Only one obstacle stands in his way of enjoying a normal life. He remembers—every life he's lived before.
Tres is about to be born... with the biggest burden any has ever had to bear. He is beginning again—as an ageless adult trapped in an infant body.
He and his teenage mother face life filled with extraordinary challenges as they strive to protect, nurture, and hide how truly different he is. But Tres alone must solve the greatest mystery of all: who is he? The answer is linked to the one question he's too afraid to ask: why am I?
In his quest, Tres discovers that all is considerably more interconnected and dynamic than he could ever imagine—and fraught with far more danger. He cannot hide from the unseen threat stalking him since his birth.
Life as he knows it—as all know it—is in peril. And Tres is the only one aware.
“He needs a name,” Maria said, pouring scrambled eggs onto the plate decorated with a face of bacon strips.
Sancha stared at her plate. “He has one,” she said.
The hot iron skillet slipped from Maria’s hand; she sighed her relief as it landing safely on the stove burner. “What... did you decide?”
“I didn’t.” Sancha prodded at her eggs, recovering her bacon art one eye at a time.
“I thought you—”
“He has one already. I just don’t know what it is.”
Maria’s subconscious almost recognized the truth in the statement before it was buried by her conscious again. “Don’t be silly. Did you choose a name? If not, I will have—”
“No, you will not,” Sancha ended the conversation.
* * *
In the fenced back yard Maria referred to as “the garden,” sat a rusting swing set for two: Sancha’s favorite spot in the whole world. Swinging there—in and out of the shade of the broad-reaching maple tree—seemed to slow time and shoo away all teenage troubles.
“I have to name you,” she called out to her bright-eyed baby resting in a basket nestled in the grass below her. She swung her pale legs to propel herself higher into the morning sunlight, her glittering hair swirling around her. “But you won’t tell me what yours is,” she pouted.
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Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m one of those that loves to read—anything, really—and always wanted to write, but went along with the adults that believed writing isn’t actually a career or something that makes money to live off of but that is more of an ambitious dream that’s nice to just think about…. like, maybe it’ll happen for some folks once they’ve long retired from their “real career” and can sit around doodling with words on paper. But my urge to write stories, to tap into that other realm where stories come from, kept compelling me decade after decade through different jobs, world travel, different creative ventures. I’d focus on “being a writer” in spurts, but never get to the point of getting my writing actually out there for others to judge or read or consider publishing. Finally, one day, the urge to be the writer I was meant to be was so strong, that I just started doing it. I wrote and wrote, published, gained an audience, and voila! I’m really a writer. It took me a lifetime, it seems, to realize others with the best of intentions are the ones that hold dreamers—all artists?—back, and we just have to realize that we’re the ones that make writing—or any other art—a “real” career. All we have to do is sit and do it. And thankfully, all those years that could’ve detracted from my writing, actually added so many crazy experiences that really add to the realism of my writing, the wealth of imaginative story ideas, and my unique “voice” now. And, as it turns out, I was actually writing all that time: the inner me was finding ways to write, write, write in any job or venture I was involved in… even down to super-long “story” emails to friends. J
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I love all genres! But in this case, the genre, the story, chose me. My stories tend to start with a character or a situation, and then dictate the genre—whether the solution or the story unfolds one way or another. For The One Apart, I woke up one morning with just one interesting sentence in mind as an idea for a brand-new story: “he remembered everything.” It felt really impactful, like the fact that this person remembered “everything” was a big deal, that it wasn’t supposed to happen, something went wrong, or maybe, someone would be really upset to discover this person did remember everything. That was it. I had to start writing the story, from the very beginning, to learn just what was remember, who my main character was, etc. And that’s when I found he remembered all of his past lives—and he wasn’t supposed to.
Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas are everywhere! I just have to make sure I’m paying attention, so I don’t miss them. For me, the initial little ideas just pop into mind: maybe from a dream, something someone says, something that happens, or while reading or watching a story someone else wrote. They can be really tiny ideas, like a type of character or a strange predicament, or a spooky element. When I’m ready to write, I choose a tiny idea, start writing, and the story unfolds.
Are you a planner or a pantser?
I’m a proud pantser! My process is very simple: start with a tiny story idea, the simpler and less-detailed, the better. Then, I start writing the story from the beginning. I never know how my stories are going to end up—and for me, that's the whole fun of it. That's why I write! Every story's an adventure, a mystery, an experience waiting to unfold. That's the whole appeal for me. If I'm not having fun writing a story, I imagine no one else is going to enjoy reading it. No outlines exist for my stories. My stories aren't planned; they're dreamed. At most, I may get flooded with ideas for a story while writing it, then have to keep up by jotting them all down and maybe needing to put them in chronological order to refer to them later. But I've found I'm not happiest with even "fun ideas" in a little list to write into the story; that's when creative writing turns into academic writing, for me, with a pre-determined end goal, and all the fun is sucked out of it.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
The One Apart is more than a story—it’s an experience. Expect a family saga, an adventure epic, lots of mystery and intrigue and eeriness. Expect to delve in, “live” the story with the characters, to love or love to hate all the characters, and to laugh a little, cry a little, and definitely be drive to look over your shoulder to reassure yourself nothing’s there. Expect to never be able to look at the world, life, and people around you the same way again.
