Weird Conversations At 1:20am

This is one of those blog posts that is going to enter very weird territory before it’s finished… But then that’s what happens when people have conversations when neither one of them is entirely awake.

On the subject of bomb warnings…

If you grew up in England during a particular time, you might have lived with the potential threat of bombs going off in some of the big cities. If that’s the case, then you may have seen posters similar to this one in any number of places.

I remember seeing any number of posters reminding people to keep their eyes open for packages, suitcases, bags, or other unattended. They were a constant reminder that there was always the potential for one of those items to be a bomb. Some went so far as to remind you not to approach the item, but contact the police instead.

Warnings turn to humor…

After a while, I started seeing graffiti that took the warning, and added humor. But not before I’d already had the conversation with some friends in the early hours of the morning…

Now this was before the internet had become an invasive part of our lives. It was also way before people turned such things into viral memes, that would spread like wildfire.

And then turn into the unexpectedly bizarre…

Now my wife is very much aware of these conversations, and just how strange my mind is at times. But last night, we were talking about something (I can’t for the life of me remember what), but I turned to her and said “Be alert”, and she came back with a reply that left me speechless and laughing, because it was so unexpected.

I jumped out of bed, wrote it down in my journal, with the lights off, in the dark, and could still somehow read it this morning. So I couldn’t help but turn it into a poster. And for what it’s worth “I’m sorry” and “You’re Welcome”

Do you have any bizzare late night (or any other time) conversations you want to share?

Feel free to drop them in the comments below and I’ll share the best responses in a future post!

 

 

“Under A Hunter’s Moon” Gains Another 4-Star Review

From time to time, I like to check back on the sales and reviews for the books I’ve released.

It’s always a pleasure to hear from readers that they enjoyed a story that I’ve spent time and energy working on. Many people have reached out to me through Facebook, Twitter, or email, and told me they’ve liked my work, and asked for more. So when someone takes the time to put a review up on Amazon, I’m always excited to see how they rate my work.

As a reader, I often look at book reviews before picking up books from new authors. Some of the stories I’ve read and loved have only earned 3-star ratings from other reviewers, and I don’t know if that reflects on how I rate books compared to others, or how hard earned those higher ratings are.

Either way, I’m more than grateful for any 4-star (or better) ratings… I’m posting a couple of these reviews for “Under A Hunter’s Moon” below, so you can see what people are saying:

Where’s the next book?!

By Heidi Angell on July 29, 2017

Prequels are mean! Especially when the book isn’t out yet! Timothy, I know you are releasing Evaline Transcendent right now, but can you hurry up with the first book in the Shadows over Seattle Series? Seriously, this was just… Sucked me right in and then left me with nowhere to go 😦

I enjoy the author’s twist on the old werewolf lore, creating a whole new version and calling them Lupines, to allow him to break the rules of the legends without really breaking things, if you know what I mean.

This is a great teaser to the main character, his motivations, and his drive. Jump on in and then go yell at the author to hurry up and finish the book, just like I’m doing!

Not all Monsters are Monsters.

By Kindle Customer on November 6, 2016

An amazing take on Lycans. I love the dark view taken but also the unique point of view that makes you want to care for the dark creatures.

See Why People Are Rating This Book 4-stars

Richard Parsons is a lupine, one of the many breeds of shape-shifters living in Seattle. Mortal legends of his kind call them werewolves.
When a traveling exhibition returns to Seattle, Richard takes a night time visit, with plans that go beyond seeing a particular display. However he is unprepared for the memories and emotions that come flooding back.

See why “Under A Hunter’s Moon” is earning 4-star reviews

Authors Talk About It! and Me

If you’re a member of my newsletter, then you’ve already heard that I’ve been busy getting interviewed for a number of different blogs.

Well one of those blogs is over at the “Authors Talk About It” site run by the amazing Rob and Janelle Alex. This husband and wife team are pod-casters, marketers and branding experts, with years of experience behind them. They host book competitions, offer editing assistance, book critiques, and help indie authors to shape their bios.

I had the pleasure of being selected for a featured author interview. I had a lot of fun sitting down and going through these questions. Some of them were the kind of questions you see on almost all author interviews, but others really made me stop and think. Go check it out!


My newsletter is the place to get my weekly blog post round-up, book release news, and more… Join now and get the first chapter of “Under A Hunter’s Moon” for free!

Weighing in on the 13th Doctor Announcement

If you’ve been hiding under a rock lately, you might not have seen all the recent Doctor Who posts on social media.

This is what the fuss has been all about…

And here’s the news from the BBC themselves…

So What Do Fans Think?

Reactions from fans have been very mixed. I’ve seeing every kind of response from “Best idea ever” to “Worst mistake ever”.  Personally I’m excited to see what comes from this.

