The author was born and raised in a suburb of south west London, and grew up during the Great Depression and World War II. His environment included not only air raid shelters, and the Blitz and flying bombs; but a culture now gone forever: a society served by chimney sweeps, food delivered to homes by handcarts or horse-drawn carts, street lamps switched-on by a bicycle rider using a long pole, houses with outdoor toilets, streets without cars, and middle class homes with only a radio as a product of the 20th Century.
Perhaps the biggest formative influence was the intense politics of the pre-war years. This was a society riven by class hatred and by competing ideologies. Communist speakers on street corners harangued their listeners a few yards from where black-clad Fascists delivered their message, and where Indian Nationalists vowed to drive the British into the sea and end the British Empire. The Italian invasion of Abyssinia and the Spanish civil war incited a dread of coming events; while bands of amputee soldiers from the First War begging for money in the streets were living reminders of the fruits of war. This background led to the author writing ‘Watershed’ a political novel set in London in 1940.
After some ten years of post-war austerity the author emigrated and spent fifteen years working overseas. This included service as; Management consultant with Iran’s oil company in Khuzestan, Chief of a U.N. aid project in Ghana, U.N. Adviser on Management Development for Africa based in Nigeria, business consultant in Canada, and CEO of an Australian airline. Many of his work and travel experiences overseas form the basis of two books of short stories; ‘I Raconteur’, and ‘ Boulevarder.’
James settled near San Francisco and worked in Silicon Valley. He is now retired, and enjoys his family of five children, who were all born during his travels. His dystopian novel, ‘Freelandia, was written as a warning — but also to express his hope for the future.