Author: James D Mortain (Page 1 of 4)

And today in the local news…

Here’s a lovely interview by Devon Live about my writing – just in time for the release of Dead By Design.

A big thank you to Nicole for taking the time to write the article.




DEAD BY DESIGN Release news!

The countdown is NOW ON!

It is officially only three weeks until the launch of DEAD BY DESIGN, the breathtaking sequel to STORM LOG-0505 and I am desperate for the release!

Early reviews have been astonishing! These are just some of the words used by the advanced team of readers:

“…very chilling” “I can’t begin to imagine what comes next, and can’t wait either” “I’m sure it’s going to be huge” “…once I had started it I could not put it down” “…you skilfully wove in the previous storyline and characters to make this suitable as a standalone novel”  “I want to re-read number one. I have never read a book twice before…they must be good” “I’ve got to say loved the book, spooky from the onset… and more spook!” “…even better than the first book, I literally could not put it down! Now I can’t wait until all my friends who’ve read the first book read the second” “Book was amazing” “…overall even BETTER than storm log” OMG it is brilliant!” “Another Roy Grace in the making.” “All in all a thoroughly amazing read; well done you a massive pat on the back another best seller I reckon and I can’t wait for your next book!” The final chapter was EXTRAORDINARY”.

I hope this whets your appetite for DEAD BY DESIGN… and now the important dates!

WEDNESDAY 22nd November 2017 – Facebook Live broadcast from a very special location and the launch of the digital eBook. Tune in to my Facebook account James D Mortain to enter an exclusive competition to win the VERY FIRST printed copy of DEAD BY DESIGN, signed and personalised to your choosing!

WEDNESDAY 29th November 2017 – Official paperback launch – Walter Henry’s Bookshop, Bideford, Devon. Also, available to order on Amazon.

9th December 2017 – Join me at The Beach Shop, Westward Ho! North Devon, from 11:00 a.m. Come for a chat over a coffee. Ask me a question. Take a selfie. Buy a signed paperback. Pick up some amazing stocking fillers from the ultimate Aladdin’s Cave of a beach shop!

I will keep you informed of all the event times once confirmed, and I hope you can join me for this exciting launch of DEAD BY DESIGN!

With very best wishes,




I’ve been a busy boy!

I’ve been a bit quiet on here of late as it’s been a busy couple of months! But here’s a little taster of what I’ve been up to!

I met the great crime writer himself, Mr Ian Rankin at the Appledore Book Festival. What a lovely chap he is too!  Here I am sharing a cheeky selfie! He even asked me for a copy of STORM LOG which I was delighted to hand to him the next day. He said if he liked it he would give me a shout out on social media… I’m still waiting patiently beside Twitter, Ian! 😉





I also attended the Devon Authors event at the same festival and a dream came true when I was invited to be one of the three guest speakers!

Here I am with the lovely Ruth Downie – author of the Ruso Crime Novels of the Roman Empire. This was the second year that we had shared an ‘author table’ and it was great to catch up again!





And then I was off to the Avon & Somerset Police Headquarters in Portishead, where I caught up with an ex-police colleague and friend, Sandy Osborne who is the author of the Girl Cop books, and here we are with the Chief Constable Mr Andy Marsh, who it was a pleasure to meet.


With a further event coming up on Thursday 12th October at the Burton Art Gallery & Museum, Bideford – where I will be talking about becoming a writer – and the imminent release on Amazon Kindle of my FREE short story – THE NIGHT SHIFT – it’s been a hectic, but fun-packed time!

Grab THE NIGHT SHIFT here (available now, on iBooks, Kobo and Nook).


Book Cover Reveal – DEAD BY DESIGN

I am delighted to reveal the book cover to DEAD BY DESIGN, the next jaw-dropping instalment in the Detective Deans series, due to be published later this year.

Another fantastic cover design by the very talented Jessica Bell.




Here’s a chance to have your name appear in the forthcoming crime thriller short story, THE NIGHT SHIFT, by James D Mortain.

