Fans of Al Ashworth’sThe True Manchurian can expect even more thrills in the second installation of the trilogy, The True Manchurain: Prodigal Son, which will be released at the upcoming Oktoberfest, sponsored by Wilson Bank & Trust, Oct. 19-20.
Ashworth, who attended Castle Heights Military Academy and graduated from Lebanon High School, said he felt it was “apropos” to unveil the book in his hometown.
The political series follows double agent Jericho Miles, who readers wonder is a good guy or a bad guy. “The first book of the trilogy ended with the assassination of a sitting president. It was carried out by the First Lady and on the same day, Rachel, Jericho’s wife, is also assassinated,” Ashworth explained of the cliffhanger ending. “This leaves Jericho in a tailspin and puzzled about how he unknowingly could have left his wife vulnerable.”
Ashworth began work on the series in 2011, when he “basically got up from the piano, had an idea and started writing.”
“I am a paranoid type of person and I love politics. I love the intrigue that goes into our international affairs. It is fascinating that my book is out in front of some of the things that are happening now. It is about the secret behind the secret,” he said.
Ashworth, owner of Custom Color Photo Lab in Lebanon, added that the complexity of the publishing process never deterred him from accomplishing his dream of authorship.
“It seems like a long process to the average person. Some people think I did it quicker than most, but I just did it at my own pace. I can write just about anywhere – I can write in my car,” he explained. “You just have to be willing as an author to put it all out there and be critiqued. Accept it or reject it.”
Ashworth said his main struggle is keeping the novels concise. “I am more apt to write 80,000 words than 230. I love reading and don’t mind big books, but 1,000 pages for readers is intimidating. I felt like it was the better option to turn The True Manchurian into a trilogy.”
The third installment, The True Manchurian: Awakening, to be released in 2014, is worth the wait, according to Ashworth. “Readers want to know what will happen to these characters. The third book is going to blow all of them away. The plot thickens and gets more involved,” he said.
In the meantime, fans can feast their eyes on another of Ashworth’s works, Spin Cycle.
“Spin Cycle is a completely different type of book than The True Manchurian. It is a spiritual story about two sisters at odds with one another. It makes you think about your own relationships,” he said of the fiction piece.
When he is not busy writing, Ashworth continues his love of photography. “I still devote myself to photography and it helps my writing. I am a visual person. Someone asked me recently how I come up with these ideas for my books and honestly, it plays like a movie in my brain.”
He compared balancing the two careers to a single mother juggling three children. “It is like a mother trying to get one to soccer, one to basketball and one to ballet. It requires juggling, but I am very fortunate to have a lot of people who believe in me. I have met a lot of great people.”
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.