Giveaway! Win a copy of my latest release…

I’m giving away a paperback copy of “The Infidel Soldiers” to one of you lucky readers!

Just follow the link below and enter the competition on the Goodreads website – it only takes a moment, I promise.

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/76042-the-infidel-soldiers

Good luck!

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James Ross Vs. Lucy Pireel

I was recently tied to a chair and forced to answer some questions (why do women keep doing that to me?) for the wonderful blog of Lucy Pireel. While escaping, I managed to grab a copy of the interrogation and thought I’d post it on my blog too, just to show she’s not the boss of me! (Just kidding, Lucy, if you’re reading this – you clearly are the boss of me)

Here we go…

Hi James, I’d like to start with a few personal questions. Just so the readers can get a bit of a feel as to who you are. If that’s okay with you? Are you a rooter, or a traveler? I mean, have you always lived in the same town?

I am a traveler… or at least a bit of one! I’m English, very much so, but I’ve spent nearly three years living in Spain, and I’m currently in my fifth year in France. Am I planning to travel the world? No. I love “western comforts” too much, so if I relocated out of Europe for a change, I think it’d the US or maybe Australia… boring? Horses for courses, I say!

What do you prefer, reading or watching a movie?

I’m a big film fan. I love films. I watch a couple of new films a week, which is more frequent than new books to be honest. But that isn’t to say I don’t rate being a reader. On a quiet, lazy afternoon, there doesn’t get much better than curling up on the sofa and opening up that book that I haven’t stopped thinking about since the last cliffhanger.

Would you ever want your work to be made into a movie?

Yes. 100% yes. Selling books means a great deal to me, to have people willing to spend some of their hard-earned cash on my work; it’s a great feeling. And then an even bigger boost comes along; the good reviews, which are fantastic. That’s a real buzz generator. But ultimately, being the film fan that I am, if I ever get to see one (or more) of my titles on the big screen, I’ll happily fall to the floor in fits of giggles.

Is the way your work is set up, psychological, twisting, and crime leaden with a touch of humour a reflection of you, or is it all pure fiction? i.e. what do you pour into your work that’s really a part of Jams?

Absolutely, it’s a reflection of me, the people I know or knew, and the life I once led and now avoid like the plague – except the humour, that is. However, don’t get me wrong, everything in my books has had the ‘fiction” wand firmly shaken at it. I can genuinely say that I am one of the good guys.

And now what you really came here for. *drumroll* – What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

I guess I should talk about my most successful book so far, Son of a Serial Killer. It has recently had a stint in the Amazon top 100, which made me so happy I fell to me knees and had to hug my son. He thought something was wrong; I had to explain why I had tears in my eyes!

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

No, I never really do either – it’s the rest of the book I have trouble getting down! I think a title, just on its own, should give the reader at least a clue of what the book is about. I feel that “Son of a Serial Killer” does that.

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?

Alcohol, cocaine, and nights out at the casino. Is there any other way?

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

I don’t think I would – maybe if there were large bundles of cash on the table, but otherwise, no. “SoaSK” actually had interest from an agent, but she stressed that I would have to make the book longer – the word count was around 10,000 less than she thought she could push for me. But in my eyes, the book was done, the story was told. My work is what it is; changing it suit the market, instead of writing honestly how I feel the story needs to be told is perhaps a skill I lack.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

With a new release, I give the book away – literally, I’m out there on the streets and shoving paperback copies into the hands of anyone who’ll let me. Ok, that’s not true at all, but I do give e-copies of my books away when they are first released, to give them a bit of a boost and to let the world know it is there. I’ve also got a couple of titles listed as giveaways on Goodreads; this gives readers the chance to get a paperback copy of my work, and also acts as advertising for those of haven’t yet heard of me (that would be most of you).

Right with that out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now. What don’t you like about writing?

Actually, there’s quite a lot of it…I don’t like how long it takes. I don’t like the fact that when I’ve figured out the plot, created some great characters who develop in interesting ways and whose paths meet and incredible things happen, that I still have to sit down and write it. And then edit it. And then edit it again. There’s just so much work involved in writing a book! And then the marketing! Don’t get me started on the marketing. I can summarise and say that it is the initial creation of the story and its characters that brings me joy, not the non-stop, tedious and lonely slave-labour that comes afterward.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Well, I don’t really drink alcohol anymore, just on special occasions (like nailing that tricky chapter), so I guess my main drink is tea*. I drink gallons of the stuff when writing or marketing online.

*Best consumed with chocolate digestive biscuits.

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

I’m a single dad, with no culinary training and living on a writer’s budget – you do not want to know what we eat chez moi!

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

Seriously, there are many days I can’t write. But the best excuse, I would say, is when you’ve finished a draft, before editing it in any way, I find it best to leave it well alone and concentrate on something else, anything else. That way, when you go back to the “finished” story, you’ll go back with fresh eyes, and you’ll see the obvious flaws in the plot and bad grammar usage.

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

I don’t! I don’t know how I ended up here! I thought I was signing up for a dating agency and I wound up a bestseller on Amazon!

Moving & shaking…

That’s right, Amazon are now calling me a ‘mover’ and a ‘shaker’ – clearly they’ve never seen me on a dancefloor!

