Monday, February 6, 2017

Royalty for real - A Sapphire Jubilee. Royalty as fiction - my "Prince David" series of books for any young person or adult who has ever wondered where they fit into this world or how they could make an impact

Today is an anniversary never before seen in British History. For the first time, ever, a monarch celebrates a "Sapphire Jubilee." Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne 65 years ago, on Feb. 6th, 1952. It is likely my grandparents and great-grandparents took note of the day. In the preceding 65 years, there had been 5 British monarchs: Victoria (1836-1901), Edward VII (1901-1910), George V (1910-1936), Edward VIII (1936), and George VI (1936-1952). It is truly incredible that 65 years have passed with only one. 

I had not intended to create a post, but have decided I cannot let this day pass without my recognition and comment. I do this because the British royalty is the fictional setting for my "Prince David" series of Young Adult novels, staring Zac Bolitho as the protagonist, and Prince David as his key friend and sidekick. As I state in the introduction to Book 1, this is a book providing inspiration for building lasting friendships, caring about family, seeking adventure, and overcoming the challenges we all face in life. 

This is a book, and a series of books, for any young person or adult who has ever wondered where they fit into this world or how they could make an impact.


the PRINCE DAVID series:

Zac and the Reluctant Prince, Book 1 of the Prince David series...  A contemporary story about keeping friendships, seeking adventure, overcoming challenges, and making history. This novel is set in the real-life world of modern day royalty.  Published in March 2012, the eBook is now available here.


Zac and the Prince's High Adventure, Book 2 of the Prince David series... The story of Zac, his family, and Prince David continues in Book 2, profiling Prince David's continuing adventures and increasing public attention.  Still being completed.  Expected release before the end of 2017, in recognition of the year of the real-life Sapphire Jubilee of the Queen.

Prince David, Book 3: Zac and the Prince's High Impact - outline complete, but subject to change

Prince David, Book 4: A Profile in Courage - being written
I've enjoyed writing the books, and I hope some will appreciate the story and my fictional view of what might take place in the coming years.

Happy Reading, 

Wil

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Celebrating the life of Douglas Reeman (who also wrote as Alexander Kent), 1924-2017


With this post, I regretfully take note of the passing, last week, of the renowned and prolific author Douglas Reeman, who also wrote as Alexander Kent.

This is an unusual post for me. I haven’t created this kind of post before, but then I’m not sure when a fellow author has had as much influence on me, my life, and my writing. I want to celebrate his life, and honor his work.

Douglas Reeman's first published book was "A Prayer for the Ship," in 1958.

As The Telegraph (London, UK) states in the obituary, Douglas Reeman’s book sales exceeded 34 million worldwide. The Telegraph goes on to state that, “The typical hero of a Reeman novel is an amiable but bloody-minded sailor who sidesteps attempts by his bungling superiors to prevent him from engaging with the enemy on his own terms, and scores a famous victory against the odds.” 


Lieutenant-Commander (Royal Naval Reserve) Douglas Reeman was a sailor himself, serving in World War II and the Korean War. His pseudonym of Alexander Kent was apparently the name of a friend and fellow naval officer who died during the Second World War. One does not have to speculate where he got the material and inspiration for much of his work; he lived it. Some of the best advice for an author is to write what you know. Douglas Reeman certainly did just that.

As a sailor and small ship captain myself, I had taken note and read some of Douglas Reeman’s books. But, it was discovering the books he wrote (1968-2011) as Alexander Kent that really woke me to his writing. I have to admit that I read Alexander Kent’s books voraciously.

Douglas Reeman's first book written(1968) as Alexander Kent was  "To Glory We Steer." This book, and a number of others, take the title from the lyrics of "Heart of Oak," the Royal Navy march, also adopted by the Royal Canadian Navy.

I had read books by other ‘tall ship’ and seagoing authors, but the Richard Bolitho series really resonated with me. I like that Alexander Kent wrote about the humanity of his characters. As a reader, I really got to know, and to like, Richard Bolitho. What I most liked about the protagonist was that he was a decent human being, a good and loyal friend, and an effective and enlightened leader. In reading about Richard Bolitho and his times, one soon realized that there were many tyrants and bullies in the Navy and the society of his time. The same could be said about our societies in the more recent era. There were life lessons in those books, and many of them still apply in today’s world. 
  
When asked about Richard Bolitho, the author Douglas Reeman said, “I always feel that he was already there, that he discovered me. I have come to know and recognize him as a friend, and am often moved by the views and beliefs he expresses.” To paraphrase Douglas Reemans’ further words, Bolitho refused to accept injustice towards those he was leading. He was a man without conceit.

I personally have visited HMS Victory, the flagship of Lord Nelson, in its current stationary location at Portsmouth, England. I have wondered at the men who sailed her, and those who lead and commanded her. In writing of the lives and times of those ‘tall ships’, Douglas Reeman has helped me with my life. His words helped me in my dealings with difficult people, and inspired me in my efforts to be a true and loyal friend (and relative). His writings eventually encouraged my own writing, and I can only aspire to a small fraction of his skills and talent.

"In the King's Name, " written under the pen name of Alexander Kent, was the final book published by Douglas Reeman, in 2011. 

These past few days, after learning of his passing, I re-read the first three books of the chronological Bolitho series. I have re-learned to appreciate those books as much as I did in the first and second and additional readings of years past.

