J.M. Williams

A home for all things fantasy and sci-fi.

Pre-orders Now Open

Nov
17

The PRE-ORDER PAGE for The Adventures of Iric is now live on Amazon. I’d like to think it will be the same page for regular sales, once the release date arrives, but I’m not sure.

Justin Cover

Thanks to everyone for all the support you’ve given me over the past year here on the blog, on Facebook, and all the places I’ve been published. Finally things are starting to take shape in the way I had expected when I started on this writing adventure over a year ago.

~JM

To J.M. or not to J.M.?

Nov
16

Dear Friends and Followers,

I have a quick question. As I wrap up the formatting for my Adventures of Iric collection, I’ve been reconsidering the way I write my name. These second thoughts (read: doubts) came to me when I received the cover for the book (done by the wonderful E. Rachael Hardcastle).

You see, for stylistic purposes she left the periods out of the first part of my name. She wrote “JM Williams” instead of “J.M. Williams.” And you know what? I think I like it. There are a lot of author names out there that use the initial-period-initial-period style, but few if any that use just the initial-initial style.

Also, there are already a few people listed on Amazon as “J.M. Williams” (with initials), including THIS GUY. And yet, I don’t see any with the formatting “JM Williams.”

Well, thanks for your advice. I think I’m pretty much sold at this point. Good thing I made the choice before my first book was released! It would have been trouble hunting down the 20-or-less sold print copies and whiting them out.

PS> I will be revealing the cover for the collection soon, so stay tuned!

~JM

Two New Stories Live

Nov
11

While I’ve been away working, I received notice from two publishers that my stories are not live on their respective sites.

The first is an original Storm Hamilton story I wrote shortly after finishing The Maltese Falcon. I’m sure the influence shows. It was published as part of Akashic Book’s new flash fiction series, Fri-SciFi. The story can be found HERE.

The second story is a reprint of an old Iric story on Eternal Remedy. Like the previous story I had published with them, they paired the story up with some odd pictures that represent their style, a style that I happen to like. I also like the clean layout of their website. Anyways, the story can be found HERE.

In addition to this good news, I’ve been working on the Iric collection. I have the ebook cover done and am just waiting for some final editorial comments before I put it up on Kindle.

I have to admit I am a bit excited to finally have a book for sale! Oh, and my next story with <a href=”http://www.centropicoracle.com/index.php” target=”blank”>The Centropic Oracle</a> is set to drop on the 15th of December. So much news coming in these days. Seems like things work out better when I am not paying attention, a watched pot as they say…

I’d like to say that I can now enjoy my weekend but, alas, I will be working through. Hope you guys have a fun break!

~J.M.

Final Bards and Sages Tome Out Now!

Nov
02

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My story “The Sorcerer” is now available for purchase as part of Bards and Sages last tome anthology, “The Great Tome of Magicians, Necromancers, and Mystics.”

You can buy the anthology here: PRINTKINDLE

~J.M.

New Story on Flash Fiction Magazine

Oct
31

I’ll keep this short, since I have things to do–like being horribly sick with a demonic head cold.

A new, unreleased story of mine entitled “Innocence Lost, Innocence Found,” just dropped on Flash Fiction Magazine. Just in time for Halloween!

I’ll let the story speak for itself. You can find it HERE.

~J.M.

A Horde of Updates

Oct
29
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Brace Yourselves!

It seems I should take business trips more often. In the past two weeks, while I was away from home and my computer, I received a flurry of publication news. November is turning out to be a big month for me. I could bore you with the details of my trip and my feelings at receiving several acceptance letters while in the middle of doing something totally different. Instead, I’ll keep this short and jump right into the juicy bits.

First, my story “Innocence Lost, Innocence Found” will be dropping on Flash Fiction Magazine on October 31st. Halloween is the perfect day for a good old vampire story.

My story “The Sorcerer” will soon be out in Bards and Sages Great Tome of Magicians, Necromancers, and Mystics. The publisher has announced the book should be released on or about the 1st of November. An extract of another story in the anthology can be read here.

I will have another Iric flash story released on Eternal Remedy on or around the 5th of November. I loved what they did with my last one, the site and accompanying illustrations having a great vibe and not being something I would have chosen to use on my own.

A few weeks ago, I submitted a Storm Hamilton flash story to Akashic Books’ “Mondays are Murder” flash fiction series. In fact, I wrote the story specifically for that series. Interestingly, the publisher accepted the story but wants to use it for a band new flash series they are calling “Fri-Sci-Fi.” I’m going to go ahead and take full credit for spurring them to create a new series.

My horror tragedy story “Last Night” will be dropping on Roane Publishing’s Flash Fiction Fridays on or about December 1st. This one has been hard to place, in part because it is not a very happy story. Be forewarned.

Also, my next story with Antipodean SF should come out the month in both text and audio. Like the last one, I recorded the audio myself for their Anti SF Radio Show. This time I sent them a mildly humorous Iric story. The text version can be found here.

Lastly, I have been working hard compiling my “Adventures of Iric” flash stories into a collection, which I will be self-publishing as an ebook (not yet sure if I will bother with print-on-demand with this one). This was, in part, spurred on by Roane asking me for a personal sale link, of which, of course, I have none yet. It would be nice to have something on Kindle by the time the story drops so they can send some business my way.

Well, that’s all for now. I will, as usual, post direct links to all the stories once they drop. Except for that, though, I will likely be away from the blog for some time still. I need to get back to work on drafting the fourth episode of Call of the Guardian (those of you who subscribed to my newsletter have already seen the cover), as my co-authors and I get closer to going live with our StoryVerse. I will also have some edits to do with my novella soon.

