“Shadows Over Seattle: Prequels” Release News

256x256-Wolf-MoonThere are some very exciting things coming up between now and the end of 2018. I’m in the process of planning three releases.

Upcoming Release Schedule

  • 26th June 2018 – Re-release of “Under A Hunter’s Moon (Shadows Over Seattle: Prequels #1)”, and coincidentally my birthday.
    • This 2nd Edition release will include a new cover, which will be revealed in the coming weeks.
    • I’ve made some minor edits to fix a couple of spelling and punctuation errors, as well as updated the author bio, acknowledgements and copyright information.
  • August 2018 – Release of “The Lupine’s Call (Shadows Over Seattle: Prequels #2)”
    • I’ll provide news on the release schedule nearer the time.
    • In the meantime, anyone picking up a copy of “Under A Hunter’s Moon” will get a free preview of the first chapter.
  • October 2018 – Release of “Wolves In The Desert (Shadows Over Seattle: Prequels #3)”
    • I’m currently seeking the advice of beta readers on this story.
    • There are some aspects of this story that I want to be sure are handled correctly, and that might mean re-writes of certain portions of the story.
    • Depending on the feedback I get, I might choose to delay the release.

Extended Release Plans

Ever since I started releasing my own stories in eBook form I’ve had them exclusively available on the Amazon Kindle Direct program. That has allowed for them to be listed as available for free to Kindle Unlimited members.

However, even though I have seen sales of the stories, I’ve never seen any page reads from Kindle Unlimited (KU).

So, I’m taking a big step. In mid-June “Under A Hunter’s Moon” would be up for renewal on the KU program, and I’ve decided to not let it roll over for yet another three months.

Instead I’m going to work with a distribution service to make it available on a wider selection of eBook stores, including Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Scribd to name a few. I’m currently in the process of deciding which service to use, and making the appropriate changes to my formatting for “Under A Hunter’s Moon”, so expect news on this soon.

Here’s Where You Come In

Ahead of each story’s release, I’m going to be posting more information about what I plan to do as part of the build-up. I’ll also be putting together graphics and a full press-kit for each story.

If you have a blog, or newsletter and would like to volunteer to help with passing along the release news or doing a review, I’m very interested in hearing from you.

I’m open to doing author/character interviews, posts about the stories themselves, backgrounds on the characters, or pretty much anything that you think your readers would love to see.

How To Reach Me

Drop me a line at timothy.bateson.author@gmail.com and I’ll do whatever I can to make sure I meet any reasonable deadlines.

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B2BCyCon2018 Fantasy Blog Tour #1 – Why I Write Fantasy by Mary R. Woldering

Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo 2018This post appears as part of the “Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo Fantasy Book Tour”…

Running from April 6th through April 8th 2018 this online book event brings readers and authors together for a weekend of books, and book related events.

Learn more here

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes
B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters

Why I Write Fantasy – By Mary R. Woldering

I really don’t have an answer to that. I write and fantasy happens. Reality, as in life restricted to the five senses bores me to tears.  I was born into a very religious family, so things of “God” and angels and devils were natural to me, even though I couldn’t see them. When I was afraid of storms (as one of the characters in my novels fears them) my Mother told me it was god cleaning and re-arranging things in heaven. I was given little candles to burn to speed my prayers to heaven.

I drew pictures of scribble tornados even though we had no TV in those days and I had never seen one. When I went to the movies and later when the television arrived in our house, I BECAME characters in them. I was Davy Crockett “Grinning a bar…” It didn’t matter that he was a man. I had an imaginary friend named Starr who could appear as different things: A Native American, a young man with long black hair who danced. He could also be just a star. I sang “Twinkle, twinkle little star to him.”

I knew about other creatures too. I saw them in my dreams, even though I never read about them. There were solid white or pale people, ghosts and apparitions in my room. My Mother said it was the devil and told me to pray. I told her I would pray him out of Hell and after that she didn’t say anything else on the matter.