What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I loved writing The Big Reveal—once I knew it was part of the story—when the story kind of explodes and suddenly expands around you as you’re reading it, and you realize there’s much more to the story, to this character’s life, to the whole universe around us, than you first imagine.
How did you come up with the title?
Usually, a single phrase or theme will stand out as I’m writing or after I’ve finished a story: something poignant that just happens to represent or sum up the whole story well, or its tone. Sometimes, there’s a few of these to choose between, and then, when it comes to a novel, you don’t want to “share” the title with other books previously published, so you might have to strain a bit harder to come up with more “perfect” titles that aren’t already used “out there.” That happened for me with The One Apart. The novel’s ending wrote its perfect title, but then I found that exact title was already used by about seven other books just on Amazon! So, I had to choose among the other ideas I had. I also tend to favor titles that have double or multiple meanings, within the story. And The One Apart is just that. J
What sort of writing environment do you create? I.e. music or not? Pen and paper or laptop/PC?
I’m a minimalist when it comes to my writing environment: desk, comfy chair, tea, maybe a piece of chocolate, my laptop, a window with a view. I try to keep out all distractions, so I can focus solely on the story and imagine myself there. There aren’t even any cute desktop decorations or anything; those are on the “business desk.” I have to keep out all distracting noise too, so I wear noise-cancelling headphones and play a loop of beach sounds: crashing waves and the occasional seagull going by. It’s the only thing I can write with: something without words or music that would pull me out of the story but sound that helps drown out outside noises.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I write to explore ideas and satiate my own curiosity. I publish to share the story with others for your own enjoyment. When it’s in your hands, it belongs to you. There’s no intended lesson or meaning or ulterior motive; the novel is for you to interpret, for you to explore and discover. So, I hope you enjoy the heck out of the adventure of reading it!
Is there one subject you would never write about? What is it?
I learned to “never say never” a long time ago!
How important are the names in your book?
Very. I might make up a name or pick one randomly, but if the story is long enough, I feel that character names matter. So, I always look up the name’s origin and meaning to make sure it doesn’t terribly contradict the character’s personality. Sometimes, I’ll discover something interesting that way, something that helps direct who the character is or what he/she does later in the story. For The One Apart, the names carry even more significance. Those of the “other world” required special names, that speak even more specifically to who they are and what their driving forces are.
Do you read your reviews?
I do still read reviews of my books; I’ll eventually train myself not to! But, as a self-published author, I’m the one that has to glean the editorial reviews as they come in for catchy blurbs and things to use in promotion. And being aware of all your reviews, as an author, from the high-profile editorial ones to the regular reader reviews, helps you to realize/remember that we’re all different readers, that everyone on the planet is going to have a different reading experience from your work, interpret it differently, and that is what makes reading so magical. Each story written is a different story for everyone who reads it, and it’s different for them each time they read it.
Do you respond to them, good or bad?
Of course, I don’t respond to them! A reader’s opinion has nothing to do with me and everything to do with them. They’re entitled to their viewpoint, especially as no one person has the same experience reading one story as another person does. A review’s purpose is to share one reader’s view with others who are interesting in reading the story. The author’s already made their personal statement; he/she’s behind the story itself. J
Avery has either lived in or explored all 50 states of the union, over 36 countries, and all but one continent; she lost count after moving 30-some times before the age of 20. She’s intentionally jumped out of airplanes and off the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, scuba dived unintentionally with sharks, designed websites, intranets, and technical manuals, bartered with indigenous Panamanians, welded automobile frames, observed at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noba, Japan, and masterminded prosperous internet businesses—to name a few adventures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree that life has never required, and at age 28, she sold everything she owned and quit corporate life—and her final “job”—to freelance and travel the world as she always dreamed of. And she’s never looked back.
Aside from her native English, Avery speaks a bit of Japanese and a bit more Spanish, her accent is an ever-evolving mixture of Midwestern American with notes of the Deep South and indiscriminate British vocabulary and rhythm, and she says “eh”—like the Kiwis, not the Canadians. She currently lives near Los Angeles with her husband, British film director Devon Avery, and their three adopted children: Becks, Sam, and Lia. She writes from wherever her curiosity takes her.
Avery loves to connect with fellow readers and creatives, explorers and imaginers, and cordially invites you to say “hello”—or konnichiwa.