just the story, but the direction I take
the marketing and the way my story is formatted. When you have a creative vision, you like to have a sense of control over your final product, and
with indie publishing you don’t have anyone to answer to in that regard.

Overall, I think I enjoy the deeper connection I feel with my readers as an indie author. I think indie authors have an added advantage of being
closer to their audience because they come to it as readers themselves, and they are more in touch with what the average reader is looking for.
I know my writing has improved greatly as a result of connecting with readers over the years, and that’s why I wouldn’t trade being an indie
author for anything. Like I said, I hope to be able to work with a fantastic publishing company someday, and I actually have an opportunity to
work with a great publisher in the coming year, which I’m looking forward to. However my career began in indie publishing, and I love the
freedom that comes from having control and passion at your fingertips. That is why I love being an indie author, and I hope you aspiring authors
out there will consider taking a shot on yourself and self-publish your book.

You fellow authors out there: why do you love being an indie author? And all you readers out there, who are some of your favorite indie authors?
Leave your comments down below!

@amazon @amazonkindle-blog

February 5, 2016

The Netflix Theory: How Streaming and Premium Shows Have Changed How We View Television

Someone once said, “The times, they are a-changing…”, or something like that. I think this applies greatly to the world of entertainment, in
particular to how television is viewed. When cable television reigned supreme, we took on shows and appreciated them for what they were, even
if that meant poor writing, cheesy one-liners, and poor special effects. However, with the invention of premium and streaming services, shows
such as The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Daredevil and Jessica Jones have provided a new standard for groundbreaking television. With these shows,
have we as a society entered a new realm of entertainment?

I pondered this recently as I watched the premiere of a show on the newly dubbed ABC Freeform, called Shadowhunters. Based on the acclaimed book
series by author Cassandra Claire, after watching the show I found myself kind of taken aback. As a fan of both the book series and the film,
I had high hopes for the change to a television format, and yet I found the dialogue, the special effects and the many changes to the story too
difficult to enjoy the show. The changes to the story, several of the characters and the uneven pace of the story itself just made it
uncomfortable to watch. Then I began to think about the shows that are succeeding and have succeeded in recent years, and I asked myself, are
the high standards of these shows making it difficult to enjoy others?

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming the actors on the problems with the show. I can give you an example of what I’m talking about. Everyone
knows Shailene Woodley from her incredible work in films such as The Descendants, Divergent and The Fault In Our Stars. However, she had a
massive role on the ABC Family original series, The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, and that show was another example of cheesy lines,
unbelievable plot developments and more. Everyone has seen what an amazing actress she is, but because of poor writing, the show and the actors
on the show suffered.

Writing defines great television, as does most entertainment projects. The expertly crafted works of Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Daredevil and
Jessica Jones have brought some amazing performances from the actors on these shows because of deep and invigorating writing teams that have
perfected the art of television. Not only that, but maybe what has made these shows breakout is the fact that they are less restricted in their
content.

What I’ve noticed as a consumer of these shows is that when a show restricts itself in some way, whether it be time constraints, dialogue choices
or just how realistic and gritty the visuals are, (i.e. sexual scenes, blood, violence, etc.), the show tends to suffer in production and
character growth. One cable network that is leading the charge to compete with the streaming and premium channels is The CW, which has their shows
push the limits with smart writing, strong visuals and not as heavy restrictions, allowing their shows to prosper and grow, and lessening the
amount of cancellations the network suffers.

So the question remains: Has the rise of premium and streaming television changed how we consume and enjoy shows? It certainly has for this
writer, and I think it’s changed for the better. After years of seeing great television shows get the ax from big networks because of an old,
outdated way of viewing numbers, its great to see higher forms of art taking shape on streaming and premium networks. 2016 looks to expand
these amazing types of shows, and it’s no wonder big screen actors are now flocking to television shows for their next big roles. This is my
Netflix Theory!