I have also come to think, again, about those life lessons. We could only hope and wish that some of the leaders in today’s world might have some of those same qualities of humility, sensitivity, compassion, bravery, honor and a lack of conceit  as those brought to life by Douglas Reeman in his character of Richard Bolitho.

www.douglasreem.com
I close this post about Douglas Reeman by paying tribute to his life, and his writing, and the thankfulness that I was able to discover those books. I commend them to you. You can start the search to find them here… https://www.douglasreeman.com/  


Whether you read my books, or Douglas Reeman's, or the books attributed to Alexander Kent, I wish you

Happy Reading,

Wil



Sunday, November 13, 2016

Welcome to my writing, the reality-based YA fiction of Wilson James, author

Welcome to my writing – the reality based Young Adult fiction of Wilson James

Improbable. Unlikely. But not impossible. That’s what I write. Stories such as Sons and Brothers in Seattle, the tale of an older teen trying to provide a better life for a younger sibling and his own young children. A reader told me that this story truly mirrors much of his own life. I am awestruck to hear that, and amazed by the courage of the young man who actually lived the story.

All of my stories tell of young courage, and tenacity, and support of friends and family, and love. My books are meant to be an expression of what can be, even if it often is not.

I take my inspiration from the lives and deeds of real young people. Some I’ve known personally, or have watched from a close distance, and some I simply know of. The thread that binds them all together is they’ve shown that they can achieve the unlikely in spite of the challenges they face. In spite of the resistance of many adults around them. In spite of the naysayers who doubt. 

These young people have identified a dream or at least a goal, and have worked to make it happen.

So I take my lead from all of them. I use their example to create stories, with the hope that others will read, and find some part of the story that can help them in their own lives. I hope to empower young people with the examples in my stories. I know that some readers have found inspiration in the stories I write, and I take great comfort in that.

I set out to honor those whose lives were examples to me and my writing, and I hope that I will have done them justice. I also hope to honor my readers with the best stories I can create. Thank you for reading.

Wil

____________ 

And, here's how to find my books...



Smashwords - seven of my eBooks are available here, in multiple formats including for Kindle, Nook


Barnes and Noble – seven of my eBooks are available here, for the Nook


Apple US iTunes Bookstore – seven of my eBooks are available here, for the iPad
Apple UK iTunes Bookstore – seven of my eBooks are available here, for the iPad


Kobo – six of my eBooks are available here, in ePub format



 Amazon – some of my print books are now available, with selected eBooks to be available at a future date



Goodreads  – where to find book ratings, including some of 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

My books plus hundreds of others - Smashwords' July SALE


FREE EBOOKS (ends July 31st )

The month of July is pretty much the best month of 2015 to find Free eBooks for Young Adults (and any other eBooks, including books under the Coming of Age genre). That's because Smashwords is holding their annual Summer / Winter sale (the winter part is for those 'down under').  

Many authors have joined this sale, so there is a great selection and it's a great opportunity to fill up your reading device.  Smashwords' eBooks are available in all formats, for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Android app for Tab or smartphone; and thousands of books are on sale at Smashwords.  But, this is a limited time offer, and it ends on July 31st, (11:59 pm, 23.59 PDT (07:00 GMT Aug 1st) so don't delay.

INTERNATIONAL - NO WORRIES ABOUT REGIONS

And one more thing... on Smashwords, there's no worry about region, or country, or location when you get these books for free.  Unlike Amazon, or Apple, or most of the others, you 'purchase' these free Smashwords books anywhere. 



Of course, I've added my 7 eBooks to this sale, so they're all free until July 31, only.

Happy Reading,
Wil

Sunday, March 13, 2016

If you have a dream to create, then do it. Now. Don't wait.

I have created a poster that really speaks to how I feel about creating my works of Young Adult fiction. It rather goes with the saying that, "Dream as though you're going to live forever. Live every day as though it's going to be your last."

So, what I would say, as a corollary, is, "If you have a dream to create, then do it. Now. Don't wait."


In some ways, I feel like a had a dream to write, and now I'm living that dream. If you have a dream, then do all you can to make it come true.

Thanks for dropping by my blog, and
Happy Reading.

Wil

Sunday, March 6, 2016

All 7 of my books free - 1 week only during "Read an eBook Week"

It's about time for one of my favorite weeks of the year. Read an eBook Week is the one of two times each year when I have a look at a huge number of Free eBooks, and discover new authors, or new books by some authors I may have already found.
You see, in addition to being an author, I'm also a reader, and an opportunity like this week to build up my library of eBooks is too good a chance to miss.
Of course, I also like that a whole bunch of readers are discovering my books this week, as I've priced all of mine free for this Smashwords promotion. This special promotion ends at 11:59 pm, on Saturday, March 12, 2016 (Pacific standard time - North America). 

I hope all of you find some good titles, and build up your own libraries.
Happy Reading, 
Wil

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Our plans for the New Year. Our plans for life.

Sometimes we get so involved in living that we forget our plans. Or, put another way, life is what happens when we’re making plans.

As much as I think that the hype around the traditional holiday season (primarily Christmas and New Year) is just too much, the idea that we should pause and reflect is one well worth pursuing. As the end of December nears, it is good to take a bit of time and consider what we’ve done, where we are, and where we want to be. It could be said that we reflect on success and disappointments, and we promise ourselves to do better next year.

In my case, I admit to being disappointed with the little amount of time I’ve been able to devote to my writing. The success of my professional life has meant long hours at work while the happiness of my personal life is certainly due to the time spent with family.

Nonetheless, I truly enjoy being able to create and share stories, and I resolve to return to the pace I was setting a few years ago.

For those finding time to reflect at this year-end, I truly and sincerely suggest that you watch (or re-watch) this video at TED Talks. In 2007, Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch, who was dying of pancreatic cancer, delivered a one-of-a-kind last lecture that made the world stop and pay attention. This moving talk will teach you how to really achieve your childhood dreams. It is truly a “must watch” and I commend it to you.

Wil






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Pictures of Lighthouses