Tour and Giveaway for Prospector’s Run by Kevin W. Bates

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Join us for this tour from Nov 23to Dec 11, 2020!

Book Details:

Book Title:  Prospector’s Run by Kevin W. Bates
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 yrs +),  277 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher:  Kevin W. Bates
Release date:   April 2019
Format available for review:  print, mobi for kindle, epub, gifted kindle, PDF
Will send print books out:  USA and Canada
Tour dates: Nov 23 to Dec 11, 2020
Content Rating:  PG for mild profanity and some depictions of violence.
Book Description:

Five thousand years ago in a savage assault, someone tried to annihilate humanity. They almost succeeded. Now, millennia after the First Stellar Civilization’s cataclysmic destruction, humans have clawed their way back from the brink of extinction and returned to the stars. Massive riches in the form of forgotten tech lie hidden in the ruins of the First Civ’s dead, shattered worlds. For a prospector with luck and the right coordinates, they are ripe for the taking. Holtz Mitsumi has neither. Down and out from a failed expedition, Mitsumi allows an enigmatic stranger to talk him into one more prospecting run. After scraping together a crew, Mitsumi embarks with high hopes. But nothing is as it seems and this run may be his last.
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A Little Child Shall Lead Them

By: Kevin W. Bates

When my children were little (my youngest now is thirty-two, so that was some time ago) I enjoyed Sundays as I do now—relaxing in the living room, reading. Whey they were young, on most Sunday afternoons when I was spending quality time with a book, my four children played in the family room downstairs. It was not unusual, however, for one of them to run upstairs, knock the book from my hand and demand my attention. One day years ago Diana (then aged four) crashed onto my lap.

“Daddy, you have to come downstairs right now.” As she was saying this, she slid from my lap and tugged on my hand.

“Why? What’s happening downstairs?”

“It’s a surprise,” she said. “C’mon, hurry.” 

Turns out, it was a play. That was high on my list of guesses. Like all children, imagination bubbled and frothed within my kids, erupting to create entire worlds in which to frolic. Sometimes they invited me along. That day it was a drama in three acts set in a faraway land on the stage of our family room. I went downstairs to watch.

I had seen these productions before. I reveled in seeing my children enjoy themselves, and I thrilled to see their creativity alive and growing, but (true confession time) the plays themselves were not to my taste. They lacked plot, dialogue, tension, resolution—all the things that make a play a play. Did I tell them that, critique their work? Of course not. They were children, learning, making sense of the world and having fun along the way. They needed support and encouragement, not criticism. We understand this about children. 

That Sunday, as my kids created a universe, I was reminded of an essay I had read a day before in a local magazine. The author was a sports enthusiast, but the essay was about life, not sports, and focused on the life as sports cliché. The author discussed the virtues of an athlete’s “playing within himself,” an attribute she described as knowing one’s limitations and not attempting to exceed them: hitting singles, ten-foot jumpers and the back in the flats not home runs, three pointers or the deep receiver. As in sports, so in life, she maintained. Face reality—know your limits and don’t try to exceed them.

Her editor had recently confirmed to her the wisdom of this philosophy. You write a great essay, he’d said, an informative article. Why do you want to fool with a novel or, heaven forbid, poetry? She had wanted, and tried, to write novels and poetry, but finally decided to face reality—novels and poetry lay beyond the limits within she must play her life. This was her message—we should all play in-bounds because to do otherwise denies reality and invites failure. It is best to accept the inevitable. As I thought of my children’s play and the author’s conclusion, I experienced a profound sadness. Sadness that because of her editor’s words, the author would miss out on some of the joy of creation I witnessed in my children. 

Groups of people have a center of gravity just as planets. And the effect is similar.  If a member of a group strays too far from the center, the group’s force of gravity–intimidation, derision, coercion — pulls her back. We have all taken part in this effect, either succumbing to the force or wielding it. Group gravity is the great leveler—it allows no member of the group to be different. This force has its greatest effect on creativity because creativity is the essence of diversity. 

This effect is easily imagined in my children. How difficult would it have been to put a stop to the plays they performed? Not very. A few words of scorn and criticism would have done the trick nicely. They would have stopped performing, and I could have enjoyed my Sunday in peace. How about my friends and acquaintances, how can I keep them at my level? By the same method; the effect is less certain, but if I keep it up, the percentages are with me. Look what the editor did to the author of the magazine article.  

