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Each week as I work on my new novel  I am posting a fresh extract from my writer’s diary – mercifully short, you’ll be glad to hear, each piece taking about a minute to read. Catch up with earlier entries here:

This week’s piece is:

August 31st 2015

I had lunch today with a friend, and as friends do while hoping for not too long an answer he asked, “How’s the writing coming on?”  I touched on my telling this story in a variety of voices, saying that I found the approach easy (this time) and that I hoped it was a sign that my characters had already developed their own unforced personalities.  I added that it was an enjoyable way to write.

Although a writer in his time plays many parts, as Shakespeare almost wrote, would my readers find my text enjoyable?  I find writing in multiple voices fun but the reader may find it confusing or even tedious, and I am determined that my novel shall be neither confusing nor tedious.

Given that the book is based in part on my own real-life experiences, the use of multiple voices in which I inhabit the different characters means that (unlike in previous books where I also ‘became’ my characters) I shall see this story – see episodes from my own life – from other people’s points of view.  But these are real people.  They existed.  They really did these things.

Today I have, for the first time, entered the mind of and (again for the first time) begun to understand the ‘ogre of my childhood’, the equivalent of the Wicked Witch or evil step-mother of fairy tale.  I ‘became’ the ogre, the woman who blighted my early years, ill-treating me to such an extent that the neighbours eventually stepped in to blow the whistle.  To me she has always seemed unforgivably evil.  Now, weirdly, I see why she may have allowed herself to behave as cruelly as she did.  I won’t say that I forgive her, for what does forgiveness mean?  Few of us really grasp the term, so can we ever really forgive?  I can’t answer that.  All I know is that in the past I have bluntly condemned her behaviour.  Now for the first time I have delved more deeply to examine what until now had, for me, been a mere cut-out representation – and lo: behind the pasteboard I find there lurks a real person.


Other News:
(1) Great-Grandmother’s Secrets: Recently gathered 5 of my great-grandmother’s wonderful Victorian Romances into a new eBook from Prospero – ludicrously cheap and every story illustrated with original engravings. Take a look.

(2) And I’ve just edited a brand new guide (the only such guide, in fact) to some of the best-value illustrated books ever published! LOOK HERE!

(3) Don’t forget my Mad Music Videos. Why not take a look (and listen)?

And a little earlier . . .

Somehow I managed to publish 3 books last year – and they’re all available from Amazon. They’re astonishingly cheap (or I prefer ‘they’re astonishing’) so why not try one?

Stories I Can’t Tell

CLICK TO GRAB IT!

(an illustrated confessional “by” Maggie King, “with” Russell James)
Here’s something different – very different! – written with the very close co-operation of the fabulous Maggie King. It invites you – and you alone – to sit with Maggie as she shows you the contents of her trunk of theatrical souvenirs. What secrets will you find?

On the eve of World War Two Maggie King has been waiting for me – Russell James – to join her and ghost-write a celebrity memoir. But I’m not there yet; there’s only you and Maggie, just the two of you, in front of a cozy roaring fire. Maggie’s theatrical trunk, you’ll find, is packed with programmes, handbills, letters and photos, both from her own career and that of her parents – Albert and Annie King (‘the Royal Family’), middle-ranking performers in Music Hall and Variety. While you sit with her she recalls the ups and downs of her rackety life, including hits and flops, romance and tragedy, the men who mattered and the man who caused the scandal that blighted her career.
Full details are on the Maggie King book page – “Stories I Can’t Tell”

The Newly Discovered Diaries Of Doctor Kristal
A black comedy set in the Swinging Sixties (1963-4) and revealed through the diaries of a doctor – 35 years old and still a virgin – whose curious obsessions drive him to start murdering his patients. Kristal thinks himself immune from any hint of sexual passion – but when there are two beautiful women desperate for his help, isn’t there anything he can do? Read all about it on the DOCTOR KRISTAL page – here

Exit 39
My most autobiographical novel to date, though you might not think it, since it is an up-to-the-minute tragicomedy narrated into an iPhone by Crosby Ravensworth, a 35-year-old executive too busy to scatter his father’s ashes or to sort out the dysfunctional family he has left behind, or even to decide which of the four women in his life he should connect to. But with any luck, he’ll find that even the darkest clouds have silver linings and this could be the beginning of a new life.

To get your copy – for Kindle, Kobo, Nook or whatever – either go to my Amazon page (click HERE ) or ,for all non-Kindle formats, jump to my Smashwords page by clicking EXIT 39 instead.  To find out more, CLICK HERE and enjoy Exit 39!


I am now published by Prospero and can of course be found on Facebook

– and as there are now several writers called Russell James (how dare they?) you might like to know that the relevant Author’s Page on Amazon is at Russell James
It may be less confusing to check my books at: GoodReads


Most people seem to read me on their Kindle, but you can get my books in all electronic formats including Kindle from Smashwords by clicking here

Have you downloaded from Smashwords before?
It’s very simple, but if you’d like a helping hand, click HERE.


One last reminder of how to get my books:

Most of my books can be found on the Prospero website.

For ebooks suitable for Sony, Kindle and most readers, find a synopsis of the whole collection by clicking My ebooks at Smashwords or find them on the website of your ebook supplier.

Kindle downloads can be had direct from Amazon: Russell James page

And for KOBO, look here:

(On some of these sites you’ll find some upstart authors there as well, each pretending to the Russell James throne. Do not be led astray. Insist on the original!)

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10 Responses to Welcome!

  1. James Ferron Anderson says:

    Have just started your Painting in the Dark sample, never having heard of you before… but I’m interested. Could you tell me how you put your books on these various e book sites? Is that part of what you think of as your job, or do you have to pay someone? A technical point I know, but I’m curious.

    • Hope you like the sample enough to carry on with the whole book.
      Meanwhile . . . I don’t pay someone to do it for me; I take some pains over it (as authors insist on doing with their work) and use Smashwords for across-the-board coverage and Amazon for Kindle. Follow the instructions they give for free on their sites (Smashwords being the more helpful). If you haven’t done it before you’ll get it wrong (slightly) the first time, but they’ll tell you what was wrong and, after two or three attempts, you’ll find you’ve got it right. But if you’re unsure, then there are plenty of freelancers who’ll no doubt do a better job for you than I do with my own.
      Now, as I say – get back to Painting In The Dark!

  2. Norman Crothers says:

    Have recently read your Great British Fictional Detectives and found it very interesting and entertaining.As a young man, I am now 81, I read a lot of books by an author named George Goodchild whose principal detective character was Inspector Dandy McLean.He was a prolific author and wrote under several names.I am wondering if you knew of this writer and if you might mention him in a future book.Meanwhile please keep writing as i enjoy your work very much.Norman Crothers.

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  4. A brilliant idea, Russell – and I look forward to the plot developing!

  5. Andrew Taylor says:

    Procrastination is the thief of time, eh? Shall be checking in to see how the book progresses. Good luck. Never easy, is it?

  6. John and Inga says:

    Excellent that you have made a start. What you need, Russell, are two Martini’s before you commence writing. This will stimulate your grey cells and hopefully your end product will stimulate the readers, add a little surprise and keep the anticipation rolling through-out the novel. Make sure the story does not go flat in the middle. Perhaps more Martini’s would help.
    Good luck Inga

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