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!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Halfway through Hush, V3

Just finished my rewrite of chapter 10 of Hush, third draft. My calendar calls for me to finish the draft by the end of the month, and since the end of chapter 10 marks the middle of the book, I'm well on track to hit my target.

Third drafts are where I try to fix problems my wise-readers have brought to my attention. They are also a draft where I try to catch continuity errors. Usually, it's just trivial stuff. In chapter 9, there was a fight scene and I rather vividly describe one of the characters involved as being red in the face while she's screaming. But, in chapter 10, Stagger says of the same character that when he'd seen her last, her face had been pale. Simple enough to fix, but also the type of error that most terrifies me. It's easy for me to keep track of the big picture and avoid continuity errors in the plot, but my cast has a dozen or more named players and trying to remember small details about them from chapter to chapter like what color shirt they are wearing can really trip me up. In the grand scheme of things, these details aren't really important. The plot will unfold exactly the same whether the captain of this ship is wearing a white shirt or a black shirt. Unfortunately, tiny contradictions can bug a reader and cause them to lose focus. At the same time, you can't leave out these minor details, since they add the sensory detail neccessary for a scene to come to life. I know some people keep "bibles" where they write down all these details, but I've never found that all that helpful. I do have a notes file where I jot down small points I know I'll reference later, but I find that I almost never look at it except to put new stuff in.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wheel winners, and some fine short fiction

We have winners! I fired up my steam-powered, robotic prize picking monkey, Robo-Bobo and had him thrust his razor-sharp claws into the vast hat I use to store my contest entries. At first Robo-Bobo wouldn't release the winning entries, demanding increases in his rations of bananas and coal, but I distracted the poor devil with a firm blow from a two-by-four and liberated the winning names. Negotiating with unruly monkeys only encourages them.

And the winners are: Jeff Domer, Jr.! Edgar Mason! and Nathaniel Lee! All sent in 100 word or less short stories that I thought did the flash fiction genre proud. And, luckily, I have permission to share these stories:

by Jeff Domer Jr.

It started with a punch. One punch too many from a bully named Red.

Revenge was on Nick’s mind. Not the revenge that brings a gun to school and makes a bully a martyr. The kind of revenge he wanted was the kind that took time and research.

Time, Nick thought to himself. Nick was close to knowing how to bend time back on it’s self. When he broke the mystery of time, he would go back. Red would not be remembered. Red would not be a martyr. Nicolas Knowbokov would make Red a nobody.



by Edgar Mason

When the pages began to fall out of The Collected Short Fiction of William Faulkner, she knew it was over.

She undid every strap in the apartment. She untied all the laces onher shoes. She unbound her hair from its many braids.

Gently, she lowered his body down from where it had hung since the night he had decided he would die. She broke the webs the spiders hadcast over his eyes, and kissed him for the last time.

And then she left, with no more bindings on her – nor on him.



by Nathaniel Lee

It's the small things that make a life. A chipped diamond ring foundon a table tells a story. A sprinkle of glass and tire marks at an intersection tell a different one. Or the receipts in a library copy of "The Prince": lifts for shoes, a power tie, strawberry yogurt, andTaco Bell. Stained.

It's these tiny details that count, that make someone real. I thinkas many as half the people in the city are my creations, now.

Oh, don't look at me like that. I know you don't believe me. I know everything about you.

My child.


I should also note that Nathaniel is something of a pro at this 100 word fiction. He posts a story daily at the site Mirrorshards.

You can find out more about Edgar Boyles at the site saturdayradio.blogspot.com.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Interview at Futurismic

Luc Reid has interviewed me about my experience writing Burn Baby Burn in one week. The article can now be read at Futurismic. A teaser quote from the interview:
"I wasn’t aiming for epic fantasy. I was shooting for a page-turning pulp
adventure featuring atomic supermen and space aliens drifting along dark desert
highways. This is the sort of novel I used to devour on a single summer
afternoon when I was a teenager."

And, speaking of quotes, I am far too modest and also a bit too lazy to sit around collecting all the pithy nuggets of wisdom I spread across the internet. But, the Codex website has a thread called "quotedex" where participants can quote other members when they say something that strikes their fancy. Luc has lately been collecting some of these quotes from individual authors, and has just recently posted some of my quotes from the forum. For a sampling, check out the article here. A teaser quote:
For me–and I can’t speak for anyone else–my formula was stupid stubbornness. I
kept plugging along despite rejection letters and harsh critiques because I was
too dumb to understand that I really was no good at what I was doing and it was
time to give up and move on to something else.

Finally, don't forget that the drawing for signed copies of There Is No Wheel ends next week! Send in your 100 word or less short stories to enter at nobodynovelwriter (at) yahoo.com.