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, July 4, 2017

Covenant is coming! New cover #1, Nobody Gets the Girl!

ebook cover

print covers
Next weekend at Supercon in Raleigh, I'll be launching my newest book Covenant. This is the third book in the superhero universe of my first published novel, Nobody Gets the Girl. I had never planned to write a third book in this world. I really thought that, after I wrote the sequel Burn Baby Burn, I was done with those characters. But, inspiration can come from the strangest places. This time, I was just listening to the radio and a Ben Harper song came on. It contains these lyrics:

my choice is what I choose to do
and if I'm causing no harm
it shouldn't bother you
your choice is who you choose to be
and if you're causin' no harm
then you're alright with me

This is a pretty good summation of a libertarian mindset, and for the most part my politics lean libertarian. Nobody Gets the Girl has a somewhat skeptical view of benevolent authoritarianism, the driving philosophy behind most politics that it's okay to wield power over others as long as you are doing it for a greater good. But for some reason, when I heard these lyrics the counterargument came into my mind. The problem with the "causing no harm" libertarian philosophy is that there are, in fact, billions of people who do harm either intentionally or unintentionally. There are outright criminals, people who will murder and steal, and there are people who cause harm while they are trying to do some good; coal miners, for example, have provided the power source that has enabled modern life. Their goal wasn't to tear down mountains, poison streams, and alter the atmosphere for the fun of it. So if you're doing no harm, you're alright by me is a convenient but ultimately useless moral position. Because what do you do if someone is causing harm? Is it enough to say, well, that's not my fault, I'm blameless? Or do you have an obligation to try to do something?

As it happens, I'd introduced a team of superheroes, the Covenant, while writing Burn Baby Burn, and Sarah Knowbokov, the Thrill from the first novel, was a team member. She'd ended the first book content to live a life that did no harm. Now, she was back in costume and fighting for good again. Why? Pondering the answer to this led me to the plot of Covenant.

When I thought the book was a duology, I commissioned covers from artist Jeremy Cavin that had Nobody Gets the Girl and Burn Baby Burn blend together into a single image. I hated letting those go, since they look great side by side when I'm selling them at conventions. Alas, now that I was going to put out a third book, I needed new covers for all three. Over the last few months, I've been posting different rough designs on Amazon, tweaking color, text, and layout. Once I finally found a design that people seemed to be clicking on, I worked with a local artist I met at NCComicon Oak City named Mike MEZ Phillips to produce the final, more polished cover. Later this week, I'll unveil the new Burn Baby Burn cover, then finally show off the Covenant! Stay tuned!

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