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Query about Author

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Query about Author

Post by boswellbaxter » Wed September 21st, 2011, 12:57 pm

I got an e-mail from someone who's searching for this author:
I'm a freelance scriptwriter searching for any contact details for John
James, author of VOTAN and MEN WENT TO CATTRAETH, historical novels
published in the 1960's with a Dark Ages setting. My enquiry to the
publishers, (Orion), drew a blank, as have all subsequent attempts so
far, and my search has now brought me to this excellent site. Noting in
particular the forum dedicated to pre-mediaeval literature I was hoping
some of your contributors might have information regarding Mr James and /
or his current whereabouts.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Wed September 21st, 2011, 3:27 pm

Interestingly, his books were mentioned by someone at the local HNS meetings recently, which sparked my attention as I had seen that one of his books was published in Spain this year and I was not familiar with this author or realised they were originally published in English that long ago.

I guess it's worth a shot trying the publisher of the Spanish translation as it just came out this year, so they must have some contact with the author (or his estate). Then again, your correspondent may already have contacted this publisher.

See here:


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Post by emr » Wed September 21st, 2011, 3:38 pm

Well I think he died in 1993. Goodreads author page but the only source I found for this info was this page: http://www.magicdragon.com/ROauJ.html, very sketchy and last updated in 2003 :o
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Post by annis » Wed September 21st, 2011, 6:01 pm

It could be worth his while contacting Anthony Brockway of the Babylon Wales blogsite.

I'm pretty sure John James is dead, certainly Brockway writes of him in the past tense in this 2010 post about a possible reissue of Votan by Neil Gaiman, who's always credited Votan as being the inspiration for his own American Gods:

"Born David John James he was originally from Aberavon (Wales). He studied philosophy at St David’s College, Lampeter, before completing an MA in psychology at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He became a psychologist for the Ministry of Defence, lecturing on the selection and training of air crews for the RAF at Brampton. He lived with his wife (a teacher), two kids, and a Siamese cat in St Ives, Cambridgeshire".

http://babylonwales.blogspot.com/2010/0 ... votan.html

If Neil Gaiman is thinking about acquiring, or has already acquired the rights to republish Votan he could be another contact option.

John James' work is brilliant and certainly merits a revival, especially Votan and its sequel Not for all the Gold in Ireland, historical adventures which are witty, wickedly subversive reworkings of Norse and Celtic mythology. Men went to Cattraeth is a more sober retelling of the Welsh bard Aneirin's Y Goddodin, an elegy for the Votadini warriors killed during a major battle against the Angles in post-Roman Britain.

I bang the John James drum whenever I get a chance :) For some reason he never made it big, but he still has a dedicated cult following.
Last edited by annis on Thu September 22nd, 2011, 8:34 pm, edited 15 times in total.


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