My big news of the last week is that I finished my latest draft of Empire of Angels. This is a short novel I wrote years ago that serves as a prequel to Bitterwood. It's near future SF in which a group of environmental activists rescue a genetically engineered dragon from a game park, who then must navigate through a world turned upside down by the arrival of an alien intelligence, the hyper-altruistic city of Atlantis. Jazz, Hezekiah, Gabriel, and Cassie are characters in the book who go on to play roles in the Bitterwood series a thousand years later.
My next step is to show this to the editors at Solaris. My suspicion is they won't be interested in publishing it for two reasons: 1. In style and tone, it's nothing like the later novels 2. It's short as heck for a book these days. I wound up chopping and cutting more than I put in, so the book is barely squeaking in at 65k words. This is less than half the size of Dragonforge or Dragonseed.
Assuming they pass, I will probably release the novel as an ebook, and include the two short stories set in the same mythos to help make it worth the reader's money. Some of you may know that the short story "Tornado of Sparks," which appeared in the Solaris Book of New Fantasy is set in the Bitterwood universe. (If you didn't read it in the anthology, you're in luck, since it's being reprinted in the very next issue of BullSpec. Details will follow.) What's the second story? My very first piece of professionally published fiction, "Empire of Dreams and Miracles," which appeared in 2002 in the Phobos anthology by the same name. The anthology has been out of print for years and I sort of let the story slip from my mind. But, I took a look at it recently to see how well it meshed up with the Atlantis mythos I used in the Bitterwood books and was surprised to find out how well it worked. I could try to reprint it, but I figure that, with the limited number of short stories I've put out this year, I'd just skip the middle man and make the story available for free. So, if you're interested in reading about life in Atlantis during the era of Bitterwood, follow this link.
In other news, I was invited to do a guest blog at Magical Words this weekend. I've written about sales data in the publishing industry. Dry stuff if you're not a writer, but if you have any interest in the business side of publishing, follow this link to a little essay I call "Dungeons and Data."
Welcome to my worlds!
I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), numerous superhero novels including Nobody Gets the Girl and the Lawless series, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collections, There is No Wheel and Jagged Gate. 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. If you'd like to get monthly updates on new releases, as well as preview chapters and free short stories, join my newsletter!