Thursday, November 28, 2013

Long overdue update at Thanksgiving

This update is long overdue, as I have not posted in some time. The last months have been busy, as I was offered and accepted a new job that entailed a move to a new city. The last few weeks and month have been so busy I have not managed any writing; although I have had two story ideas and have drafted the bare bones of outlines.

As I consider things, I think today is a good time for me to give thanks that I have been able to write what I've done so far. I enjoy creating the stories, and I take great comfort in the feedback from readers that the stories are helping and sometimes inspiring them in their lives. 

Thanks for reading, and Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers.

Wil

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Father's Day essay and thoughts


I wrote this piece last year, on Father's Day.  It has proven to be, by far, the most popular single post I've ever written.  I'd like to repeat it now, for Father's Day 2013, and add one note.  Too many of us, myself included, have not taken advantage of the opportunity to have good (or even any) relationships with their fathers.  I now wish, a number of years after my father's passing, that I knew him better, and that I worked harder on a relationship.  Alas, I did not.  Do you still have that chance?

And, now, my Father's Day essay reprise (from 2012)...

As a person, I have observed many examples of ‘fathers’ and regrettably more bad than good.  On a positive note, I was particularly struck by two recent pieces related to fatherhood, one by LZGranderson at cnn.com, and the other by Dominic Utton at the Mail Online.

As an author, I have often created characters in a father role.  In certain of my books, the father is described after his death. In Playing the Baseball Card, the protagonist describes his father as a man who ‘made sure that his children were the most important part of his life.

In Aiden’s Arrival: Honor Before Gold, a now-grown son describes a man who assumed a father’s role by marrying a women with two young children.  “None of us; my mother, my sister, my nephew, my niece; were related to our father and grandfather by blood, but that didn’t matter to him.  He showed us, by his example, that family is about loving people, and caring about people, and living together in a supportive way.  Not always in harmony, but always caring about your family more than anything else.  He lived that kind of life, and today we carry on with that legacy.

In Zac and the Reluctant Prince, Book 1 of the Prince David series, the father is described this way:  “The example of his life teaches us the lessons of responsibility, obligation, commitment, dedication, loyalty, patriotism and also compassion.  In his life, he strove to be the best son he could be, the best husband he could be, the best father he could be, the best officer he could be, and the best man he could be.”

If you know your father, what do you think of him? If you knew your father, how do you remember him?

I believe a real father is one who looks into the eyes of his children, and says to them, “My life improved the day you came into my life, and my life gets better every day that you are still in my life.”  I also believe a real father is the kind of role model I’ve described in the excerpts from my books, above. 

If you have the chance to be a father, or if you are a father, how do you want to be remembered? 

To all fathers, everywhere, Happy Fathers’ Day.

Wil

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Where 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 & 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



Sony eBookstore – six of my eBooks are available here

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 my books.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Playing the Baseball Card, a short novel by Wilson James




It's spring training, for major league baseball, and time to think about watching or playing.  This is also the time I celebrate the success of Playing the Baseball Card, and in particular the amazing reviews and ratings at the Apple iTunes bookstore.  This is one review (of many): 

Father and Husband 
     
by Umpire 24
In my 53 years of living this may be one of the most emotional books I personally have read. Being a big baseball fan and a father of a son who played baseball this book was awesome. I would think any baseball fan and father would love to read this, I actually had a good cry for the first time all during this book. Any if you have time this is a must read book!!
Here's the story:  You are almost 14 years old. Your mother died six years ago, and you help look after your younger brother while you father works. 


Your father is a pitcher for a minor league baseball team, and he is trying to make it into the major leagues. Just when it seems that things are looking better, tragedy strikes again. Now, it’s all up to you. You have your own dreams, and you desperately care about your small family. Will you be able to make it work? Just how much is a young teenage kid capable of doing, anyway?


Playing the Baseball Card is the story of Devin Robinson, the kid who dreams of pitching for the San Francisco Giants.  Find out how Devin and his younger brother, Jordan, made it though their early years, and how Devin tries to make his mark in a world of adults.  Find out how Devin's fierce determination to protect his remaining little family of two leads to adventure and achievement that he never thought possible.  Find out how Devin plays the Baseball Card.


This is a story for baseball fans and anyone else who wants to read about personal courage and determination.

