Jim Aikin: Author, Musician
Welcome to MusicWords 2016! As I breathe fresh life into my fiction-writing career, I need something resembling a real website. For better or worse, here it is, hand-coded and quirky as ever.
Fiction career, eh? What's up with that?
Glad you asked. Del Rey published Walk the Moons Road back in 1985. Ace published The Wall at the Edge of the World in 1991. Both are long out of print. Other than a couple of stories in the SF magazines in 2008/09, I haven't written much fiction for a long time. Truth be told, I'm a decent writer, but not a natural storyteller. When a good story pops up out of my unconscious, as golden-brown as toast from the toaster, I write it! But that doesn't happen every week.
In 2004 I wrote a long fantasy epic called The Leafstone Shield. At the time I thought it was pretty good, but it wasn't. It wasn't published, and I'm grateful for that. The story itself had some terrific elements, but it was way too tongue-in-cheek, and there wasn't enough action or excitement. Along the way, though, one or two people read it, and one of the readers said, "Gee, why don't you rewrite it as YA?" Lightbulb flashing brightly above head. Turn 23-year-old heroine into 17-year-old heroine, add lots of action and a little romance, stir well, and bake for two years at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
That's what's cooking now. The Leafstone Shield is now the title of the first volume in a four-volume YA fantasy series, which I suppose we may as well call the Leafstone Saga. Book II is called The Ribbonglass Tree, Book III is called The Heartsong Fountain, and Book IV (which I haven't yet finished) will be called The Firepearl Chalice. No word yet on when the series will be published -- my agent is shopping it around. Next year, I hope.
As we get closer to the publication date, I'll upload some preview material to MusicWords so you can check it out and (I hope) get as excited by it as I am. For now, you'll just have to trust me when I say the new version is not just a rewrite of the 2004 manuscript -- it's an entirely new story that happens to have the same characters and plot, only with some dramatic complications and the serious tone that the characters always deserved. Classic fantasy elements (wizards -- what can I say?) rub shoulders with things I doubt you've never seen in a fantasy novel before.
About the website, though ... why not jimaikin.com? Well, a guy down in Florida already owns that URL. But also, I'm not quite that egotistical. (A few of my friends may be surprised to hear me say this.) In spite of the smilin' photo, this site is not primarily about me. It's about things that I've written, or am writing, or plan to write next year. Including, I'm sure, a little electronic music. Sometimes I have to take a break for a few hours and plug in the synthesizers!
A variety of older, outdated MusicWords material is still on the server for those who have direct links. I've removed those links from the main menu as a way to steer visitors more directly and without confusion to my books (and music, and cello teaching, and -- oh, never mind).
Questions? Comments? Lavish praise? Faint praise? Advice I'd be wise to heed? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.