Just a Few Seconds Book Synopsis
Nemo James dreamt of becoming a professional musician from the first time he picked up a guitar following a talent content disaster. Thought of by his friends as being the person most likely to make the big time he turned professional but was continually side tracked by the need to earn a living from music.
His journey takes him all over the world from private gigs for the rich and famous to the roughest pubs. Starting in the late sixties when heavy rock was born, through to the 1980’s and 90’s when discos and electronics decimated live music dance halls.
Just a Few Seconds is an amusing and heartrending story of perseverance showing how the road to success can lead us down the strangest of paths.
Find Nemo James at his website
Purchase the book on Amazon in kindle and book edition
Q: Do you write on a computer or with pen/pencil and paper?
On a computer. I have used computers so much over the last 15 years I no longer have any control over a pen. On the rare occasion I do have to use a pen and paper my wife has to translate for me otherwise I have no idea what I have written. As far as I am concerned the greatest invention of the 20th century is the undo command followed closely by the delete key.
Q: Worst rejection you’ve ever received?
That would be for the background music for the smash hit TV series “Great Train Journeys of the world.” I was commissioned to do it by EMI who accepted it with great enthusiasm. It was approved by the big knobs at the BBC who said it was exactly what they were looking for but the final say went to the producer who rejected it because he had already chosen the music from a well known band that he liked. It would have been my big break but in the words of an obscure country and western song “when my boat finally came in I was waiting for a train.”
These days I can honestly say rejection doesn’t bother me any more. I claim to have one of the greatest collections of rejection letters of any person living for just about anything you can be rejected for. I also have a huge collection of letters from highly respected professionals highly praising my work and telling me my day will come although, some of those are 35 years old. When my next book is rejected I will just tell myself that the person who rejected it is sitting in a stuffy office working for a boss they hate while I am sitting on a beach in paradise.
Q: What’s next for you?
I have just finished the first draft of Croatian Diaries which takes over from where Just a few seconds ended. It is about my life in a sleepy Croatian seaside village near Dubrovnik and has lots of amusing stories and interesting characters. I should probably have written that book first as it is a lot more commercial but when I started writing it I felt an overwhelming urge to start at the beginning with my memoirs.
Part of promoting Just A Few Seconds is to cross promote it with my music and after creating a Youtube channel of my music I was taken aback but the encouraging comments people have posted. So I would like to start playing concerts again but only if I was guaranteed the audience would outnumber my fingers. You can find some of my music at www.youtube.com/dereknewark
Q: Who is your favourite author, and why?
I have a hopelessly fussy taste in books and abandon more than I finish however my favourite author has always been Emile Zola. I love characterisation above all else and I have never found any writer than can make such awful people sound so colourful and likeable. I always wanted to go through the 20 books in his Rougon-Macquart series which thanks to the availability of books on the internet these days I recently started collecting and reading. The most amazing thing is how everything he writes about that happened 150 years ago is still happening today. The greed of bankers and corporate business and the dishonesty of politicians in his second book “The Kill” is like picking up my morning paper.
I also love Louis de Bernieres and thought his “Birds without Wings” was a masterpiece.
Q: Do you have a writer’s studio? Describe it for us and what is the view you see from the window?
No. I write on a computer in the living room. Most of the time I have no problem with that although when my wife is watching the television it can be a bit difficult but usually it is just a matter of typing out what has been in my head all day. The only time I need solitude is in the final draughts. My dear old dad used to read a book and watch television at the same time. It used to really annoy my brother and I when we wanted to watch another channel so we would test him to make sure he was paying attention to the television but he never failed to provide the correct answers as he turned over the next page.
From my window I have a view of the an old aqueduct which forms the wall to the front of our house. Behind that there is a huge bougainvillea and then 100 meters away is the a large Adriatic bay with three islands in the distance where I often take the boat to fish. It is summer in the middle of the tourist season and there is the sound of an amazing Croatian folk group singing Klapa in the distance with the gentle sound of the sea in the background. I suppose I can’t complain.
Q: Advice for the audience, first time authors, those choosing the writing life.
Don’t try and write a book. Get an idea and let the book write itself. I am not sure you can choose the writing life can you? Isn’t it more the case that the writing life has to choose you ?