Dave’s Dream – A Shark In The Pool

Random voicemail message left by my pal David Haswell telling a story about a dream he had. He probably needs to lay off the magic mushrooms…

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

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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

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!

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

How I let my life write my novels…

My first published novel ‘Get Clean’ has had a few a sales now, a few good reviews and so far, as a new writer, things are going ok. I’m not breaking any records, but importantly, my books are getting read.

This means so much more to me than perhaps some other writers, as the story is heavily based on me and my experiences. Lots of what fills the pages comes directly from my life, whether it is the descriptions of my tattoos, or the break-up with my long-term girlfriend, or the loss of a child.

Of course, this is a fiction novel, and I wouldn’t be so bold as to say that my life is worthy of a book or a film to be made celebrating it, but I firmly believe that everybody has a little something in their life that’s worth writing down.

We are very interesting, us humans. We are smart and we are dumb, we are brave and scared and weak and strong, all at the same time.

Great stories are often given praise for their believable characters, which is a clear indication that although we love fiction, we want to be able to recognize at least a part of what we read, and this would tend to be the human side of things.

I feel in tune to this as I’m quite an emotional person, not that I’m going to break down in tears when writing this, but I am conscious of my feelings and like to think that I am compassionate to others around me. Again, these give me direct life experiences that I am able to translate into my stories, and because they are ideas or feelings that come from real life, they hold that air of believability.

For me, the emotional journey of a character, his inner motivations and conflicts, is just as important as his outer motivations and conflicts, meaning, ‘how is he coping with it all?’ is just as important to me as the ‘will he get to save the girl?’

My point is that for me, the plot aside, a story is really built up from the characters within it, and we all know enough people, or watch them on television, or read about them in newspapers to have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. The trick is to sift out the boring, and keep those characters that make you laugh, make you cry, keep you entertained or even offend you.

Yes, placing these characters into a plot that works is a skill that is learned and never mastered for most, but it is achievable. Writing a book isn’t easy, writing a good book is even more difficult. Nevertheless, we all have the ingredients to make something pretty special, and the type of life that you lead will clearly dictate as to what genre you write in, in my humble opinion.

After two crime related novels including tales of drug abuse, pain, deceit and murder, maybe things will change for the better in my life. Who knows, if I meet the right person, my next novel may even be a romance!

Buy ‘Get Clean’ here – http://amzn.to/102Y7nv

Buy ‘Son of a Serial Killer’ here – http://amzn.to/102XHxk

Maybe I’ve been writing my books backwards?

I read a lot of advice for writers, telling us to choose and stick to a genre, to learn about and know our audience, which makes sense. It’s handy to know who your target market is, thus enabling you to manipulate your novel, or poem, or whatever it is that you choose to write to suit the reader tastes.

In this respect, by choosing to write a thriller or suspense, the reader knows what to expect when coming across your book in that category on the bookshelf or that webpage.

But here’s the thing, should I be giving readers what they expect? Should I be sticking to a predetermined formula that sits nicely in my chosen genre?

This is what leads me to ask myself the question… ‘Am I writing my books backwards?’

When I finally sit down to begin work on the next project, after weeks if not months of random ideas floating about and colliding in my head, I’ll know how the story starts, and definitely know how it ends, also I’ll know a lot about the characters, their strengths and their flaws, but could I say without hesitation exactly what genre my book would fall under?

No, and here’s why…

My first two books, ‘Get Clean’ and ‘Son of a Serial Killer’ have been crime related, and as the plot progresses, more is at stake for everyone involved and sooner or later everything will come to a head if someone doesn’t save the day! In this respect, my books are a thriller, a very popular genre for readers and not a bad place to be as a writer.

But, I try to make all of my characters as real as possible, calling on personal experiences, times  when I was happy or sad, excited or depressed. I hope I’m conveying these emotions through the pages clearly enough and they arrive as intended in the hearts and souls of my readers. In this respect, could I not label my books as dramas? They are certainly dramatic.

I’d like to think that I don’t give the plot away too early in my stories, and I occasionally throw in a curve-ball that will keep my readers guessing and sometimes render them stunned. Son of a Serial Killer follows two main characters, one of whom is a detective; does this make it a mystery novel?

