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!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Lawless update, Victory cover

Victory: Lawless Book Three is progressing nicely. Subscribers to my email newsletter got the first peek at the cover last week and a link to a preview chapter. If you're not a subscriber yet, drop me a line at nobodynovelwriter (at) yahoo (dot) com to sign up!

Anyway, this is the cover as it currently stands. I may yet tweak Golden Victory's costume to give it a little more flair. The original version has a big red "V" on his back that I ultimately decided against. But I may yet give him a different color collar and wrist bands. Still, you get the basic concept.

Despite having Golden Victory on the cover, the book isn't really about him. It continues the story of Big Ape and Cut Up Girl and places a spotlight on Screaming Jenny. She's left the Lawful Legion on medical leave. Her mind and memories have been messed up both by government brainwashing and by a telepathic supervillain who altered her personality back in the first book. Now, she's struggling to sort out what her real memories are and discovering they are even more disturbing than her false ones. If she's ever to find peace, she has to learn the whole truth about her past, even though uncovering these truths reveals a dark and dangerous secret that Golden Victory would rather leave hidden. 

I'm currently still slogging through the first draft. I'd hoped to finish before the end of March, but the story keeps growing on me. The problem with having a team called the Lawful Legion is that it kind of implies the team has a lot of members. I've probably mentioned over a dozen team members in previous books, and in this book a lot of them take part in the plot, which is making my nerd heart happy, but man it's a lot of work to give a dozen characters back stories and meaningful arcs and keep the flow of the story moving forward. If I had a time machine, I'd go back ten years in time and tell my younger self, "Name the team of respected heroes the Cosmic Quartet. You'll only have to come up with four origin stories!"

Also, if I had a time machine, I could jump forward two months and read the final book so I'd have some clue how all this ends. I mean, I know how the main plot thread should wrap up, but there's also a love triangle thing going on as a major subplot and I still don't have a clue whose heart I'm going to break in the final chapter. I also need to find a way to resolve Jenny's emotional pain without trivializing it or making it feel like the peace she finds is a peace everyone in similar pain can find. Ultimately, her arc is about living with trauma. The necessities of story telling require a victory. The practical experience of my own life is that some times there is no victory, only survival.

Ah well. It wouldn't be any fun to write if the stories were easy to tell. Forward!