Author Name: J. James
Date: May, 2013
questions from the Catholic priest dealing with my annulment. I cannot help but
sense his judgement of me. From his failure to hide his disgust to the way his
sunken, weathered eyes glare at me as he waits for my sordid responses. I am sitting in a room that reminds me of a
nursing home. It is bitterly cold;
though I’m not sure if I am shivering from the cold or the depth of
questioning. Excessively floral wallpaper
with clashing printed soft furnishings was never a good look. The mahogany 70’s
style furniture pieces marked the perimeter of the room and the over-sized
portrait of God’s beloved son hanging above the chimneybreast was particularly
distracting. I did not feel comfortable
discussing my love of cock with a priest, let alone with Jesus in the
instructed by my now ex-wife to visit the priest to support her annulment
application – a Catholic loophole that allows two Catholics to declare that
their marriage never truly existed. We have to prove that I was incapable of
willingly entering into the marriage due to my underlying, yet undiscovered,
homosexuality. Personally I do not have
the patience for this, but it is a small gift for my ex-wife that will enable
her to one day remarry in the eyes of God.
for another six, although maybe these were not as happy as the first
seven. And why did I do it? Why did I marry a girl when the answer to the
opening question was YES! Quite simply,
because I loved her. When I stood there
on the day of our wedding it never entered my mind that I was lying, or trying
to cover up or trick anyone. I simply loved her and wanted to spend my entire
life with her. On reflection, I guess I
knew I was gay but I certainly did not want to live my life as a gay man. At that point I had never admitted to myself
that I was indeed gay; something I have come to regret. It was not out of malice or false intentions,
rather just total confusion and denial; born out of an upbringing in a
straight, Catholic world. The signs were
all there, but no one ever asked me the question and, therefore, I had no
reason to even question it myself.
complex story of my sexuality and can now define three distinct periods in my
life: one of denial, one of deceit and a final time of discovery. To some
extent they are chronological but there are many overlaps whilst in each phase
of my life. When I finally declared my sexuality at the age of thirty-one, I
ended the thirty-one years of denial – a pretty hefty sentence for anyone! To
some extent I am still there now. But there have been many exciting and
somewhat dangerous discoveries along the way; from early childhood fumbles with
girls, mutual masturbation sessions with male friends as teenagers first
discovering porn, to naive visits to male prostitutes as a young man and random
hook ups with strangers off the internet as a married man. With some of these discoveries came webs of
deceit shrouded in guilt, lies and more confusion. But it was these very experiences that have
shaped the gay man I am today – one who has found true monogamous love.
‘You had a choice…’ but to me it was anything but a choice. In fact, I would say I did everything
possible to choose not to be gay and despite my greatest efforts to
suppress who I really was; eventually it came and bit me on the arse
Denial Deceit Discovery is written in the style of a personal memoir or autobiography based on true events. It was because of my own personal struggles in dealing with my sexuality that I decided to share my story in an attempt to educate others and provide support to others in a similar situation. Autobiographies are also a genre I enjoy reading as I am fascinated by the lives of others. One of my favourite was the book called, ‘A child called It’ –which I found incredibly moving.
2) How many days a week do you write?
Unfortunately writing is not my full time job. My day job is incredibly demanding so finding time to write is a real challenge. I never put myself under pressure to write as it is my hobby and passion and so I do it when I really feel inspired. Most of my writing is done during my holidays or whilst on long haul flights from my home in Thailand back to the UK. I probably spend a few hours each week either writing material for my blog or new material for my second book.
3) On average, how long does it take to write a book?
I wrote Denial Deceit Discovery in about 6 months and then spent 6 months editing and improving it. This book was easier to write because it was my own life story involving real characters so it did not involve much planning. The second book is taking me much longer because it is a different genre for me and it needs a lot more work at the planning stage. I am also trying to improve the quality of my writing and so taking more time to work on characterization and the art of showing rather than telling the reader.
4) Do you have a trailer for your book? If yes, give us the link. If not, do you think you’d like to have one done at some point?
I currently do not have a trailer for the book but it is something I have thought about doing as I have come across the trailers for a few other books and was quite impressed. I find the biggest challenge is trying to reach your target audience and you can invest large sums of money on marketing tools like trailers and still not achieve your objective. But I am game for trying anything once
5) If I could be a character in a book, I would be _______?
I would definitely be Christian Grey from 50 Shades. I think he is incredibly suave and handsome and so mysterious. I love his lifestyle and although I am gay I admire the frenzy this character has generated amongst the female population. Who would not want to have a similar impact on society haha.
About the author:
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 will make you laugh, cry, cringe and blush as Jack’s life evolves
from shame and embarrassment, to hope and acceptance. It’s a wholly relatable tale that will speak
to anyone who has struggled to understand an aspect of his or her identity.
teaching, educational management and administration, James needed to find an
outlet to share his personal story. As a lifelong lover of literature and
writing, James has dedicated his career to educating students, helping them
develop the tools they’ll need to share their stories in the future.
was inspired by the response James received from the Catholic priest who
officiated his marriage annulment. As part of the process, James was asked to
submit a small document outlining his feelings about the events that culminated
in the failure of his marriage. The priest commented that the piece was the
most moving and impactful account he had ever read. He called it an “inspiration” to other men
and women struggling with similar situations.
After exploring many options, James realized that his story could help
people to understand the complex issues facing gay men in denial – hopefully,
helping to spare others from the heartache he and his loved ones experienced.
and works in Southeast Asia. He enjoys
the tropical climate, and the relaxed pace, which has provided him with the
opportunity to continue developing ideas for his second novel.
Tour Dates & Stops:
Prize: One of five e-copies of ‘Denial, Deceit, Discovery’ by J. James