Linda M James

Monday, 7 September 2015


I started a new writing course at The Horsebridge Centre, Whitstable in Kent yesterday.

It's a vibrant venue with many art exhibitions on the ground floor and workshops and a cafe on the first and second.  Full of buzzy life. Amazingly, the centre is built like an upturned boat!

So interesting to meet students of all ages, from all walks of life and listen to their varied ideas.  I have some returning students who are writing historical and fantasy  books. Another who is concentrating on trying to understand his past through writing about it. And several people who are researching non-fictional stories.

Two other students are writing children's books, geared for different age groups.

I look forward to listening to a fascinating mosaic of words over the coming weeks.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015


People always ask me how long it has taken me to write a book. It depends on many things but the most important for me is the period in which I set a novel. Obviously if I place my characters in a past age, I need to research that period extensively.

I spent six months researching for my WW II novels as they were written before the internet became a great source of information. But not all the information you need to write a story that comes alive can be found on the internet. Diaries and letters from the period open a large gateway into the past. I knew how people felt and all the sensory details they experienced by reading personal letters and diaries at The Imperial War Museum Library. Only then did I know exactly how my characters would think, act and speak. The research took as long as writing my novels - six months each!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015


I'm starting a new writing course on 6th September at the Horsebridge Centre, Whitstable, Kent.

It's a great centre of creativity. People come from all over Kent and the surrounding areas to see art exhibitions and listen to plays, comedy and music. This is on top of all the classes that are run there.

If any of you visit the area, it's well worth a visit.

And perhaps I'll meet some of you in my future courses. I hope so.


Wednesday, 8 July 2015


I've been very busy adapting the first of my WWII books into a 5 part TV series during the last few months . Hard work but fascinating.

The reason being: in a short story or novel you can enter into the mind of your character and tell the reader what s/he is thinking; you can linger over the description of a stunning sunset or a magical forest for pages. In contrast, a film is a visual medium, so when you write a screenplay you need to think in pictures; pictures that tell a story through images that linger in the mind; through the use of credible dialogue and concise, creative description. So the lingering [perhaps beautifully written descriptions ] in your novel or short story have to be edited into a few lines, but those lines can be even more powerful than in your story or novel if remember to think visually.

You can also show what the character is feeling through his body language and actions without using any dialogue. And then, if  you're famous enough you can ask the marvellous actor Eddie Redmayne to act in your screenplay and he can show his feelings merely through his eyes.

I can but dream... I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, 14 March 2015


I am a published author/screenwriter who is also a creative writing tutor who knows that the writing techniques I teach my students help improve their writing skills because so many of them have been published after attending my workshops regularly.
[If you would like to learn a few of these techniques, I have a page on my website called Writing Tips which I’ll be updating which I hope will help you.]
Some people believe writing classes are a waste of time and money. They are if you have a teacher who is insecure in her ability to write well, who can’t communicate her expertise effectively, who has no sense of humour and who isn’t emphatic. All these skills are needed to nurture people who write. I realise my students are opening themselves to criticism and as we all know, criticism is hard to take if it is harsh and destructive. I always try to be constructive, but honest with my students.
Of course, there are some people who are naturally better writers than others, just as some people are naturally better pianists. But think about how many hours a day a good writer or pianist has to work to perfect his/her skills. If you have talent it needs stretching regularly.
I believe three factors are vital for a writer to achieve success: talent, tenacity and timing.
Remember what Aldous Huxley said: ‘It is not how we cope with success that makes us strong, but how we cope with failure.’

Wednesday, 18 February 2015


I've just discovered that my crime thriller has been nominated for the Amazon Book Prize which is great.

I do hope you will support me by voting for it and hope you enjoy reading it.

The book explores the idea that we all show different faces to different people; especially the characters in this book.