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Our Author Highlight of the Month: James Dempster


James Dempster

James L Dempster grew up in leafy harbour side Clifton Gardens, a short walk to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, where he spent many happy boyhood hours, as well as exploring the nearby Sydney Harbour National Park bushland and foreshore.   He has worked in the cinema and video industries, is a screenwriter and also an artist, having entered the Archibald several times.  For the past two decades he has been in various aspects of animal welfare.  He lives in semi-rural New South Wales with his rescue animals.  Stripes in the Shadows is his first novel and has a new children’s storybook Spitfire the Dragon coming soon.

Books by James Dempster

Stripes In The Shadows

Stripes in the Shadows

As a young boy Leo Thomas had his photograph taken at the Zoo beside the last Tasmanian tiger in captivity – it dies on his 6th birthday and this tragedy inspires him to become one of Australia’s most renowned naturalists, vowing this appalling fate should never happen to another species.  In 2010 he turns 80, is now retired, an active recluse tending his wildlife rescue clinic on the edge of a pristine forest in Tasmania’s south west.  His serene corner of the world is threatened when a prominent commercial lumber company sponsors a not-so-independent study to prove this forest should be logged.  Leo goes on the offensive being the prominent almost single local voice opposing this project in the small community.  At this inconvenient time for Leo, his estranged grandchildren arrive from Sydney for a re-connect visit.  They struggle to relate and get to know each other under the same roof and among inhabitants of the town.  To help save the forest, Leo commences a surreptitious campaign of sabotage to hinder the timber industry study which quickly delays the corporate titan’s schedule.  When he sends in his thugs to deal Leo a lethal blow, events take a very unexpected turn...

‘I was in the moment of the story on every page - a wonderful fictional tale full of wildlife encounters that should have been real history!’

Brad Walker - CEO Global Wildlife Training - www.globalwildlifetraining.com.au

‘This is a very powerful story. Each page had me wanting more. I honestly thought it was a true story. A very well written book…highly recommended’

Sue Kennedy – CEO Sue Kennedy Publishing & Author Academy – www.authoracademy.com.au

Hope you enjoyed learning more about our author of the month!

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Author Interview – Getting to Know More About James Dempster

James Dempster
James Dempster

Who Is James Dempster?

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.

  1. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Walk with dogs out somewhere natural, read, watch movies, think about stories. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.  

  1. 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.'

  1. 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.  

Books by James Dempster

Stripes in the Shadows

Hope you enjoyed learning more about James Dempster.

Would like to be on our list of authors? Become a member today and reap the benefits of being a part of the Author Academy Bookstore!

For more information, please click here.