deja vu with rain on the way

So, just got back from my somewhat daily walk.  

I don’t get out every day.

It was wonderful to be out in the sun.

Even if it was cool enough to justify wearing my Red Wings jersey.

It’s a Fedorov (91).

For most of the walk I mentally wrote the ending to Déjà Vu, the upcoming story. As I neared the end of the walk I decided on my next project.  Titled Rainmaker, it will be another short story tied to the Ghost Games series.

And yep, I’ll do the same as I did with Karma in terms of pricing.

I wasn’t passionate about the next project and in fact, doing another short story solves a problem.  A few actually.

  • I’m able to creatively channel excess energy created by the chaos
  • I didn’t think I had enough to make Rainmaker a full-length novel but loved the plot
  • I needed a break from series fiction.  Even standalone books in a series are intense

I’ve had fun working on Deja Vu though it was challenging, too.

It’s really different than anything I’ve worked on and short stories have always been a challenge for me.

Deja Vu solved a unique challenge I was having with the Ghost Games series.  Namely, What was going to be the inaugural story?

I had three very cool book ideas but couldn’t decide which one I wanted to release as the first in the series.  By releasing a short story, I was able to introduce readers to the style of the series without the pressure of having to choose.

I was also able to double back.  

When first considering the plot for the initial short story, I had two ideas.  I liked both but ended up choosing one for Déjà Vu.  I figured I’d eventually use the other one somewhere along the series way.  By doing it as another short story I tie all that creative chaos into a neat bow.

I’m guessing I’ll have Déjà Vu available for download within 10 – 14 days. 

Stay tuned. 

Here is an excerpt from Déjà Vu:

River’s stomach twisted at the look on his face.  She’d obviously ruined the moment.  “Sorry.”

Dodi put a hand beneath River’s chin, tilted her face so she’d look at him.  “Do you see, River?  The world is experienced not in fleeting moments but what we capture within through what we see, smell -.”  He handed her a glass of cool water, waited while she sipped before setting it down and continuing.  “Taste.”  He put a finger to her cheek.  “Touch.  Love is everywhere but to connect with it you need to be aware on a level that you have not yet mastered.  How could you?” he asked, “when your experience with the world has been so limited.  If you want to know love – to truly know love – you have to embrace the world and all that is within it.  Only once you let it inside through those senses will you be able to know what it is when you finally find it.”

Karma available for download!

I am pleased to announce that Karma, first of the Metatron’s Army Chronicles stories is available for download.

As I have written, there is a free download available. However, the kindle edition will be 99 cents.

I hope you enjoy Karma, a story that ties into the Metatron’s Army Universe.

I am working on Deja Vu, another short story that will be tied to the Ghost Games Series.

I will be releasing Shadow of the Gods in the coming months.

Stay tuned!

writing ahead

I’m happy to say that Karma, a short story related to the Metatron’s Army series is in post production.

Those who have not read MA or Metatron’s Legacy will still be able to follow.

This book will be released at no cost as a way to introduce readers to my work.

And help the thousands of people who are now at home find a way to take their minds off the chaos.

I am now working on Déjà Vu which is also a short story that will be released at no cost.  This one is tied to the Ghost Games series.

I have several projects in the queue including Shadow of the Gods and an app I’ve been working on for several years.

I delayed the public release until I’d worked a few things out.  The process behind it was in the works for years.  It’s just automated now.

The order of release of these projects is fluid and will likely remain so though I’ll provide updates as I have them.

A SHORT STORY: My definition of a short story is 40,000 words or less whereas I consider a full-length novel 60,000 or more.

Karma is currently at 50,600.  Not sure what final release will be.

I have to admit, my arms and fingers are a bit tired.  In addition to getting this draft finished in a little over a week I wrote blogs and texts and emails.  I’m ready for a break.  

But my mind isn’t.

I have Déjà Vu going and though I’m anxious to get that one finished I hope I don’t push myself the way I did with Karma.

