Thursday, February 7, 2008

A moment of reflection

About two weeks ago, I finished the final revision on Book Six of my series. All told, it took me 40 months to write 700,000 words.

As is typical of things like this, the reality didn't live up to the long-imagined hype. I didn't leap from my chair and start jumping around in a fit of frenzy. Instead, I simply let out a long sigh. Bestselling fantasy author Stephen Donaldson often says (and I'm paraphrasing) that books are never really finished. They just sort of fritter away until there finally comes a time when you don't find yourself working on them anymore. In today's age of online marketing, truer words have never been spoken.

I still have to go through the editing process of books 5 and 6, plus look over galleys, etc. So there's a long way to go before my frittering is done. But there's no denying that I reached a milestone in mid-January that few people ever achieve. The series is written, from beginning to end, and I'm plenty proud of it. In my opinion, it's some of the best and most sophisticated fantasy of the past five years, at any level. Of course, that's only my opinion. The readers must decide for themselves.

Thus far, the quality of the reaction has been superb. It's the quantity that needs a little work.

So to any of you who have ever accomplished a large task -- whether writing a book or anything else -- please raise a glass with me.

And whisper ...


epic fantasy, Death Wizard, Stephen Donaldson, George R.R. Martin, Terry Goodkind, Steven Erikson


VirtualWordsmith said...

Slainte, my friend!

Jim Melvin said...

A la sature!

Anonymous said...

testing, testing. Trying to blog.


Anonymous said...

Oh, my gosh! I made it! I've been searching hi and low for my username and password, and finally found it buried.

Hi, Jim! Wonderful, great live interviews. You're so relaxed and natural--a good read. Comes from the newspaper experience, doesn't it?


Anonymous said...


I'm right there with you, buddy. Ill raise a keg. I know what it is to put your all into your work. I've got six books also, in just about the same timeframe. It's wonderful accomplishment. Man, were we crazy or what?

I'll also toast to the coming success of the Death Wizard Chronicles. This one has GOT to go down in time.


Jim Melvin said...


Thanks so much for your kind words. From the beginning, you've been friendly, helpful, and unselfish. Rare qualities in this day and age, but you've got them all.

JM said...

Cheers! :)

Anonymous said...

The Death Wizard Chronicles is a series in which long after you turn the last page you will reflect upon and revisit, year after year.
~Tilly Rivers~

Bryan Hitchcock said...

Congrtatulations, Jim. This post is an inspiration. Can't wait to go on a book buying spree when the tax returns come in. Does amazon have book 1 back in stock yet?


Jim Melvin said...

Hey, Bryan!

Yes, Book One is available. Books Three and Four still aren't, but they should be soon. Thanks for asking!
-- Jim


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.