Simply provide your contact details and answer the question below in the message section.

Q. What is the name of Denise Moon’s therapy studio in STORM LOG-0505?

Competition ends this Halloween (31st October 2017).

Best of luck and thank you for entering!



Deano’s Grill – Award Winning Thriller Writer Alan Reynolds

Welcome to Deano’s Grill – Author Interviews. The only place to be interviewed by fictional hero of the Detective Deans crime thrillers,  Detective Andrew ‘Deano’ Deans.

Today, Deano grills Thriller novelist, Alan Reynolds.

Before we start, I need to caution you – You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your credentials if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in book sales, and anything you do say may be written about you.

Welcome to Deano’s Grill, Alan. Describe your writing for us please.
My books fall into the ‘thriller’ category although someone did point out that they cross a number of genres. They are adult in content, in the sense that they have adult themes and would suit any audience from 18+.

Tell us how you became a writer.
It was a complete fluke really. I never had any ambitions to be a writer but I had some time in my diary (I am a self-employed business consultant) and I had an idea for a story and I just started writing. I had finished it within 3 weeks! I shared the story online on a website that promoted authors and received some great reviews and then started sending it to literary agents. It was a long process but eventually I got a publisher and that book went on to win a Wishing Shelf Award.

Describe the book you are working on now.
I have just finished a new book called The Drive which should be out next year but I now am writing the sequel to The Sixth Pillar, my fourth book, which was published in 2014. It features a former SAS officer and I pick up his life six months later and new adventures in his job as a security consultant.

Describe the main protagonist for us.
The lead player is the former SAS officer, Rory Calderwood. He suffers from flash-backs from his time in the first Gulf War. He is a complex character outwardly strong, ruthless even when faced with danger, but has mental health issue, which he is trying to battle.

Do you share any of Rory’s characteristics?
This is probably the most significant lesson I have learned as a writer. It is so easy for your characters to become an extension of yourself. I initially found it hard to use expletives when my characters would use them! I try to think of the characters as actors in a play which means I can use an alter-ego without any personal bias.

Do you have a forces background that influences your writing?
I spent 36 years in Banking, latterly as a senior HR Manager. My present job as a self-employed business consultant takes me to many countries which I know helps me with my writing. I work in Paris frequently and part of my latest book is based in the area I know reasonably well.

Tell us which book you are most proud of and why?
My first novel, Flying with Kites has not only won an award but has been widely read in the Kosovan community in London. It is about a Kosovan refugee escaping from her native country in 1999 and ending up in a tower block in Newcastle (UK). As a result, I have met the Kosovan and Albanian Ambassadors and been invited to independence celebrations at the Houses of Parliament and to speak at the British Museum. How wonderful. That must have been a huge privilege!

Describe any writing routines or rituals you might follow.
I write when I have the time and idea; I often sketch an outline, sometimes the night before and use story boards to give me a visual impression of where the story is going. I am not on any time constraints although fitting it in between my ‘proper’ job is a challenge.

Tell us about your author highlights and hopes for the future.
Highlights definitely winning the award – I was also short-listed for The Sixth Pillar and speaking at the British Museum. My publisher has just signed a two year film distribution deal with a film production company for my first six books! Wow! That’s amazing! 

Now let’s understand YOU a little more…

Tell us your proudest day.
Being invited as a guest of the Kosovan Ambassador to the Houses of Parliament to celebrate Kosovan independence.

You are at a party and it’s time to entertain the guests, do you possess any hidden talents or party pieces?
It’s not hidden but I play the guitar and have written several songs.

You can invite two dream guests for dinner – Living dead or fictional – who would they be and why?
John Lennon & Elvis Presley – just to listen to their anecdotes. I think I may have to sneak in the back door to that party!

You can charter a private jet to any destination in the world. Where would you go and why?
Northern Territories Australia. It’s an area featured in my new novel and most of the research was done by Google Earth – I would love to visit Kakadu National Park for real.

Thank you for the great answers, Alan. Tell us where we can find your books and how we can follow you online.

