LGBT News EXCLUSIVE: New interview with the Author of Denial, Deceit Discovery
December 2, 2013 /LGBT News/ Denial, Deceit, Discovery is a new work of fiction by J. James. Written in the style of a personal memoir, James tells the complex, engaging and moving coming out story of the book’s main character, Jack Ellis. Jack is a young Catholic man living in the UK who struggles mightily on the road to self-awareness. Jack’s life is inspired by many events experienced by the author, but the universal themes of honesty, personal growth and acceptance transcend one person’s story. Denial, Deceit, Discovery is available at YPD Books, Amazon, and iTunes.
James recently completed the following interview exclusively for LGBT-News.com!
What inspired you to write Denial, Deceit, Discovery?
Having always worked in education I had always planned on writing a children’s book but that all changed when I came out. My wife and I were Catholics and when we divorced she requested that I support her application for an annulment from the church, which then allows either party to remarry in the eyes of God. As part of the process of obtaining an annulment for my marriage I was requested by the priest to write a page expressing my situation and the feelings I experienced about men, etc. and the confusion around my sexuality. I found the task difficult to do on one page and it took 6!! The priest said it was the most moving and emotional account he had ever read. Having talked to so many other men who had gone through similar trials I realised then that my story and experiences could really help. I also found it incredibly cathartic.
Would you describe this book as a 'Coming Out Story'?
Essentially. I guess the book has a very strong ‘coming out’ story within it. It expresses the confusion, fear and difficulties that many men face prior to, during and after coming out. It tackles the emotions of not only the person revealing their identity but also the emotional responses of loved ones. However, the book does also deal with many other themes such as growing up and puberty, relationships, sexual behaviour and the pursuit of happiness.
You say that Denial, Deceit, Discovery is "written in the style of a personal memoir" and inspired by events in your own life. Is it an auto-biography?
The book is based on true events and many of these are events from my own life. However, I have drawn on the stories and experiences of the many other gay men I have met over the years of which there were always common themes. I think there is a little bit of every gay man in the main character Jack.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your first book?
Considering this is my debut novel I found it surprisingly easy to complete. There was no real need to plan out the story as it followed a natural time line and involved familiar characters. Probably the most challenging aspect was having to re-live some of the more emotional moments expressed in the book such as the death of my uncle and the breakdown of my marriage. If I am honest, the greatest challenge has not been writing the book but actually marketing and promoting the book. I know the book can help many others but making those people aware in the first place is tough. Social media and websites like this have been really helpful.
How have your family and friends responded to Denial, Deceit, Discovery?
Many of my friends read the story as I was going along. Each time I finished a chapter I would send it to a group of friends for appraising. They were so supportive and encouraging and really believed in me. Originally when I started the book I never even thought about publishing it but my friends and especially my partner, made me believe in myself. I have to be honest and say that some of my friends are struggling to read such intimate details about me, especially the sex scenes! Some of my family members who are featured in the book have also been great supporters whilst others find it difficult to read – especially reading about how alone and confused I felt. I know my father has read the book, which is in fact the only book he has ever read! I am a little bit embarrassed to know my father has read about my sex life. My mother has chosen not to read the book – which is a bit of a relief!
What can you share about the visit you're planning to the U.S. in 2014 to promote Denial, Deceit, Discovery?
I am really excited about my trip to the US in April 2014. The book has been attracting a lot of supporters in America and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to come and meet people. This will be my debut book signing tour and I am so happy it will be in the US. I am currently planning the event with my publicist in the US – Brian Goldthorpe and aiming to visit NYC, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia. Be sure to catch me on the East Coast guys!
Are you planning write another book in the future?
At the moment I am so busy promoting my debut book that I don’t have as much time as I would like for writing. I have started on my second book and can reveal that maybe it won’t be too long before Jack makes an appearance. I’m experimenting as an author and trying some different genre and styles of writing. You will have to wait and see.