October 1, 2015

A Chance Encounter: An Intriguing Experiment

It’s funny, isn’t it? The memories and experiences that fade with each year we get older can pop up in the most unexpected ways. I happened
to be out with my mom one afternoon recently, and we were talking about how long it’s been for each of us to go to one of our favorite spots
in Southern California, and that is one of the many gorgeous beaches we have here. I went to Newport Beach earlier in the year, but I’ve
always dreamed of venturing out to Santa Monica or Venice Beach, or maybe even Laguna Beach. As we talked about our hopes of getting there,
she suddenly remembered a fun day when I was just a few years old, and we went to the beach. Apparently, we had decided to go on a boat ride
to watch for dolphins and whales, and on that boat, I’d met a young girl whom I had befriended quickly. According to my mom, we were inseparable
for the rest of the day, and sadly parted ways, never to meet again.

I have no recollection of this day, but I was suddenly intrigued. I’ve always been a shy guy, but this encounter painted me as a talkative,
active young man with a natural charisma I didn’t think I possessed at that age. I was curious, so I went looking through some old photo albums,
and sure enough, I found the pictures of me and this young girl, (pictured above). Now, the memory still alludes me, but I thought to myself,
how intriguing, that after all these years, these pictures should surface at a time where I’m looking to bolster my confidence.

I began to think about the power that a chance encounter or a spontaneous moment can have on our lives. Hearing that I wasn’t always the
shy, soft-spoken young man I am today gave me a boost of inspiration that I’ve been looking for. Sometimes, the tiniest, most random moments
in time can have a huge impact on others. The world can seem like such a random, chaotic place a lot of the time, but other times, I can
see how we are more connected than we realize. I’m not sitting here saying that fate brought me and this girl together, nor am I saying
that it was our destiny to meet that day. I’m a semi spiritual man, but even my spiritual tendencies are based in science. What I’m talking
about here is the fact that the connections we make ourselves, not the ones destiny has forced upon us, are powerful themselves. We have the
power to impact others and ourselves.

Now, I also found myself curious to know what happened to this young girl. I have no name, only a picture of the two of us together. We were
both so young, but I find myself wondering, what happened to her? What is she doing now? Who is she, and more importantly, is she happy? I’m
not sitting here hoping for some big, Hollywood style romantic scene, where we reunite at that same beach, (I believe it was either Newport
or Laguna, I can’t remember), and have some huge, heart-pounding moment with the rain pouring down around us. No, this is just a curiosity
more than anything. She apparently was one of my first friends, albeit for merely 1 day. Even if I never meet her in person again or get
the chance to be her friend, I at least would love the opportunity to say hi, ask how she is, and thank her for her day of friendship. Like
I said, I’m not expecting anything, but if anyone knows or recognizes this little girl from an old photo, or has seen this photo and would
know who she grew up to be, feel free to let her know about this blog post, or even tag her on social media. I’m curious to see whatever happens
with this blog experiment, because as I said, the smallest moments in our lives can have lasting influences, and this little trip down memory
lane gave me the burst of energy and inspiration I needed to push forward with my career. To her, and to all of you who have left impressions
on me and those in your lives, I say thank you.

August 8, 2015

Romanticism in the 21st Century: Author Anthony Avina’s Inspiration for His Novella, VOID

Hello there everyone. Today’s blog post is going to be partly a behind the scenes look at my creative process and inspiration for VOID, the
novella I just released for preorder on Amazon Kindle. It’s also going to be partly personal, in which I talk about a big part of my life,
and that is my romantic side.

Let’s get personal guys. I am what is referred to as a hopeless romantic. That means that basically, I believe in love. I believe in the
power of love and that when you find love, it’s a rare but beautiful thing. I know that for most guys, the bachelor life appeals to them.
They enjoy moving from one night stands and flimsy relationships to the next one. I also know that women might be wary of a guy who speaks
of love, especially at my age, (25). Yet a bachelor lifestyle never appealed to me, and I’m not interested in a one-sided relationship where
I’m more invested in the relationship than she is. I have no interest in being one of those men who is clingy, or too focused on the relationship
and not on myself. No, what I want is a partner, whom I love and who loves me.

