Interview with Gill James

o What genre do you write and why?

I usually write Young Adult science fiction / fantasy, though I also write for younger children, some real life for teens and young adults, some educational materials and some academic papers. I did teach secondary school for a good many years, so I'm very familiar with teens and older teens. I think using fantasy and science fiction as a setting gives some objectivity to the way young people view society.

o Tell us a bit about your latest book.

The Prophecy is the first part of a trilogy with a science fantasy setting. It is actually the story of Kaleem Malkendy, who struggles to come to terms with his otherness. Each part of the trilogy has a discreet story, though an overarching story runs through all three parts.

o What inspired you to write this book?

I came across the idea of a Peace Child whilst writing a resource for secondary school children. The Peace Child was exchanged after warring tribes in Papua New Guinea had reached agreement. Thus, a child is born to one tribe and raised by another, so can understand both and act as a go-between. Kaleem has something of this role. He feels he doesn't belong anywhere. He has to learn to be content with himself ... and some quite amazing things happen to him on the way.

o What are your marketing strategies?

I take every opportunity to network. I blog, I tweet, I join in forums. I also get other people to help me - like Ollie, the publicist for The Red Telephone. Publisher's publicists are very important in the process.

o Do you have any tips for new writers wanting to enter this writing genre?

As with any writing, write, write, edit, network, write and get tough about rejections. Call them rewrites. To write for young adults, you must read what they read and get to know them. If working with a fantasy or science fiction setting, spend as much time carefully researching it as you would a real setting, or as you would for an historical novel. Think out how everything works in that world. It's also important to know your characters really well.

o What is the best and worst thing about being a writer?

The best thing is creating your own stories. The worst thing is facing criticism.

o Where can people find out more about you and your work?

Look at my website., follow me on Blogger and I'm also on Twitter.

o Anything else you’d like to add?

Just to say to anyone wanting to write - you can IF you really want to. It is a big IF, however.


  1. I'm currently reading 'The Prophecy' by Gill James and will be writing a review for it soon.


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