James D. Maxon
"Fiction gives us a reach into the lives of individuals that would otherwise be but a closed door. If we are gifted with a desire to tell tales, then we should tell them . . . if only to reach but a few." ~ James D. Maxon
James Dean Maxon (1977-Present) was born at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. His parents were divorced when he was just three-years-old. Raised in a strictly female household, James grew up in the midst of mental illness and depression. He, himself, struggled in school due to a learning disability.
Without a positive male role model, James learned how difficult it can be for children to realize their true potential. Having acquired a love for fantasy at a young age, he began to write stories of his own, providing children and teens with messages of faith, hope, and insight.
Overcoming his disability, James graduated college with a 4.0 GPA. He deepened his connection to the creative world by following a career in design. He now lives with his wife and daughter in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and spends much of his free time applying his imagination to the real world.
Questions and Answers
Q: When did you begin writing?
I would say that stories have always been a part of my life, so it was only natural for me to write my own. From a young age, books like Narnia and The Black Cauldron were read to me. When I was thirteen, my mother bought me a Smith Corona Typewriter, and that was the beginning of my first attempts to write. That's when A Wizard's Tale was born.
Q: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
There are many opinions out there as to what classifies one as a writer, but for me it started before I even put a pencil to paper. I consider writing just another avenue to express myself creatively. There are many avenues for creative expression, and writing just so happens to be one of the best. The stories are inside of you, the tools are simply a way of getting them out. That said, without the tools, one cannot be taken seriously. It wasn't until I spent many years studying the writing process that I began to consider myself a somewhat capable writer.
Q: Do you have a specific writing style?
A: I believe that everyone has his or her own unique style, or rather: voice. What molds this in each person can be an assortment of things, such as other authors you've read, your personality, and experiences in life. I write in a way that can reach all ages, providing stories that children can understand, yet still giving enough depth and symbolism for adults to relate to.
Q: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
A: Michael Ende is probably the writer whose fictional works influenced me the most. His books have a way of reaching into me and really touching home. From balancing fantasy and reality (as in The Neverending Story), to coming away with a strong sense of the importance of life (as in Momo). The writer who influenced me the most in a non-fictional sense is C.S. Lewis. His views have a way of pushing past the veil of Christian folly and grasping the purpose and meaning behind true faith.
Q: What are some of your personal interests?
A: Beyond reading and writing, I enjoy watching anime, playing video games, listening to music, and spending time with my wife and daughter.