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, February 27, 2013

Wise readers needed

I'm currently on the second draft of my Oz novel,  Title To Be Determined. Snappy title, no? I was calling it War Upon the Heavens, but that seems pretentious. Currently my top candidate is Bad Wizard but I'm not completely thrilled with that. There's something flippant about it to my ear. A Very Bad Wizard, perhaps? But that seems heavyhanded. Sigh. I have faith the name will eventually come to me. The last novel I really struggled to give a title to was Nobody Gets the Girl, and that worked out okay.

This story is set ten years after the original novel. I skip all the Oz sequels; in my book, Dorothy and the Wizard (Oscar Diggs is his real name) have both returned to earth. Diggs has become a charismatic politician who has swiftly risen to become Secretary of War under Teddy Roosevelt. Dorothy is a muck-raking reporter bent on exposing Diggs as a fraud and a humbug, having learned of his true nature when she asked him for help as an eleven year old and he sent her off to die rather than revealing his secret. In his position as Secretary of War, Diggs is overseeing the construction of a fleet of airships. Roosevelt thinks they will be used to project American power overseas; Diggs' true intentions are to use the airships to return to Oz and take back the throne of the Emerald City. Lion, Tin Man, and Scarecrow all have major roles. The original Toto has passed away, but there's now a Toto Two. And Dorothy shares her protagonist duties with a hairy carnival aeronaut known as the Flying Monkey. Lot's of in-jokes, though the story isn't as overtly humorous as Greatshadow. The emphasis is on action and exploring how their pasts have changed all the characters.

If you'd like to read this second draft, I'll be sending out 6-10 chapters a week starting late next week. I'd like feedback on all the chapters I send out within two weeks. I'm not looking for any type of line editing. All I need at this stage is reaction to the overall stories. Do you understand the characters? Do you care about them? Does the plot flow naturally? Are there things that confuse you? What expectations am I creating as the story rolls along? At this drafting stage, there will be lots of typos and ugly sentences, but there's no point in suggesting line level changes since I could chop just about any given page on the way to the third draft.

If you're interested in reading, drop me a line at nobodynovelwriter(at)yahoo.com. Thanks!

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