Whenever I recall those two juxtaposed experiences—watching my children’s play and reading the article on recognizing our limits—I remember that in many senses all of us are still children trying to work out our place in the world and that creativity is a delicate flower easily crushed. I am reminded that all of us, whether the memory is fresh, were once children in whom creativity seethed like an endless ocean. And that’s true of you, dear reader, whether you acknowledge it or not. Whoever you are reading this, you have a deep well of creativity. If you haven’t tapped that well you should because the world will benefit. “No man is an island,” the poet said, and it is true. Every song you sing, or compose, or play, every letter, or blog post or poem you write, every new idea, improvement, or advancement you create. No matter how insignificant it seems, is a butterfly with the potential to change the weather halfway around the world.     

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Prospector’s Run by Kevin W. Bates is a scifi story, which is a very different genre for me. Through i found it very interesting, it was slow for me at first because I was trying to figure out the characters and where the plot was headed. I will admit I was kind of lost a lot in the book. But for the most part, I don’t credit this to the author, but instead to me because I don’t usually go for this type of story as much. But Bates seems to have built himself quite the universe here, and if you love a good scifi, I highly encourage you to try this one out. The characters show creativity and as the story unfolds the characters show promise and growth. And the story is well written. That much I can tell. This is the beginning of a series so keep in touch with Kevin W. Bates to see what he has for you in his future books. This one is a four for me.

A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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Now its time to read my interesting interview with the author!!

Hi, Kevin it’s good to meet with you today.

    Thanks, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Don’t take this wrong, but I can’t help notice that you’re, a…mature author.

Heh, that’s a nice way of saying it. Thanks for trying to spare my feelings, but yes, I’m in my golden years.

Prospector’s Run is the second book you have published. You published your first book Crossing the Border in 2018, so you seem to have come to the writing game later in life. What prompted you to start writing?

I wish I could say that I started writing when I was young and had always had a passion for it, but that’s not quite true. I think my first venture into creative writing was writing verse. As a teenager, I would write humorous verse for my family’s amusement. Sometimes these poems would center around events in the family. Sometimes they would just be whatever popped into my head at the moment.

Can you give us an example of a poem about a family event?

Sure, the poem itself is lost to history now, but once I wrote a verse describing a huge fight between my two younger brothers, Douglas and Lyle. At that time we would sometimes leave the bath water in for the next bather. Lyle went first. When it was Doug’s turn he accused Lyle of not using soap. It escalated quickly to an epic battle since Lyle insisted he had used soap. One of the highlights was Doug’s declaration that “You can’t use soap and leave the water clear!”

So, verse then what?

Oh, over the years I would very occasionally write something. At one point I wrote some advertisements with the thought that maybe I’d like to explore that career. But that never amounted to anything. I wrote a screenplay for a movie, that sort of thing. But nothing sustained. In the late nineties I wrote the first three chapters of Crossing the Border. But that’s as far as I got.

What changed then?

I retired. I practiced law for thirty years and got sick of it. As soon as I could manage it, I planned on retiring. Well, I didn’t want to be bored, so I thought I would dust off my screenplay and work on it, but I soon changed my mind and went back to my novel. 

You finished it obviously and went on to write more. Many aspiring authors have difficulty completing a project. Did you do anything in particular to be able to complete yours?

Yeah, I’ve read that about aspiring authors. Well, early on after I had retired and started work on my first novel, I decided that rather than think about completing the whole thing, I’d break it down. So, I set a target of writing a thousand words a day. I figured that was a manageable chunk. I had the plot generally outlined in my head, so I put together a sentence outline of the novel, that is a sentence for each chapter. From then on, I kept my head down at the thousand word a day level and figured if I stuck to that process at the other end a novel would appear. And Voila! It worked. I followed the same process with Prospector’s Run.

Prospector’s Run is science fiction. Why did you choose that genre?

That’s an easy one. Beginning from when I was in junior high school, I devoured science fiction novels and short stories. I read tons. I’m not sure what attracted me to the genre. Maybe it was the idea of exploring a completely different world, but I found the ideas and the settings in science fiction totally absorbing. I easily lost myself in the future among the stars. So, for me there was no question that when I decided to write, what genre that would be. They say to write what you know which is meant, I think, to direct writers at first at least to the familiar, but to me I “knew” a vividly imagined future of wonders better than anything else. 

At this point I have to say something about the kind of future I’m attracted to. I’ve read but never been much of a fan of dystopian sci-fi. The future I want to inhabit and explore is one of technological progress in which many of mankind’s ills are solved.

Science fiction also plays into my fascination with science and technology. I would have been a scientist if I’d been smart enough.

Talk to me a bit about your writing process. Do you have a writing space?

I do, but it’s an unusual one. I write lying down on the couch in our living room. 

Wait, how does that work?

Well, I prop my head with a pillow and wedge my laptop between my torso and my legs and write. Here let me show you a picture. Here I am—the author at work.

That’s…unusual. How did that evolve?

