Welcome to my worlds!

I'm James Maxey, the author of the Bitterwood fantasy quartet, Bitterwood, Dragonforge, Dragonseed, and Dawn of Dragons, as well as a pair of superhero novels, Nobody Gets the Girl and Burn Baby Burn. (Click on the titles to be taken to Amazon.) My Dragon Apocalypse series combines both superheroes and epic fantasy, and so far three books have been published, Greatshadow, Hush, and Witchbreaker. The fourth book in the series, Soulless, is still under construction, but, I swear, it will see the light of day! I've also published numerous short stories, the best of which are reprinted in my collection, There is No Wheel.

This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public.

Coming out in 2014 will be my Oz inspired novel Bad Wizard, published by Antimatter Press. I'm currently working hard to finish up another superhero novel, Cut Up Girl. Watch this space for news!


Monday, October 27, 2008

The Legion of Superpoems!

This week's winner is:

Zach Welhouse!

Zach had a haiku in the Young Heroes in Love collection, so he'll be getting a signed copy of Nobody Gets the Girl as well as the Final Flight of the Blue Bee chapbook.

I had a basic flaw in the contest in that I made the chapbooks bonuses for the contest to encourage people to submit haiku, but didn't actually require the haiku to enter. I suppose I could have rigged the drawings, but I played it fair, leaving it up to luck. So, I still have two chapbooks left. I'll give these away next week, drawing from among the haiku writers who've submitted to date.

This week, it's time to throw themes and caution to the wind and post the largest superhero haiku anthology yet. Seriously, I've googled, and if anyone has yet assembled a bigger superhero haiku collection that the one I'm about to post, I've yet to find it. I wonder if I should contact the Guiness Book of World Records?

My all time favorite superteam is Legion of Superheroes. Thus, I'm excited to present this week's collection:

The Legion of Superpoems!

We start with a second poem by Zach:

I walk through time:
get rich, end war, do it right.
Where are my Time Boots?

Mingyun Jack was also in the first anthology, but that wasn't his only notable entry:

a superhero:
because who else can battle
psychic gorillas

Lex Luthor's stolen
forty cakes - ten times four cakes
and that's terrible

Fellow IGMS author Eric James Stone reaches back to one of the earliest superheroes for his haiku:

Invulnerable
Superhero of the Greeks
Had Achilles' heel.

And I have just one thing to say about this poem from Bruce Press: Spooon!

A mighty big cheese
saving the day in blue tights
not Clark, it's the TICK!

Benjamin seems to be getting into the spirit of things:

All bad guys BEWARE!
I'm lurking in the shadows
And soon I will pounce!

Nuno Fonseca gives us this seasonally appropriate entry:

They say October
Is the superhero month
But leaves do still fall

Cheryl Morgan sums up the plot lines of about a zillion comics:

Evil genius meets
Mild mannered alter ego
On comic book page

Internationally acclaimed blogger Mr. Cavin offered several entries, including this dynamic duo:

Is Antidise-
stablishmentarian-
ism Man abolished?

What the...?!? Dr. Kill--
He's naked! Oh wait--heat beams
Come from the left eye.

Krista Hoeppner Leahy offers this useful advise:

Superhero tip:
To conceal identity,
think of names as masks.

J.F. Lewis, author of Staked, writes about what we all know we'd do with x-ray vision:

X-ray vision rocks
fear my voyeuristic side
wear lead underpants.

SF author Rick Novy gives us this simple truth:

What Superman can
give like nobody else can
Atomic Wedgie.

Samir Malak has a wall-crawling entry:

radioactive
spider bites peter parker
friendly neighbor, swings

And we'll give the last word to Corey Redekop:

I yearn to fight crime.
My power? Penis laser!
So misunderstood.

Because, really, after that, what else is there to say?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cherry Red Rocket Ship available as a bonus!

Gail Z. Martin, author of the popular Chronicles of the Necromancer series, has put together a digital bonus basket for people who preorder her books. She got a bunch of fellow authors to contribute chapters or stories from their worlds, and if you preorder her latest book, Dark Haven, you will get digital versions of all these bonus works.

It looks like everyone else chipped in works from their novels. I didn't. I instead am making my short story Cherry Red Rocket Ship available. This is a story I've never published anywhere before, though I have read it frequently at cons because it's short and funny. CRRS has absolutely no connection to my dragon books. There is a very short appearance by a blue dinosaur, but no dragons. I didn't want to put up a Dragonseed excerpt, because I don't have cover art yet, and I haven't finished the line edits, let alone the gallies. I could have contributed a chapter from Dragonforge, but, really, free chapters of that are already available at Solaris, plus the book also has a "search inside" feature at Amazon that lets you read any chapter inside, so it didn't feel like it was that much of a bonus, since it's something you can get for free already. However, right now, there really is no other way to get a copy of Cherry Red Rocket Ship other than to order this book. If you must read everything I've ever written (and, honestly, why shouldn't you?), then click on this link for more information about ordering Dark Haven.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Never Ending Battle

Robo Bobo clicks and whirrs and ... draws the name Shara Saunsaucie! Congrats! This is my second winner not to have entered a haiku, however. I may have a special drawing to give away the two left over chapbooks that resulted.

In last weeks mini-antho, I left out a haiku I had intended to print! It came from Corey Redekop, author of the novel Shelf Monkey:


Hey, Superman, dude!
How is it your costume there
doesn't get sweaty?


