Name Arnie Tij King (A.T. King)
Where are you from
I was born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico but was raised, and still reside in Mission, Tx, USA.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I am the youngest of five in my family (2 brothers and 2 sisters), and I graduated high school in 1996. I tried to go to college but I always found the classes to be boring so I stopped going. Instead I opted to work in different jobs in the retail industry and in the restaurant business. I loved those jobs but always felt that I wanted more. In my spare time I love to bowl, play miniature golf, watch movies, and just hang out with friends and family.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest news as of today (July 14, 2015) is that I am preparing to release my latest work on Saturday. I am excited for this one because it is my second book but first one with a publishing company. I also have a few more works in progress which I am hoping to release into the world by the end of the year.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing back in 2007.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was inspired by watching B-Horror movies with one of my sisters. I spent an entire evening of watching horror movies before I realized that I could probably write my own story. I mentioned it to my sister as a joke, but she didn’t take it that way and challenged me to do it. It took a few months but when all was said and done I had finished my first story, “CUPID”. It went through several changes before I self-published it and made it available to the world.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
NO, not really. I usually just have an idea of where I want the story to begin and were I want it to end when I write. Once I am in front of the screen I let the characters take over and dictate where they go.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Well, for some stories I use the name of the main character. Other times I try to pick out something from the story that will stand out and will stick to the reader’s mind.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t try to put messages there, but if my readers happen to find one please let me know what it is. LOL.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Cupid is 100% made up, but Highway 187 has a bit of truth to it. In highway 187 I used a personal experience I had as one of the stories. Out of the other stories some are based on stories I heard while growing up, I just put my own twist to them, while others are completely made up.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Out of all the stories I have written only one short story is based on my own personal experience.
Fiona: What books have influenced your life most? a mentor?
The influences in my life have come mostly from books by Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and others.
As for a mentor, I guess the persons who have taught me and helped me out during this phase in my life are my friend and fellow author A.Z. Green and my PA Amanda Ivy Valori. They have both guided me and taught me what I need to do in order to keep moving forward and the importance of writing for myself. Without their help and guidance I might have given up on writing.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
At the moment I have several books on my list, all by Indie authors.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Actually there are some indie authors I have had the pleasure to befriend and their works have gotten my interest. One author is A.Z. Green, who has written two books in the Hidden Blood Series). Other authors are Pawnie Santana, She Swain, Julia Skyler, and I just recently picked up a book by Nicholas Ryan.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
My current project is a book entitled Trimpl. This story was inspired by the character Rumpelstiltskin. I am doing the final edits and will hopefully have it out in the next few months.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have gotten a lot of support from friends. Plus I have a wonderful PA (Amanda Ivy Valori) who never lets me settle for less than my best and constantly pushes me to try new things.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do see it as a career. I love to write and entertain people with my stories.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
If I had to do it all over again I would not change a thing. I am happy with the way this book has come out, and although it took longer than I thought it would the long hours and hard work I put in to it has been worth it.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My interest in writing originated with poetry. I began using poetry to deal with things that were happening in my life and around the world, and I still do.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure, I can share the first two pages.
It was a hot and muggy Sunday afternoon, just like every other day in Deep South Texas. I like to think that when Stephen King wrote “ninety degrees in the shade, ninety six in the sun, hot enough that the air shimmers above the pavement as if over an open incinerator” he was thinking of this place we call home. That seems to be the case for us all year round, even during the so-called winter months. It seems that here in South Texas we just have two seasons; spring and summer. We usually get five or six days of what could pass for cold and only nine or ten days that are wet or bearable, if we are lucky. I had just gotten out of work and was about to head for home when my phone rang. I checked the number but I didn’t recognize it. I thought about ignoring the call, but something told me to answer it.
“Hello?” I answered, hoping it wasn’t a telemarketer of some sort. Those damn bastards have gotten sneakier over the years. Nowadays they actually call your cell phone, and I just wasn’t in the mood to deal with them at the moment.
“Yes, hello, am I speaking with Mr. Dutton?” asked the soft voice on the other side.
“Yes, may I ask who is calling?”
“Mr. Dutton, I am Dr. Keely calling from the Millen Medical Center. I was asked to contact you by one of our patients, a Mr. Nicholas Christie.”
“Nick? I haven’t heard from him in years. Is he ok?”
“I really can’t go into details with you, except to say that he has asked for you to come; he says it is a matter of life and death.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The most challenging thing about writing is coming up with unique ideas. I try my best to give my readers a different way of looking at things.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite author is Stephen King. I love his work because he will take something and spin it on you to where it sticks in your head. For example, one f my favorite stories of his is CUJO. Before I read that book I never saw St. Bernards as fierce killing machines, just as big playful dogs.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I don’t do any traveling since I just started, but I would love to go all over the U.S.A to do book signings and go to different events. I’d love to build a following and meet them.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I usually do my own covers; however for CUPID I actually found a drawing that I fell I love with on deviant art. I contacted the artists and got their permission to use it, and my PA tweaked it.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing my latest book was finding time to sit down and write everyday while keeping the ideas flowing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
From writing “Highway 187” I learned that I can write a full length novel, and not just short stories. Previously I had just written short stories and never fathomed the chance to write a full novel. One of my brothers challenged me to try it and when I heard about NaNoWri Mo I decided to give it a shot. To my surprise I actually reached, and surpassed, my word count goal.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice for writers is don’t let rejection be a deterrent. I have gone through several different publishing companies and magazines trying to get some of my work published and have been rejected by almost all of them. Persistence pays off, and as long as you keep moving forward success will find you. Don’t expect to be an overnight success, it takes work and dedication. It might seem hard and impossible, but in the end it is worth every struggle that you go through.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
To all my readers, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for your support, for allowing me the opportunity to entertain you, and possibly give you a little scare, with my words. I hope to be able to meet each and every single one of you sometime in the future. Feel free to reach out to me and say hi online or if you ever see me around.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I remember reading was a collection of poems by Shel Silverstein entitled “Where The Sidewalk Ends”.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My family and friends make me laugh. They keep me in good spirits and never let me feel down or take things too seriously.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love to meet Stephen King or Sandra Bullock. They seem like the type of people who have not allowed success to change who they are. I’d love to get to know them and be lucky enough to call them my friends.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I don’t know. I have never given that much thought. I suppose it would be something like “Don’t cry for me, instead just remember all the good times we had” because I would like to think that the great times will be enough to continue to brighten the days of those I leave behind.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love to watch tv and I guess being on facebook and other social media sites talking and laughing with friends, if that can be considered a hobby. LOL
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
These are going to be quite a different mix of shows, here we go. I love watching My Haunted House, The Haunting of, Ghost Adventures, Dead Files, Castle, Criminal Minds, Sports Nation, Once Upon A Time, Under The Dome, Impractical Jokers, and Ellen. I also love to watch nature programs on the weather channel, different shows on Investigation Discovery, and several shows on Disney Channel.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favorite food is lasagna, pizza, and hamburgers. My favorite colors are red and black, and I listen to almost all genres of music.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
If I could have any other job besides writing, I would love to be a football coach.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have a website and it is http://atking77.weebly.com/