WEbooker of the WEek Follows his Dreams


Jamesmcshane has wanted to be a writer since he was in his early teens. Instead, he studied hotel and catering management, and became a bartender. His writing ambitions "sat on the back burner for a very long time" -- until earlier this year, when he discovered WEbook. Says Jamesmcshane, "I got a kick-start and I've been motoring ever since." He now tends bar part time while studying journalism and working towards his dream of becoming a fulltime writer. Here at WEbook, he leads five projects, and has submissions in over three dozen collaborative projects led by other WEbookers.

The WEbook work he's most proud of is his novel-in-progress, The Dark Crusade of Robinson Stone. Says Jamesmcshane, "Some time ago, I was out in the pub car-park having a smoke when I saw a van plastered with an ad for a company that designed and built gravestones. The company was called 'Robinson Stone.' I thought it was a cool name for a fictional character, so I started writing about a man who goes on a fantastical journey through time and space. When I arrived at WEbook, I changed tack and decided instead to create a contemporary political thriller set in my hometown of Dublin. The book has garnered a fan base that looks forward to each installment. Some of these WEbookers message me with advice on structure, plot, and character development. I take this advice very seriously, and the story is all the better for it."

If Irish political thrillers aren't your cup of tea, check out Jamesmcshane's five-part story "The Doppelganger Project," written for WEbooker cindi_greene's Wee Books project. According to Jamesmcshane, this story is a post-modern take on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.

Want to know more? Never fear -- WEbook plumbed the depths of the mystery that is Jamesmcshane with a few revealing questions.

Q: What non-writing accomplishment are you most proud of?

When I was in catering college, I was elected President of the student union. I'm no Barack Obama, but I like to think I did a good job. I had a group of friends around who made me look good -- just like on WEbook.

Q: What is your worst writing pet peeve?

Not having the time I need to devote myself fully to it. My job as a bartender takes up a lot of my time, as you would expect. So do my studies. But I'm a light sleeper, so I often write in the wee hours of the morning. I know a few American WEbookers on IM, and the time difference makes it possible for me to have real-time conversations with them in the middle of the night. I'm a night owl -- always have been.

Q: If you had an extra hour in every day, what would you do with it?

I'm sorry to say this, but I'd spend it in bed. Late night writing and instant messaging can take a toll on this man's body. I tend to sleep late on Saturdays. As much as I love to write and chat, Jimbo needs his zzzzzs every once in a while.

Q: If you could travel back in time to any one day, from the day you were born to yesterday, and give yourself some advice, what day would you choose, and what advice would you give yourself?

Ah, the old "Quantum Leap" question. This is personal, but it's one I'm willing to share: I would hug my dad on the day he died (I was at work when he passed away quite suddenly), and tell him I love him. I think he'd be happy with my progress to date. I've had a rocky few years, but I'm a better person now because of them. My mother says I remind her of him, so that can't be a bad thing.

Q: What is your favorite word?

Conflustered. It captures me when I'm in a manic mood. It happens quite a lot, actually. Conflustered is me all over. My second favorite word is serenity: That's what I aspire to...eventually.

of the WEek

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