No rest for the wicked.

~J.M.

Trouble in Paradise – What Pegman Saw

Oct
16
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Mauritius ©Google Maps

Both cars were out of fuel. Not that it mattered; Kori couldn’t drive a car across the ocean. This island paradise she had chosen for her first vacation after losing Derrik had become a prison. No, something worse than that–a slaughterhouse.

Hearing a shuffling sound down the road, Kori rolled herself over the road barrier. She heard it coming, step by mindless step, its broken leg dragging along the ground, its half-missing jaw moving up and down as if it was dreaming of a meal. But Kori was sure these things didn’t dream. And there were no meals left, except for people.

She drew her knife, leaning tight against the metal barrier, letting it approach. Then dispatched it with several hard blows to the back of the neck. It fell on its back and Kori took a close look of its face–she now recognized the formerly handsome hotel bellboy.

*Written as a response to the What Pegman Saw October 14th photo prompt. For some reason this picture had me thinking of the video game Dead Island. If you haven’t seen the trailer, you should. It’s one of the most emotionally intense bits of zombie film I can recall seeing, despite being a CGI movie that is now visually outdated. The video was widely praised when released. Unfortunately, the game didn’t live up to these grand expectations.

SHARE: The Key to an Engaging Story is Conflict

Oct
07

Even a novice writer knows the truth of this: fiction is driven by conflict. It simply wouldn’t be interesting to read about someone going about their day and having everything go their way. The uneventful is boring. We crave big events, flashy and even crazy events. We don’t go to concerts to watch some dude stand around doing nothing. There’s gotta be sound, and lights, and maybe a little rough-housing!

Conflict is critical to any work of fiction and it becomes more critical the shorter the piece is. This is largely due to the connection of conflict and action. Conflict forces a character to make a choice, and ultimately to take action. And the shorter your work of fiction, the more action-centered it needs to be, in order to provide a pleasing experience for the reader. Flash fiction is not a good place for complex world-building or convoluted plots.

I stumbled on the following article in my Facebook feed and found it to be a very well-articulated summary of one half of the conflict topic, namely external (or physical) conflict. These days, Lit is usually concerned with internal (or emotional) conflict, but speculative fiction–especially Fantasy, and soft sci-fi–tends to favor external conflict. We fantasy fans love our villains. It’s no surprise then, that most of the examples given in the article are SF/F works.

I have to say, I really like the look of this site. It feels more like a fiction ezine than a writing blog. Near the end of the article, the author provides a good seven-point checklist for working out your story’s conflict. But I will let you read that at the source.

Head on over and read the full article, linked below.

~J.M.


What is external conflict?

by Kristen Kieffer

As humans, our curiosity piques when two forces oppose one another. “What is happening?” we ask. Why are these two forces at odds? How will the conflict play out? Who will win? What would I do if I were in that situation?

These are the questions readers ask, more or less subconsciously, as they read. Which means they’re also exactly the kinds of questions writers should ask themselves when crafting plots for their stories.

In stories, as in life, there are two types of conflict: internal and external. Internal conflicts are the mental, emotional, or spiritual struggles a person faces—Character vs. Self—which we’ll talk about in a new blog post soon! Today, however, we’re going to focus on the second type of struggle: external conflict. Shall we dive right into the breakdown? … READ MORE

A Little House – What Pegman Saw

Oct
07
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Littleton, West Virginia © Google Maps

It was a little house, on a little street, in little corner of West Virginia. Regarding shape, it was about as perfect a rectangle as something could be; it gave off the air of rectangle, and little else. There was a group of little kids who rode by every morning on their little bikes, on their way to the little school a few blocks down the rode.

Everything about the house was little. Everything, of course, except for its gigantic inhabitant. He was Kwerg, first son of Galactic Emperor Tal, Conquerer of Endless Space, Destroyer of Suns, The White Plague, and Enemy of Vacuums.

Kwerg hoped his father would not find him here, hidden amongst the lowly little creatures of Earth. His father simply couldn’t accept that Kwerg did not want to be a destroyer. He wanted to paint landscapes, like his hero Bob Ross.

*Written as a response to the What Pegman Saw October 7th prompt.

Exclusive Cover Reveal Coming Soon!

Sep
30

I just recently received the cover images for my upcoming epic fantasy series being released by Fiction Vortex. I don’t want to say much before the big reveal. I will offer some details about the series and the story at that time.

Working with Fiction Vortex has been a great experience so far. I work with two other fantasy authors, and together we are creating a shared universe in which all our stories will take place. Fiction Vortex has coined the term StoryVerse to describe this concept, which most of their new content is built around.

The company seems just about ready to explode right now–in a good way. We have something like 80 authors now under the Fiction Vortex banner. The marketing team has promotional deals all lined up. Management has multiple publishing angles worked out. (A fellow author, Jeremy C. Schofield, who I briefly had the opportunity to work with, just discovered his book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble.) I feel very lucky to be here for the start of this.

I am going to be revealing a bit about my project soon. But there’s a catch. The first reveal, and first details will be going out to the Rabble. If you want to be in the know, you got to sign up!

I expect to be sending out the first letter in the middle of next week. I was planning to do it this weekend, but things came up and I had to delay. That just means you have a couple more days to sign up!

I am really looking forward to sharing this with you. Thanks to everyone in the blogosphere who has encouraged or supported me over the last year. It took a while to get spun up, but I feel like things are finally moving now.

~J.M.