Part of that was letting off creative steam as an answer to the chaos.  I also cleaned and caught up on all the laundry.  YUCK!  

I’ll post updates as appropriate.  In the meantime, I’m hoping to have Karma available for download within 1 to 2 weeks.

Stay tuned!

Writing: Let me count the ways

So, lots going on these days.  With Cauldron of the Gods released I’m on to the next projects.

Dragon Core:  Almost finished with the first draft of Shadow of the Gods, a follow-on to Cauldron. 

 I don’t have a projected release date outside spring 2020. 

Working on Shadow has been a lot of fun.  It hadn’t been part of the original series but toward the end of Cauldron I got the idea for it and felt it was perfect as a follow-on so I slipped it in front of Messenger of the Gods which will be the third in the series.  

What I really like about the Dragon Core series is that each book stands on its own to support a different main character with the overall series plot as a backdrop.  This gives me a lot of flexibility and the ability to tell each shifter’s story in detail.  

With Shadow of the Gods I delve into what it means to be a shape shifting alien living among humans as told through the eyes of the humans around them.  Especially, Mica who is the main female character for this book.  There will be plenty of familiar characters from the first book but with a new location and a new perspective it will be unique from the first.

Separate yet related.

Metatron’s Army:  I am working on a series of short stories that are part of the Metatron’s Army family.  

They take place after Adjudication but before Metatron’s Legacy which is set twenty years later.

Karma, first in this series of shorter stories is almost finished.  As a way to introduce readers of my paranormal fiction to my sci-fi writing style I’m going to offer this book to readers at no cost.

I’m hoping to have this available for download within two weeks.

I’ll be posting additional information about Karma as appropriate.

Ghost Games:  The idea for this action-adventure sci-fi series came to me a few years ago when I was about to walk the Embarcadero in San Diego.  

I was going down the stairwell in our building and got a vision/image – a glimpse of the mist that’s on the banner for the Ghost Games page.  I mentally acknowledged the vision then went on the walk knowing I would someday circle back to work on the storyline.

Each story in this series will consist of a “Case file” where readers are introduced to characters whose view of the world will be tested.

Because their reality will be tested.

I have three of the stories under construction.  

I’m really excited about each story and am having trouble deciding which one to release first.  

Other:  I’ve been creating new merchandise for my store, shooting videos, and developing concepts for blog material but I admit this work has been taking the back seat more recently to finishing Karma and Shadow of the Gods.

And I’m really anxious to get to the Ghost Game files.

Stay tuned…

Perspective is Everything

Thought I’d start the week off with an announcement and a little humor.  

The News.  I’m pleased to announce Cauldron of the Gods, first in the Dragon Core series is available for purchase.

The Funnies.  Was driving yesterday and pulled in for a pit stop.  Aaron, who was driving, started to laugh and asked “Does that say what I think it says?  Does that really say Crap?”  I looked up and answered, “Yep.  That’s what it says.”

I suggested he take a photo since it was so funny.  

When I got back to the car I pulled up my phone and took a picture as well.

As I looked at my photo – taken from the passenger seat – I noticed a slight difference.  There was an S at the front of that word but unless you were looking at it from my perspective, you wouldn’t have seen it.

As the dragon says

Perspective is everything.

Have a great week!

Career Transcendence

No career should be a dragonfly in amber.

For the past several months if not years I’ve been transitioning my career away from a role I had outgrown.

It wasn’t boredom so much as completion that drove me to move on.

It’s a career that began quite a bit differently than I’d imagined.

Doesn’t that always seem to be the way?

A tremendous amount of work has gone into this process.

Most of it behind the scenes. Read: Internally.

I am proud of what I’ve accomplished and excited about the path before me.

I‘m finally where I intended to be. Not that that will keep me from exploring the new and undiscovered and making changes as appropriate and necessary.

