Monday, August 19, 2013

James Minter, The Unexpected Consequences of Iron Overload

AUTHOR: James Minter
BOOK TITLE: The Unexpected Consequences of Iron Overload
PUBLISHER: CreateSpace
BUY LINK: Amazon

Tell me a little about your book.
This is a humorous paranormal thriller where the main character has absorbed too much iron (Haemochromatosis) and is now magnetic.

What gave you the idea for this particular story?
I have the condition, diagnosed in 2004 – there are many (3.75million) people in Europe plus North America who have the condition but aren’t aware of it. The book uses humor to raise awareness and raise funds for the society (I’m donating all profits to the Haemo Soc.)

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I moved to France in April ’13 to take up writing full time. I’ve a routine: 5 days per week starting around 7am to write for around 1000 words/day, thereafter I edit, do social networking, blogging, maintain the website etc.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
2009 – I was on holiday, took an A4 wiro bound book and wrote 40,000 words longhand. I just watched my pen write a story - an amazing experience.

What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
Entertainment plus awareness of a killer condition which people will hopefully share. I believe laughter is a great medicine and free…

Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
Humor, paranormal, thriller

What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
Discipline to write regularly and self-promotion. Discipline is about realizing you cannot edit a blank page so get writing. Once you’re creating then you’ve more chance of people reading and enjoying your work which makes you want to write more… Self-promotion – the Internet is like a black hole and will suck in stuff as fast as you can throw it in often for no apparent return. Reading about other people’s successes says keep doing it someday it will pay off…please

Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
The condition is very real but as to someone becoming magnetized…I doubt it, though the Russians to make claims in this area.

How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
He has traits but I pinch from a variety of sources/experiences including my son and his girlfriend – which I don’t think he’s aware of.

What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
I researched the condition because I was diagnosed with it. Otherwise, apart from using Google for paranormal research and the relations the Russians have with the subject very little. The story is set in West London. I did spend an afternoon walking the streets to find the street, café and pub featured in many scenes. I needed to understand their relationship to each other, and the distance from the street to a) the US Embassy and b) The Grosvenor House Hotel.

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
The violence or sex scenes in my books don’t even rank 1 on the Richter so it’s not an issue.

What about your book makes it special?
Awareness raising of a very serious yet hardly known, though widespread, killer condition without it being a labor to read.

What is your marketing plan?
Social karma – from Joanna Penn, of The Creative Penn as she describes in her new book “How to Market a Book.”

Where can people learn more about you and your work? Amazon author central,, Twitter: @james_minter,  or my FaceBook page:

Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
Don’t give up your day job; learn your craft; really learn your craft; write for yourself; remember it takes time – as in years.

What’s in the future for you?
Just moved to France from the UK, sold my business in order to dedicate myself to writing & promoting.  Need to get 5 titles completed to have a decent portfolio to shout about-3.5 done and another 7 under construction.