At first, I drew, then I wrote. All stories I wrote, even as a child, contained something of the spirit or of dreams. I could fly, I could be a witch, I could turn into a hawk, I could walk through walls. Starr was still there in the background, but we didn’t talk as much. In High school I wrote a Regency/early Victorian romance but, sure enough my pale people came in and Starr showed up as a ghostly guide to the hero of the story.

In college I met others like me who spent much time in the ‘dream verse” My best friend and others told me I was just psychic and I was seeing real spirits as well as remembering past lives.  Starr? He, they said, was a guardian spirit.

Now my writings of the unreal increased and I wrote down all the dreams, meditated with friends and wrote some more. It was as if my world of fantasy suddenly had permission. My friend and I traded stories of our off-kilter childhoods. She could fly, and there was something about a dragon (if I remember right) she made up a language and talked to ghosts too.  We ended up “seeing” each other in different eras – and of course you find us both in my major work series Children of Stone.

In summary, I say I write fantasy because it’s my reality. As I say in my bio, fantasy is me. One hundred years ago I would have been in a madhouse.

The excerpt below is part of an Urban fantasy short story published in Dreamtime Dragons this year. It’s based on stories my friend told me of her childhood and if became “Ana’s Dream of Flying”

The entity shaped the crystalline orb it formed with what might have been a hand.

Human. As man, it self-whispered as the dark blue star-filled shape with the emerald bracelet at its wrist became clear, took on the appearance of ruddy skin and solidified.

He watched Ana grab the broken stub of a much-chewed pencil and begin to scribble a shape on the pale purple scrap of paper.

She bit down on the eraser in a nervous gesture and tucked one of the fat braids that had come loose from her head. A figure emerged. It was a tall and red manlike thing with a long turban-like hat tilted back from his brow. She colored his long robe red, but couldn’t decide what to do with the feet so she extended it to the bottom of the page.

The entity smiled and nodded, pleased.

“I will call you Mr. Man.” she affirmed. “I know you. You watch over me when I am sleeping.” Her teeth flashed in a grin as she pushed the crayon over the surface of her artwork.

She can’t see me; not in the light of day, the creature smiled.

The veil is too thick in the cursed sunlight.

At night is when she can see me

I will come to her as a dream,

then carry her away to the lands and places where we walked once when we were gods.

I have watched parts of her shattered soul for centuries.

Tonight, sweet little child, when you dream,

I will take you flying,

I will teach you to fly and then you will remember even more.

In the thinning distance between worlds, the entity heard a crackly sound of something from another room, suddenly joined by the wispy, singing voice of an older female.

Some glad morning when this life is o’er,

I’ll fly away.

To a home on God’s celestial shore,

I’ll fly away.

When the shadows of this life have flown,

I’ll fly away.

Like a bird thrown, driven by the storm,

I’ll fly away.”

Then the singing stopped and the crackly sound went abruptly silent with a click, followed by: “Ana…come to supper, dear.”

Voice from another room, it mused, the smell of cooking is strong. Fire-treated winged creature – chicken.

For a moment, the entity wished for a human form; one that would love to eat the older female’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans.

There will be something she calls pie, afterward.

§ § § §

“Yas, Muh’dear” the little brown skinned girl muttered, perturbed that she’d have to stop her drawing and put her things away. A slight frown crept over her high forehead. She slapped her crayon on the table, then paused and picked it up. In a quick, gesture, as if adding something extra, she scribbled red angel wings sticking out of the sides of the creature’s robe. Regarding her work, she changed them so that they looked sharp and pointy.

“That’s better. No angel-y wings for you. Now you can fly away. Don’t let them see you, Mr. Man. It’s our secret. Mwah!” she kissed the paper then folded it, tucked it in her school notebook and put away her crayon. She didn’t see the red pulse that glimmered inside the spiral bound pages.

Little Ana, not quite eleven, ate her supper, watched the “Outer Limits” with Muh’Dear and Daddy, then took her bath. She put on her pink PJ’s, brushed her teeth and went to bed, but couldn’t sleep.

Big bad devil is out there but Cass and Jera’boam will protect me, she thought.

