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, February 21, 2009

Updates! Updates! Updates!

Things have been quiet here lately, but suddenly I am awash with news to share about Dragonseed and writing in general. Too much news for one update, in fact, so I'll be making posts today, tomorrow, and Monday to share it all. I've finally got a preview of the cover to share, and I've also got the galleys that I'm currently correcting, and I plan to post a chapter or two from these galleys and discuss my process for proofing them.

Today, I have three tidbits I want to focus on:

1: SheVaCon! I'll be a guest at SheVaCon in Roanoke, Virginia next weekend. Given that Larry Niven is the writer guest of honor, and Jeremy Bulloch is the media guest of honor, I expect there will be a really excellent turnout. (Bulloch, for those of you not fully immersed in geekdom, is the actor who played Bobba Fett.) Roanoke is my home town, and the local paper ran an article on me last summer, so I'm looking forward to the chance to meet some of the readers who wrote me letters last year when the article appeared.

2: My first audiobook! I've achieved another milestone in my writing career thanks to Orson Scott Card. For the first time ever, one of my works of fiction is available in an audiobook format. Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show is available now from Audible.com. Included is a recording of my rapture story, "To Know All Things That Are In The Earth." The book is also available on Kindle, another first for me.

3: Bitterwood has a theme song! A google alert pointed me to a LiveJournal posting this week by axisdragon discussing the parallels between the Eagles' song Desperado and my character of Bitterwood. I must admit, the song is a pretty good mesh with the character, especially the verse:

Desperado, oh, you ain't gettin' no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they're drivin' you home
And freedom, oh freedom well, that's just some people talkin'
Your prison is walking through this world all alone

That's it for this morning. I have galleys to correct. Tune in again tomorrow for even more news.


Masami said...

Congratulations on your audiobook, James. Thank you as well for the mention, I'm flattered. The first time I heard this song some of the parallels blew me away. I think it works especially well from the perspective of an especially peace loving or young human, or perhaps a Sky or Sun Dragon that the reasoning and motivation for Bitterwood's revenge quest is simply lost on. I'll try to justify myself a bit since my journal entry is a bit scarce.

"Desperado, why don't you come to your senses? You've been out riding fences for so long now."

Bitterwood, what are you doing? Why? Are you really helping anybody? What are you accomplishing? He's almost completely outside of society - he's been on his own for so long that he's almost alienated by his own kind as much as Dragons.

"You're a hard one, I know that you've got your reasons. These things that are pleasing you will hurt you somehow."

I love this verse. Bitterwood is tough, mentally and physically. In his mind every arrow he shoots is absolutely justified - but with every life he takes on a whim, he's becoming something just a little less than human. Karma. Pain delt brings more pain in a vicious cycle. What's the magic number? The lives of his family for ten, a hundred, a thousand? Who is the real monster?

"Don't you draw the queen of diamonds boy, she'll beat you if she's able - the queen of hearts is always your best bet. You know it seems to me some fine things have been laid upon your table, but you only want the ones that you can't get."

If I was feeling silly I'd say something about the Queen or Pet's former mistress but I'll not even try, I've got nothing. By the end of Dragonforge however, Bitterwood definitely has some fine things on his table - relationships that could very well be the making of his salvation.

"Desperado, oh, you ain't gettin' no younger -Your pain and your hunger, they're drivin' you home. And freedom, oh freedom well, that's just some people talkin' - Your prison is walking through this world all alone."

This is a really fun verse, considering how big a role freedom plays in Dragonforge and the concept thereof, which everybody has a different idea of. The rest is great for Bitterwood. Pain, hunger, growing older, lonliness, mortality.

"Don't your feet get cold in the winter time? The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine. It's hard to tell the night time from the day - You're losin' all your highs and lows. Ain't it funny how the feeling goes away?"

At some point, when one allows one's self to be entirely consumed by rage and emotions die, life loses meaning. For Bitterwood I think, he's living from one kill to the next. He's a broken person, he just doesn't know how to get satisfaction from anything else other than to continue to wring the collective neck of Dragonkind for the debt he believes they owe him.

"Desperado, why don't you come to your senses? Come down from your fences, open the gate. It may be rainin', but there's a rainbow above you - You better let somebody love you, before it's too late."

The only cure for a great hurt is a great love. I believe this with unfaltering certainty. This drive we have to hurt things that hurt us as human beings is a false promise. It's satisfying for one fleeting moment and then gone the next, a completely hollow victory. I guess we'll have to wait until Dragonseed to see if it's too late for Bitterwood.

Thanks for letting me wax philosophical on your blog, James!

James Maxey said...


Feel free to wax philosophical any time. I appreciate the expanded analysis, and think you'll be pleased with Bitterwood's storyline in Dragonseed, which is very much about him seeking a way back from the lonely realms of heartbreak he's been lost in for so long.

Masami said...

Thank you. It's been a fun journey with a dynamic character - from absolutely hating the man (first instinct of a dragon aficionado natually) to interest, to almost like!