I have been updating my web presence to reflect changes associated with the transition and will continue to do so. As part of these changes I have updated my bio page, adding a section on why I am focusing on science fiction.

No need to check it out. Just keep reading.

Why science fiction?

I’ve been looking at the sky all my life.  

Usually through windows.

Night or day.

But especially at night.

The sky is a doorway that separates our self-imagined existence from the realm of infinite possibility.  In writing science fiction, I can share my experiences from both sides of the doorway with others.

Experiences that transcend what is an accepted but often limiting reality.

Why parallel dimensions?

I’ve contemplated the idea this reality isn’t the only one since I was seven and asked my dad how he could be so certain we weren’t living in someone else’s snow globe.

My contemplation took on more significance after a Near Death Experience left me without a doubt there are other dimensions.

I’ve been living with this awareness for decades.  It has never been irreconcilable with any other part of my life.

In my stories, I explore various aspects of life lived in a world where multiple dimensions are not only an accepted fact, they are embraced through experience.

Why aliens?

Who better to help create wonderful stories than characters from cultural backgrounds completely unknown and foreign?

The possibilities – like the skies – are endless

Sharpening Focus

The journey of a writer is just that – a journey.

As part of mine I continue to make changes to my web presence that reflect where I am along the path.

Readers will notice the changes which illustrate a sharpened focus.

  • Paranormal Fiction is no longer referenced on elizabethmaxim.com

All works in this genre will continue to be available for purchase online. 

  • A focus on science fiction 

Where sci-fi meets passion.

  • Cauldron of the Gods is now available for pre-order.

I am hard at work on Shadow of the Gods, 2nd in the Dragon Core Series.

I will continue to post videos in which I share information and insight on the various works of fiction.

Stay tuned!

Mistakes Are In the Eye of the Beholder

So I’m in “final” edit with Cauldron of the Gods, first in the Dragon Core series which will be released at the end of this month.  As the past few weeks have been – to say the least – chaotic – I elected to go to a café to work.  

I needed to get out of my head.

I was chatting it up with a new employee – a lovely person – the kind who just makes you smile – and realized the good fortune in coming here.  Not only did I get to try a new dish, I got a reminder that mistakes are part of life.

Especially, grammatical mistakes.

To put it in context, I need to explain that throughout the years – perhaps centuries – the rules of grammar have changed.

Nowhere is this truer than in the publishing world.

I was explaining that I’ve been struggling with this particular manuscript – for whatever reason – with various aspects of grammar.

Having a teen who is learning “school grammar” doesn’t help because when I help with homework I have to remind myself the rules are different.

I explained that the rules of grammar are fluid – a concept difficult to explain to someone whose grades are dependent on a textbook rule that may or may not apply in life outside the classroom.

Not to mention there are an entirely different set of rules for writing doctoral dissertations. To the degree you have to buy a book just to learn them!

She shared a story with me about time working for an advertising firm in Boston.  Her boss, apparently unaware of the reality of fluid rules, called her out for writing “had had” in a sentence.

She told me she explained that it was a legitimate use of grammar.

It is. 

 I went on to share that I once worked for a woman who went ballistic because I did a typo on a presentation slide intended for automotive suppliers, writing India instead of Indiana.

Perhaps I was prognosticating a more global supply chain that has since come to pass?

She berated me for the mistake, taking great pains to tell me how I’d humiliated her.

Funny, I never heard about it from the sales rep or the customers.

I actually approached the sales rep to apologize.  He looked at me in confusion then said, “Oh, that.  Don’t worry about it.  No one noticed.”

I wouldn’t say no one.

But as I pointed out to the lady waiting on me this afternoon – it says more about them than us.

And it reminded me not to hold my shoulders up over my ears as I edit. Life, like grammar, is fluid.

In other words, Go With the Flow!

Interspecies Relationships

Relationships in paranormal fiction take on a whole new meaning when you step away from a world where interpersonal and romantic relationships within your sphere of awareness are single species.