It’s obvious to me that that BBC has been building up to having a female Doctor for some time. Even the shows creators had suggested the possibility to the BBC controllers back in the 80s.

Even more interestingly, the last couple of seasons have teased the possibility of the Doctor becoming female, one day.

  • In “The Doctor’s Wife” Neil Gaiman wrote a line that more than suggested that the Time Lords can change sex
  • Then there was the Time Lord who regenerated from male to female on screen
  • The Master became Missy, and we’ve still yet to see how that resolves itself
  • And finally the seemingly throw-away line about the future being “all female”

To say I saw this coming so soon would be a lie, but it’s definitely something I’ve been hoping for.

Looking Foward…

Unlike with David Tennant, I’ve not seen Jodie Whittaker in anything, so I’m not going to be going into this with any preconceived ideas of what to expect. So I’m ready to see what the Christmas Special brings, and how Chris Chibnall handles transitioning into the role of show runner, and the switch over from Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker.

The one thing that is certain is that the dynamic between the Doctor and Bill is going to change, and things could potentially get very interesting.

Whatever happens it can’t be as rough a transition we had from Peter Davison to Colin Baker…

“Evaline Transcendent” Is Coming July 26th!

Hey folks… I have my first sci-fi book release coming up on July 26th, and would love to get some support for the HeadTalker and Thunderclap campaigns…

Here’s what it’s all about:

“Evaline Transcendent” is a massively updated version of the story that appeared in “Across the Karman Line” a couple of years ago. Not only have I gone back through to make sure the editing is top notch, but I’ve reinstated parts of the story that I had to cut because of the word count limits I originally had.

I’ve added almost another 5,000 words to the original length of the story, and I think it’s a much stronger story as a result, because it really brings Evaline’s mission into perspective.

How HeadTalker & Thunderclap Work

  • People create advertising campaigns for their books/services/projects/fundraisers
  • They then set a minimum number of backers for the campaign, and a deadline
  • They then try to rally support for the campaign by asking people to back it
  • By supporting the campaign, each backer pledges to allow a message to be placed in their social media feeds advertising the book/service/project/fundraiser
  • No money changes hands

Here’s Where I Ask For Your Help

I have two campaigns setup, that I’m asking for support on. Here’s some reasons you consider for backing the project:

  • You really love a good sci-fi story
  • You know some friends who’ve thought of colonizing other worlds
  • You’ve read the original story and want to see what’s new
  • You want to see humanity out among the stars

And here’s the links (feel free to share them with others)

Headtalker: https://headtalker.com/campaigns/evaline-transcendent-release/
Thunderclap: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/59308-evaline-trascendent-prerelease

Pre-Order “Evaline Transcendent” for $0.99 (*) on Amazon until July 25th ($1.99 from July 26th)

 

* The release date is July 26th 2017, and all pre-orders will be delivered on that date.

 

Thoughts On Independence

For those of you who’ve been living under a rock, today is Independence Day here in the US, and I’m experiencing it as an American citizen for the first time. Rather than go through the history of how I went from being a British citizen to an American, I’ve spent the last week trying to find quotes that typify how I see my new country.

I was lucky enough to come across this one from ‘Eddie’ Rickenbacker…

Here’s how Wikipedia describes ‘Eddie’ Rickenbacker…

Edward Vernon Rickenbacker (October 8, 1890 – July 23, 1973) was an Americanfighter ace in World War I and Medal of Honor recipient. With 26 aerial victories, he was America’s most successful fighter ace in the war. He was also considered to have won the most awards for valor by an American during the war according to the April 2017 VFW magazine in their special World War I edition.

He was also a race car driver and automotive designer, a government consultant in military matters and a pioneer in air transportation, particularly as the longtime head of Eastern Air Lines.

For the full article, click here. I recommend taking a look at the full article, because it covers the life of someone who fought for the rights and freedoms that we enjoy today.

It is because of people like ‘Eddie’ Rickenbacker that we can enjoy the independence that so many have fought for.

Here’s my challenge to you all:

  • Take the initiative to live your lives your way.
  • Have the imagination to believe that whatever you desire is possible
  • Explore and thrive in your individuality
  • And have the independence to be yourself, no matter what others think

Feel Free To Comment Below:

I’d love to hear from those of you reading this.

How did you spend your Independence Day?

Do you have thoughts on what has shaped America since it’s independence?

Which of my challenges will you be taking up? And what plans do you have for meeting that challenge?

Anatomy Of A Book Cover “Evaline Transcendent

This is not going to be my usual Midweek Mumbles ramblings. Instead I’m going to do something a little different, and give you a behind-the-scenes look at some of the steps involved in creating my first book cover design.