Amazon, in paperback and on Kindle.

My web address is

Twitter @alanreynolds2

Facebook alan.reynolds3



Here is the first look at the draft blurb for the second book in The Detective Deans Mysteries, DEAD BY DESIGN.


James D Mortain

Your eyes tell you what you want them to believe…

A young couple in the prime of life are found dead in their bed. As they lie naked and entwined, those around him assume suicide, but Detective Andy Deans fears darker forces at work.

Deans has a gift that few understand and fewer accept. But he is living a nightmare and all eyes are watching, judging… expecting him to break. As he waits to hear the news he dreads most, Deans receives a mysterious package and the death toll rises.

Playing by the rules is getting him nowhere, now it’s time to do things his way… but death and tragedy haven’t finished with him, yet…

Fans of Rachel Abbott, Caroline Mitchell and Peter James will be gripped by this outstanding new British crime series.

DEAD BY DESIGN is the jaw-dropping sequel to Amazon bestseller,


Tiverton Literary Festival 2017

I had a great time at the Tiverton Literary Festival last Friday evening with fellow crime authors Rebecca Tope and Lucy V Hay.

The three of us hosted Crime Night and discussed all things crime writing related. I even sold a bunch of books!


Deano’s Grill – International Thriller writer Elizabeth Ducie

Welcome to Deano’s Grill – Author Interviews.
The only place to be interviewed by fictional hero of the Detective Deans crime thrillers,  Detective Andrew ‘Deano’ Deans.

Today, Deano grills Thriller novelist, Elizabeth Ducie.

Before we start, I need to caution you – You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your credentials if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in book sales, and anything you do say may be written about you.

Welcome to Deano’s Grill. Tell us your name, please.
Elizabeth Ducie.

Hello Elizabeth! Describe your writing.
Currently I am working on a series of thrillers set in the sometimes murky world of international pharmaceuticals. Well, we are told to write about what we know, aren’t we? But the overarching theme of most of my work is a sense of place. I’ve spent 30+ years working in Russia and the Former Soviet Union countries; in Africa; and in the Middle East. Very often I will start with a single trigger related to location and everything else, characters and plot, stems from that.

Intriguing! Tell us how you evolved from working overseas into an award winning UK novelist.
I don’t remember a time when I’ve not enjoyed crafting words into elegant prose. I won a newspaper competition when I was 14, so must have been writing stories at that point. However, throughout my first career, as a pharmaceutical consultant and writer, my work was all factual: audit reports; training manuals; scientific papers; articles for journals; and text books. I must have written millions of words in that time. Then in 2005, after 30 years as a scientist, I decided I wanted to write creatively instead. I had all these stories in my head from my years travelling and wanted to get them written down. I started with memoir, but found I was happier in the realm of fiction, so moved on to short stories. But, like most writers, I really wanted to produce a novel. Twelve years down the line, I have four collections of short stories; several books on business skills for writers; and I am currently finalising novel number three. And what keeps me writing? The thrill of having someone else read my work and enjoy it. I want my stories to be shared.

Tell us about your latest work.
Deception! is the second in the series of Suzanne Jones thrillers. It is set in Brazil and pits Suzanne and Charlie Jones against an old enemy, as well as introducing some new foes. The first in the series, Counterfeit! was set in Southern Africa, and was published in 2016. The third, and probably final, book in the series is called Corruption! Set in Russia, it is due to be published late in 2018.

Will we see anything of ‘you’ in the characters you write about?
Well all my main protagonists are females, working overseas and with technical backgrounds. So I guess there’s something of me in most of them. In fact, when I wrote Gorgito’s Ice Rink I was so scared that people would think it autobiographical that for ages I couldn’t let my narrator, Emma Chambers, have any fun at all. Then my husband pointed out it is called fiction for a reason. I suppose Suzanne Jones is the one who is closest to me; Charlie is the one I would like to be.

