About This Site
This site is Command Central for CJ McKinney’s ebooks, digital magazines and inspiration and support for writers.
Writers, artists – and all creative people – have one foot in the mundane and the other in the mythic. We’re the spiritual descendants of those bards and shamans, dancers and cave painters who made meaning out of the world for their people om word and picture, music and movement. It’s our job to observe, discover, see what others don’t see. Then, in the mysterious alchemy of creation, we: mix those things with the blackness of a winter’s night and the sweetness of a summer dawn, add a dash of stardust and pour it all through a funnel of words or pictures to give people a glimpse of something they’ve never seen before, or a new way of seeing the familiar.
Smoke and mirrors, that’s what we do. We report back from the edge of chaos where no one else is willing to go. We roam the dark and bitter shadows of the human soul and this wondrous and terrible world we live in. shining light into the corners that most people can’t bear to see. And in fact and fiction, we tell the truth of what we find there.
It’s the hero’s journey that we take, again and again: to go forth, face the dragons that dwell inside ourselves and out in the world, discover the treasure, and then share that discovery with others.
I write fantasy fiction drawn from the myths and legends of the American Southwest mixed with the gritty realities — and surprising magic – of urban life. My characters live and roam in the past and present of the fictional Soledad City, a sprawling magic riddled metropolis not far from the Mexican border. Others chase (and make) dark magic in the fevered tragic time of the Civil War. You can find a gallery of them all on the forthcoming Soledad and Sorrows Hill pages.
Let me not hear facts, figures and logic. Fain would I hear lore, legend and magic. — Donovan Leitch, Roots of Oak, 1971
I also publish nonfiction books and digital magazines. As a journalist and longtime creative writer my job is simple: to find out things and show them to you in ways that will educate, enrich and entertain. That’s why you’ll find an eclectic mix of material in my nonfiction catalog. Though that old chestnut of writing advice says “write what you know,” I side with Ray Bradbury, who said, “Write what you don’t know — that’s how you learn.”
Who makes you do that, and why? Frank Zappa, to radio’s Dr. Demento, 1981
Here you’ll find a rundown of all my stories and books, as well as links to my magazine productions through my design company, LumaBlue Online Design. There’s a link to my Amazon store and purchasing information too, as well as my blog on creative work and support for indie authors and publishers.
Underneath our comforting, mundane life lurks magic, wonder and terror. It’s the work of the writer and the artist to open doors to that world. A hard, scary job – but hey, somebody’s got to do it. I’ll share what I know about all that, and I hope you will too.
Like it? Share it, please. The buttons are right here to make it easy. Stick around. Read the blog. Talk to me. It’ll be a great ride.