They were her daydream friends. They always would laugh and play with her outside and take turns jumping off the porch, pretending they could fly. When she was five they wanted her to jump off the roof of the shed, but Daddy caught her just in time.

They don’t believe in you. They say you are ‘maginary and to stop fooling around. Be a big girl they say, but I always was a big girl. She snickered as she snuggled in her covers. I just shrinkity shrank like my red sweater in the washing machine.

Ana loved to draw and dance and play. She didn’t like school too much.

The nuns are mean and always talk about sins and devils and how they come and get bad little boys and girls who cause trouble in class.

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters

 

B2BCyCon2018 Sci-Fi Blog Tour – Behind “Evaline Transcendent”

Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo 2018This post appears as part of the “Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo Science Fiction Book Tour”…

Running from April 6th through April 8th 2018 this online book event brings readers and authors together for a weekend of books, and book related events.

Learn more here

Evaline Transcendent - Cover (x8 - Chromed)The Origin of “Evaline Transcendent”

Evaline Transcendent is the first of my science fiction stories to go into print. It originally was a featured story in the “Across the Kármán Line” anthology from Laurel Highlands Publishing following a request for stories that took place beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

I originally wrote the story outline from the point of view of colonists who were attempting to colonize a distant planet. However, I quickly discovered that it was more about the ship’s artificial intelligence than it was about the colonists.

The second outline became the story of an artificial being charged with the task of delivering the colonists to their new home. But, the stakes had been raised, because of war on Earth, the ship had departed before the systems had been tested, and there was a very good chance the people on board were the last survivors of their world. To make matters worse, they were headed for the only known planet that could potentially support human life, and the mission before them had stopped sending messages home.

At this point the story was called “Evaline Triumphant”, and I was happy with how it had come out.

Even Stories Evolve Over Time

This was the story that I submitted for the Anthology, but that wasn’t the end of it.We went back and forth on the story title for a while, and came up with “Evaline Ascendant”, which worked well with the story as it stood at that time. But, things didn’t end there.

After discussing the ending of the story with the editor at Laurel Highlands, I was asked to add to the length of the story.

Now, this was my first science fiction story, and I’d felt that it had a good solid ending, but then something occurred to me. There was a way to push the envelope, and my twisted mind went “but what if that WASN’T the real end of the story?”, and suddenly the story shifted gears entirely taking on a darker tone.

Two new chapters came into being, and I turned the original ending entirely on it’s head while still retaining that part of the story.

And thus was born “Evaline Transcendent”, and the story that went into print with the anthology.

The Further Evolution Of Evaline

Once the rights for the story reverted to me, a year after publication, I re-read it and decided to release it as a short story. I added a lot  of extra material into the story. Some of it was clarification on things I thought needed explaining a little better. Other parts were in there to extend the scenes and add a little more to the personalities of characters.

Why So Vague?

Honestly, I’m being deliberately vague about a lot of the details, because I don’t want to give anything away. But, as you read this story, I know you’re going to spot where I originally ended it, and hopefully be surprised by the direction it takes from there…

If you’re intrigued enough to buy a copy, I’d love it if you could leave a review. At the end of the day, I thrive on reading people’s thoughts about my stories, both positive and negative.

Buy “Evaline Transcendent” for $0.99  throughout the Brain to Books Cyber Convention (April 6th-8th).

Normal Price $1.99



Next Up: Stephen Pearl

Stephen Hawking – Remembered

As you’ve no doubt heard, physicist, writer, and role-modelStephen Hawking Remembered Stephen Hawking died peacefully in his sleep on March 13th.

I first heard the news from my mother-in-law within minutes of the announcement on her local news. My first reaction was disbelief, and then a quiet acceptance of something that my wife and I had known was inevitable.

I first came across Professor Hawking’s work, not long after I started working at my local library. It was around the time that “A Brief History of Time” came out, and the book was constantly on the reserve list, because people wanted to find out exactly why it was such a big seller.

