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Eric James lives in the south of England with his beautiful family. He’s a children’s author, word tickler and champion asparagus thrower. He is published in The US, UK, Canada and Australia.
Eric spent 12 years as a programmer. A well-timed midlife crisis caused him to quit his job, move to Thailand and start writing. He has since written 0ver 15 titles for a number of publishers – not all of them under the same moniker.
Children love to read about the world they know and to be part of the story. Seasonal, localised books like “Spooky Express“, “Tiny the Easter Bunny” and “Santa’s Sleigh is on its Way” achieve this by taking the story and making it relevant to one of hundreds of different locations. All the books contain bespoke artwork and local place names. Some, like “Halloween Scare” contain bespoke rhyming verses about local spooky monsters, locations and events. The text is gender neutral.
Q: You’ve written over 160 location-specific verses in addition to the main story for “Halloween Scare”. Which book features your favourite localised spread, and why?
A: My favourite book overall is “A Halloween scare in Kentucky“. I knew I wanted to write about a chicken (I’m not sure how Kentuckians feel about this – but I hope they take it in the spirit that’s intended!). I found it difficult to write something which was both funny and resulted in amusing imagery for the reader and so I spent a long evening getting the metre right. Obviously it was important that the chicken met his fate in this particular way. I’ve grown quite fond of that plucky chicken:
A giant red chicken arrived in Kentucky.
You knew from his walk he was fearless and plucky.
He strode down the street and was heard to be gloating,
“You’ll never get me in a crispy crumb coating!”
But fate can be fickle and life can be cruel.
He ran into wizards engaged in a duel.
He wanted to run but had nowhere to hide.
A magic-bolt struck him and now he’s deep fried.
I really like the bespoke verses in the Scotland & Ireland books too, but those will only ever see the light of day if the series is successful in the U.K.
Q: How did the opportunity to write your first book come about?
A: When we returned from Thailand I resolved to self-publish my first book, which is a tale of sibling rivalry. I never considered trying to get it traditionally published – I was interested in learning about crowd-funding and the world of self-publishing. So I tried my hand at doing a Kickstarter project. I didn’t manage to hit my funding target but my book was put in front of a publishing company, and after showing them several other rhymes (one of which was all about monsters) I was asked if I could write a rhyme based around Halloween.
Q: Why do you have such a focus on localised and seasonal books?
A: These books were the idea of the publisher. They had already published one Christmas title before I came along. I realised that as long as I could focus on creating a good story, localisation was a great addition. The amount of lovely reviews and feedback I’ve received since doing my first title proves beyond doubt that a great many children and parents love the localisation aspect. I also get a lot of positive feedback from schools and teachers.
If you wish to write about one of my books I would like to ask that you include a link to http://ericjames.co.uk and possibly also the mailing list because that’s the kind of action which will help me to keep writing. Thanks!
I get lots of lovely reviews so I’ve put some of the best on this reviews page. If you would like your review to appear alongside the others please contact me.
Please direct all press enquiries and bookings to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can get hold of me by calling 07834 633783 and asking for Eric James.
For Twitter and Facebook you can use the following suggested tags: #ericJamesAuthor #ericJames #spookyExpress #halloweenScare #tinyEasterBunny #idGiveAnythingToBeAsCoolAsEricJamesAuthor … you get the idea 😉
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