Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The long road to a dream

When I was 16 years old and a junior at Lakewood High in St. Petersburg, Fla., I began making plans for my future, asking myself the age-old question ... "What do I want to do when I grow up?"

The light went on bright! I wanted to become a novelist, write several dozen best-sellers, and make somewhere between $25-million and $75-million. And considering this was the late-1970s, we're talking $200-million to $300-million taking inflation into account.

When I was 21, I wrote my first novel -- a Stephen King-like horror story called Sarah's Curse. It was represented by an agent (a friend of the family) for a short time and received some positive-sounding rejections, but it ended up falling short of publication. However, I wasn't overly concerned. Surely my second novel would hit it big and propel me down stardom's well-lighted road.

In the meantime I got married, had kids, and began a career in journalism that involved a lot of six-day, 50-hour-plus weeks. Needless to say, there never was a second book. But I never quit believing in my heart that I was a novelist, and I spent countless hours in the solitude of my thoughts creating a fantasy world that I hoped to one day bring to life.

Almost a quarter-century after Sarah's Curse, I finally have written a second novel ... and a third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and (midway through the) seventh. Though some might argue that I wasted a sizable portion of my life, it doesn't feel that way to me. In truth, I'm far readier now -- in terms of worldliness, maturity and education -- than I was as a 21-year-old. This is my time.

I hope that most of you will follow my blog and then buy my series when it debuts in September. The Death Wizard Chronicles was a long time coming, but I assure you it will be worth every second -- and cent -- you spend on it.

Does anyone have any dreams-come-true of your own that you'd like to share?

-- Jim


chris said...

Jim, that's a wonderful story and mirrors my tale somewhat, although you began a little younger. At 26 I tried my hand at my own epic fantasy after reading LOTR. I was truly astounded by this road fantasy, the world-building, and everything contained within it. I have no doubt in my mind that you have succeeded with the Deathwizard Chronicles. You have certainly shown the disipline to write such a magnificent series. I eagerly await its arrival.


Jim Melvin said...

Thanks so much for the great comment and support! Somewhere along the line our new friendship will pay off for both of us.

Dustinzgirl said...

Hey Jim, this is DG from Chronicles. I like the blog, and I know what you mean. All my life I wanted to be a great novelist. Not so much to be rich, but I wouldn't scoff at Stephen King kind of money. Much like you, I had kids and then had to get a real job. But then I quit my real job because it well, sucked. So I'm glad to meet you and I know you will do great with your work. Can't wait to read more!


The Death Wizard Chronicles is a sexy, action-packed six-book epic fantasy series: Book One (Forged by Death), Book Two (Chained by Fear), Book Three (Eve of War), Book Four (World on Fire), Book Five (Sun God), Book Six (Death-Know).

The DW Chronicles is not for children and teenagers -- or the faint of heart. But if you like graphic fantasy that is bursting with excitement yet still has a lot going on between the lines, I think you'll love my series.

In a groundbreaking paradox, the Death Wizard, a champion of good, derives his power from a source traditionally seen as negative -- death. His nemesis, an evil sorcerer, derives his power from the sun, the benevolent source of all life. Their struggle to control the fate of the planet Triken will take your breath away.

In an original twist never before seen in this genre, the Death Wizard is able to enter the realm of death during a "temporary suicide." Through intense concentration, he stops his heartbeat and feeds on death energy, which provides him with an array of magical powers.

The series also is a love triangle involving two desperate characters attempting to come together despite the machinations of an all-powerful psychopath with incestuous cravings.

Graphic and action-packed, spanning a millennium of turmoil, The DW Chronicles carries readers on a journey they will never forget.

Do you fear death? The Death Wizard does not. Find out why.

-- Please go to for more details.

About Me

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Clemson, SC, United States
I was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla. I graduated from the University of South Florida (Tampa) in 1979 with a B.A. in Journalism. I now live in South Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains, a pleasant setting for writing, to say the least. I was an award-winning journalist at the St. Petersburg Times for twenty-five years and I currently work at the Charlotte Observer. I am married with five daughters.

The author

The author
Jim Melvin, a veteran journalist, debuts as novelist.