Return of the Newsletter

Yep, you read that right. I’m bringing back something that has gone neglected for far too long, my newsletter emails.

What happened to the newsletter anyway?

Back in 2015, I tried to start up a regular newsletter, with people subscribing to receive updates and book news by email. Well, needless to say I got very mixed results, because I really had no idea how to go about running a newsletter, and I had very little to say.

It didn’t help that between changes at Gmail, and alterations to the services offered by the site I sent the newsletter from, emails were likely ending up in people’s spam folders instead of being delivered. Now remember, everyone on that list had already confirmed they wanted to hear from me, but the open rate dropped considerably, and I lost interest in continuing the newsletter.

What changed?

It all started when I began putting together the events for the Brain to Books Fantasy Genre events, and needed a way to keep in touch with authors who were participating. All of the authors needed to receive the same email, and some of them needed to receive event-specific emails, and so was born a new mailing list.

Through careful planning of the events, and working out ways to send specific emails to the relevant authors, I got a feel for how the newsletters could work. Fast forward a few days, and I come across a service that did what my old one did, but came with the bonus of many of the features I needed being free.

So, I started looking into the details, and wondered if I could get my newsletter back off the ground. And thankfully, there were a number of people who’d already expressed an interest in hearing more from me, after they had completed the Brain to Books Fantasy “First Lines” Scavenger Hunt event.

I had a ready-made list of new people who actually wanted to know more… hmmm… but what to send them?

Well, I was already updating my graphics for my social media sites, so why not try something new with the newsletter. I created some new graphics to us as headers…

And here’s what went out…

Actually, the answer to this question wasn’t a simple one.

In my first email to you, I promised to give you some background information on my favorite lupine (werewolf), Richard Parsons. And then I realized just how hasty I’d been in making that promise.

You see, when you’ve been writing about a character for the best part of eight years, they undergo a kind of metamorphosis. Initially, what you have is a very basic idea of the character, some broad personality traits, and maybe a rough idea of what they look like.

Then you sit down and start writing, and things change. In Richard’s case, they changed a lot. Which meant making sure what you got was actually representative of Richard as he turned out.

So, I dove through my piles of notes, website pages, story outlines, finalized stories, and everything I’d shared with others, and discovered the ideal way to introduce Richard…

Read “A Fireside Chat with Richard Parsons” by A.F. Stewart & Timothy Bateson

Find out who Richard is connected to…

There is a lot of other information about Richard, and the other characters in the “Shadows Over Seattle” series, over on my website.

Now, it’s a little sparse compared to the depth of information that Sandi and I have created over the years of creating this series.

So, here’s an open invitation to find out more.

  • Keep following these emails, my blog, and the website for information as it’s posted…
  • Or, drop me an email, and let me know what you’d like to know more about, and find out information before anyone else.
  • Just don’t expect too much in the way of spoilers…

Join The Conversation

Now, it may look like I’m just giving away a bunch of links to material that I’ve already put out there, and that’s true.. For now!

I want the newsletter to be more than a rehashing of old material. I want to turn it into a way for people to be part of the conversations that go on behind the scenes.

By subscribing, you’re going to have access to me as a writer, and be in a position to ask me questions, show what projects most interest you, and maybe even influence some of my writing. You see, I know that I don’t know everything, so if you have knowledge that might be relevant to one of my projects, I might just be asking you questions too…

You’ll also receive updates from my blog, so you’ll never have to miss a single post, unless you want to.

As time goes on, I might expand the newsletter to include other things, like reviews of books I’ve recently read, or reviewed in the past. Of course, if I hear enough people want to see something, I will definitely try to include it.

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10 Things Your Mother Never Told You About: Fae (Shadows Over Seattle – 1st Looks)

Back at the start of last year, I posted a racial genealogy of the races in the “Shadows Over Seattle” setting. It is still one of the posts that I’m proudest of, because of the way I was able to represent some very abstract thoughts in a coherent infographic. Since then, Sandi and I have put a lot more work into creating the actual histories that are represented in the chart.

Today’s post is about the fae races.

