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, May 24, 2011

Hush wise-readers needed; also, BiblioBuffet interview is live!

First, I was recently part of a globe spanning interview with Rowena Cory Daniells (Australia) and Juliet McKenna (Britain). We live on three different continents but all share the same publisher (Solaris) and write in the same genre (fantasy). Gillian Polack did the interview for BiblioBuffet. It can be found via this link. I think the interview provides some interesting insights into different creative processes.

Second: The first draft of HUSH, the sequel to GREATSHADOW, is complete! Wooo! This was either my ninth or tenth novel. The count is complicated because I wrote my fifth/sixth novel twice. I did a complete first draft of Empire of Angels but knew it had gone terribly off the rails. Still, I slogged through, figuring I could tweak it in the second draft. But, when I got to the end, I realized the book was about a completely different protagonist who had appeared in the first draft. So, I threw out the almost the whole first draft and started again. (I did keep a subplot from one of the minor POV characters intact.)

Anyway, Hush: Whatever number it is, it is a book now. It has a beginning, middle, and end. It's too ugly to show anyone at the moment, but give me a few weeks and I'll start making it pretty.

For the second draft, I'm looking for wise-readers. The traits I'm looking for in wise-readers are: 1. Speed. I send out two or three chapters every week, and while I don't have a time limit for critiques, most of my best wise-readers get the chapters back to me in about a week so that they are staying on pace with me. 2. Superhuman patience with typos and missing words. The second draft is not a polished draft to be turned in to a publisher. In the second draft, I'm mainly concerned with making sure all my characters come across as real people and that all my plot events flow in a logical sequence. I start worrying about line editing in the third draft, and what I miss, Solaris pays someone to catch, so I don't want a "critique" that consists of a long list of every time I've used an apostrophe in the wrong place. Instead, I want reactions to events and characters. I want to know if the story is making sense.

The pitch for the book: A pregnant warrior named Infidel has to journey to the land of ice-ogres to return a sacred harpoon that had belonged to a friend lost in battle. The harpoon has the power to kill primal dragons, which means that Infidel must defend the weapon from an army of evil cultists who want to use the harpoon to kill Glorious, the primal dragon of the sun, and plunge the world into permanent winter. This provides an action-packed backdrop for a book that deals with deeper themes such as how love is changed by death, the differences between justice and revenge, and what traits one needs to be a good parent.

If you'd like to be a wise-reader, I'll start sending out chapters of the second draft starting the second weekend of June. I should be done with the full second draft by the end of August. Hush is a sequel to Greatshadow, but I think it stands alone relatively well, so if you haven't read the first book, you should be able to jump in and catch up fairly swiftly. Or, if you'd like to read Greatshadow before Hush flows your way, I'd be happy to email a copy of that book in advance. Just drop me a line at nobodynovelwriter@yahoo.com.

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