Bestselling Scottish crime writer, famous for the DI Fenchurch novels, set in gritty East London, and the two interconnected police procedural series featuring Edinburgh detectives Scott Cullen and Craig Hunter.
Ed James writes crime-fiction novels. His Scott Cullen series features a young Edinburgh Detective investigating crimes from the bottom rung of the career ladder he’s desperate to climb. Set four hundred miles south on the gritty streets of East London, his DI Fenchurch series features a detective with little to lose. His next series takes place thousands of miles west, with FBI Special Agent Max Carter investigating child abductions in Seattle and the US Pacific Northwest.
Formerly an IT project manager, Ed began writing on planes, trains and automobiles to fill his weekly commute to London. He now writes full-time and lives in the Scottish Borders, with his girlfriend and a menagerie of rescued animals.
The Black Isle
Ed’s next novel is the third DC Craig Hunter book, “THE BLACK ISLE”, where a troubled cop searches for his presumed-dead brother in the far north of Scotland.
Out now, it’s available in ebook and paperback now.
In 2020, Bookouture will publish three of Ed’s thrillers set in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, starring FBI Special Agent Max Carter. Book 1 (Title TBA) will be published on 21st January 2020.
Four series. Two standalones. All bestsellers.
(I think this is from the March of that year)
No major news to report, still a lot stuff in stasis.
I’m ploughing on with Ricochet which is the new title for Catharsis. It’s great writing something unplanned. When I say unplanned, I mean that Ghost in the Machine had such a high level of intricate planning and this is a story with an end state I need to manoeuvre towards and can seed stuff as I go and pick up later without having to worry too much about the detail. It makes the writing fun, in a very different way to the fun I have with the planned stuff. I’ve got ideas of how to take stuff forward and it’ll hopefully influence later writing – over the course of writing and copiously editing Ghost in the Machine, my style came on immeasurably, so it’s a chance to let that sort of thing be the focal point.
I’m also writing it on my mobile phone, a Nokia E63 with QWERTY keyboard and Word-compatible word processor (QuickOffice), so it kills time on the train every day and means I’m not a slave to the laptop every night.
One of the big things I’ve discovered about stress is, as my manager at work told me just before he left, that it comes from within – stress is entirely your own making and is just an inability to deal with a situation. There are obviously types of stress that are externally-driven, e.g. poverty, etc, but work-related stress is about getting perspective on things. I’ve had two bouts of dreadful illness this year and both relate to periods when I’ve pushed the writing too hard along with the day-to-day rubbish I deal with at work, so I’m trying to use this writing as non-pressure stuff, a chance to get stuff out of my system and maintain a passion for it, unlike the pressure that killed my enjoyment of making music for so long.
Anyway, enough of a rant, would be great to have some news to report. I think I need to refresh the website layout a bit.
(I’m migrating my old blog on here – apologies if any emails go out!)
Been frantically busy over the last month or so getting draft four of “Ghost in the Machine” finished.
I just completed the paper edit tonight on the train home. It’s strange how powerful a tool it is, in the 21st century, to print something out and edit it with a pen, rather than on screen. I suppose it’s something to do with the permanence of print, and the fact that you commit. In Word, there’s always the scope to tamper yet further, until you tamper too much and have nothing really to show for it.
Other news is that the sample stuff is all printed and packaged up on the desk beside me as I type. I’d hoped to have done this all months ago, but real life takes precedence sometimes. Still, I’m pleased with how I’ve coped with ten hour days at work and chipping away at the novel. It’s been an endurance feat at times, but I’m at the closing point of it.
I’m very pleased with it; I’ve got a good sense of closure and achievement that I never got with “Before the Fall” – with that I always thought there was something drastically wrong with it. “Ghost”… Well, it’s as good as I can make it. I’m confident it’s commercial enough and strong enough and innovative enough to grab attention, but that’s all in the lap of the Gods now. Well, it will be once it’s printed.
Tip: Beware that Canon inkjets have a tendency to not collate print, and instead print 20 copies of page 31, followed by 20 copies of page 30, etc. I’ve spent this evening mainly collating pages. Very irritating.
My next things are to type up the paper edit and to work on the plot for “Devil in the Detail” which I’ve got an increasing number of good ideas for.
And I might read something; that attic full of paperbacks isn’t reading itself…
(More old stuff)
Currently just polishing my submission. That’s as in making it sheen, not making it Eastern European. I’m 40pc through draft 4, 12pc through draft 5. Once it’s out of the door, I’ll have about 6 weeks to nail the remaining 60pc, then polish. Tiring but enjoyable.
Been a manic two weeks. Well, actually it’s a week that feels like two. Been ploughing through stuff, trying to get Ghost in the Machine nailed. The rules for submitting manuscripts is to send a synopsis and your first three chapters. The problem being, of course, that you’ve got to have your full book nailed before it’s mailed [thanks]. At the moment, I’ve ticked the boxes that say 1st three and synopsis, but i’ve still got to finish my third draft. I’m up to 70pc now, having gotten through 10k yesterday. I’m through the big gap where I had to write two new ‘days’ in, and I’m back to editing. The trouble then is that there were problems in the first draft that the second draft didn’t resolve, so I’ve had to substantially rework the edited bits, so it’s not a simple edit. The sequence of events has changed quite a bit, so I’ve had to rewrite hundreds of words and write new link sections. Believe me, this is the last time I start writing without a very detailed plan! The third draft works in terms of structure and plot, but is slightly unrefined when it comes to the writing, which is quite natural – to resolve this, it’s a manic paper edit, go through the whole thing in a week and get it consistent. The fourth draft is that, and is where the first three chapters come from. They’re pretty much perfect to me, nice crisp prose and with nice short, tight chapters. Style is something I am very particular about but have let slip. I’m aiming for the precise weighted description of Ellroy, with dialogue similar to Brookmyre or MacBride, i.e. colloquial and funny but also serious. I read a piece about Orwell a few months back – he never used common sayings. It’s something I’m trying to excise – it’s very easy to fall into the ‘as something as’ trap when I need to focus on precise descriptions. Anyway. Enough – more editing tonight.