James A. Anderson is a retired journalist and graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland and immigrated to Canada with his family as a child. He lives in London, Ontario, Canada with his wife Sherry and two basenjis, Remba and Wakili. They have two married children and four grandchildren. James A. Anderson is also the author of the thriller DEADLINE (2010).
Tell us a little about your book.
My current release is The Scorpion and is a sequel to my first thriller Deadline. It contains murder, action and romance woven around a series of sub-plots which gives readers an insight into how daily newspapers operate and pursue their stories. It is the second of a planned trilogy.
In Deadline, my first novel, a serial killer — The Wolfman – prowls the streets of Toronto kidnapping young professional women, then targets crime reporter Katie Cannon who has been writing about his rampage.
Trevor Trevanian, a foreign correspondent in Afghanistan, is abducted by al-Qaida and taken on a perilous journey to Pakistan to face an uncertain fate.
Deadline combines murder, action, and romance, with a glimpse into the world of big city media. This thriller, set over a 24-hour period in a fictional Toronto newspaper — the Daily Express, follows four central characters in Toronto and Afghanistan as they cope with both personal and professional deadlines in their lives.
I originally planned this as a single novel but reader reaction has been so great and I received many requests in reviews and emails to continue the series. People wanted to know what happens to these characters. So the idea for The Scorpion was born.
The Toronto Daily Express chronicles continue, picking up where Deadline leaves off and bring more news stories, more murder, action and romance.
The Scorpion is a terrorist. A nameless, faceless killer leading a team that plans to attack North America bringing death and destruction in a daring scheme called Operation Saladin.
The central plan is to blow up the CN Tower in Toronto with a suitcase nuclear device. A sidebar to the operation is an assassination attempt on the Prime Minister of Canada at his official residence 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa.
Reporter Katie Cannon and Daily Express Publisher Andrew Chase are planning their wedding with the reception to be held in the revolving restaurant atop the CN Tower, but their happy day may bring more than they expect.
This fast-paced, page-turning thriller will keep readers on the edge of their seats as the novel, like its predecessor, carries multiple alternating story lines involving a murder trial, a mad hospital bomber, and newspaper managing editor Braden Young who is facing a health crisis, a diagnosis of prostate cancer. The book follows one week in the life of the newspaper. Deadline was set over 24 hours.
Foreign correspondent Trevor Trevanian, who was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda and taken to meet and interview a high profile Al Qaeda leader in Deadline, has left Afghanistan and is now stationed in London, England. He meets a mysterious young lady Lynne Whitfield, allegedly another journalist, but actually an MI-6 agent who is assigned to follow him hoping he will lead them to Al-Qaeda contacts. She and Trevor attend the wedding in Toronto and play a key role in trying to prevent the CN Tower attack.
In writing The Scorpion, I decided to make the series – subtitled The Daily Express Chronicles a trilogy. I plan to start writing book #3 this fall and will wrap everything up. I then want to try something new.
How much of the book is realistic?
The book is very realistic and provides a glimpse of how daily newspapers and journalists work to bring you the news against tight deadlines. I am a retired Canadian journalist, 64 years old, with a 35-year career as a newspaper reporter and editor. It was an extremely satisfying and fun career and I use a lot of my experiences in my novels. Many of the news stories in both books are real cases fictionalized with names and circumstance changed and some added drama thrown in. I started writing thrillers two years ago after I retired.
What is your writing process?
I usually write every morning from 9-12. I’m retired so don’t want to do it full-time. I have family, dogs and other interests. The afternoons and evenings are usually free for those things. But mornings are my writing time. It’s also when I’m at my freshest. I like to listen to classical music when I write. Mostly Mozart or Beethoven. I find them soothing, inspirational and great background music.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Before I release my novels I have them read by critique partners or beta readers. My spouse, family and friends and former journalism colleagues read my early drafts and are most helpful in spotting my flubs and making suggestions to improve the manuscript or the story line. You need that independent input because as author you are often too close to the story.
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did try submitting my first novel DEADLINE to publishers and agents for a year and a half and received about 100 rejections. Most were form letters so you didn’t know if they even read it. I decided to pursue Independent or self-publishing. You have much greater control over your product and the royalty rates of 70% are higher than you will receive from any publisher. The big difficulty is you have to market and publicize the books yourself which can be quite time consuming. But I’m learning many marketing skills in the process and it has been an enjoyable experience doing interviews like this.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Through the publishers http:/www.Createspace.com for The Scorpion and http:/www.Lulu.com for DEADLINE. Both books are available in other ebook formats such as Nook and Kobo through www.smashwords.com.
How have sales been? Where have you had the most success?
Sales have been good and exceeded my expectations. I have sold 32,000 copies of DEADLINE worldwide and so far about 1,000 copies of my recently released new thriller The Scorpion. Ebooks are far outselling paperbacks about 10:1 and most of those are Kindle editions.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve been writing stories since I was about 8-years old. But I seriously began writing in my teens and sold my first short story to a Canadian teen magazine when I was 16. I wrote my first novel, a spy thriller when I was 18 but it didn’t sell or get published. It really wasn’t very good and too derivative of James Bond. But I enjoyed the challenge of writing a novel. I became interested in journalism and pursued a 35-year career as a reporter and editor for weekly and daily newspapers after university. But it didn’t leave much time for fiction writing so I put it on the back burner until I retired four years ago and started to write thrillers based on my newspaper experiences.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite author is probably Michael Connelly. Like me, Connelly is a former newspaper reporter who writes fast-paced, page turning thrillers. I can only hope to some day write as good as he does. Selling millions of copies also would be nice. The books that have most influenced my life and creative writing are thrillers, mysteries and spy novels. Love ‘em. My favorite writers are Michael Connelly, Lee Child, John Le Carre, Ian Fleming and others of that ilk.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks for the invitation to address your readers. I hope you enjoy books as much as I do. I’m an avid reader and have been all my life. Thanks for reading this and if you try my novels, I hope you enjoy them. I always appreciate reader comments and suggestions for future works. You can find my email in my author profile on www.amazon.com or Facebook me at: James A Anderson on Facebook or Twitter me at: @janders003
The Daily Express chronicles continue in this sequel to DEADLINE. Bringing you more news, more murder, action and romance. The Scorpion is a terrorist. A nameless, faceless killer leading a team that plans to attack North America bringing death and destruction in a daring scheme called Operation Saladin. Katie Cannon and Andrew Chase are planning their wedding, but their happy day may bring more than they expect. This fast-paced, page-turning thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat!
To purchase THE SCORPION, or any of James’s other novels, visit James’s Amazon Author page.