“After falling from a car park roof, cartoonist Tom Hannah is left with partial amnesia and the feeling that something important is missing from his life. His journey to recovery is hampered by a growing inability to distinguish between real and imaginary events. The characters from his cartoon strip assume a grimy reality, while the lives of his family and friends appear ever more unreal.
The Wrong Story is about the borderlands between memory, imagination and the real world. It is about the desire for self-determination and the obligations on a responsible creator. But mostly it’s about a man who falls off a roof and wants to know why – was it an accident, did he jump, or was he pushed?”
James on how it feels to see his first novel published, and how it feels now that it is “out there”:
It feels great to see my first novel published. I’m happy, excited, proud and relieved. It has an ISBN, a shipping weight, it occupies shelf space. It’s a book. What began with a few doodled notes in Rewley House developed into an MSt year two project and ended up as an 80,000 word paperback. Along the way it was pitched, rejected, picked up, crowdfunded, drafted, edited, proofread, printed and distributed. So yes, it feels great.
But being ‘out there’? That can be scary. People might read it. What would their reviews be like? The rankings? It has talking animals in it! I readjusted my thinking. The published book is not my story any more, the one I nurtured for two and a half years. It has independence. It is complete. It is rubbing shoulders (or covers) with all the other novels that are out there. My feeling now is that it should stay out there for as long as possible.