Fiction Feature Presents: James Wymore and Exacting Essence

FictionReboot2Welcome back to the Fiction Reboot!

Prague has been amazing, but I’m headed back to the writing desk at last, and thought it was time to feature a newcomer. The publishing world is ever-changing. On the Reboot, we endeavor to promote new authors and also new ways of getting into print (and into the hands of readers). Today, I am pleased to feature James Wymore, author of Exacting Essence:The Immortal Nightmare Cycle, Book 1. James is offering this book as an e-book through Wolf On Water Publishing Services. A bridge between self-publishing and the more traditional routes of big-house publishers, e-publishing services like this one offer packages to their authors–a kind of à la carte menu of practices and provisions. Below, I have asked James more about his innovative series, and also about the unique way he is bringing it to his readers. …Thank you, James, for sharing with us about the writing life!

About the Author

Born just south of Alcatraz in the heat of an unpopular foreign war, James Wymore spent his formative years moving around like a gypsy on the run. His family settled in Utah before it was hip. James wrote two books in high school, but those books have been sealed in a secret facility for the protection of readers everywhere. Although he adopted the name Shin Min-kyu during his two years in Korea, his exceptional height and blond hair made it impossible to blend in.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in chaos, James Wymore became a teacher, because he loves animals. He spent the decade after college co-building a dream world with a close friend and fellow writer, Ashton Tregger. Tethered to the real world by his amazing family, he eventually realized these stories needed to be written, returned to the aspiration of his youth, and began writing seriously. He has several short stories available in print now, and even won a few awards for one. His first book, Theocracide, is available now. His next book, Exacting Essence, will be out in May, 2013! He also has a slew of short stories in print and free to read on-line.

About the Book

CoverDraft2 copyMegan’s nightmares aren’t normal; normal nightmares don’t leave cuts and bruises on waking. Desperate, Megan’s mother accepts a referral to a new therapist; a doctor dealing with the business of dreams—real dreams. The carnival of terrors that torments Megan nightly is all just a part of the Dreamworld, a separate reality experienced only by those aware enough to realize it.

On her quest to destroy the Nightmares feeding from her fear, Megan encounters Intershroud, the governing entity of the Dreamworld, and must work with her new friends to stop the agency from continuing its evil agenda,and to destroy her own Nightmares for good.


1. Alternative universes can be interesting playgrounds for the imagination. What motivated your choice to set the story in this world? How about your world building practices?

The alternate universe in Exacting Essence is called Essentia. It started long before I wrote a book for it. In college I started talking with one of my friends about the huge amount of time Tolkien spent building Middle Earth. For fun we decided to make our own. After some brainstorming, we came up with a very short phrase, “Dreams are real.” What if dreams were really happening somewhere and not just images in our minds? With that idea we started imagining all the far reaching consequences. The conversation went on for over ten years. We wrote books of background information. Made maps, and designed groups and languages. Eventually (five years into it) we realized we had to write books about this place we’d spent so much time developing.

2. I find myself constantly researching, not only for my non-fiction works, but for my fiction as well (sometimes even more so). What kinds of sources did you seek? What kinds of experiences fueled your writing?

I’ve always been interested in dreams, as most people are. They are so deep and psychological. It seems a good playground to build a “dark Narnia” around. I read research on dreams, learned to interpret dreams by the symbols in them, and kept a running dream journal for years and years. I dappled in lucid dreaming as well. We wanted Essentia to match as closely to the experiences people had in real dreams as possible, while still facilitating the story in that world.

3. You have chosen a sometimes non-traditional (and yet increasingly popular) methods of getting your work to the public. Could you talk about the use of websites, blogs, and social media? Posting of free stories?

The world has changed, and the world of publishing with it. In some ways it’s harder to get any real recognition for a book now because there are so many more people getting their work out. However, a book like this is really interstetial and doesn’t fit neatly into the traditional publishing genres. So there would have been little hope of getting it out there otherwise. Small presses are a good compromise between self publishing and big publishers because they have a more open mind while still helping with the many other aspects of a book self publishers have to do alone. Maintaing an on-line presence is really part of the game now. People expect to have access to authors. I think it’s better if they do. I like getting feedback on my work because it also lets me see the impact as well.

4. Could you speak about your experience with Wolf on Water? There are a number of e-publishers about these days, and they are increasing in reputation. How can an author choose the write one?

Wolf on Water has been great to work with. I felt like I had a lot more personal treatment. Also, they really connected with the book. I know they are working hard to make it as good as possible because they like the story, not just for some future profits. So I’ve been very happy there. With my book they are expanding from e-books, so it will be available in print as well. I had several publishers not interested in Exacting Essence for one reason or another. I realize now, I’m glad about it. I’m glad I found just the right place with the right people who really like the idea in the book. It’s worth facing some rejection in order to find the right home for a story. Writers need to keep looking until they do find that right match. Somebody who believes in your book is a lot better than a faceless corporation.

5. Do you think you will always use this kind of e-pub/self-pub/online-pub model? How do you feel about agents and big-house publishers? Is there a space for both in an author’s career?

I don’t know about “always”. I like to experiment. However, I’m planning to finish this book series with them for sure. If I can get an agent and a big house publisher in the future, I will try it. But I’m happy where I am for now. I have a lot of exciting projects coming up which small publishers are really ideal for.

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