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!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fan Art! Reviews! Typos!

It's been a busy few weeks for me. I've been immersed in the third book of the Bitterwood trilogy, Dragonseed. I'm racing the clock to finish my second draft in time to have a little wiggle room in writing my third draft before I'm slated to turn this in to Solaris. Things are going well, though one of my wise-readers, Laurel Amberdine, pointed out a typo in Chapter 17 that may be one of the funnier things I've ever written. The chapter ends with some of my characters running for thier lives after they escape the dragons hunting them by swimming a river in the dead of night in mid winter. They are in danger of freezing to death, so they have to keep moving. I summed up their plight with this sparkly jewel of wisdom:
"Stopping for even a minute to catch their deaths would be fatal."

I'm thinking of turning it into a tee-shirt...

On to business: I have reviews! Meg Stout in her live journal review notes, "There was a lot of slip-sliding on the viscous gore of various disemboweled dead individuals." I'm going to take it as a compliment. At the blog Book Thoughts, the unnamed reviewer notes, "it was refreshing to see a twist on a tired and true dragon story." Suanne Warr at Tales from the Raven says, "All in all a good read, and one I can highly recommend." (In the interest of full disclosure, Suanne is one of my wise-readers on Dragonseed. She had an insightful review of Bitterwood last year and shortly after I met her at a con. I'm delighted to now have her as part of Team Dragon.) Matt at Any Random Day reviews both Bitterwood and Dragonforge and says: "James Maxey kicks ass and you need to go buy both of his Fantasy Novels. You will not regret it." I swear, no money was paid for this testimonial.

One last review that's worth noting. In this week's Rhino Times in Greensboro, the reviewer reads Dragonforge, (which I sent him free) then immediately orders Bitterwood off of Amazon and reviews it as well: "It's a book that feels like fantasy but is, at core, smart science fiction. It feels like -- and is -- a magnificent hero story in the tradition of David Farland (The Golden Queen) or Mike Resnick (Santiago). But it is also deeply personal character fiction that explores complicated relationships amid corrupt societies.

There is certainly room for more books in the series -- but each volume so far gives a satisfying closure. There's no need to wait for the series to be complete.
You still have time to read these books before the summer ends. So why are you still reading this column?"

The name of this reviewer? Orson Scott Card.

It's so difficult to type that name without three or four exclamation marks behind it.

Oh, what the heck. Orson Scott Card!!!! Yeah, four feels about right. You can read his full review at his website.

Now, on to the pictures: So far, I've had three people take me up on the free books for fan art offer. I'm pleased to say I have some talented artists among my readers. We'll start with Giovanni Quinteros, who sent in a drawing of Graxen (as well as a few variants I may post eventually). Since it's obvious he's read Dragonforge, Giovanni will get a copy of the Dragonseed manuscript once I finish it. (There may be a signed copy of Dragonforge in the package as well.)

Next, we have a very Batmanish/manga Bitterwood from Lee Dixon, who'll recieve a copy of Dragonforge for his effort:

We'll wrap up with the most unusual medium so far--an inkpen tattoo of a rather buff Jandra by Chris Coe. No word as to what body part the art was drawn on, or whose skin provided the canvas. They probably deserve a book too!

Hopefully this fan art will inspire further contributions. Don't be shy! Grab your mouse, your notebooks, and/or your loved ones and make some art!

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