There’s a saying that I think fits my thinking best. Love is patient, and love is kind. To me, that means that everyone is different. Sometimes,
a person is lucky enough to know at their first encounter that they’ve found the person they love. Others take time to grow their feelings.
It’s about respecting love’s timetable. It cannot be forced. It cannot be arranged or brought on unnaturally. Love is a living, breathing
thing. It grows when two people, (and I mean any two people, but more on that later), work together in unison, taking in both the good and
the bad aspects of one another, and at the end of the day deciding that their love for one another is stronger than any apprehensions or
fears.

This has been a driving force in my life for years. I’ve always been more in touch with my feelings and the feelings of those around me, which
made me a good friend and shoulder to lean on for friends I’ve made over the years. While most people won’t agree with me, I am looking for
love, and I know I’ll find it one day. I have no interest in forcing it or assuming I’ll find it immediately. I just am allowing myself to
open up to love, and going along for the ride.

Now on to how this applies to VOID. You see, as a romantic, I’ve always incorporated love into my horror stories. I believe in showcasing
romance even in the face of horrific situations. Yet I felt inspiration strike after listening to a song. It was A Great Big World’s “Say
Something”. This song spoke to me on a new creative level. I listened to the song, and heard a message of loss, of hope, and of love. It
spoke to me about how life throws us curve-balls. How through pain, through loss, and through tragedy, one can find hope. Although the song
can be open to interpretation, this is the message I heard, and so VOID was born.

I decided to write a story about six friends, each undergoing a tragedy or dilemma of some sort. I decided to incorporate bits of my life
or things I believe in into their stories, such as Jasper, who’s undergoing a tragic set of circumstances as he is a gay man with parents
who are devoutly religious people who are against homosexuality. This is a subject I’m passionate about, because not only have I met and
known people who judge people by their sexuality, but I believe that love knows no sexual orientation. I felt like I needed to showcase
the mistakes and pitfalls of judging people. I wanted to highlight the struggles of the LGBT community in the face of adversity, and showcase
that friends could help him overcome his debacle.

I am writing this all down because I wanted to give you all a deeper understand of how I write and what I believe in. I’m a straight man
who fights for equality for everyone. I believe whole heartedly that everyone, no matter your race, gender or sexuality, is equal, and I
choose to believe this because I believe in love. You know, I just recently watched a very heartwarming and romantic video on YouTube of
well known YouTubers Colleen and Joshua Evans. It was their wedding video, and the love I saw in this video spoke to me. Not only the bright
love between this young couple, but the family that grew among their friends and family. Bonds were formed out of this love. A new family
was created out of this love. That is what I wanted to convey in VOID. Love among friends can bloom a new family. Love is one of our world’s
most powerful forces, and it should be cherished. That is what defines the theme of VOID.

Thank you guys for listening. To Josh and Colleen Ballinger, congratulations on your wedding. I’m always happy to see love blossom like in
your case. It’s a beautiful thing, and as a fellow YouTuber and romantic, I couldn’t be more proud and happy for you. To the rest of you guys,
I hope this gives you a better understanding of who I am and my creative process. I feel deeply, and I have always striven to incorporate
my thoughts, my feelings, and my romanticism into my writing. I hope you guys will check out VOID and see for yourself how love runs throughout
the veins of this novella. It’s available for preorder now on Amazon Kindle and will be out on October 1st, 2015 in both paperback and eBook
formats.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010VUR5QK?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

July 2, 2015

5 Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July (Independence Day)

No, this is not a blog about celebrating Roland Emmerich’s hit film Independence Day. This is one humble writer’s opinions on how to best
celebrate the U.S. holiday, the 4th of July!

1) Go to the Lake: Do you live in a town or city that has a lake, either big or small? Then this could be the answer to your 4th of July
needs. Bring some of your favorite food and drinks, gather the people you want to celebrate with, and then sit lakeside, watching birds
and animals go by as you look into the sky and see a massive light show in the sky, (courtesy of fireworks of course).

