James was born in San Mateo, California–a small town in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was apparent from an early age that he was going to be a handful.
During his high school years, his independent spirit got him ejected from several prominent boarding schools, including a parochial school run by Benedictine monks.
“I snuck into the chapel one Sunday, and started playing the theme to The Exorcist on the pipe organ as everyone arrived. Looking back, I still think it’s hilarious.”
He finished up high school at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in Southern California, leaving with a handful of academic awards. Then it was off to college.
Always having a way with words, James decided to pursue journalism rather than take on the family business.
“My grandfather invented that metal band that fastens the ends of salami,
sausage and such. They’re called ‘Tipper Ties’. Trippy, huh?”
During his journalism coursework in college, many offers to write articles for local papers came rolling in. He interviewed rock bands mostly, hanging out with them and sometimes taking on their bad habits.
During this lively stint, James was published in the Peninsula Times Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, BAM Magazine, the San Mateo Times and SPIN Magazine.
“After hanging out with rock stars long enough,
you’ll eventually come to the conclusion: how hard could it be?”
So James boarded a Greyhound bus with his synthesizer and headed to Hollywood. Over the next decade he recorded five albums of original music, three of which are still available for public consumption: 2005’s HAUNTED MIND, 2008’s CRIES FROM THE RAGGED LANDS and the 2013 retrospective THE BEST OF A BAD SITUATION.
The music was dark, moody, lyrically complex and challenging to the mainstream ear. As a recording artist he had made his statement. Now, he needed another form of expression. He had wanted to write a novel since he was a little kid: half-completed chapters of Books That Never Were yellowing in a cedar trunk under the bed…
Becoming a novelist is not an easy prospect for anyone, but it would be particularly daunting for James. He was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa an incurable degenerative eye disease that is slowly robbing him of his sight. He has not been able to read in years–not even headline newsprint.
“Thank God for technology. If it weren’t for fast computers with screen-readers
and giant monitors, it’s very likely my stories would never be told.”
His first novel, THE DISCARDED ONES:A NOVEL BASED ON A TRUE STORY debuted in the fall of 2012. The story follows a young boy who thinks he is going to summer camp, but instead finds himself left on the doorstep of a cult. Psychology Today hailed it “a riveting read” and “an important novel”. On its heels, GODS OF THE NOWHERE: A NOVEL OF HALLOWEEN (2013) is a horror/fantasy about how James’ favorite holiday is really a living and breathing thing that’s coming for us all. “A winner of a spooky tale…” proclaimed Library Journal. In 2015 he released his third novel for Waxlight Press, DEMONS IN THE TALL GRASS, an ambitious and sweeping tale of murder and depravity in small town Nebraska.
James now lives in West Hollywood, California where he works as a restaurant critic for LA Weekly and West Hollywood Magazine. If not licking his chops he may be writing his next book, recording a new track or sitting in with some rock band somewhere in his Sunset Boulevard neighborhood. Whatever he’s doing, he is doing it whole-heartedly, with passion and with the sole intention of sharing something dark and secret with you. Why?
“Because it enriches us both. Life can be a difficult journey, and I am grateful to anyone
who grabs my hand to walk beside me for a while. Thanks for your support.
And thanks for stopping by. I wish you the best of everything.”