#Excerpt and #GuestPost by David Ellis Overttun, author of Universe Awakening @neoverttun

Posted August 15, 2019 by Zoé in Excerpt, Guest Posts, Reviews and Stuff / 0 Comments

I am really excited to have David back on my blog, in the last few months (when I have not been rubbish in replying!) I would like to think a nice friendship has been made and I love all the other posts he has done with other bloggers! Today he has written a post for us to read, so before I let David take over, let me refresh your memory on his book and have a look back at the previous post he has done for me before here.

Universe: Awakening by D. Ellis Overttun
Series: Terra Nova #1
Published by Nialldara Books on October 7 2018

The year — 526,780. A probe is deployed from ISV Intrepid at the outer edge of the universe. It is the last of a complement of twelve that is part of the Deep Exploration of Uncharted Space or DEUS. Its mission: collect data on the redshift of light and spatial distortions. Time horizon: 1,000 years.

Before ISV Intrepid can return to base, something goes wrong. There is an accident. The ship is later salvaged but its pilot is missing, its copilot in a coma.

The probes collect their data with uneventful regularity.

Fast-forward to 526,880. A sole-surviving probe still sits in the darkness at the outer edge of the universe. Now, unseen to the naked eye, the space around the probe begins to stretch and distend. Then, the probe disappears, engulfed by an energy of unknown origin and unknown composition. However, it manages to transmit one final message.

CD3C has monitored the disappearance of each probe over the last three years. While the interpretation of the data remains a mystery, speculation is that something has invaded the universe and is moving a superluminal velocity. Its effects could be manifested in as little as the next thousand years. To the Celesti, this is one lifetime.

What can be done?

The one person who might be able to solve this problem is the copilot of ISV Intrepid. He has been lying in stasis suffering from mental trauma. He has been this way for the past century, the longest recorded case in medical history. His unchanging condition has been a convenient solution to stall any inquiry into the accident that put him there.
This threat changes everything. Now, he is needed.

Is it possible to unlock his mind?

The task falls to Auberon, a career nobody inhabiting the lower level of the hierarchy of the Ministry of Science. Can something be awakened in him to allow someone ordinary do something extraordinary?

If this has caught your eye, it is currently 99p on Amazon (link above, no affiliates)

I will now hand over to David who not only has written a guest post about Chapter 8 and the thinking behind it but has also included an excerpt from it too!

Guest Post

Readers may have noticed that this chapter has the same title as Chapter 1. This was by design. As I said in another guest post, the Terra Nova series is one part Bible, one part science and two parts human nature. This title duplication is a reference to the many doublets that appear in the Bible. (However, unlike a doublet, these two chapters do not refer to the same event.) Also, throughout the book, you may come across things that read like déjà vu. (No, I didn’t get lazy. It is a stylistic reference to doublets.)

This is where I started writing after a failed first day with only the acronym “DEUS” (Deep Exploration of Uncharted Space) to show for my efforts. With my creative attempt in the cosmos a bust, I decided to return to earth. (The planet or the ground?) As fate would have it, the narrative germinated and I was on my way. Editing moved this deeper into the book but Universe:  Awakening, Chapter 8 – “In the Darkness” is where it all began.

As always, my wife, Natasha, has been kind enough to whip up a visual interpretation of the chapter.


Presently, a dim glow appeared in front of him. Without the benefit of any reference for perspective, it could have been a pinprick of light just in front of him or a beacon far off in the distance. It began to grow steadily brighter and appeared to have an imperceptibly narrow up and down oscillation. A faint smile formed on the man’s lips. The glow grew to a dot that became a round sphere. As this ball grew ever larger, the cold dry air carried a regular crunching shifting sound, the sound of approaching footsteps.

The man cast his eyes to his two o’clock and an almost imperceptible horizon became visible as the blackness began to emanate a deep red. As the stranger in the distance drew near, more and more of this flat boundary between earth and sky became apparent as this point of origin radiated outward in vaguely defined concentric semicircles of deep red, orange, then yellow. The blackness was being driven back to reveal a cloudless blue dome.

It was now clear the man was sitting in the middle of the flat plain of a desert. Of slender but not frail build, he was dressed only in a long white robe and sandals. His shoulder-length light-brown hair was slightly unkempt and his bearded face had the look of a young man devoid of the lines suggestive of years. But it was his eyes that were so striking, deep blue-within-blue, piercing yet, at the same time, kind and thoughtful.

On the other hand, the approaching stranger was a younger man dressed very formally in a pale-yellow two-piece suit, beige socks, tan shoes and white shirt with a mandarin collar. Clean-cut, clean-shaven, he had the look of someone from somewhere that mandated a precise look and, more importantly, a precise way of doing things.

The man rose to his feet and extended his right hand in greeting. The stranger responded in kind and the two men grasped forearms.

“Good day to you 3068. I hope you are well,” said the stranger.

“Little changed.”

“Well something must have changed. We are in…daylight.”

The darkness was totally gone but now there was only a blue sky. Cloudless skies would not have been uncommon in the desert. However, the absence of a sun was a little unsettling to the stranger. The temperature of the dry, cold air of the darkness would soon yield to the oppressive heat typical of this arid setting.

“I hope the sand did not cause you any discomfort,” 3068 said.

Physical discomfort outside certain set parameters was not the norm in this environment. Indeed, 3068’s concern was a new development. Observation and comment indicated interest.

“Another change,” thought the stranger.