Get Clean is a story based on my time in the south of Spain, many elements of the story are true to life, but it is far from a factual book or true crime. Also, it contains many elements of humour, giving a much needed break in the novel from the harsh realities of cocaine addiction; such is one of the obstacles the protagonist must overcome.

I guess I could always label my books as dramatic, contemporary thriller/mystery fiction novels, but I’m yet to come across that section in the bookshop.

In conclusion, speaking for myself as a writer, I feel it is important to just tell the story I want to tell. So far my novels are based in the real world, no sci-fi as yet, and because of this, my work will always include the highs and the lows, the problems and the solutions if there are any, the good and the bad, the serious and the funny.

And for you readers out there, maybe try a book that isn’t listed under you usual genre, you may be pleasantly surprised that the story isn’t as alien to you as you first thought.

By the way, my latest release is a satirical and farcical comedy entitled ‘Extremely England’, and you should buy it here…

Amazon UShttp://amzn.to/13ir8sH

Amazon UKhttp://amzn.to/13vEk0D

A selection of reviews for ‘Get Clean’ – Just for the crack…

Kindle Artwork

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story!, 17 Mar 2013
By W. Webster (Luton, UK) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: Get Clean – Addiction, bad decisions and terrible friends. (Kindle Edition)
Gritty reality of drug abuse and misadventure. Could hardly put the book down. Gripping story which kept me wanting more. Great ending. Recommended!

5.0 out of 5 stars It could happen to anyone, 11 Mar 2013
By Ginger1 – See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Get Clean: Addiction, bad decisions and terrible friends. (Paperback)
A very well written and gripping story, I could not put down. This is a story that could happen to anybody. What starts off as a weekend dabble could and quite often does escalate to a place and tempo that you don’t expect and have no control over. Being a part of and witnessing things that would scare the pants off an old lady!!!
Parts of this vivid account in the life of James Walker will hit home to some very bad decisions you would have made in your own lives, while making you smile and wince at the same time.
In the style of the great green master…. right path to find, bad decisions make you will!!!
Highly recommended to anyone who has lived this sort of life however small and to those who have not it will give some great insight to the thought processes of an addict and what drives them. Next read Son of a Serial Killer, can’t wait Help other customers find the most helpful reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars Get clean, 3 Mar 2013
By mandy – See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Get Clean – Addiction, bad decisions and terrible friends. (Kindle Edition)
Enjoyed this, easy to read and kept you wondering. Would definitely suggest this to others to read. Would read more of this author’s books.

5.0 out of 5 stars Edgy – good read!, 26 Feb 2013
By Eva – See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Get Clean – Addiction, bad decisions and terrible friends. (Kindle Edition)
This book had me on the edge at every turn. Would highly recommend
Will be looking out for the next Jams N.Roses book Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read -would recommend, 25 Feb 2013
By Little Gem xxx – See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Get Clean – Addiction, bad decisions and terrible friends. (Kindle Edition)
Excellent book, well written and enjoyed it that much i downloaded son of a serial killer as well. Would recommend it! Help other customers find the most helpful reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastically well written book, finished it the same day I purchased it, 23 Feb 2013
By Sjb – See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Get Clean – Addiction, bad decisions and terrible friends. (Kindle Edition)
Lived in Spain for around 6 years myself so it brought back one or two memories, good and bad. Really enjoyed it, very well written and ill look forward to the authors next book. Hope he continues with this sort of genre. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 21 Feb 2013
By kyla – See all my reviewsThis review is from: Get Clean – Addiction, bad decisions and terrible friends. (Kindle Edition)
Really well written and kept me gripped to the end. Would definitely recommend. Can’t wait to start the next one – son of a serial killer Help other customers find the most helpful reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, great characters, 20 Feb 2013
By Tim Spencer – See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Get Clean – Addiction, bad decisions and terrible friends. (Kindle Edition)
I bought this book because of the high rating and it did not disappoint. Well structured and not a book you will want to put down until its finished. I will look for further titles from “Jams N. Roses. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars True to life, 19 Feb 2013
By Specs – See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Get Clean – Addiction, bad decisions and terrible friends. (Kindle Edition)
A well written and all to scary account of what could be any town in England, drugs, bullies, thugs….sounds like most of the towns i have worked in.
The characters are well written, looking forward to this authors next piece. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews