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, June 30, 2013

A Novel in Four Days: The Cut-Up Girl Game Plan

This post is one I've agonized over. I frequently post goals on my blogs as a way of giving myself a little extra accountability. A goal you keep secret isn't as motivational. If you don't hit it, who will know? Some of my goals work out well. I announced I would write Burn Baby Burn in a week, and I did. On my other blog, I announced I would lose 20 pounds in three months, and wound up losing 37. But, later, I announced I'd get to a target weight of 220 by the end of June. Today, I'm at 225, a pound heavier than when I announced that goal.

This morning, I'm announcing my most aggressive writing goal yet: I plan to write a novel in four days. Not four consecutive days, mind you. But, I know from experience that, if I duct tape myself to a chair and make myself write, I can get north of 10k words in a day. I've made it over 13k words a day before. So, my goal for writing my new superhero novel is to write 15k words a day. Four days of this will give me my 60k word novel.

I also know that intense writing days always drain me. If I write 10k words plus one day, my chances of putting out that many words the next day are seriously compromised. So, I'll be building in rest periods and writing every other day. I plan to write on July 1, 3, 5, and 8. I'll post the raw first draft to this blog each night. This goes against my rule that writers shouldn't show people their first drafts. Honestly, I'm not posting it in hopes that people will read it. I'm posting it to keep myself honest.

I'm not under contract on this book, so I have no real deadlines. So, why choose such a crazy approach? First, I still like the results of writing fast for Burn Baby Burn. Yeah, I can point to flaws in the book that likely came from the speed I wrote it, but I can also point to passages that are some of the most honest and emotional moments I've ever allowed myself to write. Writing fast helps me get past my internal filters and write more from the heart than from the head. Second, I feel like artists should always push themselves to try new things. I know I can write a book if I give myself four months to crank it out. But four days? Can it be done?

In the end, there's only one way to find out....

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Burn Baby Burn 99 cent sale!

The Nobody Gets the Girl 99 cent sale was a huge success. I sold more copies in a single week than I had for the year to date, far exceeding my expectations. As a follow up, the sequel, Burn Baby Burn is on sale for 99 cents today through Sunday!

Burn Baby Burn follows the adventures of the last two supervillains standing at the end of Nobody, Sundancer and Pit Geek. Now that Rex Monday isn't calling the shots, they decide to ditch their plans for world domination and just rob some banks. It's a mad romp across America as they chase down the mysteries of Pit Geek's forgotten past while trying to stay one step ahead of the superheroes now chasing them. It's got murder, mayhem, and monkeys, plus a heartbreaking love story to boot. Not bad for a buck!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Superhero Summer

First, for fans of the Dragon Apocalypse series left hanging on the cliff at the end of Witchbreaker, don't despair. The full plot of the next book is coming together in my head, and you won't have to wait years and years to see how Sorrow, Slate, Infidel and Stagger team up in the final installment. One year, tops.

Second, for fans of my superhero fiction, I'm devoting this summer to you. 10 years ago this summer, Nobody Gets the Girl first saw publication. It vanished for several years, but since coming out as an ebook a few years ago it's gone on to become my top selling title. To celebrate the tenth year of publication, I've several events planned for this summer.

First, I've spent the last few weeks updating the ebook. The original publisher for Nobody is defunct, and I didn't have digital copies of the final edit, so to create the ebook I scanned in a printed copy. Alas, this introduced subtle errors that have been pointed out to me over the years. Most of it was trivial stuff. A word like "incoherent" might have been translated by the scan as "in coherent," which didn't trigger any warnings in a spell check. There were maybe two dozen of these little word errors. I also found a handful of places where paragraph breaks didn't translate. Not a huge problem, though once it blended two different speakers into the same paragraph, which probably confused some people. Finally, I while I left most of my original prose intact, I did allow myself a few tiny tweaks. I had too many sentences that started with "and," for instance.

I'm embarrassed that I had a less than perfect product on the market for so long. Anyone who has previously purchased the book has my sincere apology if these mistakes distracted you. I'll happily provided a free copy of the updated file to anyone who asks.

Next, right now I'm running a promotion through June 19 where I'm selling Nobody Gets the Girl for a mere 99 cents on Amazon. If you've never read the book, now's the chance to grab a copy. If you have read the book, now's a chance to tell a friend.

Next up: An audio version of Nobody Gets the Girl is in the works! Also, a new deluxe print edition with additional stories set in the world of Nobody. Both should be out before the end of August.

The biggest news of all, however, is that, after half a decade devoted to epic fantasy, I'm finally returning to superheroes with a brand new series of adventures set in a fresh new world. I've mentioned a book I'm working on called The Confessions of Cut-Up Girl. This is actually part of a larger series called Accidental Gods that will look at the lives of an eclectic collection of misfit superheroes trying to make sense of thier lives in a world where better superheroes have already eliminated all the supervillains. What's a superpowered girl to do with her life if all the bad guys are in jail?

As with Burn Baby Burn, I intend to post chapters of Accidental Gods to this blog once writing is underway. Break out your mask and cape and get ready for a fun summer!