Apologies For My Recent Radio Silence!

Timothy Bateson

There are a number of reasons for my recent silence here on “Ramblings of an Author”, and I can only apologize for not having been able to give advanced notice.

Part of the reason is that over the holiday season I was very distracted by a couple of exciting projects.

More recently, it’s because I’m stepping into a new role for this year’s Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo.

Reason #1 – My New Author Website

SiteBanner_h500

Back on December 21st I announced that I was setting up a new author website, and http://timothybatesonauthor.com.

This has turned out to be a much bigger project than I anticipated at first.

  1. I had to decide on the appearance of the site, and I had way too many ideas at first.
  2. Then I needed to check into the available WordPress templates, and decided I didn’t want to spent to much on getting one custom made for me. Instead I chose to spend many hours building my own – And I’m very pleased with the initial results.
  3. Creating the basic pages for the site has taken some time, because it’s partly a migration from here, and my old Weebly site, and partly a major update of information and format.
  4. I had (and still have) some interesting challenges with the formatting and indexing of the blog pages. This part of the site is still very much a work in progress.

Please feel free to check out the site, and leave me any notes, feedback, criticisms, navigation problems, etc. in the comments below.

For the short term I’ll be blogging on both sites, with slightly different content going out on the new site. Once I have that site settled in, and all the bugs worked out, I’ll be moving there exclusively.

Here’s the bonus homework. Visit the new site, and make sure you check out a blog post. Scroll to the bottom, and subscribe for email notification of new posts.

Reason #2 – Brain To Book Cyber Convention & Book Expo 2019


(Please note, the image is from the 2018 event, so the dates are wrong).

This year’s Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo will be running from April 12th through April 14th 2019, and I have agreed to take on a more active role than ever before.

Previously I’ve been a participating author, and then the Genre Manager for the Fantasy events. This in itself has been a lot of work, because it means coordinating blog tours, competitions, giveaways, live discussion panels, and a host of authors.

Well, this year, I’ve done something really crazy, and agreed to take on an overhaul of the event site, and much of the setup work for the event. But, I won’t be alone, because we always have a great team of volunteers t get everything running.

Reason #3 – “Metal Earth” Model Kits

Metal Earth - Cyberman Head

My wife and I have become hooked on the model kits from “Metal Earth”. Sandi loves to buy me the kits, and I keep making them.

They’re a fun challenge, with several levels of difficulty and size.

My wife brought me the Colosseum and the Parthenon for Christmas, and then we added another seven kits about a week ago.

I recently reviewed four of the Doctor Who themed kits, over on my new site. There is also a breakdown of how I found the assembly of the “Cyberman Head” kit (shown completed above).

Reason #4 – Creative Overload

Between all these projects, I’ve been so busy creating things that I actually ran out of material to post here.

But don’t despair, I have started working on a line-up of articles and posts for my new site, and I still have some guest posts to come on here.

Going Forward…

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I’m going to allow the existing posts I have scheduled for other authors go out as planned through February.

After that I’m going to be moving all new posts to http://timothybatesonauthor.com, so please be sure to subscribe for updates. Over the coming weeks, I’ll post more reminders of what’s happening, and when.

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Midweek Mumbles – SPD:STF Profiles Have Been Leaked

SPD_STF Profiles Have Been Leaked

Ever since I started writing short stores, I’ve been creating 3D models of the characters (using Daz3D).  These designs give me a reference point to keep character descriptions consistent.

Then over at the old site I created basic character profiles, but was never happy with the design.

However, that’s all about to change, with the recent leaking of several files from the Seattle Police Department’s Supernatural TaskForce.

This Reporter Just Received Several “SPD:STF Classified Files” From An Anonymous Source.

Over the years, Seattle residents have heard rumors of things that defy explanation. From ghosts to real magicians, from vampires to creatures from ancient legend, there is apparently an agency that deals with them when they come to public attention.

