Free audio book! “GET CLEAN”

So I’ve decided to upload the audio book version of Get Clean to YouTube. Each of the 26 chapters will be uploaded individually over the next week or so (two or three chapters to be uploaded a day, I think), so please hop on over to YouTube, subscribe to my channel, and listen to my first ever novel being narrated by yours truly, James Ross.

And yes, if once you’ve heard the story and think it’d make a great movie… the script is ready to go, so get in touch! 😉

My fiction writing is available here – http://amzn.to/2nw1G4t
My YouTube channel – http://hyperurl.co/JamesRossYouTube

Advertisements

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!

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!

Adaptations and Novelizations…

I am a film lover.

If I’ve got a couple of hours to chill before picking up the little man from school and I can’t get my head into ‘writing mode’ then the chances are I’ll stick on a movie. I love the anticipation of having a new DVD on hand, one that’s got a favorite actor involved or a recommendation from someone who’s judgment I trust (not everybody has good taste in films, believe me, how else do you explain Battleship, Harold and Kumar, etc.), or even just putting my feet up in front of a good movie that I’ve already seen, maybe just a couple of weeks before.

I am a film lover.

In fact, before I published my novels, I was writing screenplays. Get Clean, my first published novel was indeed a script before I changed the format. Why the novelization? I hear you ask. Well, for any writers out there who have decided against going the self-publishing route, but still haven’t managed to find someone to publish your manuscript, or even an agent to represent you and your work, it is a hundred times harder to get lucky with a film script.

We’ve all had the letters of rejection… ‘It’s a good piece of work but we’re not sure that we’d be able to place it’, ‘it’s interesting but it’s not the right time for such a book’, ‘it’s too long’, ‘it’s too short’, ‘we have to wait until the planets of the solar system are all aligned in alphabetical order before we can consider taking on any more clients’ or some such nonsense. Bottom line, an agent needs to find a publisher with enough cash or big enough balls to run a print and maybe even put some cash in for marketing. It’s not that big a deal, really, if you think about it.

So how about getting a film made? If we are thinking big, which we are (we want to be successful right?), then for a film to be made, a budget of millions will need to be put into place by producers who not only believe in the screenplay, but who want only the best cast and crew committed to working with that script. Getting financed, and bringing together a quality cast (even if we forget the quality), a trained crew with equipment and the locations booked (another cost, also bringing logistical problems into the frame) for filming is a nightmare.  Films can take years to make for these very reasons.

The good news is, as a writer, most of those problems are nothing to do with me. I want to sell my script, someone else can do the rest, and I’ll sit back with a bucket of popcorn and enjoy the fruits of my labour (however much of it remains recognizable after the director has had his way with it). But as we know, selling a script is difficult, like books also, but the levels of difficulty are miles apart.
I’ve started selling my self-published novels with a clear goal – One day, I want to sell the movie rights to my first novel, Get Clean. I want to watch that story play out on the big screen. Now the chances of that happening are very, very slim. I’m not delusional; I understand that the odds are still stacked against me. But now, at the very least, I have people out there reading my work, talking about my stories, leaving reviews and recommending both of my books to friends or relatives (maybe not so much the relatives, due to the high levels of violence, drug abuse and sex involved, that might well be a little awkward).

My books are accessible to anyone with a computer and a passion for reading. So how does that help me? Here is my logic…

Even if my books don’t luckily fall into the hands of some rich executive producer or director looking for his or her next project, I am selling units. No, I am not at the top of the charts, but I am slowly making progress with regards to the number of people who have willingly bought my novels with their hard earned cash.

So what?

Well, the next time I approach an agent, or a producer or director with my work (maybe it’ll be in the form of a screenplay, maybe it’ll be in the form of a paperback which people are also currently buying) I’ll be able to say it is selling. I’ll be able to show that people are into my work with statistics, people are buying it, and people are leaving positive reviews. And also, importantly, I’ll be able to say that I’ve sold however many units (obviously the more the better at this point, clearly I won’t be doing this sales pitch just yet!) and the sales haven’t stopped.  At some point in the future, I’ll be able to prove that my novel or my script has marketability, because it has already been done. And that is a much more enticing prospect to investors of time and money.

If I hadn’t of gone down this road, the script for Get Clean would still be sitting in a drawer and the file version tucked away in a forgotten folder somewhere on an old hard drive. Slowly, I am taking steps in the right direction, that dream is becoming more realistic with every purchase that is made.

I’m not holding my breath for things to take off, but at least I’m moving forward with a plan of action.
Many movies that we watch today are adaptations from novels; I’m hoping that one of those that we see in the future will be an adaptation of my novel, the one that started as a novelization of a movie script.

Peace.

My YouTube channel – http://hyperurl.co/JamesRossYouTube
My fiction writing is available here – http://amzn.to/2nw1G4t

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!

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.