I missed it because Corey had sent in another one focused on the motivation of a hero, and I had put his printed email into that pile, which I'm diving into this week. This week, we take a look at some of the reasons men and women go into fighting crime. And, in a few cases, why the bad guys keep up their end of the never ending battle. Thus, this week's haiku anthology:


The Never Ending Battle


First, we start with the classic noble and tragic reasons to wear a mask and fight for justice:


Gwen Stacy's snapped neck
Great responsibility
Drives Peter Parker
--Bruce Press


Protecting the World
Using their mighty Powers.
They suffer alone.
--Michell Plested


Saving many lives,
A hero can never rest,
If he wants world peace.
--KisS oF PaRaDiSe


And, of course, there may be a hero or two who are in it just for the applause:


Red cape and blue tights
Symbol of might on my chest
The glory of all
--Gina Teh


Villians have their own motivations as well:


Superheroes won't go away
My evil plot guarantees today
I will rule them all.
--Jalen Jade

If I use my ray
And make Superman evil
He still won't like me.
--Jeremy Cavin


We'll give the last word to Corey, who seems to have a special insight into our caped crusaders:


I'm wealthy and bored
with a fetish for latex.
Guess I'll go fight crime.
--Corey Redekop


One week to go! Keep sending in haiku! Next week, it's the Legion of Superpoems! More haiku than even Hulk could smash!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Seven Secrets of the Well-Dressed Hero

I've had a rough time starting Robo-Bobo this morning. He's sluggish in cold weather, I fear. But, I eventually jolted him to life with coffee and jumper cables, and he reached into the hat and drew the name:

Ruth Ann Francis!

Ruth Ann wins both the novel and the chapbook by entering this rather zen haiku:

Unfortunately
I'm no good at Haikus so
I'll just enter now.

It's not superhero themed, true, but it's clever. It made me smile, as did many of the entries I recieved on a specific subtopic of the superhero life. For many of you, the definining element of the superhero proves to be: It's all about the costume.

I wracked my brain trying to think of some superteam that had something to do with tailors, but I drew a blank. The best I could come up with was the Loom Patrol, but that's such a dreadful pun I dare not reveal it to anyone. Forget you ever read it. So, without further ado:

Seven Secrets of the Well-Dressed Hero

Masks, gloves, and coifed hair
Skin-tight suits and blowing capes
super fashion soars
--Veschwab

Wanted: Hero togs
Tights, Tiara, Gloves, Cape, Mask
of Darkness and Stars
--Krista Heoppner Leahy

Just what we needed:
Another front page story
In red underwear
--Jeremy Cavin

A hole in the rain
Fists bunched in black leather
One man duels the night
--Alasdair

Signal in the sky
Cape, cowl, now it's time to fly
Up, up, and away!
--Benjamin

The spandex and tights
are difficult to explain
at the laundromat.
--Allie Jones

Clad in tights and boots
I challenge the crimelords and...
Why all the laughter?
--Corey Redekop

And, while the title of this mini-antho would seem to limit me to the seven haiku already posted, I feel I can't close the book on costumes without this one last thought:

Cries for help? I'm... damn!
Where have all the phonebooths gone?
Agh! Curse you, cellphones!
--Marc Gascoigne

If your haiku hasn't been printed yet, don't despair! More are coming next week. And, everyone who has entered is still eligible for the next two drawings. Good luck!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Well, this is a first....

Kim Raginski sent me an email saying that Bitterwood and Dragonforge had inspired her to try to recreate my dragons in the game Spore.

She sent me links to the following images
www.spore.com/view/postcard/500128776976
www.spore.com/view/postcard/500128764107
www.spore.com/view/postcard/500128771784
www.spore.com/view/postcard/500128776994

This is definitely a first for me!

Another first I'm going to announce now is that I'll be doing a shared signing at the Barnes and Noble in Greensboro at 7pm on December 5th to promote the IGMS anthology. I'll be there with fellow author Scott Roberts and editor Edmund Schubert and some guy named Orson Scott Card. Mark this one on your calendars. It should be good.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Young Heroes in Love!

Robo-Bobo got up bright and early this morning to draw a name from one of the many, many entries to the Nobody Gets the Girl give-away. Our first winner is...

Lynette Mejia!

A book is heading your way, Lynette!

Next... haiku. Back in May June, when this blog did dragon-haiku, I had a respectable turnout of twenty some poems. This time, after author Mur Lafferty, of Playing for Keeps fame, announced this contest on her blog, I got twenty haiku in a single day! I'm dividing them up thematically and will be presenting them in little mini anthologies throughout the month.

We'll launch with a handful of poems about the love lives of our masked avengers I'm calling:

Young Superheroes in Love

Hand in frozen hand,
you never saw me smile when
the freeze ray caught us
--Zach Wellhouse

He flies off again
Leaving the girl alone, sigh,
Always flies away.
--Liz Tetley

dating a hero:
not all it's cracked up to be
watch out for fridges
--Mingyun Jack

ebon darkness falls
on the girl nobody got
void only remains
--Stephen James

big man with tight shorts
born with speed and strength
he must mask his love
--Thom Allen

Finally, a plug for a the Ghost in the Machine podcast of fellow author Gail Z. Martin, author of the Summoner and the Blood King. Gail interviewed me for her podcast last spring and the episode just went live. You can find out what I sound like by clicking here.