These newly acquired files give us an insight into some of those who have allegedly saved the city from many unexplained threats, or caused them. Who knows what the truth of the matter is… But this reporter just gives the facts as he sees them, and it’s time the world knew about these threats…

— Silas Agnew, SeattleWonderer.Com

  • Click the profile images to access the secure documents…

STF-Janice-Ellen-Cooperfield-01
STF-Garfield-Feldman-01
STF-Agneta-Dottasen-01
STF-Richard-Evan-Parsons-01
STF-Nazurl-Nagura-01
STF-Art-Kiger-01

Character Profiles – A Sneak Peek

Character Profiles - A Sneak Peek - Featured Image

I’m going to keep this week’s post rather shorter than usual. I’ve been busy working on my new author website, which has been a great learning experience.

I’m creating everything from the ground up, including:

  • Page designs
  • Revised versions of the reader content from the old site
  • A whole new blog design with different layouts for each blog post type

Updated Character Profiles

I had character profiles on the old website, but I was never really happy with their format. So, I tried something new. I’ll admit that I’m biased about the results.

But, because I’m so happy with the new format, I’m sharing a sneak peek with you. You’re seeing this before anyone else, because I won’t be linking the character profiles into the menu until they’re all done.

Richard Parsons is a wolf-shifter with a drinking problem, and the star of several of the “Shadows Over Seattle” stories. Check out his profile to see what kind of police record he’s built up…


My New Website Is Coming!

My New Website Is Coming - Featured Image

There comes a point in every author’s career where they need to have a website that is entirely theirs to control.

Since I started writing I’ve had my blog hosted here on WordPress, and my website hosted through Weebly. And I’ve been very proud of the work I’ve done on both sites, but keeping a consistent look between the two sites has been difficult.

Even worse, if either site decided to delete my accounts I would lose everything I’d produced.

So now it’s time for a huge change, and that means I’m taking control of everything.

What’s Coming Up?

If you scrolled this far, you’ve seen a glimpse of the current state of development on the website. Here’s a few of the things you can expect to see:

  • A dedicated page for each of my books
  • A new author profile page
  • An author services page
  • A new home for my blogging

If you want to get a look at things as they develop over the next few weeks, you can see it at http://timothybatesonauthor.com.

How You Can Help…

  • Visit http://timothybatesonauthor.com
  • Play around on the site
    • Click menu items
    • Test buttons
    • Check the correct pages come up
  • Drop me a note of any problems that you find, or things you liked/disliked in the comments, or by email.

What I’m Offering In Return…


Remembering Stan Lee

Remembering Stan Lee

On Monday 12th of November I was eating breakfast and checking news posts, and came across some news that came as a huge shock.

One of my personal heroes, Stan Lee, had died at the age of 95.

At first I couldn’t believe it, because I’d seen such reports before, and there were also sites posting that news of his death was a hoax. But then my wife checked on BBC News, a source I’ve never had reason to question, and my fear was realized.

My Introduction To A Legend

I never had the pleasure of meeting Stan Lee, except through the works that he produced and inspired.

I first came across the work of Stan Lee in the early eighties, and I was probably seven or eight years of age. Saturday mornings were the time for cartoons, and I was introduced to “Spiderman and his Amazing Friends” for the first time. It was probably also my first experience with the superhero genre, mutants, and metahumans.

I wasn’t aware until years later that some of those episodes were narrated by Stan Lee himself, but I was intrigued enough to find out more about these characters.

Discovering Some Hard Truths

One day, while picking up some sweets at my local news agent, I spotted a couple of issues of Amazing Spiderman. I picked them up and dived right into the middle of the “Secret Wars” storyline, with a passion.

This particular plot introduced me to a huge line-up of characters, and spawned so many changes for Spiderman and myself.

Over the years I expanded my comic collection, and even crossed into the works of DC and other studios. But it was the Marvel characters and stories that would teach me that even heroes are capable of errors, and subject to hard choices. Above anything else, they were human, no matter what powers (if any) they had, or the origins of those powers.

I learned that even when times were tough, there were ways through, if you could find them, and had the courage to make the hard choices. As an outsider at school, I also found friends within the pages of books and comics. It was almost always the characters in the comics that showed the most diversity, however, and I would keep returning to the stories of the X-Men, and Avengers because of it.