There is actually a history to it. From a young age, I did most of best imagining lying on my back staring at the sky or at the ceiling and letting my mind wander the universe. I discovered in college that on my back was the best way I knew to compose papers, so I developed that habit. When I married The Lovely Marianne, she had graduated, but I was still a junior in school. We married between semesters and the first semester after our wedding, I had a paper coming up. In the two weeks before the paper was due, I would work on it. But, of course, by working I mean I lay on my back on the floor and stared at the ceiling. Well, TLM was unaccustomed to that unorthodox way of “working” on a paper. As the time passed, she became more and more concerned until finally unable to contain herself she asked when I was going to start working on my paper. TLM was concerned that she had married a lazy lay-about, and I was just spending time lying around day dreaming.

Well, after I retired when I started writing I started out sitting at a table with my computer, but after a while, I discovered that I was more productive on the couch. So there I remain to this day.

Do you have a writing time?

Morning. I’m at my best in the morning, but I will write at other times as well.

How many novels have you written and what’s your favorite?

I have published three novels. Crossing the Border was my first. A year later I published Prospector’s Run and a year after that Dawn’s Reach which is the second book in the Artifact series. I have completed and nearly readied for publication Prospector’s Choice the third and last book in the Artifact series. I have completed, but not published another book: Quarantine. That is a Christian science fiction which I quite like, but it still needs some work. I have to say that my favorite has to be Crossing the Border

Writing has been an interesting journey. I knew next to nothing about the craft when I started. Along the way I learned a lot and Crossing the Border was where I did a lot of experimenting. Consequently, I worked hard on that book, and maybe it’s my favorite because of all the effort I put into it. But having said that, Prospector’s Run is a close second. 

Why did you write Prospector’s Run?

This book is very intentional. By that I mean the idea for this book didn’t come to me as I lay daydreaming. I constructed this book. After I finished my first book which had elements of science fiction and was an alternate history, I decided I wanted to write a pure sci-fi. So, I sat down one day and listed some of my favorite elements from sci-fi books I have really liked. I took those elements and constructed a story around them. 

What were those elements?

I have always enjoyed books set in a universe where humans lived in the shadow of a prior civilization that fell or was destroyed. That’s one. I also like books where there are hints that ancient aliens have left behind incomprehensible, still functioning constructs. That’s a second. And, I like books where a group of strangers with their own problems comes together and is forced to operate as a unit. That’s another. And treasure hunts. I like treasure hunts.

Prospector’s Run is the first in a series?

Yes, I’ve titled the series Artifact. The second book Dawn’s Reach is available. Third and final book in the series Prospector’s Choice is in the editing stage. With luck it will be published in January, 2021. 

What’s next for you?

Well, it’s it is time to move on from the Artifact universe to a different one. I’m afraid lethal aliens lie in earth’s near future. Someone has to stop them from destroying the planet and all humankind with it and like it or not, I’m the only one who can.

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Author Kevin W. Bates

Meet the Author:

Kevin W. Bates was born in Berkeley, California and, with the exception of a couple year stint in Sydney Australia and a study abroad program in Japan, was raised there. In his Martin Luther King Jr. High and Berkeley High School years, Kevin developed a life-long fascination with science fiction (and, oddly, nuclear weapons) and a tendency to day dream. He discovered early that among the greatest joys in life is the thrill of losing yourself in a gripping space adventure soaring across the galaxy. Raised on classic science fiction authors such as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Ray Bradbury, Kevin took up writing science fiction to provide the same mind expanding thrills he enjoyed from those authors and more contemporary ones like Alastair Reynolds, Iain M. Banks, David Brin and Neal Stephenson.

connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~ twitter ~ instagram ~ goodreads
Tour Schedule:
Nov 23 – Splashes of Joy â€“ book review / guest post / author interview / giveaway
Nov 24 – Sadie’s Spotlight â€“ book spotlight
Nov 25 – Book Corner News and Reviews â€“ book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 26 – Rockin’ Book Reviews â€“ book review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 27 – fundinmental â€“ book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 30 – Jazzy Book Reviews â€“ book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Dec 1 – Library of Clean Reads – book review / giveaway
Dec 2 – Locks, Hooks and Books â€“ book review / giveaway
Dec 3 – Stephanie Jane â€“ book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 3 – The Review Crew – book review / giveaway
Dec 8 – Literary Flits â€“ book review / giveaway
Dec 8 – My Fictional Oasis – book review / giveaway
Dec 9 – Cheryl’s Book Nook â€“ book review / giveaway
Dec 10 – Books and Zebras @jypsylynn â€“ book review / giveaway
Dec 11 – Blooming with Books – book review / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/classic/19dbbbb/main.html

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kevin W. Bates
    Nov 23, 2020 @ 11:36:23

    Thanks Joy for hosting my tour with Prospector’s Run and for the review!

    Like

    Reply

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