10 Things Your Mother Never Told You About: Fae

  1. Fae almost never discuss the origins of their species, only saying admitting that they are ancient
  2. It is known that the fae pre-date the origins of the human race, possibly by hundreds of thousands of years
  3. There are three councils of fae: Wyld, Seelie and Unseelie
  4. None of the fae will explain the differences between the councils
  5. All ancient fae belong to one of the councils, though it is unclear how membership to a council is determined
  6. Supernatural experts have determined that fae are capable of shape-shifting all the way down to the cellular level, and able to take any form
  7. After the advent of modern hominids, a ‘second-generation’ of fae arose, who broke away from the ancient councils
  8. At some point after the first mortals walked the earth, they started cross-breeding with the second-generation fae, giving rise to the Great Wizards, Shape-shifters and other species
  9. The more human blood a supernatural species carries, the less power they have relative to their fae origins
  10. The weaker the fae portion of the bloodline, the less likely it is that a supernatural’s children will inherit the powers of their parents

So, now you know a few things about the fae. Some of them may even be true.

To find out what s fact, and what the far have made up, check out the “Shadows Over Seattle” stories

3rd Annual Brain To Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo

I’m Timothy Bateson, and this is my third time doing the Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo. Every year, this event has just got bigger and better organized, and I’ve gone from a participating author to Fantasy Genre Manager. What makes this year different is that I’m more excited than ever, because there are so many great authors coming on board this year, as well as some old friends returning from previous years.

Over the last few weeks I’ve had the honor of helping over 70 fantasy authors prepare themselves for the CyCon, as well as getting ready myself.

So, what have we got going one?

  • Fantasy Blog Hop – Your chance to take a tour of some of the authors websites and learn more about them. Discover additional materials, uncover great books, sign-up for exclusive offers/news. The blog hop is separated into three groups, and will go live on April 6th at 9pm EST:
    • Tour #1starts here – featuring: Aaron-Michael Hall, Alexandra Carey, Alexis Kennedy, Amanda Mabry, Andy Peloquin, Angel M., Angela B. Chrysler
    • Tour #2starts here – featuring: Angela J. Ford, Assaph Mehr, C.T. Callahan, D. Thourson Palmer, Ilana Maletz, Jack Massa, Jodie Pierce
    • Tour #3starts here – featuring: Logan Miehl, Mackenzie Flohr, Sarah Kennedy, Stephen Morris, Toi Thomas, Zachary Chopchinski, Mary R. Woldering
  • Fantasy Genre Tour – This is where we give the authors the spotlight, and let them take the floor. You’ll find book expos, articles, and giveaways inside:
    • Tour #1“Showcase & Giveaways” – A showcase of books, series, and giveaways. Follow it all the way through for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card
    • Tour #2“Behind The Scenes” – See what goes on in the minds of fantasy authors,
  • First Lines Scavenger Hunt – Match the first lines of the stories to the books they came from, and be entered for a chance to win some amazing prizes. The participating authors have offered up everything from books to gift cards.
  • Fantasy Author Showcase – Drop in on the authors over at Goodreads, where you can find out more about over 30 great fantasy authors. We’re the largest group in the expo, with some of the most diverse readers. Come find out why!

What I’ll Be Doing

I’m taking part in many of the events that are listed above, as well as overseeing severalĀ  things happening on Facebook, running some discussion panels, and much more.

So head over to the Brain to Books website, and save the dates for this amazing event, and discover some fantastic books and writers.

“Under A Hunter’s Moon” Trailer – created in Powtoons

Quick, Easy & Powerful

Creating Slideshows and Animated Videos With PowToon couldn’t be much simpler than their site makes it.

Step 1 – Register an account at www.powtoon.com

Step 2 -Select a category – Education/Work/Personal

Step 3 – Decide on a template

Step 4 – Write up a script

Step 5 – Figure out when things need to hapen

Step 6 – Add/Remove elements as needed

Step 7 – Check your video out

Step 8 – Publish to PowToons/YouTube/Twitter/Facebook/Vimeo/Google+ and more

And in less than an afternoon, this is what’s possible…

Watch The “Under A Hunter’s Moon” Video Trailer:

Click here, if the trailer doesn’t open first time.

Join me in an hour – Cover Release Party for “Under A Hunter’s Moon”

It’s almost here folks… The cover reveal for “Under A Hunter’s Moon” is happening on Facebook in a little under an hour from now (by the time you’ve read this far).

I’ll be giving away some background information about the story, the characters, and the setting. I may even be giving away some copies of the story, which releases on June 24th 2016.