How I Made My Last Cover

When I published “Under A Hunter’s Moon”, I had a lot of help with the cover design. Ariel Marie was kind enough to Photoshop the components for me, and all I did was do the type-setting for the text.

What Makes This Time Different?

The cover for “Evaline Transcendent” is a much more interesting journey, because it’s a science fiction story, and there are very few stock photos that could be tweaked to work for what I had in mind.

I wanted to invoke the sci-fi genre right from the start, so setting the cover in one of the ship’s corridor was always part of my plan. The representation of the main character, Evaline, was a more difficult decision for a number of reasons:

  • This is re-release of a story that was originally published in an anthology.
  • Since that release, I’ve been interested in updating it with ideas that didn’t make the original draft.
  • I also wanted to represent Evaline in some way, but in the original story she was only a disembodied voice.
  • To give her more presence that meant either putting an image on a computer screen, or creating a holographic presence, which was not originally in the story.

Was There A Way To Do What I Wanted?

After looking at some ideas for cover designs, I decided to go with a sci-fi corridor with a holographic figure to represent Evaline herself.

Having previously used 3D software, specifically Daz3D,I was already familiar with what was possible with the right tools at my disposal. I did a search through the database of 3D models available, and found a sci-fi corridor that looked matched my list of requirements. Then I took the base female figure and a basic pose and put her into the scene.

After some tweaking, I clothed her in a skin-tight outfit, which had sections I could hide, and then bought a shader that allowed me to turn the textures into holograms.

Once the image was rendered, I transferred it into Canva and overlaid it on a background color, before adding the title and author text.

And here was the first attempt, but there were several issues…

  • The text fonts didn’t match up very well
  • The pose was a little problematic, and too ‘sexy’ for my tastes
  • The presence of the background frame didn’t mesh well the current trends in sci-fi cover designs
  • I wasn’t keen on the colors or the outfit
  • Because of the 3d models, outfits, and tricks I’d used to build this particular hologram I didn’t have a lot of control over how it rendered
  • I also didn’t have any way to adjust the placement of the figure within the final image

So I Sought Help From Fellow Authors..

I approached some authors I’ve worked with in the past, so I could get some ideas of ways we could try and fix the issues. And once I got some feedback, I dove deeper into to capabilities of the 3D software, and online forums, in the hopes of figuring out the solutions. And here’s the result…

I think you’ll agree this is a much better cover. It was created in several steps…

  1. Setup the scene, with the figure in place, posed, and clothed in single color clothing.
  2. Light the entire scene.
  3. Render the corridor background, with the lighting effects already in place.
  4. Hide the figure and clothing.
  5. Render the corridor background.
  6. Remove the corridor and place the figure against a black background.
  7. Set all the clothing colors to solid black, and render the visible flesh areas and hair
  8. Set the figure and hair to black
  9. Add a digital opacity layer to clothing and set the colors
  10. Render just the clothing
  11. Import the individual layers into GIMP2 for editing.

How The Layers Stacked Up…

  • Layer 1 – Background (Mode=Normal, Opacity=100%)
  • Layer 2 – Flesh #1 (Mode=Addition, Opacity=100%)
  • Layer 3 – Flesh #2 (Mode=Dodge, Opacity=40%)
  • Layer 4 – Flesh #3 (Mode=Lighten Only, Opacity 100%)
  • Layer 5 – Flesh #4 (Mode=Addition, Opacity=100%)
  • Layer 6 – Leggings #1 (Mode=Addition, Opacity=100%)
  • Layer 7 – Leggings #2 (Mode=Dodge, Opacity=40%)
  • Layer 8 – Leggings #3 (Mode=Lighten Only, Opacity 100%)
  • Layer 9 – Leggings #4 (Mode=Addition, Opacity=100%)
  • Layer 10 – Top & Shoes #1 (Mode=Addition, Opacity=100%)
  • Layer 11 – Top & Shoes #2 (Mode=Dodge, Opacity=40%)
  • Layer 12 – Top & Shoes #3 (Mode=Lighten Only, Opacity 100%)
  • Layer 13 – Top & Shoes #4 (Mode=Addition, Opacity=100%)

As you can see, that’s a lot of layers… And that was all before I pulled the image into Canva and added the text layers.

So here’s a look at the images that went to the cover…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And that folks, is how I wasted three weeks of writing and editing time…

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the covers, or even my methods of creating them. Post in the comments below, or email me at timothy.bateson.author@gmail.com

Oh, and just between us… “Evaline Transcendent” will soon be available in the Kindle store… Once I’ve gone through some final edits, and finalized my revisions to the original story. There are aspects of the original story I wasn’t happy with, and plot points I wanted to update.