He has self-published five novels to date including the thrillers ‘Other People’s Dreams’ and ‘Into the Fire.’ His most recent novel, a dark, twisting horror story set on a dying Greek island, titled ‘The Judas Inheritance’ has been adapted for film and will be released by 1066 Productions in 2014 as ‘The Judas Curse.’
Having written two major thrillers and eight screenplays, he is currently working on a series of horror-thriller novels written specifically for easy film adaptation and small-budget productions. He is an author who likes to take ordinary people as his characters, put them in extraordinary situations, both humorous and deadly, and then develop them through action driven plots.
James was born in England but now lives on the small Greek island of Symi. His daily blog, Symi Dream, gives an insight into everyday island life and has been the basis of three very popular books about his experiences of moving to and living in Greece. One of these carries a foreword by Anne Zouroudi, author of Bloomsbury’s Greek Detective mysteries, who writes: “James’ great talent lies in his careful observation of the absurd and the amusing, the dramas and the difficulties…”
Before moving to Greece James worked in musical theatre, writing and directing several full length musicals, several revues and many cabaret shows. He has won awards for his theatre and fiction writing including an Arts Council of Great Britain Award for creativity.
Author photo by Neil Gosling
The Judas Inheritance (Thriller/Horror)
An ancient curse? Desperation in the economic crisis? What is causing the suicides of so many adults and children on this small Greek island? When Chris Trelawney arrives on the island to take away his late father’s belongings, he finds that he has been left little more than a mystery. Was his father mad at the time of his death, or did he actually believe that he had awakened a powerful evil? An ancient evil that now stalks the islanders, growing stronger by the day. A curse that will cause the death of everyone around Chris unless he allows himself to believe that such things exist. But when he discovers the truth, Chris realises that sometimes death is the easy option.
The Judas Inheritance was inspired by the ruins of a village on the Greek island of Symi in the Dodecanese. The story is complete fiction, but I was captivated by the mysterious dates, numbers, and names that appear on many of these hauntingly strange buildings that seem to conjure up a curiosity about the lives of the people who once might have lived there. While the story is set on an imaginary island, visitors to Symi will recognise a number of features which I have borrowed.
In 2013 a motion picture adaptation of The Judas Inheritance, called The Judas Curse, was filmed in Greece. It is important to stress that film adaptations, of necessity, are often markedly different from the books on which they are based. This is the novel version of the original story before it was adapted for film.
Lonely House (Thriller/Horror)
Drover and Pete are two hopeful drifters looking for a better life. Desperate for food, they break into an isolated house deep in a forest. There they accidentally shoot an old man just as the rest of his family arrive for a birthday gathering.
Under intense suspicion from the family, the boys attempt to cover up the accident. But they are not the only ones keeping a murderous secret. Mistrust and deception unearth a primeval ritual as the lies give way to a terrifying truth.
With time running out and a deadly force closing in, Drover and Pete’s survival rests on the strength of their friendship, but they must face some horrific choices in order to stay alive.
Jason and the Sargonauts (Comedy)
121 years later and Jason is working as a holiday rep for SARGO holidays. When his grandmother turns up as one of his guests she brings with her a locked cigarette case, left to Jason by his recently departed grandfather and given to him on Symi in 1944. The case is opened and reveals a piece of music, but the music is not what it seems and Jason and his small group of pensioners soon realise that they have stumbled on a secret that has been kept hidden on Symi all these years. A secret both dangerous and valuable.
Jason and the Sargonauts is a contemporary comedy adventure full of fun and mystery, ‘A comic, camp and musical romp.’
“This is Dan Brown meets Whitehall Farce with a bit of education about Symi’s history thrown in for good measure. Set on the Greek island of Symi, it’s a fast paced whodunnit with lots of laughs and loads of page turning moments. Yes, it was hard to put down.
This book deserves a large audience and stands up there with the best novels about contemporary Greece.”
John Manuel (author of Tzatziki For You To Say)
You Wish! (Comedy)
A trainee witch, an East End lad made good, an art student and a homophobic gym instructor. Whoever could guess that a chance meeting of these five people could lead to such madness and mayhem, could cause a riot on the Brighton gay scene and almost bring about the end of the world? Well, that’s exactly what happens when each one of them is granted one wish for one day. X-ray eyes, parents back from the dead, sex, wealth and as many wishes as you can manage.
But… and there is always a but… for one day of your dreams come true you must suffer three days of the opposite, the downside. All will become clear when you dip into the strange and hilarious, bawdy and bonkers world of peter, Alan and their mates in this nude, crude and totally rude comedy novel.
“Perfect poolside reading.” GScene magazine.
Symi 85600: Thoughts from a Greek island (Travel)
A collection of writings that present an honest and often humorous account of two Ex-pat’s experiences of living on a small Greek island. This book also contains extracts from the symidream web site and the complete guide ‘How to move to a Greek island or other place in the sun.’ “Even if you are not thinking of moving abroad this little collection will entertain and inform.”
This is the first of three books James has written about his life on a small Greek island.
Carry on up the Kali Strata: More thoughts from a Greek island (Travel)
Carry On Up The Kali Strata is a collection of articles about living in Symi, Greece. Previously written for www.symidream.com and The Symi Visitor, here they are gathered together with photographs by Symi island photographer Neil Gosling. If you’ve enjoyed “Symi 85600” you will like to read this follow up. “Symi’s charm is in its people and the minutiae of their lives; James’s great talent lies in his careful observation of the absurd and the amusing, the dramas and the difficulties (because nothing in Symi is ever simple), and in reporting what he sees with kind humour and a writer’s eye for the details essential to lively travel writing.” Anne Zouroudi, author of Bloomsbury’s Greek Detective mysteries.
Village View: A year on Symi (Travel)
A year living on Symi, a Greek island. James’ blog posts from 2013, edited and set out in printed form with images by Neil Gosling, take us through one whole year living on a small Greek island in southwest Greece. From winter storms to summer visitors, from photo walks to book signings, and from goats to shrimp festivals, Village View gives us an upfront, honest and mildly edited account of James and Neil’s eleventh year on Symi.
“Symi’s charm is in its people and the minutiae of their lives; James’s great talent lies in his careful observation of the absurd and the amusing, the dramas and the difficulties, because nothing in Symi is ever simple, and in reporting what he sees with kind humour and a writer’s eye for the details essential to lively travel writing.” Anne Zouroudi, author of Bloomsbury’s Greek Detective mysteries.