May 2023 Update

By James Batchelor on May 18th, 2023

In this update I answer the following questions:

  1. How is Book 4, The Knights Reborn, coming?

  2. What happened to the more frequent blog updates and social media posts you promised?

  3. What’s happening with the Youtube channel?

  4. What’s happening with Hall of Mages?

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November Update

By James Batchelor on November 14th, 2022

As promised, I wanted to give a quick update on the state of my three active projects.

The Darkest Knight audio recording is complete!

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5 Lessons the Marathon Taught Me About Writing

By James Batchelor on October 18th, 2022

When I was approaching my 40th birthday, rather than getting depressed and eating myself into a food coma on the couch; I decided to roll over the odometer by checking something off my bucket list. So, I signed up to run a marathon.

Now just to set the stage here, I had no distance running experience. I was 20 pounds overweight, and I had just had my ACL replaced two months before deciding to do this. So, what could go wrong? But it was something I always wanted to do, and I liked that it would set a good example for my children to watch me set a huge goal and accomplish it.

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You Are 5 Minutes From Success

By James Batchelor on October 12th, 2022

I hate having a cluttered office. In order to keep my desk a distraction free environment, I try to get things off it as quickly as possible. So naturally, this is where my kids deposit every random item they find in the house. At this very moment, the assorted piles threatening to bury my keyboard and hide my monitor include, among other things: stacks of unopened mail, at least three screwdriver sets, old photographs of the sort that materialize at the bottom of every junk drawer, books (never mind that there is a bookcase 6 inches from my desk), a receipt for a surprisingly expensive bike lock, and the ugliest stuffed gorilla I have ever seen, whom I have affectionately named, “Dr Zaius.”

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You Will Do This!

By James Batchelor on September 29th, 2022

“That is a really tough industry to break into.”

“Well, what are you going to do as a backup?”

“Most writers never make it!”

Sound familiar? From the first moment you summoned the courage to tell someone that you wanted to be a writer/artist/entrepreneur, you have been bombarded with cautionary, negative statements like this from well-meaning friends and family. This will typically be followed up with stories about how much rejection some famous author faced before finally have his or her first manuscript accepted. The unspoken message being that “if even JK Rowling barely made it, what chance do you have?”

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Are You Doing Your Work?

By James Batchelor on September 19th, 2022

I have been thinking a lot lately about what our “real” work is. Do you know what yours is? It’s not necessarily your job. In fact, your job might be the thing you have chosen to do to distract yourself from focusing on your real work.

Now do not misunderstand me, I’m not one of those who is going to tell you to chuck everything you have accomplished in your life and go live out your dream to be a painter in Costa Rica. Quite the opposite. While I believe that understanding what you were meant to do and fulfilling that work is key to living a productive, happy life, I do not believe it is the be-all end-all of our earthly existence.

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Keeping My Promise

By James Batchelor on August 19th, 2022

As promised in my previous post from less than seven months ago, I have an update on the projects currently underway.

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What I Learned From a Spammer

By James Batchelor on July 19th, 2022

I don’t get much spam email these days. With the increased efficiency of spam filters, and the fact that I serve up a spam email address to pretty much any system that asks for an email, not too much gets through. But I do get one. Every Tuesday, like clockwork, I receive an unsolicited email from a woman pushing health supplements. I do not know how she got my info, but here’s the weird part: when I go to delete her emails, I invariably find myself reading them. Why? Because they are short. She usually has about a paragraph of text that she divides up into discrete lines, like a bulleted list. Without even meaning to, I find myself scanning the text and often being drawn in.

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Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

By James Batchelor on November 29th, 2021

When people learn that I am a writer a number of questions usually follow. “What kind of books do you write?” is usually the first. But when they grow more comfortable, questions about my books specifically usually turn to questions about writing or publishing in general, as most people seem to have contemplated writing a book at one time or another. Below I’ve endeavored to answer a few of the most common questions.

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Red Flags for Big Publishing Houses

By James Batchelor on November 28th, 2014

The world of Publishing has changed dramatically over the last decade. There is no doubt about it. We live in a time when anyone, regardless of subject matter or talent, can publish their work to the world with the investment of nothing more than time. And though there are often many reasons–and even benefits–to going the self-published route, let’s face it, the big publishing houses still lend credibility to any novel. Especially a new novel from a relatively unknown author. Though the big houses may not be as important as they once were, a reader knows that any book that comes from a publishing house has been professionally edited, proofread, and reviewed by any number of industry professionals. And while it may be argued that this can have a watering-down effect as publishers try to force novels into rigidly formulaic parameters, the level of investment and professionalism that comes from the big boys is something that a self-published author very often do not have the resources or understanding to give to his or her own work.

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Recapturing the Magic

By James Batchelor on August 3rd, 2014

As I announced some months ago via twitter and facebook, I have finished the rough draft of Hall of Mages. Now some of you are starting to notice that you have not heard any updates since then. That is mostly because there are no updates. But let me explain why.

When Hall of Mages fell into my lap (if you are unfamiliar with how that came to be you can read about it here), it was not complete and needed a lot of work. Despite that, my brother’s gift for capturing the magic of his world, which is what makes fantasy so much fun to read, came through very strong.

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By James Batchelor on June 22nd, 2014

I am posting today as a participant in an author’s blog-hop, wherein a bunch of different authors answer four of the most commonly asked questions that we authors hear. My thanks to Dave Butler for involving me in this. Dave writes speculative fiction. I just read one of Dave’s books, Crecheling, this last weekend and had a hard time putting it down. Find out more about Dave on his blog here, or on twitter @davidjohnbutler. Now onto the bloghop’s standard introductory paragraph:

We writers share these things informally during workshops and at conferences, but not so much through our open-forum blogs. With the hashtag #MyWritingProcess, you can learn how writers all over the world answer the same four questions:

Q: What am I working on?

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It Was Never About Talent!

By James Batchelor on June 13th, 2013

Do you ever worry that you are not talented enough to make a go of it in a creative field? Do you watch these hacks on the televised talent shows who are reduced to tears when they are rejected and fear that maybe that is you? Perhaps you too are just a deluded simpleton with no real talent and you will never be able to run with the big boys?

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Just Do The Work!

By James Batchelor on March 26th, 2013

Just do the work! There is no other way to say it. Forget all the opposition. Forget all the millions of reasons not to. Forget your exhaustion, your discouragement, the dread of another day spent doing something you hate. Turn off the TV, disconnect from the internet, silence your phone and get to it. And do it now!

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You Are No Shakespeare!

By James Batchelor on December 5th, 2012

“You are no Shakespeare!” That is what the little voice inside my head used to constantly remind me as I reviewed my own work (still does on occasion). It never failed: I would write something that I felt good about, go back to review it, and the little voice would appear, usually chortling derisively, “you thought that was good?” It would sputter around scarcely suppressed laughter and turn to the other little voices in my head, “Guys, come and check this out. James was happy about this piece of crap that a third grader would be embarrassed to have written.” They would all take a turn ridiculing me and finally adopt a consoling air, “Well,” they would say, “at least you never showed it to anyone.”

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The Gate

By James Batchelor on November 20th, 2012

All my life I wanted to write novels. I can still remember my earliest experiences of sitting down with my brother, Jared, when I was about eight and excitedly dashing off page after page of anything that came into our heads, which masterpieces we would then inflict upon my poor sister. She would patiently read them and tell us how great they were. And what could we do since she enjoyed them so much, but write a bunch more?

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