Friday, May 1, 2015

Getting it Right... almost always starts with Getting it Wrong


Getting is right almost always starts with getting it wrong.  Unless we put ourselves or someone else into danger, the only bad thing about making mistakes is failing to try again.  And again.  And again.  And as many times as it takes to get it right.

That process, of trying it over and over until it works, has been my mantra in life, and in writing.  How many times have we said, or heard, ‘we learn from our mistakes,’ or perhaps, if we’re lucky, ‘we learn from the mistakes of others.’ 

As a writer, I often read, to see what others are writing.  I read what is selling and I read what is getting good reviews.  I also read what is new, or does not have good reviews, or what might not be selling, yet.  I read what appeals to me.  This is how I learn from others’ mistakes, and successes.

As I writer, I look at my own work.  I put my work out there.  I see which of my books sell, and which of them earn good reviews.  This is how I learn from my own mistakes, and possibly, from my own successes.

Getting it right, as an author, can be a long process.  It almost certainly very unlikely that the first novel we write is going to be a great success.  Almost any author will tell you that they did a lot of writing before they ended up with a work that they were happy with, or that sold well, or that got good reviews.  But, the key is to keep trying.  That means to keep writing.

In my case, I write because I want to write.  I write what I want to write.  I write for my own pleasure.  I share my writing in the hope that some will like it, and perhaps, the hope that I might somehow tell a story that will have an impact.  

But, most importantly, I realize that it’s okay to get it wrong, if I keep trying to get it right.

Wil

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

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

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

Sunday, January 11, 2015

How to find the books of Wilson James, author

Here's a complete listing of where to find the books of Wilson James, author.  Here, also, is a link to a post about software or apps to read eBooks.


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 

Monday, December 22, 2014

News Stories: Making it personal

We often become jaded by some of what we read about what is going on in the world around us. It is not often that we get some personal insight into how some of today’s tragic events affect those involved.

I read with great empathy and sadness the recent Facebook posts of 13-year-old Jaden Ramos, whose ‘best father in the world’ was one of the two NYPD cops killed in cold blood last week as they sat in their patrol car. As Jaden puts it, many say they hate cops, but “they are the ones we call when we need help.” When you read the post that Jaden made on December 9th, for his father’s birthday, the totality of the heartbreak is compounded.


In my writing, I have often been inspired by real events as the basis for my fiction. In this case, and particularly given the holiday season, I wish with all my heart that I could write some fiction that could change the tragic events that have affected Jaden Ramos and his family. Alas, I can sadly only add my voice to those expressing condolences.

Wil

Monday, December 1, 2014

Five years, seven YA fiction titles, and tens of thousands of copies

It is truly hard to believe that December marks five years since I published the first of my books at Smashwords. Now I’ve got seven multi-format eBooks available through a number of online retail sales channels, including Barnes & Noble, the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, and others. I was happy to embrace the eBook format to accompany my print books. Like most other indie authors, my eBooks now account for virtually all of my sales.

In the past five years, tens of thousands of copies of my books have found their way into the hands, or devices, of readers. I’m really pleased with those numbers. What makes me even happier is the response I’ve noted in reviews. My books have been called inspiring, and ‘the most emotional’ ever read, and many other positive things.

More importantly, I hope that my books will have an impact, and that’s truly why I write. I write what I’m inspired to write, and I write for myself.

I will take this opportunity to admit that I’ve not published anything new in the last two years. The extra demands of work have left no time for me to fully complete any of my works in progress. I have, however, continued to come up with new story ideas, and I have a number of them in the ‘story outline’ stage. At some point in the near future, still to be determined, I very much want to spend more time writing. In the meantime, I’m very pleased and honored to note that my sales reports indicate that my books continue to find new readers.

So, thanks for reading.
Wil

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Giving Thanks - for the good people, good things and good events in our lives


Giving thanks = what's important.


The importance of the fourth-Thursday-in-November holiday is well known to a domestic American audience, but of course not so well known elsewhere. In Canada, the same Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated in early October, but otherwise the holiday is not recognized elsewhere in the world. There is no equivalent in Australia, or New Zealand, or the UK, or anywhere else. I’ve been fortunate to be part of large Thanksgiving gatherings in the US, and in Canada. I also had a singular chance to be part of a group of Americans and others celebrating on the other side of the world, and that was an enjoyable and meaningful experience.

In the US, Thanksgiving is most often known for gatherings of families, and the holiday creates the busiest travel days of the year. Of course, the holiday started a few centuries ago as a giving of thanks for a good harvest. What I most like today is a common practice where family members share what they are most thankful for. That includes all those present at the dinner table, from the youngest to oldest.

What to be thankful for?

I think the process of thinking what we are thankful for is important, and really, far too important to be left to only one day per year. Thinking about what we are grateful for should be practiced every day, and especially when we have a great experience. 

I have been fortunate, in recent years, to be something of a mentor to a younger family member, now a young teenager. When I’ve taken that person out to do fun or interesting things, they’ve remarked that they wish we could do it again, or more often. 

My response has been something like this. I agree, and this was really interesting (or a lot of fun).  And, I really enjoyed doing it with you. But the most important thing now is that we remember the moment. Remember how interesting it was (or how fun it was), and make that a highlight in your life that you want to remember. Think of this highlight, remember it, and give thanks for it. Make your life about remembering all of these good things, and be thankful.

The moments we give thanks for.

I often think about what I am thankful for, and try to appreciate those good or great moments in my life. Today, as I do many days, I give thanks for all of the good people, good things and good events in my life.

If you are able to sit at a table on Thursday, November 27th, and give thanks, good. If you don’t (or can't) celebrate the holiday, that’s okay, too. Simply take this moment, right now, to think about whatever good things you’ve had in your life, and be thankful.

Wil

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