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Spring Cover

The website cover picture this month was taken by award winning photographer Tim Swaan captured the picture that now graces the cover of the website. Tim is from The Netherlands, but he loves to travel and the picture shown here was taken in at Whangarei Falls in New Zealand. From other pictures he has taken I know that Tim likes the image of a road or path going away from the viewer. I like his style and thankfully he has made this picture available for our use.

You can find more about previous cover photos here.

He also takes pictures

I often know little about the photographers of our cover pictures.

Several times I have lamented about that in this blog. Today is different. The month’s cover is a detail of a larger photograph taken by Sebastien Gabriel. Originally from France, Sebastien joined Google and moved to the United States in 2012. Sebastien describes himself as a senior designer working on Chrome and Chrome OS and, he says, “I also take pictures.” You can read more about how a young man from France came to work for Google, here. You can more of his photographs, along with all of the one I took a detail from, on his Unsplash page.

You can find more about previous cover photos here

The Projects Page

Go to the project page to find out what’s coming up.

If you really want to know what I’m writing then you need to visit my projects page. That’s the place where I list all my current novel, novella and short story endeavors. On the left side of the page, I list the genre of the story, provide the estimated word count, a brief description, and expected release date. On the right is a graphic that tracks my percentage completed.

I update this page every couple of days and will soon be listing my projects for 2016. 

The Cover Question

Why not let us know more about the picture?

That is the question I have for photographers. I can understand that photographers post pictures so people can see, enjoy and use them, but many post fantastic pictures with little information. Why not tell us the date and location of the shot? Why not add a bio section to your website?

That is the problem with this month’s picture. The photographer is Caleb Ralston. You can see this and many others superb pictures on his website. Unfortunately there is no bio on the site and he didn’t respond when I tried to contact him.

It’s a great picture. I just wish I knew more.  

Find previous cover pictures here.  

Under the Northwest Sky

Meteors and the Milky Way over Mount Rainier.

I know much more about this month’s cover picture than I did about the previous cover. Photographer Matthew Dieterich captured this image just a few weeks ago near Mt. Rainier in my home state of Washington. I wish I had known he would be practicing his skills so near my home. I would have enjoyed meeting him. However, he’s probably already back home in Pittsburgh.

In addition to the mountain, several meteors of the recent Perseid shower are visible, along with one band of the Milky Way galaxy arcing over the snow-covered peak. Clearly, Matthew is a very talented man.  

You can learn more about Matthew Dieterich on his Website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed.

Find previous cover pictures here.

Things I Forgot

I recently sent out my July email newsletter.

Despite my forgetfulness, there were several things in the email newsletter that I wanted all my readers know. So, if you receive my free monthly newsletter, you’ve already heard the news below.  

 The July newsletter of author Kyle Pratt

The July newsletter of author Kyle Pratt

Braving the Storms

First, the covers for the next book, Braving the Storms, Strengthen What Remains, book three, are out. I’m still writing the last third of the book, but beta-readers and editors are examining every line of the manuscript I’ve written. The graphic artist, Micah Hansen, has been busy creating covers for the paperback, eBook, and audiobook. You can see larger versions of the covers and read the first few chapters (with no spoilers) by clicking here. The book should be out at the end of October.

Deals & Discounts

Every month in my free monthly newsletter I list the latest discounts for my books and audio books so that you, my readers, will receive the best price for any of my books, ebooks and audiobooks. All you need to do is subscribe.

A New Website Feature

I try to find ways that make it easy for you to know what I’m doing. While I’d love it if all my readers regularly visited my blog, I know that is not possible, people are busy. However, you can now subscribe to receive my free weekly email digest of blogposts. Each Monday you’ll receive a single email containing any blogposts I posted the previous week. For more information about this new feature, click here.

If you would like to receive the weekly email digest or the monthly newsletter, go here to sign up.

Love the Picture

I know very little about this month’s cover photo, except that I like it.

The photographer is Grant McIver a graphic designer based in Sydney, Australia. I see the image as taken at dawn. While it is a dark, stark and simple photo, for me it captures the beauty of both the coming dawn and the waning night sky.

You can learn a little bit more about Grant on his website and Twitter feed.

The New Cover

A few weeks ago, I received a call from the principal of Eek School.

Eek is a Yup’ik, Eskimo, village 415 miles west of Anchorage, Alaska. Starting in 2007, I taught in the village school for seven years. Because it is a small village of 300 people, I quickly learned the name, and background, of nearly every student.

Everyone from pre-school to high school seniors are in one ten room building. Most of the time, I worked with small groups of students of various ages. However, the first year I taught a class of mostly sixth grade students. I watched them grow over the years from children, to teens and verging on adulthood. This year, in the largest graduation from in memory, eight students would receive their diploma from the school.

That’s why Brett, the principal of Eek School, called me a few weeks ago. Most of the students from my original sixth grade class would be graduating and, they wanted me to be there and speak at the ceremony.

I was excited to be back in the village, see so many friends and, most of all, to see these eight students graduate.  

Back: Shawn Cingliaq Alexie and Evon Apataq White

Third Row: Terrance Cingarkaq Henry and Gerald Putuk Brown

Second Row: Florence Akuqaq Moore

First Row: Timothy Cirunaq Heakin, Christian Angassaq Pleasant and Frank Callaq Carter.

They are the students on the new cover of the website. I wish you all the very best as you begin your adult lives.

I’ll be writing more about Eek, the school and these graduates in the coming days.