What book(s) have you published? (Include cover images of up to four books with buy links.)
I have some ELT books still in print but these are my novels.
The combination of eleven-year-old hot-headed Tania's determination and some rather careless advice from her somewhat cynical English tutor is a recipe for trouble for everyone: her parents, her teacher, her classmates, the Prague police, and even the Russian-Italian Mafia criminals she stumbles across. There is a mystery to be solved and Tania is going to solve it, no matter what the collateral damage.
Anna Petrovna (Anja) had a plan, and she was about to put it into practice. All she wanted was a husband, a family and a good comfortable life. But in a country governed by corruption, violence and greed, was that an unobtainable ambition?
Anja was a young woman full of confidence in her abilities, and success was hers for the taking. We follow Anja's trials and tribulations en route to power and wealth. She's making her way in a dark and secret world, where no one and nothing is what it seems, and where ends are to be achieved by whatever means will do the job. Can Anja negotiate this murky world and remain true to herself?
She thinks she knows what she wants, but does she?
She thinks she knows how to get it, but does she?
She thinks she knows herself, but does she?
Do you favor a particular genre? If so, what attracts you to that genre?
My three published novels and the one I’m currently working on are in some sense detective mysteries, but it would be misleading for me to classify them as just that. I always try to introduce a bit of humour, and there are philosophical and political themes in there too. In Teaching Tania and in Ogg, I am exploring the need to question and contest accepted ideas, while in The Redmeption of Anna Petrovna, my main aim is to expose and address the problem of political morality and corruption. All this sounds rather heavy, but I hope my writing is more in the nature of political satire with a hint of slapstick comedy.
What book--not necessarily your own--would you recommend to a stranger? Why?
I never recommend books to strangers, because how can I know what their tastes are? Reading a novel is a contract between the author and the reader, and the readers only sign on the dotted line if they are getting what they want, and we don’t all want the same things. I do write book reviews, which are, in a way, recommendations to strangers. But unlike many professional critics, I don’t assume my tastes are theirs, or even worse, what theirs should be. I say what I wanted from the book and whether I got it. Readers can then make up their own minds.
What do you like most about writing?
Any kind of praise is very welcome, but if you let others read what you’ve written you’re going to get criticism at some point. So really I write for myself. I enjoy creating the characters and putting them into situations to see how they react. If I think of something witty as I write, then I have at least brought a smile to my own lips. If others find it funny, that’s a bonus. That’s probably not a very commercial attitude to take, but I believe that success comes from finding readers who like what you like.
What lessons have you learned as a writer?
Up to very recently, my image of a novelist was someone locked in solitude in a badly lit room with a quill pen in hand. Or at least the up-to-date equivalent, with a bit more illumination and the feather scribing instrument replaced by a laptop. That’s how I used to work up to about a year ago: scribbling away on my own and sending stuff out for the odd success, multiple rejections or publishing myself. What I’ve now learned is how much writing is a collaborative exercise. So now I have editors, Beta-readers, publicists other writers working with me. We share ideas and help each other. It’s a nice balance between the loneliness of the initial creative exercise and the social fun of the discussions that follow.
What else would you like to share with readers?
I think what I’d most like to ask readers to do is to give new writers and independent writers more of chance. The established publishing business is a closed shop, with major publishers refusing new submissions and dealing exclusively through agents. Of course publishers need to make money and they want to minimise risk so the favour the established best-selling authors, or the growing celebrity fiction fad where they know people will buy the books. They also have the bookshop market tied up, so smaller publishers cannot get shelf space. But with Amazon, Smashwords and other on-line outlets, and the growth of e-books and print-on-demand, new writers can by-pass this and get their works out there. So if you’re a reader reading thirty or so books a year, why not make at least one or two of them books from small publishers or independents? Search for new writers in the genres you love. It’s not a big gamble, you can read the first page of the sample chapters and if the author hasn’t grabbed your interest by then, well, he doesn’t deserve you anyway.
Author name James Gault
Facebook URL https://www.facebook.com/jgaultbooks/
Amazon URL www.amazon.com/James-Gault/e/B004JJOXW4/
Website URL www.voxlit.com
James Gault was born in the west of Scotland to working class parents just after the Second World War, and was the first member of his family to attend university. After a career in Information Technology and business, about twenty years ago he moved to the Czech Republic to follow his early love of writing and language. He worked there for ten years teaching English and writing English language textbooks, before retiring to the South of France to concentrate on writing novels and short stories, most of which have political and philosophical themes. As well as his novels, he has published magazine articles, philosophical essays and a prize-winning short story. He is the founder and publisher of the Voice of Literature on-line magazine.