Why I Write Fiction by James Edgar Gault


It is lovely to welcome James Edgar Gault back to my blog to discuss why he writes fiction. Thank you for you're time again, today.


I’m a fiction writer. I tell stories about people. Of course, I’m not supposed to say that. What I’m supposed to say is that ‘I construct intriguing plots and create memorable characters’. That way, what I do sounds less childlike and maybe even less childish. The power of words, eh!

There are all kinds of stories a writer can tackle: girl looks for love; detective looks for murderer; spy looks for secrets; the poor look for wealth; the philosopher looks for truth; the weak look for power; the powerful look for more power. There’s a bit of all of these in my stories, because fundamentally there’s only one story: the search. Everyone wants what they haven’t got.

Now you might say that there are enough people in the real world looking for their dream, without me making up fictional ones. I don’t think anyone can argue with that, so why do I write fiction?


Maybe it’s because I don’t get out enough. Because I never get to meet enough real people on their quest to fulfil their destiny? Is that why I have to make up fictitious ones?


Or maybe I write it’s because all those real life quests just aren’t interesting enough. This might not be the fault of real people. It could be a flaw in my character: low boredom threshold or something like that. The everyday doesn’t do it for me. Tales larger than life, that’s my motto.

Ah but, you say, there are plenty of existing books with intensely interesting fictional characters carrying out enthralling and exciting journeys towards their physical or psychological goals. More than you can read in several lifetimes. Why do I choose to add to this list?

I certainly couldn’t claim that it’s because I write better stories than all of them, or most of them, or indeed any of them. But I do write different stories. My stories are unique to me. And that’s a point of pride with me. If I think I’m writing something anyone else would write, I give it up and start something else. A story like no other- that’s another of my mottos.


All the same, I sometimes find myself feeling a wee bit guilty about writing. It’s the generic unease all of us feel about what we’re doing to the planet. Am I a polluter? I don’t mean in a physical sense; readers tend to buy my books in electronic form. Not too many trees felled as a result of my literary activities, I don’t think. But given the massive amounts of new writing that is published every day, am I contributing to WORD pollution? Is there such a thing as ‘word pollution’? I leave that as a deep philosophical question for you to answer. Give the reader something to think about, which is what a good writer should always do.


In any case, I’m not giving up the writing. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t, although I’m not sure whether what I have is talent or some incurable mental disorder. The books will continue to come out. Like it or not, you’re going to be exposed to the beautiful, seductive but evil, Russian spy with her deadly nerve gas. Right now, she’s on the way to capture and torture our affable, if a bit dim, hero. The story goes on… As usual….

The Author


James Gault, prize winning writer born in Scotland, has retired to SW France after spending ten years in the Czech Republic . There he enjoys the sunshine, writes novels, short stories and English Language textbooks.


" I write mostly political thrillers with a touch of humour, set in the present but sometimes with references to the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of my books are in the Scottish vernacular. (This one is not) and some are really comic novels (this one is not). They always have references to social issues. I try to offer readers interesting and engrossing characters, and favour relatively complex exciting plots with more than one unexpected twist in them. Above all, I try to be innovative and produce work that is unique to me and in no way derivative."


He has written four novels, all available on Amazon as e-books and paperbacks:

His latest novel, Best Intelligence, is a detective thriller set in Glasgow, France and Spain.

{ 4 and 5 start reviews e.g.


Why are Scottish/Glaswegian cops the best? Not since Taggart ruled the Mean City have we had the pleasure of the polis dealing with the wee scumbags on their manor (to use a London term). There's none of that fancy Edinburgh/Oxbridge Detecting or Midsummer Murders here. This is a tale of double dealing, drugs, death, and deception with a hefty side order of paranoia to boot. From the depths of the Gorbals to the vineyards of France and the Spanish Costas Charlie Best shares DNA with the much missed Taggart. He gets things done, but is no friend of the brass, so when he inherits a windfall he is gone faster than a bottle of Bucky at a sixteenth birthday party. But will Glasgow let him go? There's an old tune that goes "I belong to Glasgow, Dear old Glasgow Town." and Charlie belongs to Glasgow when the local criminals pop up on the Costas he can't just retire and let it go - he has to go back - he is polis after all. Its a great story which had me guessing from the beginning. (Its taken me a while to read but that's no fault of the book, I have been busy.) Its a recommended read for all you Weegie lovers out there. }


He also produces the on-line literary magazine Vox Lit with monthly notes by writers for writers and readers, news, features (short stories, poems and extracts from novels.)


James Edgar Gault

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