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Local author Tim Ahrens said his second novel, released last week, is Stephen King meets “Lord of the Rings.”

Ahrens published the “A Single Game”, which follows the story of two unsuspecting creatures who become “pawns” for the gods in a video game, earlier this month on Friday, Jan. 10.

The dark fantasy genre is for people who enjoy it with a tinge of horror, Ahrens said. He has been writing since the age of 14, and the new book is the second book in his “Dark Creatures” series.

“People who read this like to be carried away into a world that is not marshmallows,” he said. “Most of these worlds have a dark sinister end to them.”

Ahrens got hooked on storytelling while playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends as a kid. He said he loves to create different worlds and develop fictional characters.

“Dark Creatures: A Single Game,” is about Doug Pimpkin and William J. Donovan who are playing a retro 16 bit video game, but the two characters inside the game, Llica and Augury, are real people who become wrapped up in the villain’s sick world.

Ahrens researched famous serial killers from the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s including Ted Bundy and Ed Gein to create the villain’s personality. In order to portray a sociopath, Ahrens said he studied their psychology, what made them “tick” and other personality traits.

“Trust me,” Ahrens promised, “you are going to hate the villain.”

It took Ahrens just eight months to write the second novel. He doesn’t write for the money, he said, but rather to gauge reactions to the story.

The third book in the series is expected to be released in 2021.

Contact Mackenzie Krumme at mackenzie.krumme@wcinet.com.