I just discovered that Intergalactic Medicine Show has made "Silent as Dust" one of it's free downloads this month. Some people regard it as the best story I've ever written; I have difficulty ranking my own work, but would agree that it's one of those stories where everything just clicked in the creation.
"Silent as Dust" is a ghost story, though the protagonist has gone into his afterlife without the messy step of actually dying. I'm not sure how long it will be free, so if you're interested, follow this link. Now! Hurry!
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, December 8, 2009
Silent as Dust--FREE!
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It's not free now. :(. I was going to copy it into a PDF so that I could always read it. I registered!
Well, I'm back. I'm going to read all of your blog posts that I have missed in the past three months.
Welcome back, Drakonis. Thanks for registering; sorry that the story stopped being free just about the time I discovered they'd made it free. We authors are often the last to learn things about our own work, alas.
Not a ton of posts for the last three months, alas. Between dealing with my father's illness, funeral, and estate plus plugging away on my new novel Greatshadow, I fear my internet presense has become somewhat feeble.
I came across your blog because I loved Silent As Dust and I was curious as to whether the main character was alive, or just thought he was alive. Also, I am fascinated by the concept of Seven Chimneys: seven houses merged into one. How often is something like this done, if at all? What was your inspiration? It seems to me that Seven Chimneys could be explored further in future stories.
It's my intention that Stephen, the narrator, is alive, though I do sprinkle the story with some misdirection to make it feel like the twist in the story will be that he's a ghost. In fact, that was the ending I was working toward when I started the story, but I felt like it was a creepier and more touching story if the narrator was actually alive.
My inspiration for Seven Chimneys comes from several sources. First, there's a mansion here in Hillsborough, NC called Twin Chimneys, so I drew the name from that. Second, there was an old abandoned Victorian House out in the middle of nowhere in rural Virginia that I once broke into just because I couldn't resist the call of it's old, architecture. I still have a very strong memory of climing up into the attic and finding light coming though the wavy glass of the round windows. The attic was empty, but it still felt very sad and haunted. Finally, I was inspired by the house I grew up in. In the basement, there was a hidden space on the other side of concrete wall. You could see there was an open space by looking through the rafters, but I never had the courage to crawl through and explore it. However, I did crawl around in the attic, and could reach a small hidden room there in a decorative arch in the roof on the front of the house. The room was tiny, but as a kid it was kind of my secret fall-back hiding place. I figured in the event of invasion by Russians, aliens, or zombies, it would be a pretty good place to stay out of sight. You can never be too prepared.
Currently, I have no plans to return to the Seven Chimney's setting, but I've learned never to say never. If the right story strikes, I'll be back.
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