Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Straightening up the bookshelf

I recently did something that we all have to do on occasion: straighten up my bookshelf (which of course has far more books on it than the designer of this piece of furniture ever intended it to hold, hence the bowing shelves).

As you might imagine, my bookshelf is heavily dominated by fantasy, horror and sci fi with some smaller doses of classic literature. Herman Melville and John Updike stand alongside J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin and my three favorite Steves: Stephen King, Steven Erikson and Stephen Donaldson.

But it also contains many of the books that I read to research my own series titled The Death Wizard Chronicles. All together, I counted 74 nonfiction books. (And these are only the ones I've saved.) Some of the titles include Palaces That Changed the World, The Medieval Fortress, Dragonology, Body Armor, The Art of Warfare in Western Europe, The Idiot's Guide to Martial Arts, Horses for Dummies, The Field Guide to Geology and The Ultimate Desert Handbook. Back while I was writing the series, I was like an athlete in his prime in terms of my contextual knowledge. If there ever were to be a book 7, I'd have to get back in shape!

Here's a pix of the cleaned up bookshelf! Not perfect, but it passes muster, don't you think?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

On the verge of something big

It's a strange time in my life. It's been 10 months since I was laid off and I still have no job, which is a first for me in so many ways. I've never even come close to being laid off or fired or even disciplined in the 40-plus years that I've worked. I started mowing yards at 12 years old and never looked back. I fried chicken, bussed tables, parked cars, cleaned movie theaters -- and that was all before I turned 13. (Okay, a bit of an exaggeration). I worked at the St. Petersburg Times for 25 years, took 3 years off to write my novels, then worked at the Greenville News for 3 years before being laid off. Considering I averaged 55 hours a week at the G.N., I feel like that should count for 4 years.

But good times appear on the horizon. My series is coming out Aug. 1, for one thing, which is huge for me, to say the least. I've also decided to take a real estate course at the local tech college and explore that line of work. And there has been recent interest from some employers that might pan out. Regardless, despite a rough past year, there's hope that things will end well.

So . . . fingers are crossed.


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 www.jim-melvin.com 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.