My book is now on the first page of Amazon UK’s list of thrillers for Kindle. Son of a Serial Killer shares the same screen as a couple of Jack Reacher books and also a title by James Patterson, Honeymoon.

This is a bit crazy – I’m sure the sales will tail off soon, and I really don’t like people who gloat, so just ignore me, just let me enjoy the moment…

Happy Sunday, everyone!

I am now a best-seller!

I’m kind of excited but hesitant to believe what I’m seeing! I don’t know how long it will last, but Son of a Serial Killer is number 1 in two categories on Amazon UK, and ranked about #150 overall as I type this. This, dear readers, is a big deal to me. I’m struggling for cash at the moment (seriously) and although the money takes a while to trickle through the Amazon accounts and end up within my grasp in the South of France, the fact that it is on its very, very, slow way towards me has given me a lift.

People are buying my book. In a significant number. Happy, happy, happy.

So far, reviews have been positive, with the odd big meanie not liking or quite getting my style, but that’s ok. There are plenty of books I haven’t liked much but others have raved about. Horses for courses, as they say.

Anyway, I just wanted to share something positive in my life right now. Peace.

 

Writing, and crying as I go…

So I’m nearly at the end of the first draft of my latest project… and I’ve been blubbering like a hungry baby with a soiled nappy.

Seriously, it’s a sad tale, and whilst writing a few of the chapters I’ve found myself welling up, shedding a few tears and even having to blow my nose!

‘Finding Her Feet’ is a contemporary drama, and if people still used the word ‘tragedy’ as a genre (which doesn’t seem to appear on Amazon, for example, please correct me if I’m wrong), it may well be best suited under that heading.

I needed to take a break from it to be honest, so I thought I’d embarrass myself by giving you guys the chance to read about my failure to be a tough guy and poke fun if you want. I deserve it, I’m a thirty-three year old man, a father, a football man, crying over the words I’m typing into my laptop.

Somebody help me…

Ok, I guess I’ll make a cuppa then get back to it.

Night night… Jams N. Roses.

Great review from a ‘top 1000’ reviewer on Amazon US…

This review is from: Son of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)

This was my first time reading anything by this author… He wrote an, excellent, suspenseful, emotional, psychological/thriller… A twisted, yet believable plot. Great character development, where you actually feel the mental anguish, guilt, heart broken pain and confusion, throughout the entire story… Perfect depiction of mental illness, that can run through family bloodlines… All wrapped up into a very shocking ending…

Detective Summer’s and Kite, have been trying to capture the elusive serial killer, “the Phantom” for years, but he never leaves one clue at the scene of the crime. All of a sudden, there is now an increase of deaths in the city. Is it the “Phantom”, a copy cat, or possibly even two killers now.? The detectives are running out of time…

Ben Green, is a young man that’s been distraught and depressed over his fathers strange death, that certain witnesses claim, Graham Green, threw himself in front of the bus. On top of that Ben loses his job, walks in on his girlfriend cheating and gets to feel warm blood on his hands. When the day just can’t get any worse, his mentally ill mother, summons him to their home and reveals, a terrifying, shocking secret.This ultimately, plunges Ben, into the darkest depths of anger and evil.

So, of course by now Ben is teetering on the edge and now hearing voices. Everyone surrounding him are either sociopaths, or psychopaths. So many, you will never be able to guess who the “Phantom” killer is, until the very last page…

It’s confusing be the “Son of a Serial Killer”…..

You can see this and other reviews of Son of a Serial Killer here.

Changing genre…

So, with two books published and selling on Amazon, and the occasional guest post to help promote them, I was left with a choice about what my next project should be.

Statistically speaking, a good option would be to write a sequel to one of my previous novels, as this seems to go down with readers. Both books have had positive reviews so far, so this would be the next logical step.

However, I am an artist (apparently I am, being a writer, however outside of this blog I’d be too shy to announce it to the world), and although logical in some respects of life, when it comes to my art, my passion, I am as sensible and organised as Van Gogh on acid.

This doesn’t mean I will not revisit the characters from Get Clean or Son of a Serial Killer, those that survived that is (spoiler? maybe, you’ll have to read them and find out), but for now I have decided to concentrate on an old screenplay that I wrote, and to novelize that.

So we’ve established that from a marketing and business point of view, this may not be the wisest step, but it gets worse…

Extremely England (working title) is not the crime/thriller/mystery that either of the previous book were, and if I said that I was 100% sure that the audience who have appreciated those books would definitely be into the new project, I’d either be stretching the truth or straight-up lying!

Somebody who loves to read about the dark side of crime, death, depressive situations and hate is not necessarily going to love Extremely England, a light-hearted view of the problems faced (in reality or just through the eyes of the media) in my beloved country of birth.

Draft Zero of the screenplay was heavily influenced by the early Woody Allen hysterical comedies; Take the Money and Run, Bananas, etc., and I also realise these are not to everyone’s taste.

Changing the format from visually comical script into a laugh-out-loud novel won’t prove to be easy, but I’m willing to give it a go. Of course, the fact that I have a printed manuscript to work from means the new novel should make progress a little easier than working from random notes, half-memories and random nuggets of inspiration – I really do hope this is the case!

So there it is, for the time being, I’m changing genre.

Wish me luck.