James D. McEwan

Thank you. Of all the choices you could have made today, you opened this page and thought you’d pay me some attention. So, I thank you for giving me a few seconds of your time. It means more than you realise. It’s why authors exist; to be read.

If you want to know more about me, and why I write stories, please read on.

First thing you should know is James is my father’s name. A man of sound mind, a father of two sons and husband of 50 years to my mother, he passed on his 78th birthday in 2019. When I put the cogs in motion of releasing my first novel, I thought about using a pseudonym. What better name to use than my father’s name? In the autumn of 2022, James D. McEwan was born. But the person behind the name entered the world long before that.

My father, brother, and me at Loch Lomond
My brother, dad, and me. Oof! That haircut. Circa, prehistory.

Born in the seventies, I have few memories of that time, but the eighties were a different matter. I consider myself a child of that decade. They rocked. If you missed them, I feel sorry for you. Apart from the terrible ongoing fear of nuclear apocalypse, they were a good time to be alive. At least, they seemed to be on the surface. I never scratched too deep. It’s in the eighties that I discovered roleplaying, when a schoolfriend introduced me to TSR’s Dungeons & Dragons. And that was that. My imagination fired up, and I started reading books beyond the regimented school curriculum. I painted small lead miniatures with toxic paints. Often, I’d need to lick the tip of the brush to maintain a fine point. It’s probably why I lost my hair. I blame the cadmium. Maybe it was the chaos black or the worm purple? Regardless, brave new worlds formed in the mists of my mind.

An old photo of me worn out in a rock club
Me, circa 1993. Knackered after combat on the dancefloor.

It was also a time of musical evolution. From heady synth pop, I descended (perhaps ascended) into the realm of heavy metal. A friend, who is still my friend to this day, introduced me to the gods of thrash metal: Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer. I had twenty-sided dice in my hands and crunching guitar riffs in my ears. What else was I ever meant to be but a dreamer? It just took me a while to put it all into print.

As the eighties slipped past, the nineties took me to university in Glasgow. I made certain life choices that stunted the full enjoyment of that era. I didn’t drink or do drugs. It smacked in the face of the expected experience—why else go to Uni? An education? Surely that was a secondary benefit? Well, I sort of shambled through, and did it in isolation. I left university with a grounding in several ‘ologies.’ Without focus, I stumbled into a career in leisure, went back to university, and fell into the ‘life-rut’ that takes most people. We do what’s expected of us—we exist to earn; we earn to live.

Torso shot of me with muscles showing
I looked after myself. Picture, circa 2013.

I had my hobbies. I was a competent but amateur indoor rock-climber, and a keen exerciser. During the early noughties, I decided I’d write a book. I needed a challenge to prove something to myself. By 2004, I’d written not one but two full-length manuscripts. One of them I’d like to revisit, but I never intended for either to launch a new career. After that, I stopped writing (I’d proven my point). During this time, I noticed my left leg weakening. Over time, an old spinal nerve injury played havoc with the muscles in my thigh. These days, it’s not much more than an organic prosthetic. I hobble about on it as best I can. On the bright side, I fixed my drinking problem… and started.

My mum and me at christmas, drinks in hand
I found a cure for sobriety.

In 2016, an idea came to me. I imagined a utopia, but it was a world based on a lie, and that world was inhabited by elemental creatures. I started writing again. A mature fairy tale, it was my first proto-Kalleron story. I thought it was amazing, and expecting instant fame, I sent it out to agents. They all rejected it. Unperturbed, I kept trying… and kept failing. In time, and after paying for professional editing help, I saw the mistakes I was making. My writing improved, but the pitches weren’t selling.

After twenty-seven years in the same job with no prospects, my writing was faltering. As was my mental well-being. Returning from an amazing holiday in BC, Canada, my wife asked if I was going to quit my job? A week later, I handed in my notice. For the betterment of my mental well-being, and to pursue this dream, I said goodbye to a steady income. Close to fifty-years-old, I started a new life.

My wife and me, smiling on a cold beach
She made me do it. Blame her.

For all the history of me, I couldn’t do this without the support of my wife. This is all her fault, in the best possible way. She’s an amazing woman, and if you want to support her, you could buy her husband’s books. I wouldn’t mind.


Thank you.