‘How’s it going?  You won anything yet?’
‘Oh, hi Rob.  Barb’s had a couple of goes but nothing.  What about you?’
‘I want that cruise.  My misses would love it.  Her mum would take the kids and we could have a romantic holiday, like a kind of second honeymoon.’
‘Right Rob, you’re on,’ Barb said, ‘I want it and I’m going to get it.  Jimmy, give me your chips, I’m feeling lucky.’  Barb had no idea what she was doing but played eight chips on a variety of numbers, colours and lines.
The croupier cleared them away in one brisk movement.
‘If it’s that easy we’d all be millionaires.’  Jimmy was keen for her to win.  After all, they were his chips so she’d have to take him on the cruise.
‘OK Barbnot so rash.  Just put one chip on your lucky seven.  It must come up sooner or later.’
‘Let’s hope it’s not later.  I’ve only nine chips left.’
‘Go on, play, she’s about to spin.’  He moved towards the table, close to the wheel.  It occurred to him that having managed to deflect the falling lighting tower, getting the ball to stop in pocket sevenor any other pocket of his choosingwould be a doddle.  The challenge was doing it without getting caught.  He concentrated hard, watching the ball interact with the spinning wheel, the way it bounced from pocket to pocket with each counter revolution.  The mahogany wheel pivoted on a steel pin running in metal bearings.  By altering the spin speed, he reasoned, he could control the outcome.
Moving closer, he lifted his arms to see the effects he had.  He tried to change the shape and strength of his magnetic field.  This in turn acted on the steel pin and bearings, allowing him to stop the ball where he wanted.  The guy next to him was very animated and pushed him accidentally.  Jimmy fell forwards.  He had no choice but to steady himself by grabbing for the table.  The croupier stared at him.
‘No more bets please.’
He regained his balance.  Without warning Barb planted him a big kiss.
‘We won,’ she said, beaming and pointing to the roulette wheel.  In the confusion the ball had stopped on seven. She collected her winnings.  ‘OK, what next?’  She was keen to bet again.
Looking furtive, Jimmy spoke in hushed tones, ‘Look, I’m not sure what happened then.  Let’s just watch the next spin.  I need to understand how or even if I did that.’
‘What do you mean?’  She sounded quizzical.
‘You know.’ He hesitated. ‘My powers, remember, this afternoon, the tower.  Do I have to spell it out?
‘What, do you think you can control the ball?  Jimmy Kavanagh, are you serious?’  She tried to read his face. ‘But that’s cheating.’  She curled her lip and broke into a broad smile.  ‘Go on then, show me.’
‘OK keep it down.  Now don’t playjust watch.  What pocket do you want the ball to stop in?’
‘Seven, of course.’
‘No, not seven.  If it keeps going into the same pocket the croupier will get suspicious.’
‘OKfifteen then.’
The wheel was set spinning and the ball was set loose.  Jimmy focused on the wheel, counting the number of times the ball bounced between pockets before it stopped.  It landed in 28.
‘That’s not fifteen.’  She sounded disappointed.
‘Look, I’m just trying to understand how it works.  Right—just watch again.’
‘Come on, just one chip.  My last win paid out 35.  We’ve loads now.’
Jimmy liked the sound of we’ve loads.
‘Go on then, but put it on black, not fifteen.  You’ll still win but not anywhere near as much.’
The croupier set the wheel in motion, followed by the ball counter clockwise.  Jimmy counted the bounces.  Suddenly he leant right in, throwing his arms forward.  The wheel slowed dramatically as the drag on the bearing intensified.  Other punters close by stared at him in a what the hell are you doing?  sort of way.  Worst of all, the croupier noticed and glared at him as if to say I’m watching you.
Barbara was oblivious to all this, focused only on her winnings.  ‘What, only a measly two chips for black?  How are we going to win our cruise like that?’
Jimmy didn’t pick up on her remarks.  He was too busy pretending to be drunk.
‘What’s wrong with you?’
‘Show me the way to go home … I’m tired and I want to go to bed.’  His singing faded as he leant hard onto Barb.
‘Jimmy Kavanagh, all you men are useless, just when we were winning.’  She grabbed his arm, scooped up her chips and dragged him back towards the seating area in the bar.
She was both annoyed and concerned.  ‘You’ve only had a couple of drinks.’
‘Shush … there’s nothing wrong with me.  Look, these croupiers are trained to spot cheating.  OK it might only be for fun but she’s watching me like a hawk.  I’ve been clocked twice at least.  You should have seen her.  I pretended to be drunk to throw her off the scent.  We’ll give it half an hour and go back again.’


James is a full time fiction author. Prior he spent 35 years in the IT industry and wrote on a wide range of IT subjects. He turned his attention to fiction during the summer of 2009. Armed with an A4 pad and ballpoint pen he unleashed a stream of consciousness—some 40,000 words before he drew a breath. The writing experience with such unbridled passion was new to him: a far cry from technical authoring. The Hole Opportunity was the product of his imagination and the first in a series of titles to be completed. The Unexpected Consequences of Iron Overload followed a year later: a spoof thriller, it was written to raise awareness of a genetic medical condition Haemochromatosis. He is currently writing book two of the Hole Trilogy—A Tunnel is Only a Hole on its Side, continuing to raise funds/awareness for Haemochromatosis, as well as sharing his with other indie authors.

Amazon: Twitter: @james_minter

1 comment:

  1. A magnetic man! What a great concept!

    And don't we writers all hate self-promotion?