2) Go the the Beach: This is similar to option one. If you live near a beach, you might want to spend your day and night here. Not only will
you get to lay out on the sand, eating and drinking with family or friends, but you’ll also have some awesome shops near the coast, as well
as a pier that will allow you to overlook the ocean and give you a beautiful glimpse of the fireworks overhead.

3) Amusement Parks: Whether you go for the big parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios, or you have a more local amusement park, fair, or
even a carnival, a day out with friends or family, going on rides, eating, drinking, and catching shows may be your path. Immersing yourself
among the crowds, listening to music and enjoying the sights of the park seem like a grand time. If you are a parent this might be fun too,
for your kids will love the rides, the sights, and the bright fireworks that go off at the end of the night, (unless you have babies or
little kids. Loud noises might upset them).

4) Live Concerts: Not a huge fan of fireworks or the outdoors, but still want to party? Then a concert might be for you. Pick a concert that
fits your favorite music genre, find a local venue hosting a 4th of July concert, and head to the celebration with your favorite people
surrounding you. There’s never a bad time to enjoy good music with a cold drink in your hand and your ear drums filled with your favorite
music.

5) Home Barbeque: Not wanting to leave the house this 4th of July? Then this last option is for you. Crowds may be too much for you, and that’s
ok. Sometimes we need the comfort of home. So go to the store, grab your favorite food and drinks, and set up a nice barbeque at home. Put on
your favorite music, if you have a pool go swimming, get the grill fired up, and wait for the inevitable sound and sight of fireworks
bursting in the distance.

There you guys go. I’ve been an expert on option number 5, but I can assure you that these options all have the benefit of being fun, if you
are so inclined. Leave me your comments below telling me what you are doing this 4th of July, and send me your pictures or video from this
years celebrations! Everyone have a fun, safe holiday!

I wanted to talk about something that the entire United States is currently talking about. I’m talking about the historic moment when the Supreme Court made it a law that the LGBT community had the same rights as straight couples to get married nationwide. Now, so that I’m straight up honest with everyone, I myself …

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June 20, 2015

Father’s Day Ideas

Unless you are a little kid who can get away with making a makeshift tie or piece of artwork, finding gifts for your father can be difficult.
Notice how I said “can be difficult”? That’s because A) Not all father’s are difficult. If I ever become a dad my kid will have no shortage
of ideas for gifts. Also, B) I said “can be difficult” because there are some creative avenues to getting a gift for your dad. Here are a
few of my suggestions both as a writer and as a son for gifts on Father’s Day.

1) Poo-Pourri: This is for the father’s who play into the male stereotype of being obsessed with bodily functions. This spray is used to
eliminate bad smells from an especially foul bathroom trip. This is a gift for both the father and the rest of the household. It’s also a
great way to talk to your father about his bathroom habits. This gift could also be known as giving your dad a hint.

2) Custom Writing Featuring Your Dad: As your father always had a dream of playing professional baseball? Is he in touch with his emotions
and appreciative of poetry? Then writing your father a story or poem is the path for you. You can even make it more personal if you have a
working knowledge of Photoshop or any sort of photo editing software and put your father into the role your creating for him.

3) Personal video: Whether you’re an amateur with a smartphone or a professional videographer, a great way to show dad you love him this
Father’s Day is with a personal video. Whether that’s a slideshow of pictures with some heartwarming music, a sketch or music video, or
maybe it’s a compilation of your dad’s favorite viral videos all put together to make him laugh, a personal videos shows the effort you
put into his gift and the amount of care you have for him.

4) A Feast for a King: Sometimes the best way to a father’s heart is through his stomach. What better way to show dad you care than with a
collection of food that makes him happiest. Whether its home cooked meals or a day out at his favorite restaurant, sometimes a simple meal
can speak volumes.

There you have it. Buying gifts can be quite tricky. Yet if all these ideas fail on your father, then I suggest gift cards. If he’s going to
be stubborn, let him choose his own gift. To all the dads out there, Happy Father’s Day!