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!

Friday, September 24, 2021

Word Balloon Books Middle Grade Anthologies

Note: Concept covers. Final covers to be revealed. 

My first ever independently published novel was Burn Baby Burn, which I released back in 2011, under my own imprint of Word Balloon Books. I've gone on to publish or republish 23 of my own books, and have built up a healthy portfolio of skills in book design and marketing. Now, it's time to put these skills to use for new audiences and new authors. I'm pleased to announce that in 2022, Word Balloon Books will be releasing three anthologies of fantasy and science fiction geared toward middle grade readers. 

The titles we currently have planned are Rockets & Robots, Paradoxical Pets, and Beware the Bugs. We're looking for stories appropriate for readers 10 and up. Violence, sex, and language should be G-rated. That said, we're open to challenging themes and topics. We're also open to reprints! Pay rates will be at least $.01 per word, but we're hoping to improve that. We have no firm word count limit, but under 3k is preferred. Child or teen protagonists also preferred. We're open to any solid story that fits into our overall themes. 

The initial deadline for all books is February 11, 2022, but that will likely be extended for two of the titles once we have enough submissions that we can determine which one we'll be publishing first. 

Email submission to submissions@inorbit.com. Please indicate which anthology you're submitting to, and if the story is previously published. 

More on the individual titles:

Rockets & Robots: These should be science fiction adventures set in the future, in outer space, or on alien worlds. No fantasy! 

Paradoxical Pets: Looking for stories about unusual pets. They might be aliens, ghosts, mythical creatures, robots, or just a dog or cat with some weird power. Fantasy or science fiction is fine. 

Beware the Bugs! Think of 1950s B-movies where giant ants terrorize cities. Or, Lord of the Rings, where hobbits battle enormous spiders. Either science fiction or fantasy is fine, the story just needs to feature some enormous creepy-crawly critter!