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!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Greatshadow Cover Art!

Behold, the initial cover art for Greatshadow, courtesy of top-notch fantasy artist Gerard Miley. Gerard's portfolio can be seen here. I think there's a gritty realism to his style that nicely grounds the fantasy elements of his work. I have a lot of confidence in this book, and now that I see the cover I think the odds of it being a hit have just jumped.

I'm actually working on some final story edits on Greatshadow this week, so the art has arrived in time to help get me in the mood to tackle the project. The story is solid right now, but editor Jonathan Oliver has led me to the few spots in the manuscript where things get a little fuzzy. I also now have to add in story elements I've created while writing Hush, the next book in the series. A lot of the stuff I need to add is dragon lore; Hush features appearances by not one, not two, but four primal dragons. And, the world map I'll be including with the book names two more. How many total primal dragons are there? An excellent question. So far I've named eight: Greatshadow (fire), Hush (cold), Abyss (sea), Tempest (storms), Glorious (sun), Rott (decay/entropy), Kragg (earth), and Verdant (forest). Verdant, alas, is deceased when Greatshadow starts, slain by the first King Brightmoon. Since Verdant's spirit was in most wild plant life, he is, ironically, no longer pushing up daisies.

Over the course of the series, I've got plotlines featuring all eight of these primal dragons. Some obvious dragons I haven't yet explored would be a moon dragon and a desert dragon. I also have a percolating possibility of a dragon of love and sex. I can only imagine the cover if I get around to writing that book.

Since Greatshadow isn't hitting bookstores until January, for now I'm focused on making the books as good as possible, and have been letting my blogs lapse a bit, I fear. I think it's more important to focus on making my books entertaining than havig my blogs be entertaining. But, as the publication date draws closer, I do have plans to revamp this website to shift the focus to Greatshadow, including sample chapters, character profiles, etc. And, I do have a good writing essay coming soon, on the importance of character arcs.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A New Nobody Gets the Girl Review

For a book that's been out for almost 8 years, Nobody is still getting the occasional review. Here's the latest by DarkCargo. And, 8 years on, I'm still tickled when I see people talking about my book!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Progress report

Wow, over a month since my last post. What can I say? I've been working hard on the second draft of Hush. Sunday I sent out chapters 9 and 10 of the book to my wise-readers, bringing me to the mid-point of the book. My plan is to be done with the second draft by the end of July, though things might spill over into the first week of August.

The second draft is flowing much better than the first draft did. I've still got a lot of work left for the third draft, but at least I'm no longer fighting the drowsiness and low energy levels I was facing during the winter when my thyroid condition hadn't yet been diagnosed. My latest bloodwork still had my thyroid levels a bit low, but I feel normal again. I can sit and type for two hours without needing a nap. My dosage for my medication has been tweaked even higher starting this week, and I'm excited about the possibility that maybe in the months ahead I can crank out two to three chapters a week plus a blog post as well.

In other news, my class on ebook publishing at the Orange County Library was well-recieved and I've been invited back for a second class on writing, "How to Get Past the First Chapter and Finish Your Novel." It's going to be on Saturday October 8 at 10am. Call the Orange County Library at 919-245-2536 or email Jessica Arnold at jarnold@co.orange.nc.us to sign up for this free class.

Finally, Greatshadow is already available for preorder on Amazon! No cover yet, but still pretty amazing. January 2012 is going to be here before I know it.