Books: B.L. Bates!

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Let’s all welcome B.L. Bates who’s first novel is out right now! Take it away!

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image9249265Hi:

Thanks for inviting me. Let me tell you a little about myself. I’m a mother, step-mother, and a grandmother. I have a degree in electrical engineering. And I’m totally blind. How’s that for three pertinent facts? And, my first published novel, AsterIce is now available. From either:

Eternal Press site:

http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615728503

Or, Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/AsterIce-ebook/dp/B00BA1O2ES/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1359924999&sr=1-1&keywords=B+L+Bates

During my elementary school years, my parents were avid readers and I started reading at a young age and still read voraciously. At first I was only allowed to read science fiction and fantasy books as they contained little sex and not much violence.

Over ninety percent of my writing remains in the speculative fiction field — science fiction, fantasy and horror. But during certain phases of my life I tended to broaden my horizons and read in other genres. I still read detective and cop stories, womens fiction, and some romance. So, while I write in the speculative fiction genre, there are always facets of other genres in my stories. My first published novel, AsterIce, is listed as a science fiction thriller, but contains a good dollop of romance and family values. Once I find an author I like, I’ll read everything I can find by them. This is a bit harder for me as I need my reading material in either audio or digital format, being totally blind. (I still use the line; I like to read with my eyes closed.)

Since I like to read stories with characters I can relate to, I try to write stories with believable, though flawed characters. In the past, many science fiction stories were plot driven. While I like a good plot, with twists and turns and a raging waterfall or two, I need a connection with the characters. In addition, many of my characters, besides having the normal emotional and psychological flaws, often have some sort of physical disability. In AsterIce the disabilities are subtle and don’t really come into play. But I introduce their disabilities and show they can be dealt with.

One of the reasons I write about physically disabled characters is to make people aware the disabled are people too. Too often those without physical handicaps shy away from those who have them. They’re NOT catchy. If there were more stories with the disabled acting the way the non-disabled do, the stigma might dissipate. (I can hope.)

I find inspiration all around me. I have files on my computer with ideas, snatches of conversation, and scenes and/or parts of scenes. Most times I just take in ideas and let them “gel”. For instance, if my husband or daughter tells me about someone who dresses differently, or does something unusual, I’ll make a note. If a news item catches my attention, I’ll bend and twist it to form a portion of a story. Sometimes two disparate events will collide in my mind and something will sprout. And the odds are even it will be good or bad.

I consider writing a job. It has to be done. Some days it takes a bit longer to get my butt in the chair, but that means I’ll have to sit there later in the evening. Since my computer “talks” to me, I don’t write with music playing. I do like incense or scented candles, though. Or, I’ll bake something in the morning and the first floor will smell like something baking.

Unless I’m “on a roll”, I alternate writing stories with other items. I have two first drafts waiting for their turn, and they need taglines, pitches, query letters, synopses, etc. In addition, I have a blog that often is neglected through no fault of its own. (Yeah, I know, that makes it my fault.)

At first I started to write to vent my frustrations. I wrote just to write, with no thought of publication. But now, with my youngest child in college, I began to think about selling what I wrote. This actually happened a couple of years ago and I began taking Internet courses on writing fiction. And it paid off, I’m a published author.

*****

Back cover blurb:

Drinking this ice from Heaven could open the gates to Hell.

Ice from an asteroid brought in from the belt contains vitamins and minerals invigorating the human metabolism and bringing improved health. It becomes the newest nutritional fad, selling world-wide.

The ice also contains an alien virus capable of altering human DNA, causing humans to lose their individuality, their will, and perhaps even their souls.

Can four infected individuals find a way to stop the process before humanity is lost?

EBook ISBN: 9781615728503

Print ISBN: 9781615728510

Bio:

Growing up reading speculative fiction, B. L. Bates received a BS in electrical engineering and worked for several years in the computer industry. When a head injury left her totally blind, she turned to writing speculative fiction to stay sane. With her youngest child in college, she lives with her husband in Massachusetts and plots ways to spend more time with her grandchildren.

She’s had short stories published online, and some like “GreenWorld” published in print. Now trying her hand at novels, she can be found online at BarbaraLBates.com or BarbaraLBates.com/polad.

*******

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8 responses »

  1. Hi, Barbara! Congratulations on your first book! It sounds fantastic. The concept grabbed me right away, and fits so well with today’s culture and the desperate latching on to every health fad that comes along.

    I can’t imagine the difficulties you’ve had in overcoming your blindness to achieve this success. How long does it take you to write a book? Do you do a lot of research into the science and so forth?

    • Hi NJ:

      I’ve been doing Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) for several years now, so it takes me a month to do the first draft. There’s a month’s work prior to this and then the longest piece is getting to the final draft. It took about 9 months for AsterIce.

      • I do most of my research on the Internet. For technical stuff (like some of the biological info in AsterIce), I find at least two sources. The hardest part is keeping it interesting while not “dumbing it down”, for the technical information.

  2. Wow. You are an amazing woman, and this sounds like a really good story. Like you, I am very much into sci-fi/futuristics/fantasy and this looks like a great book. If I may ask, do you dictate your books through software (if so, what do you use) or does someone else do all the typing for you?

    Thanks for being here today and for this story.

    • Hi Vicky:

      No, I type all my own stuff. I do have special software, called JAWS, (I forget what it stands for). This software “reads” what’s on the screen and what I type onto the screen. So, I can argue with my computer without being crazy. (I have plenty of other things I can be called “crazy” for.

  3. I really enjoyed your post. I think the reason many–okay, the reason I often shy away from writing about people with disabilitites is that I really, truly don’t want to offend anyone. I remember a politically correct agenda a few years back that was insisting on referring to the blind as “sight-challenged.” A writer (whose name I don’t recall–sorry!) said basically, “What, I’m blind!”, but I don’t want to be the one who’s saying it wrong. 🙂

    • Hi Liz:

      I wouldn’t worry about being politically correct. If you have a story with a disabled person in it, write it. But do your research. If you were setting a story in a place you’d never seen, you’d either go there or research it, right? There are plenty of sites on the Internet about and for the disabled. There are agencies in every major city and many smaller ones too for most disabilities. Talk to people who are disabled, who work with the disabled, and who have disabled family members. Like you “nons” (stands for non-handicapped or non-disabled), we have good and bad habits, quirks and idiosyncrasies. I went blind as an adult, and was taught to view my blindness as a characteristic. Most times this works. (I’m still trying to get my husband to let me drive. So far, no dice.)

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