JOIN US AT THE COVER RELEASE! – 5pm EST May 12th 2016

I, Pencil: The Movie – The Interconnected World, and Writing

What Is “I, Pencil?”

Simply put, “I, Pencil” is a fantastic little movie, that shows just how interconnected the world is.

This short video looks at one item, writers, students, architects, doctors, and almost everyone I know, would be familiar with – the humble pencil. That’s right, that wooden thing with a pointy end that makes marks on paper, and a bouncy end that tries to erase those marks, and almost always fails.

This short video came to my attention earlier, while I was searching for something completely unrelated. But the title grabbed my attention, and the content was fascinating. I’ve used pencils for years, and never thought about what goes on behind the scenes.

Take a look at the video, and be prepared to reconsider the simple pencil:

So What Has This To Do With Writing?

#Writing&DrinkingWell, this video actually goes a long way to showing what kind of thought some writers put into creating believable worlds. It shows, in a very interesting way, just how even the smallest of things can have an impact that far outweighs the value of the item. And, how the actions of one thing can have repercussions far exceeding the initial actions.

When I start creating a story, I have to keep in mind all the events that are going on in the story, as well as how they affect the characters. Usually, I try to keep the events happening to those relevant to the story itself, and I’m beginning to wonder if that might be a mistake.

Here’s how my normal chain of thought might go like this:

  • Action A is performed by Character B
  • Action A affects Character C in a positive way
  • Action A affects Character D in a negative way
  • Character C is a friend of Character D, and gets upset by the negative affect of Action A, even though it was a positive outcome for them

Now, here’s where the video got me thinking. Characters B,C and D are all characters in my story. But what if Character E is negatively affected, is normally outside the story, but somehow related to any of those in the story. What repercussions would come out of such a relationship?

But Then I Realized Something…

#OrganizingCharacter E now has become relevant to the plot. So, instead of restricting the number of characters I am writing about, I have opened the door to a potentially endless number of characters. And that’s where the scope of a story comes into play.

Sooner, or later, a writer has to decide at what point they must stop adding new characters, and just how many the actions of one person should be seen to affect.

“The Lupine’s Call” was one good example of this in action. I knew that I wanted the events of this story to have a big impact on the overall story being told through the “Shadows Over Seattle” series. However, I also couldn’t allow certain characters to interfere with events, even though they were capable of doing so, because I wanted to hold back some secrets for other stories.

In terms of the story behind “I, Pencil”, I had to limit the scope of my story to the factory that made the pencil.

So, one short video got me thinking. My thinking led to this blog post. You read this blog post… And hopefully, you shared this blog post, and affected someone else in turn…

If you’re interested in learning more about “The Lupine’s Call”:

 

A.F. Stewart of “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?” Interviews Me & Richard

Earlier this week, I sat down with A.F. Stewart of “Are You Afraid of the Dark”. With a lot of back and forth, we hashed out a couple of interviews, which I’m hoping you’ll enjoy.

Interview #1 – with author Timothy Bateson

snowflakeThis is possibly the most extensive interview I’ve ever given. I really enjoyed writing the answers to these questions, and they made me think hard about my writing, and why I enjoy doing it. I think you’ll enjoy some of the insights, and sneak peeks that I’ve slipped in there.

Click Here to read the interview – This interview went live @ 8am February 13th 2016

Interview #2 – with Richard Parsons (from the “Shadows Over Seattle” series)

Richard_01A.F. Stewart’s character Richard Dale hosts a Fireside Chat with my very own Richard Parsons.

I decided to set the interview between the events of “The Lupine’s Call” and “Of Wolves and Men”, the novel I’m currently writing. I had a lot of fun working on this interview, since it gave me a chance to not only showcase Richard’s personality, but to drop in a few hints of things to come.

Click Here to read this interview – This interview went live @ 8am February 14th 2016

About A.F. Stewart:

I’m a writer of speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, horror) and an indie author of such books as Ruined City, Killers and Demons and Chronicles of the Undead.

A.F. Stewart can be Found Here:

A.F. Stewart’s Blog “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?”

“In The Spotlight” Blog

Facebook, Twitter, Google+

Find A.F. Stewart’s Work Here:

Amazon, Smashwords, Wattpad