The Importance Of Diversity In Fiction

I grew up on the outskirts of London in a time when race riots were a semi-regular occurrence and intolerance were high. For years I wondered how such things could happen, and why people couldn’t just accept each other for who they were.

It was fiction that opened my eyes to the motivations of fear, greed, and hatred for those you don’t understand.

Did I approve of such things? Certainly not, but when I looked at the lineup of characters that Stan Lee and others at Marvel were producing, I saw something wonderful. There was such a range of social and economic origins for the characters, and even differences in the sources of their powers.

I might have taken many of my lessons in acceptance from being raised the way I was, but they were very definitely reinforced by reading the characters that were created, or inspired, by Stan Lee and others.

Yes those characters could be intolerant at times, even downright hateful, but so many of them changed over the years, and became more accepting and tolerant. One-time enemies became friends, teachers, and students of those they had battled. And children learned to accept those around them from such stories.

Where Does The Life And Death Of Stan Lee Leave Me?

As an individual, the work, and lessons of Stan Lee have helped make me a better person. They have helped make me a better, and wiser reader. But I have also discovered a passion for stories and character, with all their flaws and failures.

But it his work to expand literacy, education, and the arts that I find myself most grateful for. The Stan Lee Foundation, formed in 2010, supports programs that improve access to literacy resources, promote diversity, national literacy, culture, and the arts.

So it is with thanks and respect that I close this post with well wishes for all, hopes for a bright and tolerant future, and the words…

Excelsior! ‘Nuff Said!

You’re All AMAZING! – Thank You For 600+ Posts of Love

Ramblings Of An Author - 600Posts

Saturday 3rd November Marked 600 Posts

That’s right, you read that right… Ramblings of an Author has surpassed 600 posts.

I can’t believe I almost let a momentous event pass by without comment.

My only excuse is that I got caught up in the whirlwind of the “31 Days of Halloween” event.

I Want To Thank EVERYONE Who’s Followed Me For Years!!!

Readers, Followers, Ramblers… Whatever you like to think of yourself, you’re the people I do this for. What started out as a means to get into the habit of writing something regularly has become something of a passion for me.

226 of you clicked that ‘Follow’ button, but so many more catch my new posts through Twitter and Facebook. I can’t thank you all enough for your continued support and interest.

And To My Fellow Authors…

Writers, Authors, Contributors, Friends… It’s a pleasure to have been able to work with every single one of you. I really love being be able to share your books, interviews, and guest posts. So many of you have invited me into your worlds that I can’t help but feel blessed.

What’s Coming Next?

After running the “31 Days Of Halloween” event for the last two years, I’ve come to see that themed months are a ton of fun.

That’s one reason I’m currently running my “Friday Insight”, which follows my NaNoWriMo 2018 journey. Each Friday you’ll be getting a taste of what I’ve been writing during the week. I hope you enjoy.

Meanwhile…

Let me know in the comments how long you’ve been following, and what features you keep coming back for.

WordPress Has New Features – Guess Who’s Taking Advantage

WordPress Has New Features - Guess Who's Taking Advantage

Those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while might have noticed some changes recently. There might even be more to come in the next few weeks.

WordPress is letting people try their new post builder, Gutenberg. It has a lot of features that the existing post builder didn’t have, and I’m excited to be testing it out.

In fact, this very post was created using it.

What Does That Mean For Readers?

Well, hopefully, it should mean that there will be more flexibility in how  build each post. Already I’ve started to use it’s column feature as a way to solve some of the age-old problems with formatting text around images.

It might seem like a small thing, but there are a lot of new features coming with that will make embedding videos, etc into posts.

If you’re interested in finding out more, check out WordPress’s own post at: https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/

Let Me Know What You Think

I’d love to know what you think in the comments…

  • Did you notice the changes in formatting?
  • Are you excited to see what the future might hold?
  • Do you have a suggestion of what you’d like to see in my posts?
  • Is there something about the new post formats you don’t like?