redemption and more

I’m sitting here listening to a frog croaking outside my window and admiring the leaves on trees that are just now getting around to turning.

I wonder if smoke from the fires several weeks back slowed the process this year.

I am more or less on track to have Redemption, a Dragon Core tale released in the coming weeks.  But it may end up pushed a week or two because I’m working on another project simultaneously.

I truly am working seven days a week and hope to release the two projects close together.

The other project is a Metatron’s Army project that I’d been tossing around in the back of my mind for a few years and decided to do.  It’s been an interesting experience as it’s a unique project that is actually three projects in one.

In the process of setting things up I came to see that the entire series was put out in a little over two years.  That’s 14 books because I wrote Metatron’s Legacy before Bind, book nine of the thirteen-book series was finished.

Metatron’s Legacy takes place approximately two decades after Adjudication, Book thirteen in the MA series.

I took a moment to marvel at the production rate since I was still publishing nonfiction at that time along with paranormal fiction and two radio interviews on EMF Sensitivity.

I guess when you’re in something and your head is down you don’t even realize time is passing.

Probably an easy way to burn out if not careful.

I am hoping to have the landing page for Redemption up within the next two weeks.  

The MA project is actually going quickly but I don’t want to set it aside to do Redemption and then come back to it.  I’m too close to finishing.

And in any event, going back to a story after a first draft is set aside for awhile has tremendous value.  Seeing it with fresh eyes is always good, always brings benefits including tightening and refining the story.

I will provide updates as appropriate.

Stay tuned.

Clearing the block

So, after a two week break I’m back at Mirror, a full-length Ghost Games Case File.

My breaks aren’t generally real breaks since I spend a most of the time thinking about plots and characters.  However, I did spend an entire week just reading for pleasure.

I also organized my entire house from top to bottom including cupboards, closets, and cleaning the garage.  

Thank god the donate station is open again!

When one week turned into two and I still didn’t feel the muse, I began to do a little mental movie watching.

This is the process where I will run scenes in my head like a movie so I can swap characters, change up dialogue, action, etc.  I generally do this as I wind down for sleep though I may do it while playing round after round of Free Cell since it’s so mindless.

Usually, this is all it takes to get the creative juices flowing again.  However, when I was a day past the two week mark and still didn’t have a good feel for what to work on I decided to take a second look.

I also wrote way too many emails – for which I apologized to the recipients.  Obviously, I was stalling so I didn’t have to face what might be causing the problem.

As I did manage to get a few book ideas going over the previous evenings I decided to do a bit more mental movie watching – with the intent of coming up with a project to work on. Long story short, of the four books I have in the queue, I decided to do…I didn’t know!

After all that work I STILL didn’t know!

The four choices are 2 Dragon Core books, a Ghost Games story, and a Metatron’s Army story.

Since I couldn’t figure out which one to tackle and as Mirror was already in first draft complete mode, I decided to work on that.  It was at that point I realized what the problem was.  On some unconscious level I needed to finish that one and get it out before I could free myself to work on anything else.

It would have been nice to tell myself but hey, better late than never.

It’s unusual for me to get locked into one story at a time.  I like to work on multiple stories simultaneously because it’s how my writing mind works which makes it soothing.  That this happened let me know I unconsciously send messages to myself and it’s worth noting the change in pattern.

So next time I don’t worry about a delay in getting back to it, though I DO have a cleaner more organized house for it.

So, I’m working to have Mirror available late fall/early summer 2020.  

I have a couple of Bite Size Pieces stories in the queue along with additional full-length novels across all the series.

Stay tuned!

Shadow of the Gods

Going.  Well, as usual, busy writing these days.  I’m pleased to announce that Shadow of the Gods, second in the Dragon Core series is on schedule for a Summer 2020 release.  

Check out the landing page to learn more.

I will be posting a video shortly.

Going.  I’m also just about finished with the first draft of Mirror, the 3rd Case File in the Ghost Games series!

Mirror is a full-length novel.

Why Wait?  As this book is way ahead of schedule I will be releasing it when it’s ready which is looking like early to mid summer 2020.

Still Going.  I have a number of stories in the queue, including Redemption, a short story tied to the Dragon Core SeriesMessenger of the Gods, 3rd in the Dragon Core Series, and an upcoming Chronicles, part of theMetatron’s Army family.

And Going.  There’s more.  Details to follow.

Stay tuned!

To put a perspective on the volume of material I’ve released – in the last seven years I’ve had my laptop keyboard replaced four times and the trackpad recalibrated three.  As I was facing my fifth keyboard replacement and fourth recalbration, I decided it was time for a new laptop.

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!

Here Comes the Sun and more

Working on Karma and enjoying the additional evening sunlight thanks to the switch back to Daylight Savings Time.

And waiting for Congress to give us the waiver so we don’t have to go through the outdated and unnecessary bi-annual process.  We voted to do away with it after all and having lived in Arizona I know how sweet life is when you don’t.

I just finished writing a very challenging scene, challenging because though a vivid moving image in my mind, it is difficult to describe.

My entire body tenses up as I seek to recreate what I see in my mind’s eye on “paper.”

I started my writing career on paper so even though that paper is now virtual, to me it’s still paper.

I’m anxious to finish this shorter story that is part of the Metatron’s Army family.  I’ve really enjoyed working on it and though I went back and reread Adjudication and sections of other MA novels, this story is pretty independent.

The Twelve Star Systems are vast with numerous species living on a number of planets.  Lots of room for stories of those not directly involved with the saga though I do include familiar characters and provide backstory so anyone who hadn’t read MA or Metatron’s Legacy could follow.

I’ve started working with my art team on a cover design though it’s in early stages.  I’m hoping to have a landing page up within a week to give readers an idea of what’s coming.

I’m hoping the book will be ready for download within the next two weeks.

I have a number of projects I’ll be talking about soon, including a new app I developed.

This one was fun.

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…

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!

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.