I was 14 at the time, and interested in science and computers. But it took only a quick look through the start of the book to realize that I wasn’t going to understand a lot of what it talked about. However, it did inspire me to go on and study physics and when I picked up the book again it was about 10 years later, and I understood a lot of what I was reading, even though I’d almost flunked physics.

Regardless of being able to understand everything, or not, I made a point of learning about Hawking, and his work, and found myself inspired on many levels.

Diagnosed with motor neurone disease (also known as ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) at the age of 22, Hawking was told he probably had no more than 2 years to live. That was back in 1963, and he was already making great strides in the realms of theoretical physics, where he would continue to make his mark for another 55 years.

To say that Hawking surpassed the expectations of medical is an understatement, and his work has revolutionized many fields of science. But there was more to Hawking than just his capacity for living with a condition that has an exceptionally high mortality rate, and still managing to produce groundbreaking work.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen Hawking present his work to audiences, explaining his theories through the use of a specialized computer and speech synthesizer. Or his guest appearances on TV shows, where he played himself or took part in interviews with a sharp wit and cheeky grin.

That wit and humor couldn’t have been displayed better than by his most famous party, which no-one attended except Hawking himself. Not surprising when you consider he was inviting only time travelers from the future. Although I have to admit, I was disappointed to see that attendance was so low. Just the possibility of time travel has been an inspiration for so many science fiction writers.

There are many other reasons to be inspire by Hawking, but we all have the things we’ll remember him for. I think that, for me, this quote sums up why I found Hawking such an inspiration.

Stephen Hawking - Success

Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts in the comments…

Celebrating 1000+ Pinterest Followers

What You'll Find In My Pinterest FeedIn November, I posted that my Pinterest account had passed 500 followers, and in just three months, that number has doubled.

Even more stunning is that Pinterest reports that I’m getting over 212,900 views EVERY MONTH!

I’ll admit, I’m stunned at how rapidly my following has increased. It’s something I love doing every day, but I don’t always give a lot of thought to what I’m pinning.

I pin an item if:

  1. If it looks interesting,
  2. I want to follow up on it
  3. I think my followers might find it interesting
  4. There are potential stories behind the item

I’ve now got 55 boards, covering everything from topics I’m researching for my stories, to my personal interests. I’ve even started to split some of those boards down into topics, so don’t be surprised when you find my “Character Creation” board has a “Character Bank” topic (where I pin ideas/images that might become characters at some point).

With over 24,100 individual pins my followers can find everything from writing advice to writing prompts; from images of Seattle and the surrounding area to owls and wolves; from different kinds of magic to codes and languages.

You’ll even find a lot of my blog post images on there too, with links back to the original posts.

Here’s a sample of my top boards.

  • Birds of Prey (4,470+ pins) – For those who know how much I love falconry, and getting up close with raptors, or love these amazing creatures themselves.
  • Writing Prompts (5,470+ pins) – Looking for a story starter, or something to kick-start a scene? This is where you want to be looking.
  • English Language (640+ pins) – Everything from spelling and grammar through to sayings and alternative words.
  • Big Cats (1,120+ pins) – Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Cougars… If they’re larger than a house cat, they’re here…
  • Bullet Journalling (1,570+ pins) – If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ve seen how I use my Bullet Journal to stay organized. This board covers everything from starting your own bullet journal to hacks that can help you really personalize it.
  • Character Naming (170+ pins) – This covers everything from explanations behind people’s names to what names were popular in given years.
  • Story Inspirations – Fantasy Art (990+ pins) – They say “a picture paints a thousand words”, and some of the images pinned to this board could inspire even more.
  • Wolves (660+ pins) – Getting up close to wolves was an experience I’ll never forget. And as a writer who loves wolf-shifters, I’d be remiss in not giving these glorious creatures their own board.
  • Creatures (200+ pins) – Creatures urban myth through to ancient gods and legendary beasts.
  • All Things Writing (970+ pins) -Yeah, actually not sure how I ended up with multiple boards for writing tips…

 

Not only will you learn something about me personally, but you’ll be getting an insight into the kinds of research that I do for my stories… Who knows, you might just find clues to an upcoming plotline…

Check out my Pinterest Boards Today!