Saturday, September 17, 2011

A timely novel worth checking out

In the near future, a large weather satellite is going to crash into the Earth, spreading debris for 500 miles between Canada and South America. A good friend of mine, Chris Stevenson, has written a clever novel called Planet Janitor that is about shipmates who travel the galaxy cleaning up space junk. For fans of sci fi, it's a really fun book, and it's now on sale on Kindle for only $1.99.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My own personal web site

In addition to my blog, I have created a personal website called I built it in WordPress with DirectNic as the host. Before I did this, I had never heard about WordPress and wasn't exactly certain what a host was. :) To say that this was a learning process is a bit of an understatement.

On the tech/geek scale of 1-10, I'm probably about a 6. There certainly are people a whole lot more clueless -- but I'm no wiz, either. It took me about twenty google searches to finally understand how to build the site, and even then I needed tech support from DirectNic several times

This is all in preparation, of course, for the launch of the series in August 2012. There already are a lot of plans in the works between myself and Bell Bridge Books in terms of marketing and exposure. I'm very excited. And I have high hopes that this time The Death Wizard Chronicles will really make an impact. will be a place to make announcements and post updates, but it will not replace this blog. I will continue to post blog items here, and with much more frequency over the next several months. In many instances, I'll probably post items in both places.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Death Wizard Chronicles is back!

My six-book epic fantasy series titled The Death Wizard Chronicles has been accepted for publication by Bell Bridge Books, an imprint of established fiction publisher BelleBooks. Book 1 is scheduled to be published in August 2012, with subsequent books coming out in relatively quick fashion. I could not be more pleased and excited. This is a dream come true for me in so, so many ways.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Newest novel will give you the creeps

My latest novel, a scary, sexy ghost story called Dream House, is now available as an e-book. It is being distributed by Out of Bounds Press. Order it here.

Here is an excerpt:

Greg collapsed to his knees, and he was squeezing his right wrist with his left hand. His right index finger was pointing skyward, as if blaming the heavens for his unexpected predicament. I felt bile rising in my throat. The finger had become nothing but bare bone, yet somehow it still wriggled.

Greg was screaming, a high-pitched female scream, and then he looked at me with pleading eyes, as if begging me to make it all stop, to take it all back. I took out my cell phone and dialed 911, but when I held the phone to my ear it squealed so sharply I cast it away, and it plunked into the now broiling water. A small geyser followed, as if I had tossed a live hand grenade into the green muck.

I staggered toward Greg with tears in my eyes, and my legs felt heavy as sodden wood. Now he was bent over, his face between his knees but his finger still pointed straight out. Only now even the bone was dissolving, and it smoked like the end of a lit cigarette.

“What’s happening?” I said, sounding as pathetic as a little boy. But I seemed to have nothing else to offer. Then I saw Greg’s cell phone in a case attached to his belt, and I took it out and dialed 911 again. The same squealing, as loud as a siren, caused me to cast the phone down. Only this time the phone hit a root and shattered like glass on terrazzo.

Suddenly I felt the urge to run. I could make it back to my house in just a few minutes, call the police from there, and then wait at the house while they went to Greg’s rescue. Or I could even lead them to the opening in the trees and wait there. After all, I would only get in the way if I tried to help further. Leave it to the pros, right? But Greg was in serious trouble. Now he was puking. As terrified as I was, I had to do something.

I leaned over, grabbed his left bicep, and in a fit of super-crazed strength yanked the man to his feet. His face was pale, his eyes swollen and bloodshot. I’ve never seen anyone look quite so terrified. Perhaps my face mirrored his.

“We’ve got to get out of here,” I said. But it was as if I was shouting into hurricane-force winds that muffled the words.

Still, he seemed to hear me. He nodded weakly and then leaned toward the opening where we had entered the now-nightmarish cove. But as soon as he did that, something occurred that was more frightening than anything I had yet encountered, even dwarfing the face in the bathroom window. All the strength left my limbs, and I fell back on my rump and began to whimper. A pink-skinned arm, tiny yet impossibly strong, sprang from the green gook, and a hand the size of a baby’s somehow seized enough of Greg’s skinny ankle to pull him into the water.

In just a few seconds, he was dragged beneath the surface.

He pleaded with me before he went under.

“Help me!” he squealed.

Then he was gone.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Anyone out there looking for books 3 and 4?

While my search for a new publisher continues, my series is currently out of print. However, there are a few copies here and there on Amazon, and I've noticed that books 1 and 2 continue to sell. However, there is only one copy of book 3 on Amazon, and it is way too expensive. So .... if there is anyone out there who has purchased 1 and 2 and would be interested in purchasing 3 and 4, please contact me at the jsmhimes email address at the very bottom of this page and I'm sure we will be able to work something out that is very affordable.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Who is this man?

During the three years that it took me to write The Death Wizard Chronicles, I prided myself -- sort of, I guess -- on being the type of writer who focused on just one project at a time. When it came to DW, I started on page 1 and finished on page 2,800 or so, and never once wrote anything else of any significance -- not even a short story.

I knew many other writers who were not this way. Some of them had three or more novels going at once, and they would bounce back and forth between them depending on their moods. This always seemed kind of foreign to me. I preferred to focus on one thing at a time.

Fast forward to now ........ and I am currently working on rewrites on DW, on revisions on a horror novel, and on the first draft of a YA fantasy with a woman who lives in Japan. (And yes, she and her family survived the earthquake. :) )

So I guess I've switched camps, huh?

It's kind of fun, I have to admit.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rewrite of The Pit

I just returned from a week alone in a cabin in the mountains during which I did an entire rewrite of Book 1 of the series, entitled The Pit.

I removed most of the back story and introduced characters into Book 1 that previously had not appeared until Book 2.

Book 1 is now longer and more detailed, and it is very front-story driven. Instead of being about 70-30, it is now about 95-5. I replaced probably 60 pages of back story with about 100 pages of front story.

A new publisher has shown some interest in the rewrite. I'm hoping that this will result in a happy ending. Of course, there are no guarantees.

Being married with three of my five daughters still in the house, you can imagine how peaceful it was being by myself for such a long stretch. Of course I missed my family, and I did have some bouts of cabin fever, but overall it was a rewarding experience. I kept a log while I was there, and recorded that I worked on Book 1 for more than 60 hours in about 5 1/2 days of writing time. No world record, of course, but not bad.


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

My photo
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.