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

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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.

 

Q&A session – Questions: Natasha Johnstone – Answers: James Ross

The gorgeous Natasha Johnstone (married, boo! hiss!), who you can find at this website, recently put me under the spotlight and refused to let me go until I answered her questions. That’s why I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, I’m stubborn. Anyway, she gave me a copy of the transcript when she booted me out and told me not to tell anyone, clearly I just can’t be trusted… But you knew that.

1) Why did you decide on a pen name like Jams N Roses?

A while ago, when toying with the idea of setting up a website to showcase some screenplays that I’d done, I typed in JamesRoss.com (my real name) and discovered the domain name was already taken… by an author! Further investigation led me to find another two James Ross’ who put pen to paper, so an anagram of my name (and a borrowed N) had to do.

2) What do you do when you have writer’s block?

Scream. Shout. Throw things. Sleep (have nightmares). Lift weights (light ones). Promise myself that I’ll never try to write again. No, seriously, there is no one answer for that one. I would say, that leaving your work at the point you are blocked, and then coming back to it after a sleep, or anything else that takes your mind of it, can be the best thing to do. After wasting an hour or so writing next to nothing, I’ve gone back to the computer after a good sleep and carried on as if there was never a problem – struggling to even remember what the problem was, the night before.

3) If you could meet any person in the world, who would that be?

It would have been Christopher Hitchens, if he hadn’t passed away, of course. The guy was a legend in my eyes; super intelligent, quick-witted and not too timid to point out the wrong-doers in the world. There are many people alive who know much more than I do, so I’d be happy to meet anyone who could broaden my mind and open my eyes, that sort of thing. They wouldn’t have to be famous, just knowledgeable, honest and kind.

4) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

The USA. Why? I’ve always had something in me that wanted to know more about America. It’s a major player on the world stage, and compared to other parts of the world, can be classed as peaceful. The variety over there also shouldn’t be ignored. It isn’t just the easy option either, because it is English-speaking, if that’s what you think! I’ve lived in Spain, I live in France now; I’m not scared of language barriers! I can just honestly say that America appeals to me.

5) Tell the readers something they don’t know about you?

I’m writing this whilst wearing only my boxer shorts. Seriously, it is uncomfortably hot in the south of France at the moment. The wind isn’t blowing at all and technical difficulties mean there isn’t a functioning fan in the Jams N. Roses household.

6) Who would play your characters in the movie version of your book?

I couldn’t tell you. I’ve thought about this question many times, probably over thought it, and still got no closer to who would play who. I’d leave that to the professionals. I had a guy talk to Ben Drew (Plan B) at one point, before he really blew up, to play the lead in Get Clean. Ben Drew is a star, but I thought he was too chubby to play a cocaine addict! Turns out he had bigger and better things to be doing anyway…

7) Who inspires you?

My son. Full stop. The little man, just being in my life, is the proverbial kick up the backside that I needed to get up and start doing things in my life. I owe him a lot, and have every intention in repaying him fully.

8) What was your journey to publishing like?

Long winded. I started out writing screenplays, and anyone in that game can tell you how hard it is to get noticed. I had good feedback, someone was interested in producing Get Clean, but funding fell through and that was the end of it. Amazon gave my writing a lifeline; it gave me the control I wanted in my writing, without having to satisfy the tastes of an agent or publishing house, not many of whom are keen to take a punt of a new name who writes in a brutally blunt fashion.

9) If you could give any advice to aspiring writers what would that be?

Sit down and write. Don’t stop writing until you’ve typed the last full stop and don’t think about going back over your work for at least a week. Then, you’ll see the obvious mistakes you’ve made, as well as general improvements you could make to every page.

10) Who is James Ross as a person?

I’m one of the good guys, a single dad, trying to make my way in a foreign country; doing battle with French bureaucracy and a crazy ex most days of my life. I’m an honest man, looking around and seeing the not-so-honest being rewarded for their shenanigans, wondering if lady luck will ever step in to relieve me of the struggle of the daily grind. I’m the one with his fingers crossed, which doesn’t always help, when I’m tapping the keys of my laptop, late into the night, hoping that my next book will be the one that takes off and changes the game.

Laters…

James Ross – Under the spotlight…

Me? Under the spotlight? You really want to see all of my imperfections?

Over the next few paragraphs, I’ll try and summarize where I’m coming from, so you’ll maybe have an idea as to what to expect from my writing.

I am not a criminal, not in the sense that I’ll rob your bag when you’re not looking, or I’ll steal the food from your plate even when I’m not hungry, just to be a nuisance. I won’t threaten you in the street for looking at me funny, nor will I throw bricks at your windows if you don’t give me a cigarette when I ask for one.

But I have been arrested on more than one occasion. I’ve been locked up, I’ve had my prints and mug shots taken and of course, as a sign of the times, they’ve even taken my DNA. But I’m not a real criminal.

And I’m not a drug addict either. Although if I’m honest,  I’d have to tell you that in several of the recent years of my life, I’ve spent more money on cocaine, alcohol and cigarettes than I’ve spent on the rent for the dirty, little apartment that I’d been living in.

I’ve mistreated friends and loved ones and lost some people that were close to my heart, but at the time I was too blinded to see the irreparable damage I was doing to relationships.

Things change, and people change, too.

Luckily, after all the stunts I’d pulled, all the ridiculous and dangerous situations I’d found myself in, things started to go on track.

I’m a daddy now, and that little boy of mine is the angel that keeps me away from trouble, away from even the situations where trouble could potentially arise. Of course, I am no angel, but I am no sinner.

I have found a way to channel my naughty side, a way to allow my mind to have a free run with its mischievous ideas and not cause any trouble, and nobody gets hurt or embarrassed or let down.

I found that by writing my thoughts, those dark little waves of energy in my head, down onto paper, or tapping them into a keyboard and onto a computer, relieved some of my desire to be in the mix myself. I stopped needing to be in the bars or the pubs and didn’t need to be high or drunk to have fun.

I’ve learnt that by creating a separate world where anything goes, I can keep the world in which my son walks and plays as safe and as beautiful as possible.

I draw on my previous experiences for my writing. ‘Get Clean’ is based loosely on my drug problems and the time I spent living on the notorious southern coast of Spain. ‘Son of a Serial Killer’ is heavily based on the thoughts and emotions I had during the break-up of a serious relationship, which all seemed too much when on top of the other daily struggles we all go through.

I hope to have an exciting life in the future, one that I can draw on for future ideas and plots and characters for my fiction novels, who knows, maybe I’ll even get to write a love story, but I’m not holding my breath!

That was a piece I did for LaeLand – A place where Lae Monie and other criminals get to put their points of view across. It’s a good place for writer’s resources as well, so take a look, just make sure that you stash your cash in your shoe first!

Monday’s Friend – Creation of Characters

I recently wrote a piece on the creation of characters, and this has been published as a guest post on the ‘Imaginary Friends’ blog. If you have an interest in the thoughts or ideas of creating a villain or hero, then please take a look, comment, share and get involved.

For those of you that don’t know of Imaginary Friends, it is a blog by Sara Jayne Townsend, author of ‘Suffer the Children’ and ‘Death Scene’. I promise, it’s not all as morbid as it sounds over there (a little, maybe), but if you have an interest in crime or horror stories than it is well worth taking a look.

Ciao for now…

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.