Who Is James Dempster?
- What inspired you to write a book?
The story formed in my thoughts and dreams - so I went with it till I knew it had to be fully formed so I could share it with the world.
- Who is your favourite author and why?
Many - but I have a particular soft spot for Gerald Durrell who often wove humour and sincere concerns for animals and the planet so effortlessly. Also Spike Milligan - because he is the first author that made me laugh out loud when reading one of his books, and so often thereafter.
- What is your favourite food?
I am a vegan. A couple of favourites include, aloo baingan (indian eggplant curry), the wonderful baked beans on toast (simple and incredibly nutritious) and a good old cuppa of hot black tea.
- What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Walk with dogs out somewhere natural, read, watch movies, think about stories.
- As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I didn't really know - vaguely something to do with the movies, which is a form of storytelling. In the end I think writing chose me.
- What do you think makes a good story?
It has to have a good interesting engaging narrative no matter what the genre, have some deeper spiritual meaning that is often not apparent if done correctly, and a good moral lesson or three - all subtly woven together and the story is so good, you don't even notice them .
7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned from writing your book?
How long it became from my initial rough calculation on length - being all the 'corners' of the segments of the narrative that filled in during the process, and how the characters became more real inside my mind as they acted out their parts - and when I observed how all the characters were actually different segments of my character/personality given form somehow.
- When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
When I was participating in amateur theater - I discovered the power of the text over all other aspects of any possible final production.
- How long does it take you write a book?
Depends on the story - 'Stripes in the Shadows' took about 10 months from first word to last. Sometimes you have to put a story aside for a while then come back to it, so it depends. And in the end all stories (or whatever type of creative works of/or art) are subject to a version of what Paul Valery famously said about poetry 'A poem is never finished, only abandoned.'
- Can you share with us what your next book will be about?
That is a hard one as I have many novels, and shorter children's stories all percolating inside me. When it dominates I will do it, and when it is done, then I will be the first to know.