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!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Winter Tales, NaNo, Long Term Career Plans

I'm going to be at the main branch of the Orange County Library here in Hillsborough on December 13 at 6:00pm where I'll be joined by four other local authors for an event called "Winter Tales." Alex Granados, Mur Lafferty, Becca Gomez Farrell, Gray Rinehart and I will be reading original essays, stories, poems, and maybe even a song or two themed around the holiday season. Cookies and spiced cider will be served.

In other news, I made my NaNoWriMo goal and got to 50,600 words for the month of November. This might not look impressive compared to writing Burn Baby Burn in a week, but there was a time in my life when November would have been chock full of good excuses not to write. I had two different thanksgiving celebrations. We found a renter for Cheryl's old house and spent a lot of time cleaning out the shed there and doing other prep work. Among that work was discovering the furnace was shot, and having to shell out 4 grand getting a new one installed. This, on top of my transmission blowing out on my Scion XB, which turned into a $3000 repair that put my car out of commission for a week and led to a three days of shopping for a new car before I decided that the repair was my best choice both economically and because, honestly, I just like the features of my car more than the features of any other car I looked at. It's big enough to seat four comfortably, roomy enough that I can some peices of furniture in the back, has a flat roof that lets me cart my canoe around, and has all the audio features I want including bluetooth for my phone, a feature wierdly absent even as a factory option on the Honda Fit, which was my #1 contender for replacing the vehicle. Oh, and I still get about 30 miles to the gallon average, my minimum fuel economy target. If the new transmission gets me through one more year (which it's warrantied to do), I'm certain I'll come out ahead versus a new car with payments and a higher insurance premium and tax value.

Anyway, the point is, I had a LOT of distractions in November. When life throws $7000 in unexpected expenses at you in the space of a week, it gets tough to focus.

Future plans: I'll be working on the new novel through January, and hope to have the first draft finished before Witchbreaker is released on January 26. I'll probably immediately start in on the second draft, and hope to really step up my second draft production speed. In the past, my typical novel follows the pattern of 3 months for first draft, 2 for second, 1 for finishing drafts. I've done a lot to increase the speed of my first draft output, but haven't focused as much on sharpening my revision speed. This time, I'd really love to get the new book into my agent's hands in March instead of April.

After that, I'm planning on writing another superhero novel. I had been planning on writing a third book in the Nobody Gets the Girl series, and my do this yet, but, honestly, I'm a little burned out on sequels. Of the 8 novels I'll have in print come January, 5 are sequels. I really need to write a couple of books purely as stand alones in order to keep my creative muscles from getting flabby writing the same characters and setttings again and again.

That said, I do plan on writing the 4th Dragon Apocalypse book next year as well. It's going to be a monster of a book. I've never written a 200k word novel before, but I think I'm going to go for it with book 4. Honestly, I have enough story to make it book 4 and 5, but think it would be a creative challenge to wrap up everything in one truly epic fantasy. Updates will follow.

After these three books, I'm entertaining a project that's insanely ambitious. I'm giving serious thought to writing 12 short interlinking novels in one year. These books would all be in the 40-50k length and I would release them one a month as ebooks. I have plenty of time to talk myself out of such a crazy scheme, but, at the same time, I feel it's the obligation of any writer to keep pushing to try new and different things. Nothing will destroy a creative mind more than settling into a rut.

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