Mad about football, at 13, James decided to be a journalist. He reported for the local press; he founded a school newspaper and wrote a blog. At 17 at a random ECG screening, he was diagnosed with Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome – a condition linked to Sudden Adult Death.
“I had two operations; the second one cured me, but my life came to a temporary stop.”
He stopped interviewing sports personalities and blagged his way onto the red carpet.
“At university, I’d attend a lecture in the morning and interview George Clooney in the evening.”
After university James travelled the world, then, back in Bristol, he worked in hotel management, but hated it.
“After a weekend in Dublin, I formed a company giving walking tours of Bristol. It was flexible, I had time to write, and you hear such great stories”
One of them sparked the start of his debut. After a writing course with Curtis Brown, he found an agent, and a publisher. The Flip Side is being published in America, and 10 other countries.
Who is James Bailey?
Date of birth: 1991 in Bristol.
Education: Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Bristol. King’s College, London. Spanish. With a year in Barcelona.
Family: Mum, Dad and sister.
The Day Job: “Working at my old school, in Alumnae, organising events with formal pupils.”
In Another Life: “It would have been very cool to be an architect. But I’m not sure I’d be any good at it.”
Favourite Writers: David Nichols and Nick Hornby. “I’m doing an event with David Nichols. The last time I met him was at his book signing.”
Second Novel: “It’s a romantic comedy set in two countries and two time zones. I’m at the editing stage.”
Top Tip: Believe in yourself, be persistent, and be prepared to accept rejection.
Website: www.Jamesbaileywrites.com Twitter: @jbaileywrites.
The Debut: The Flip Side. Michael Joseph: €8.92. Kindle: €5.58.
When Josh’s girlfriend turns down his proposal of marriage on the London Eye, he also loses his job and his flat. Deciding to run his life on the flip of a coin, he starts a year of crazy adventure. But will he get the girl of his dreams?
The Verdict: A well plotted romantic comedy to brighten the gloom of winter.
Published in The Irish Examiner 28th November.
© Sue J Leonard. 2020.