Do you have a soft spot for any of your books?
Gorgito’s Ice Rink was my debut novel and the piece of work that proved to me that I could be a novelist rather than sticking with short stories. It took nearly 8 years to produce and I learned a huge amount along the way. It won a Literature Works First Page prize before it was even finished and was Runner Up in the 2015 Self-Published Book of the Year Awards. 8 years well spent!

And what about your author highlights?
Publishing my first collection of short stories in 2011 with Sharon Cook; finishing the first draft of Gorgito’s Ice Rink; ‘winning’ NaNoWriMo for the past four years running; any competition success, even short listing or long listing; every new book I publish; and every time someone tells me they have read and enjoyed one of my books.

So, that’s a little about what you write – now tell us how you write.
I use my mornings for writing, including rewriting or editing, or whatever stage of the production process I am on. I set myself a target of four hours and if I work straight through, I am done well before lunch. But if I keep getting distracted, it might take me to mid-afternoon to reach the target. After that, I move on to the administration, marketing and other aspects of running a small business.

Do you have a favourite place to be creative?
I have a wonderful garden room that I use as an office; in fact I am typing this in there, with the doors and windows wide open and the sun streaming in. But I can equally write at the dining room table; and in fact if it’s cold or wet, I prefer to stay in the house, rather than venture across the garden.

Describe how you begin a new project.
If it’s fiction, I start with a basic idea, which I develop into a scene treatment. That’s a tool I learned during my MA at Exeter University. It’s more commonly used to scripts, but I find it works well for fiction too. It’s a bit like a story board with words. Then I will write the first draft; often this is in November, when I compete in NaNoWriMo. I will make a note of any facts that I need to research, and then use the internet and/or the library to fill in the gaps during subsequent editing stages. If it’s non-fiction, I start with a mind-map of the topic, key themes and as many bullet points as I can think of. Then I start fleshing them out. Again, I would do the research as I go along.

And for budding authors, do you have any sound advice?
Read the leaders in the genre to see what works, and what makes them so popular. Then forget them and write your own story. Get it professionally edited and proofread. Then publish it by whichever route suits you best.

Now, it’s time to dig a little deeper…

Tell us about your proudest day.
It will always be today, whenever you ask me the question. Because I woke up, got up and started work. I am fit and healthy. I have a shelf full of books I have written. And I am still married to the man I fell in love with more than forty years ago at University. No, wait; the word I’m looking for isn’t proud. It’s lucky. And maybe just a little proud as well. That’s just lovely!

Imagine a day or night off from writing. Tell us what you would do to make it special.
A drive in the country with my husband, to a country house hotel where they have a log fire; a Michelin-starred chef; and beautiful rooms to stay in. A glass of fizz, followed by the tasting menu and coffee in front of said log fire. Very self-indulgent and not over-healthy; but so much fun.

Do you have a favourite place in the country?
Gidleigh Park Hotel, near Chagford in Devon. Nestled away in Dartmoor, with wonderful views, beautiful food and really attentive staff.

And if you could take one book along that you have read this year?
I read an average of one book a week and always review them on Amazon and other platforms. My most memorable one so far this year is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. I loved it and gave it five stars. I avoided reading this book for years. But that was a mistake. It was witty, funny, poignant and beautifully written. It had me laughing out loud in places. I loved it and wish I’d read it much sooner.

Elizabeth, you have been wonderful company! Thank you for being grilled! Please tell us where we can find your books and how we can join you online.
I have a separate page for each book, with all the distribution links, on my website:; you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest


Gorgito's Ice Rink: Debut novel by Elizabeth DucieCOUNTERFEIT_FRONT_150dpi

 Deano’s Grill will be back with another fabulous author interview in the very near future. If you are an author and would like to be interviewed, please leave your details on the contacts page.


Tiverton Literary Festival – Crime Panel 23-06-17

I’m looking forward to joining Rebecca Tope and Lucy V Hay at the Tiverton Literary Festival on Friday 23rd June from 7pm.

This will be my first panel event and I cannot wait!

Hope to see some of you there!


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