“No more than usual. However, I think next time I might be persuaded to wear sandals. Shall we?” the stranger asked as he began to sit.

“No Advisor, please, over there,” 3068 said as he motioned behind him to an oasis about thirty paces away. “Leave your lamp. You can retrieve it on your way back.”

“Yes, of course,” the Advisor said with unmistakable surprise in his voice

Their meetings had always been conducted seated on the sand surrounded by the darkness. It was only by the light of his lamp that the Advisor had been able to detect the outline of what was now plainly a very small sanctuary in the middle of a bleak wasteland. From his training, he concluded three departures from established patterns of behavior were significant and presaged a breakthrough. However, the most common mistake made at this juncture was to become over‑optimistic and rush the natural unfolding of events. This hastiness more often than not resulted in regression that in half of the cases remained permanent. Leading questions and especially probing questions were not recommended.

He had been with file 3068 from the beginning. He had accepted or rather the file had been given to him just as he was starting his career, mainly because no one else wanted it and he had the lowest seniority. The prognosis had also not been very hopeful and none of the caseworkers wanted to waste their time or reputations on a dead end. However, over the years, he had grown attached to 3068 and kept the file even as he gained the status to be able to do otherwise.

Don’t ask me why or how but I was inspired by Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, notwithstanding Persistence is on a beach. I suppose it was the surreal composition of his painting. The concept of something being off was what I had intended.

The Persistence of Memory | Salvador Dalí (1931)

As the chapter begins, in my mind’s eye, I could see a man sitting in darkness. (Nothing unusual about that.) He sees a dim glow in front of him. (In a field of view of about 135 degrees, there should be a better-than-even chance the light would go unnoticed.) He smiles. (Ok, maybe this has happened before.) He looks up and it begins to get lighter. Does he have some sort of control over the movement of the sun? (Naw, just coincidence.)

As the setting becomes illuminated, I imagined a flat dry wasteland extending in all directions to where the horizon touches the sky as far as the eye can see. This creates incongruities. Sunlight without sun? How can he survive in the middle of nowhere? There must be more, a question that is partially answered when we discover there is an oasis. (I suppose one could survive on water and dates and do laundry.)

He is dressed in a robe and sandals, another incongruity. He should freeze to death in the desert night. His eyes are blue‑within‑blue. Are we on Arrakis? The approaching footsteps belong to another man dressed in a pale‑yellow suit, carrying of all things — a lamp. Inappropriate attire for the conditions on a journey that’s too long.

We discover the two men are well‑acquainted through some kind of longstanding doctor‑patient relationship, a result of a mental health issue. Most of us like to think of ourselves as a name not a number. Not so here. Why is that? Also, is 3068 a random number I’ve chosen? (No, it’s just like Nicky Parsons said in The Bourne Supremacy:  “[I] don’t do random. There’s always an objective.”) To answer that and in keeping with the one part Bible, I direct readers to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible word 3068.

This was a good start. As a storyteller, this chapter now gave me the opportunity to explore the narrative that led to this moment. It will, however, have to be the stuff of future posts.

Wow-what an insightful post and thank you for sharing an excerpt from the book!

If you want to check out more excerpts and commentary then check out some of the posts here!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds takes a look at Chapter 2

Herding Cats takes a look at Chapter 46

The Tattooed Book Geek takes a look at Chapter 66

Reeds and Reels takes a look at Chapter 88

On the Shelf reviews takes a look at Chapter 85

There is more!!!!!

You have an overview with Before we go Blog

Fab Q&A’s over at The Magic of Wor(l)ds, On the Shelf Reviews, The Book Hole

Music Monday Take over at From Belgium with Book Love

And finally, a Cover Reveal over at On the Shelf Reviews

I do not know about you but this has made me tired just seeing how much work David and Natasha have done! Wowzers! How does he have time to be writing a book – let alone on the 3rd book!!

As always it is a pleasure to have David here! Keep your eyes peeled I am sure there will be more soon!

Until next time xxx

About D. Ellis Overttun

I grew up in a town in the Midwest, my mother was a bookkeeper for a small HVAC company and my father was a draftsman. At university, I studied chemistry. However, when I graduated, I did not (or could not) pursue that vocation because I was terrible in the lab.

I have been a storyteller ever since I can remember. It started as a way to get out of trouble and evolved as a way to entertain those around me. My first recollection of writing prose was in elementary school when I had to write a short essay about a picture from a magazine. (Mine was a freshly baked loaf of bread.) In grade 7, I penned two short stories for a school writing competition. One was entitled “My Funny Cousin”, a descriptive piece about a relative (a little older than me) who stayed with us one summer. My mother very quickly killed that story. At the time, it didn’t make sense to me because she told me she thought it was very funny. It was only later that I figured out that I could have replaced “Funny” with “Flamboyant” in the title. So, it was back to the drawing board. My second attempt was a collection of anecdotes about the life of my maternal grandfather titled “The Hilarious Things My Grandfather Did”. That one went on to win.

My first complete novel was a story about a soldier of fortune in the age of horse and bow. At the time, I had contact with people in the entertainment business in California. The feedback I got was that I should take one of the chapters and expand it into a novel. That made no sense to me. What the heck did that mean? How could you expand something so small into something big? So, I never pursued it. However, the comment stuck with me. It was only much later that I figured out that it meant that I should never rush the telling of a story.

This brings us to the present and the Terra Nova Series. (Book 2 has just been published and Book 3 is in progress.) I write for an audience of one: my wife. She loves the stories



Stay and have a chat :)