To celebrate the publication of James’ latest book LOST & FOUND I invited him to Compulsive Readers for a quickie.
Let’s have a quick look at his book first.
‘Hits that sweet spot between being properly funny and gut-punchingly emotional’ – Sun
Ronnie has resigned himself to a life of loneliness.
His life in the crumbling seaside town of Bingham-on-Sea never seemed that bad, but since the loss of his father, the highlights of Ronnie’s solitary days include manning the lost property office at the bus station where he works, and plaguing his local GP with increasingly outlandish ailments. Forgotten or underestimated by all those around him, Ronnie is lost, and he’s not expecting to be found.
But when a chance encounter leads Ronnie to reluctantly foster Hamlet, an unwanted stray dog, his empty days begin to fill with all manner of new responsibilities and experiences.
Can these two lost souls help each other to find a new lease of life?
‘Reading it made me want to dance. An absolute gem of a book’ – Katie Marsh
Tell me about your book and why we should read it?
Lost & Found is about a lonely man called Ronnie who realises one day that his shadow is missing. It’s also about a hideously ugly little dog called Hamlet and how the two of them end up helping each other to find love and connection in the world.
If someone was to write your life story, what would the title be?
I Wish I’d Worn Gloves. A friend came up with this title for my life story years ago, so many years that I can’t for the life of me remember why! It always makes me laugh though.
What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?
I haven’t had any strange questions or requests but I was contacted earlier this year by a Czech theatre company who told me that they loved my debut novel (Keeping Mum) and were performing it on stages in towns and cities across the Czech Republic. They invited me to watch the performance in Prague and it was absolutely brilliant, they did such a great job of bringing the story to life.
If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?
It would probably be somebody from the telly, like Matt Berry or Steve Coogan or Ricky Gervais. I don’t think I could co-write a novel with anybody but I’d love to write a comedy series.
Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!)
Ha, nice try!
Finally, please recommend 3 books that you’ve read recently, and tell me why you’ve chosen these.
The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer. I love Bob Mortimer and would gladly read an instruction manual for a gas boiler if he had written it.
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson. It was one of those very rare books that made me laugh out loud.
An Evening of Long Goodbyes by Paul Murray. I haven’t actually finished this one yet but I’m really enjoying it so far.