Find out where to buy the book, here.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Free eBooks for Read an eBook Week (update 3/3/13)


It's Read an eBook Week, and it's become one of my favorite weeks of the year.  The history of the week is well described in today's Smashwords Blog post by Mark Coker, and I find it interesting that is was started by a grandmother in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

As a reader, I like being able to find new authors and new books, and with so many of them being reduced in price or even free, it's like being able to browse for days in a book store and walk out with a ton of new books to read.  Update 3/3/13... you can find the listings for Free eBooks here!

As an author, I've found Read an eBook Week to be exciting as I add up the numbers of new readers who have found my books, particularly at Smashwords.  I have always made my books part of the Smashwords promotion of Read an eBook Week, and I'll be doing it again for the fourth year.  Let the week begin!


And, now, here's a Free eBook to get the week started a bit early, and to keep things going after the week's specials. This free eBook is a previous best seller at Smashwords: Sons and Brothers in Seattle, a book about a young man fighting to protect his sons and a younger brother from abusive family members. It's free until March 31st by using this coupon code (TB77N), at the Smashwords online store.

Happy Reading,

Wil

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Free eBooks for Young Adults


Looking for Free eBooks for Young Adults? In January 2010, I started another blog, entitled Free eBooks for Young Adults, with occasional assistance from another Smashwords author.  I've listed over 140 free eBooks.  This week's featured eBook is Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, which is very appropriate, as the sequel, Homeland, will be released today, February 6, 2013.
I hope the blog has helped many readers find books by my fellow YA authors. There are many, many good reads for Young Adults out there, and lots are available free.  I will continue to search them out, and list them at Free eBooks for Young Adults.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Persevere and overcome with tenacity, courage and understanding


I sometimes feel the need to explain myself, a bit, as a writer.  As in, why do I write?  Or, where did the ideas for my stories come from? 

Not easy questions to answer, really.  I suppose it was, initially, because I heard of some event, or tragedy, and I wished it had turned out differently.  In my mind, I wanted to change the way it turned out.  In real life, that cannot be done, of course.  But, in fiction, all things are possible.  As Paul Theroux says, “Fiction gives us a second chance that life denies us.” In my writing, I can create anything I want, and give it a happy ending, and mostly I do that.  Along the way, there may be tragedy, or hurtful events, but I try to create success and triumph in the end.  Here are some things I would be happy to achieve:
  • If my stories help young people, by giving examples of kids persevering in difficult situations, then I will be very satisfied. 
  • If my stories help young people overcome their own challenges, and perhaps find some inspiration, then I will be happy. 
  • If my stories help young people find the tenacity and courage to succeed in their own lives, then I will be very pleased. 
  • If my stories help achieve some better understanding among friends and families, then I will consider myself fulfilled.
I have found that I really enjoy writing.  When I write, I imagine that I’m in the scene, or watching the action, and I want to describe it as fully as I can.  What’s more, I can change the scene, or the dialogue, or the action, as much as I want.  Most importantly, I write for myself.  I write what I want to read.  I like Jesse Stuart's quote, “Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it.”

If even one young person finds some example in one of my books that he or she can use in their own life, then I will consider that every moment I spent writing those books was the best possible way to spend that time.

Thanks for reading,
Wil

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Print or eBook? How about both? It's all reading, folks!


I'm amazed at the numbers of readers who get all upset about eReaders, and declaring that they will never switch from print books. Yeesh!

There was a recent piece in HuffPost, about using eReaders, and many of the comments were from people who said they'd never give up their print books. I'm thinking, 'So, don't.' I don't see anyone trying to pry a print book from anyone's fingers. Stick with print books, but know there's a place for both print, and eBooks. 

It's all reading, folks! No matter whether on a Tab, or an exclusive eReading device, or yes, a print book. Every method of reading has its place. Using an eReader or Tab app allows for making print larger for those who have difficulty with small print. Using an eReader or Tab app makes it easy to take lots of books when traveling. And, yes, it's nice to be able to sit with a real book, sometimes.

In the end, it's all about reading, and these days, there are multiple ways to read. We should celebrate that. As an author, I don't care how readers want to read my books, but I'm glad my readers have all the options.

Happy Reading,

Wil

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Looking for Free eBooks for Young Adults?


Looking for Free eBooks for Young Adults? In January 2010, I started another blog, entitled Free eBooks for Young Adults, with occasional assistance from another Smashwords author.  I've listed over 130 free eBooks, and the number of views for that blog is now over 20,000.   I'm really pleased with that, and I hope the blog has helped many readers find books by my fellow YA authors. There are many, many good reads for Young Adults out there, and lots are available free.  I will continue to search them out, and list them on my other blog, Free eBooks for Young Adults.

Happy Reading, 

Wil

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