CONTEMPLATION: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WRITER

Note:  This will be a bit on the lengthy side

With the recent release of two books and the launching of a new website I decided to take a break in part to rest the mind body and spirit and in part to evaluate projects in the queue.  

While I consider these projects in terms of whether they are in line with my goals (where I’m going), part  of the evaluation includes seeing where I’ve been.

I’ve mentioned that at times my life has resembled a Pacman game where unforeseen and/or unexpected circumstances have driven a need for change.  Sometimes the change is rapid, other times at a pace that allows for planning.

This is one of those times as this is a continuation of a change that started years ago and therefore allows for planning.

Ironically, it’s because there is time to strategize I feel a bit frustrated, as if things are taking too long.  To counter this I remind myself the changes are on par with turning a massive cargo ship. 

It takes time to change course.

I also remind myself why it is I’ve made these changes.  

I thought I’d share a bit of the method to the madness with readers.

In the beginning.  I’ve known I wanted to be a writer  since I was three.

Declared it to my family and anyone else who would listen.

While I worked toward this goal I enjoyed a satisfying and successful career in tech.

I worked with a couple of other writers, one of which left after her debut book became a huge success.

It’s Time.  A number of factors contributed to the timing of leaving corporate to focus on writing.

  • Earned a doctorate in a non-tech discipline

When I finished the dissertation?  I felt a tremor in the force and knew my days in corporate were numbered.

I didn’t know exactly what would be next.  I just knew change was upon me.

  • Industry headwinds and a company merger left me frustrated and restless

I didn’t feel challenged and I was tired of the bureaucracy.

 How many times can leadership realistically use the phrase secular headwinds as an excuse?

Tools of the Trade.  As I’d been working toward this end for several years I’d already done a lot of the foundation work.

  • Took writer workshops with Writers Market
  • Joined a Professional Writers Organization and attended chapter meetings
  • Attended writers conferences
  • Completed a manuscript

 Life Interrupts.  Not long after getting traction we moved to the East Bay, California.  Within weeks of moving into our new house I was sick and unable to write.

Yes, I was pretty upset and I was forced to focus on the illness which, ironically, led to: 

Publish.  Though I’d intended to focus on fiction, my experience with EMF Sensitivity drove me in a different direction.  Knowing there were others who were suffering like I was and that – at the time – there was nothing out there anywhere close to what I’d discovered in terms of remedies and information, I decided to go nonfiction first.

I knew it would be a bit of a challenge finding a publisher.

At this point the US was still denying it was even a condition even though several countries in the world including the UK and Canada, and the WHO all acknowledged it as a real condition.

Change of Plans.  Familiar with the challenges involved with publishing I laid out a plan to find a suitable publisher, believing I would have better luck with a small university press.  After attending a presentation by two literary agents to the Colorado writers group I belonged to, everything changed.

When I talked about my book one of the two agents laughed and said, “Oh, you mean that cell phone thing?”  When I explained that it was about frequency specifics including the ultra low and very low frequencies that come out of fault lines in the hours and days prior to an earthquake, precede thunderstorms, and are emitted by high-tension power lines, and went on to name a variety of other sources as well as the universities around the world – including US universities (Stanford and University of Arizona) that document their findings – she stopped laughing but I’d seen the writing on the wall.

I received a number of emails from people who found my website who were either suffering themselves or were close to someone who was. They begged me for the book which wasn’t quite finished.

Some even offered to pay me to sell it to them early which I wouldn’t because it wasn’t ready.  I was still researching, still learning, and still working with individuals I was using as case studies.

A short time later I released Riding the Waves: Diagnosing, Treating, and Living with EMF Sensitivity.

Back to the Start.  I’d always wanted to focus on fiction and historical fiction in particular though paranormal fiction definitely held my interest.  Having gone through the process of producing a book I figured I would keep on going with a focus on fiction.

That Smashwords had just upended the publishing industry definitely swayed my decision.  

Especially given that in the numerous subsequent bankruptcies by publishing houses, authors lost their manuscripts as well as the ability to regain their rights so they could shop them elsewhere because they were considered the property of the publishing companies and therefore part of the bankruptcy settlements.

Two Lane Highway.  For the next several years I alternated fiction and nonfiction works.

I released a number of books relating to EMF Sensitivity – the cause and the cure as well as a number of remedies – and several paranormal fiction novels.

Stop and Assess.  Though I’d considered shifting away from nonfiction earlier, it wasn’t until 2016 that I truly saw it was time.

EMF Sensitivity is a broad condition that involves far more than sensitivity to technology EMFs.  I’d shared the cause and cure of the condition along with a great deal of information on remedies and troubleshooting.  I was ready to move on to a different aspect of EMFs.

Geologic, atmospheric, and frequencies difficult to quantify though Lynne McTaggart, Russell Targ, and a number of others had definitely done a fair amount of research.

Two Lane Highway 2.  I had just begun work on Metatron’s Army, a science fiction saga and though I saw the light at the end of that tunnel in terms of finishing the saga, I knew I would be publishing more works that fell under the sci-fi genre.

I planned on continuing the strategy of alternating only I would alternate between paranormal fiction and science fiction.

Psi Avalanche.  Shortly after making the decision to step away from nonfiction the paranormal side of my life heated up, so much so that between writing paranormal fiction and living paranormal reality, I felt I was drowning.  I needed a break.

I revamped my website to reflect this change though I kept the paranormal fiction available for purchase.

Two Lane Highway 3.  The decision to take a break from paranormal fiction went far in relieving the stress of the psi avalanche.  At the same time, I truly do have a passion for the paranormal.  So, after putting to use much of what I learned doing research into the more esoteric EMFs I was able to return to the plan of alternating genre strategy.

And I even found a way to weave a bit of nonfiction in as well, with the release of Lessons From the Edge: An Author’s Guide to Metatron’s Army and the launch of metatronsuniverse.com.

The Road Ahead.  Though some projects are still evolving I plan to continue to write novels of both science and paranormal fiction.  I also foresee more nonfiction in the future though I’m still working out the details.

I am considering how to share what I’ve learned about the esoteric side of EMFs.

I am currently working on multiple novels and plan to update readers on release dates as appropriate.

Stay tuned!

SPRING = NEW GROWTH

Where sci-fi meets passion and passion meets the paranormal.

I am excited to announce new and expanded offerings in the works.  In addition to science fiction and fantasy readers will find plenty of paranormal fiction.

I have several new projects in the works including Port Gallatan material.

In the coming days and weeks, I will be relaunching Elizabethmaxim.com to reflect these cool changes

Visitors to the site will find

Scifimagick.  Science Fiction & Fantasy.

Traditional Science fiction, urban fantasy, and more.

The Psi Studio.    Ghosts and Psychics

Paranormal fiction and paranormal romance.

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.