Press coverage - newspapers
Peterborough Evening News August 2, 2008
"If thereís such a thing as bloke-lit this is it. Nobody writes more muscular, masculine adventure yarns than Barrington. The pedal hits the metal when agent Paul Richter escapes a shoot out in Geneva with a murder charge hanging over his head, but he has to foil a plot that could kill thousands in London. And if you can take any more excitement, then Richterís also doing his lethal stuff in Foxbat."
Sevenoaks Chronicle October 28, 2004 Caroline Hardy
James Barrington: Espionage novelist has his own secret to keep
"A THRILLER writer who lives part of the year in Sevenoaks is celebrating having his first book published, amid a cloak of anonymity.
Author James Barrington landed a two-book deal with publishers Macmillan after a bidding war for his espionage drama, Overkill, and along with it an air of 'international man of mystery'. James Barrington is a pseudonym - the publishers don't want him to reveal his identity for marketing purposes - and he is going along with their wishes.
"It's partly to protect my privacy but also because of my previous career in the military, though there is no security implication in people knowing my true identity," he says. "I've been writing fiction since I was 17, mainly short stories and pieces for magazines, but I always wanted to be a professional author."
James was a Royal Navy helicopter pilot for 20 years, working in covert operations and espionage before retiring.
Overkill is his first novel and he was determined to keep the plot and action anchored in reality. "I've read a lot of thrillers and quite a lot of authors don't have any idea of what they're talking about. I wanted to make the book as accurate as possible, so I avoided inventing anything implausible. The book was almost complete then 9/11 happened and I had to go back and do some tweaking with the basic plot involving Al Qaeda."
He found his agents through the tried and tested method of looking through all the agents listed in the Writers and Artists Year Book from A to Z before settling on Sheil Land Associates.
"They also represent people like Wilbur Smith and Alan Titchmarsh so I decided to go with them and they got me the two-book deal with Macmillan," he said.
James's second book, Pandemic, concerns biological warfare and his third book will have a nuclear theme. All feature the same protagonist, Paul Richter, who has been written as "a sympathetic character," James adds. "He's an amalgam of several people I know - including me, he's got my lack of dress sense! - and bits of other people I know."
For part of the year James lives in Andorra with his wife Sally, where he has a company specialising in computers and communications. The remainder of the year is spent in Sevenoaks.
He believes being persistent helped him get published. "It's a tremendously competitive business. Fewer than one per cent of all first-time books get published, so I know I've been lucky.
"It's so important to keep going. I made sure people gave their honest opinions on the book, and to tell me if something was rubbish or to say 'this bit's really good'! That was very helpful."
Now James wants to help other aspiring novelists and he has launched a manuscript appreciation service in which he will read fiction manuscripts, make comments and offer practical help and advice. Contact his website on www.jamesbarrington.com for more details."
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