Dear readers, tonight with us is a man accidentally drawn into the dark world of child trafficking and abuse, and facing real and supernatural dangers.
Tell us a little about where you’re from and growing up.
I was born in Grass Valley, California, which is near Sacramento, the city where the seat of government for the state is. My dad’s career was in the Army, so we moved around a great deal. We spent time in Japan and Germany and once dad became a General, we moved stateside and came back to Grass Valley. My dad was quite the inventor so when he was home, we would work on projects together. We spent most of our time inventing things around the house for my mother. I suspect she just put up with our inventions since she didn’t really care for things like a vacuum that cleans, sort of like the Roomba that seems to be all the rage today, though for her, it just keep getting under her feet. I used to laugh when she would get a broom and try to sweep it out of the kitchen, only to have it come back. Frankly, I think the thing did it just to bug her because it knew how much she disliked it.
My dad traveled back and forth to Washington DC, since he worked in the Pentagon, so my mother and I spent a lot of time alone. I wanted a sibling, but evidently my father was too busy even for that, so I entertained myself. I discovered I had a knack for computers and started tinkering with them. In the early days of computing, well since I’m only in my 30’s, not the really “OLD” days where the computers used a dot matrix printer and were huge, I started writing code. I was never a hacker, because frankly I wasn’t interested in breaking into sites, but I liked to write programs for me to do things with. I also love photography and since I lived near the Redwoods, any chance I got to go there I took.
When I hit my 20’s, the General as I liked to call my dad disappeared. The military told us they had no idea where he went though they kept visiting my mother and me at least once a month until finally after years had gone by, they just checked in once a year to see if we had heard from him. My mother died broken-hearted and for me, it took a long time to get over my anger that he just up and left.
The General left behind some plans that I found one day while going through his stuff that my mother refused to get rid of and I discovered detailed plans for a noiseless drone that was smaller than anything the military had and could fly up to 30,000 feet as well as being undetectable by anything like radar. I decided to build it to use for my photography even though he had left instructions on how to weaponize it.
Any cherished memories?
One of my most cherished memories is while living in Japan; before we left the country we went on a sightseeing tour. The General didn’t normally have to time to do these kinds of things with us, but for one week we went to places like Kyoto and Nagoya where we visited some incredible Shinto temples. I was into photography then and had a Polaroid that I used to take pictures with; I still have those photographs, the only pictures I have of all of us together.
What kind of work do you do?
I have my own company which is basically computer tech support. My mother left me the house where I live in Grass Valley, so I work out of the house.
What is life really like in your line of work?
Because I am my own boss, I work at my own pace. I accept my clients based on if I like them or not. Thanks to my mother who left me taken care of financially, I’m free to set my hours and am able to spend most of my time inventing things or taking trips out into nature to photograph.
What scares you?
Being alone, though I have to confess when I say being alone, I really mean being lonely. I have met a girl who I have fallen in love with and am hoping to marry her. Her saying no really scares me.
What’s your favorite pastime?
I love going into the Redwoods with my drone and just taking picture after picture. I don’t know if I will ever do anything with the photos, but who knows. Tinkering and inventing is another pastime for me, but so far I don’t really have any kind of invention that I would give to the world. I’m like my dad that way, certain things are not meant to be shared since there are many who would use it for evil. My drone is one of those things, so in the meantime, it brings me great joy to be able to photograph nature.
What does the future hold for you? Will we see you again?
You will see me again. I’ve met a woman that I am hoping will become my wife and if she does, you will be seeing the both of us. We are both part of a team now that works to stop child trafficking. I was never aware of how prevalent this is in today’s society until I photographed something I shouldn’t have. I was chased by very powerful men and many times I thought I would be killed, but for the help of a woman who was a friend and colleague of my dad’s. She is responsible for saving me in more ways the one and she has built a team of people that are extraordinary. I have to confess without giving away too much of what is in my future; we have a lot of supernatural help.
Tina L. Helmuth thought about becoming a veterinarian but instead got into accounting, specifically entertainment accounting. She also started a band with a partner and they wrote songs, played the Roxy in Los Angeles and finished an album. She moved to Arkansas and in 2018 decided to take up writing novels about child trafficking. She thought writing fictional books with facts in them, sprinkled with the supernatural, would help bring attention to the plight of what is going on in the world today. She’s working on her sixth book, so there are no signs of stopping the Yah-Struck series.
You can find Andy on the pages of Suffer the Little Children.
Join us next time to meet a man man murdered by Al Capone and risen as a vampire. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.