Starting in 2015, he slid sideways out of music technology and retuned his brain to focus on an older obsession: writing fiction. Fantasy fiction, to be specific. His first two novels were published as science fiction, but he has never used the word “airlock” in a story, and probably never will.
In his free time, he fiddles around with synthesizers and music software. In past years he has written hundreds of product reviews and tutorials for a variety of magazines, mainly Keyboard and Electronic Musician. Sadly, the corporate ownership of those magazines has saddled freelance writers with a new contract that contained provisions Jim found problematical, so his days as a magazine writer are history (except for an occasional tutorial feature in Drum!).
He is the author of four nonfiction books — Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming and Chords & Harmony (both from Hal Leonard Publications) and Csound Power and Picture Yourself Playing Cello (both from Cengage Learning/Course Technology).
His fantasy stories have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and other magazines. His two published novels (Walk the Moons Road and The Wall at the Edge of the World) are out of print.
He teaches cello privately in Livermore, California, and has performed with a number of local groups, including the Livermore Valley Opera, the Pleasanton Chamber Players, the Silicon Valley Symphony, the Pleasanton Playhouse, the Redwood Symphony, the Diablo Symphony, and the Livermore-Amador Symphony.
He has released six works of interactive fiction (text-based computer games, in other words) — “Not Just an Ordinary Ballerina,” “Lydia’s Heart,” “Mrs. Pepper’s Nasty Secret” (co-authored with Eric Eve), “April in Paris,” “A Flustered Duck,” and “The White Bull.” The duck won first place in the annual Spring Thing competition for 2009.
His personal website, which is hardly state-of-the-art graphically but not entirely devoid of interest, is www.musicwords.net. Email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will reach him.