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


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…


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.


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!

“How the real world shapes fiction and vice versa” by Heidi Angell

31 Days Of Halloween - Featured Image - How the real world shapes fiction and vice versa
Almost every author in every interview where the question was asked “where do you find inspiration” invariably says something along these lines, “From real life/ the world around me/ my dreams (which we all know are the brain’s way of processing out things that happened during the day)/ the news/ entertainment sparks an idea..”
We all know that even the most fantastical science fiction world building comes from our world, or the author’s effort to make it as completely different from our world as possible.  The idea that the real world shapes fiction is pretty much a given. But what about when fiction shapes the real world? What if that lense that authors take to adapt new stories is also there to shape how we look at the real world. A big example is Disney is using their platform to normalize villains by retelling several of the stories from the perspective of the villains. This helps the rest of the world break out of the hero vs villain mentality and shift to an “Every villain is the hero in their own story” mentality. But it also helps society break out of the duality of good vs evil. The important question is whether this shift is a reflection of the idea in psychology that there are no evil people, only people who’s thought processes have been damaged? And if it is, will it help to normalize the idea that those people can change those processes if they want to and go from being a victim to being a survivor. From being a reactive person who hurts others to being a contemplative person who builds positive relationships. Scott H. Young makes a great point that is understood in a lot of behavioral therapy/ life coach/ Success Gurus teachings and a key piece to this idea. “Someone once told me that, “the greatest truths are in fiction.” The point was meant to be profound, contrasting the factual nature of nonfiction books, to the deeper truths underlying fiction. It’s hard to understand why this statement feels true. Certainly any deep philosophical argument made in a work of fiction has also been argued explicitly in a non-fiction work. How then, expressing the same truth, could one be “greater” than the other? I suspect the reason is that story is our native language, and in hearing a philosophical argument with evidence and rhetoric, we are merely listening to a translation from the way we understand the world.” And it is in this key element that authors can and do shape the world around us with our stories. Often subconsciously, but we do it all the same. A perfect example, when I was writing The Hunters, the first book in The Hunters Saga, I was telling a story about a kid who’s town was infested with vampires and who ends up being saved by Fury and Havoc. Fury and Havoc were characters that have been playing in my mind for seemingly forever. I was Fury in my childhood fantasies after watching films like The Lost Boys or John Carpenter’s vampires. For as long as I could remember, Fury and Havoc were like buddy cops, there wasn’t a hierarchy, they were a team. But than a reviewer said something that shocked me. “Turns gender roles on their head and I love it!”  I didn’t know what the reviewer meant, so I took it to my brother. He was like, “Uh, yeah, most of the time the woman is the one who’s lost without the man. But in this Havoc is lost without Fury. She’s definitely in charge.” I had based Fury and Havoc’s interactions and behavior on my husband and me. I never considered my husband to be subservient to me, but he and I both get a little bit lost without the other’s input on important things. We are so used to making decisions together that we often can predict what the other will say. But when we’re in a situation where we know that what the one will say goes completely against what we think we want/ need then we’re a little bit stuck on what to do. That was where I was writing Havoc from in the beginning. But Fury is a rush in bull headed leader and Havoc does follow her unless he disagrees. You get to see that and how well she doesn’t handle it in The Hunted. That experience has made me much more conscious of the world views I am injecting into stories. Because I want to live in a world where I am seen to be as valuable as my husband, but not in a world that naively thinks that I’ve flipped gender roles on their head and my husband is subservient to me. I continue this theme in The Survivalist Bible. The first in this serialized apocalyptic story just released this month in The Power of Words anthology. Survivalist Bible: Genesis introduces us to a world where a “civilized” man. One that tends to be the “beta male” that those who object to the sissification of males harp against. Gabe is, in my mind a bit of a cad, a typical metrosexual 20 something year old, playing the field, enjoying his single stardom as a romance author. Then the world falls apart and this man that should never be able to survive on a camping trip, let alone the apocalypse, is able to survive because of a female writer who focuses on dystopian and doomsday writing and is really big on practicing what she does in her books. But this isn’t just a story about a dominant woman saving the man. This is about a mother doing anything to get back to her children, and how a male who is often snubbed in extreme conservative views helps her keep from losing her humanity in her quest. It is a story of how survival of the fittest might not be the best thing if our world gets thrown into the dark ages and how the thing that helped us to grow and advance as rapidly as we have (community and community guidelines/ rules/ laws) would be the thing to save us in an apocalypse. Not brute strength. Will everyone get that from The Survivalist Bible? Probably not. I am already getting kick back from some people who don’t really like Gabe and can’t believe he will survive. It’s a hard concept considering almost all of the apocalyptic stories in the last 30 years all display the anarchists winning, the communities collapsing in on themselves and tearing themselves apart. But hopefully this will be the turning point of apocalyptic stories where we realize that kill first should not be the path we should take. That survival of the fittest leaves most of the world dead. Want to follow more of The Survivalist Bible Series? Survivalist Bible: Exodus releases to my Patreon followers on November 1st, and will be available to the public through Amazon on November 30th. Survivalist Bible: Levi will be available to my Patreon followers on December 1st  and the public December 31st. Each month a new serial will release and anyone in my patreon group for $2 or more will get a thank you in the next installment. So be sure to join the fun. How have you seen fiction shape the real world? Let us know in the comments below. And be sure to come back tomorrow for another great post in the 31 Days of Halloween.

From The Author

Heidi Angell-Head Shot
Heidi Angell is the author of The Hunters Saga, The Clear Angel Chronicles, The Hell School Series and Survivalist Bible series releasing Fall 2018. She also created Royal Prince Vince, Creative Exercises to Inspire, and A Penslinger’s Ponderings. When she is not reading and writing, she can be found doing her duties as a board member at OWS Ink LLC publishing house, or spending quality time with her family.

Where To Find Heidi Angell

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The Hunters-Cover
Hell School new cover