In Metatron’s Army and now in the Dragon Core series I’ve had the opportunity to explore just what that means.

It’s really a lot of fun.  It isn’t just the interspecies interactions it’s the almost endless viewpoints from which to explore them.

It’s more than just sex.  Not all interspecies relationships are intimate.  Friendships between species play an integral role in my fiction, perhaps more so because it’s character driven more often than not.

I do have plenty of action driving the stories.  I just think it’s important to show how characters change and grow through experience.  It goes to my desire to write characters readers can relate to, even if and when they are of a different walk of life (i.e. different species).

In Metatron’s Army, non-intimate relationships include friendships and alliances.

Because Christine was raised on Earth her responses to and interactions with other species are different than the other characters’ most of whom were born and raised on a variety of planets in another star system altogether (Vetria).  Her role demands that she embrace the challenges – not of accepting these differences herself – but getting other species to accept each other, something that evolves as the series progresses.  To that end I spent a lot of effort considering where she – as well as those of the different species – were coming from at any point throughout the series.  

Relatability is big for me.

In Metatron’s Legacy, we have the friendships and alliances that are important to the story along with the addition of chance interactions with other species.

In one scene, Corinna’s experience with a local from a planet she is visiting becomes confrontational in a manner that underscores she is not just another species but one that is not understood by the locals.

Stranger in a strange land.

In Dragon Core, each story deals with interspecies relationships from a different vantage point. 

I take the time to really consider what it would be like to learn someone you knew was a shape shifter, how that would affect your life.

Each book in the series takes into account the shifter species, the age of the characters (which can be centuries), their occupations, cultural background and upbringing, and of course, whether they are male or female.

Though I wrote Cauldron of the Gods with this in mind, with Shadow of the Gods, I took it a step further and explored what it was like to be a shifter not from an objective point of view (what they are trying to accomplish) but what it’s like to be them, what they go through because they are living among a different species.

Sometimes it IS sex.  In both the Metatron’s Army and Dragon Core series I needed to consider the social norms of an alien species when it came to sex and intimacy.  Just as with different cultures on Earth, not every species will view intimate relationships the same way.

What is taboo to one culture or species will not be in another.

This was occasionally tricky since I wanted to be considerate of readers and – to a degree – where they fall on that spectrum.  Since I cannot account for everyone’s cultural backgrounds and any social influences, I fell back on my belief that writing characters readers can relate to is key.

In other words, I felt if I provided enough detail to explain/illustrate where they are coming from, how they feel, etc a reader could say, “I can imagine…”

In the Metatron’s Army series I explored sexual intimacy between differing species in pretty explicit detail.

I wrote from multiple species’ point of view and was pretty detailed in that I considered what each character might be concerned about (or not).

In the Dragon Core series I step back and examine the same concepts from multiple points of view.

Some from shapeshifters, some from humans.  I focused more on age and gender and what human sexuality is typically like through those filters and relative to what it is I’m trying to accomplish.

No Really, It’s About Sex.  At the end of the day it’s about equalizing.  Sex and reproduction through sex is more or less a universal concept.

Even if science and technology have had an impact.

Depending on where you are in your life, whether you are male or female, your occupation, your goals, any number of factors will dictate how you view and experience sexual intimacy.  I wove all of this into the stories and used these nuances to enhance character development as well as use it as an opportunity for a character to tell part of the story.

I had a blast with this during a wedding event in Shadow of the Gods as one “new” adult talks to an adolescent.  It was really fun.

Not all my stories allow the freedom to explore from this unique vantage point but the challenges of intimacy in a paranormal world are always addressed.

This really comes up with Clint in Soothsayer when he has to “fish or cut bait” when it comes to accepting what it means to be in an intimate relationship touched by the paranormal.

I look forward to more adventures with inter-species relationships as I continue to branch out in paranormal fiction.

Stay tuned.

Cauldron of the Gods is due for an end of February 2020 release.