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!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hush, 41656. Also, Ravencon looms!

As expected, the logistics of dealing with my Mom's hospital stay took a chunk out of my writing, and I only finished one chapter. But, damn, what a chapter! I'm smack in the middle of one of those moments in a book where I've just kept piling woes upon woes on my protagonists, to the point that defeat is inescapable, because, I, as the writer, can't think of a damn single plausible way for them to escape it. Then, boom, one character rallies with a clever idea, and another character builds on it, then I remember a magical item whose powers are laid out in the first book that I've barely used at all the second book and realize, hey, this would be the perfect tool to pry open the old jaws o' doom.

One thing I've really got to stop and take of at this point is figuring out the *%#&! names of my supporting cast. I've got a family of Wanderers, basically gypsies who live their lives aboard ships instead of in wagons, and I've given the eight members of the family provisional names and some minor superpowers for each of them. But, I keep adjusting the powers, to the point that the names really aren't making much sense any more. For instance, the youngest boy of the family was named Gull and he could fly. But, I decided in this chapter that he didn't fly so much as have the power to swim through air as if it were water. It seems a minor distinction, but plays a small role in the plot, and makes more sense since the Wanderers were given their powers by mermaids, so I'm going to try to stick with aquatic themes. At first I just named all the boys after sharks and all the girls after spices, but now hardly any of the powers they've wound up with make sense when aligned with their names. Plus, I have to make sure the names I pick aren't too close to the other names I've already chosen for this book or for Greatshadow. Nothing is ever easy.

Next weekend, I'll be in Richmond for Ravencon. I'll post more about the panels I'll be on later this week. Stay tuned!

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