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Tag Archives: Jester

Harm’s Way

I began working on the Jago trilogy in 2016. Took a while to get going but I produced the first book, Jago, in 2020.

Jester followed earlier this year, 2022.

The final book, Harm’s Way will appear in 2024.

I’m already sketching notes for it. Fragments. Characters. Scenes. I know how it ends, I know the main players. I know how it ties everything up into a neat, dark, but possibly uplifting ending, or at least an ending with promise. And I know that Johnny Harm – The Man with the Plan – is key.

I. Can’t. Wait.

Harm’s Way


Busy developing the story for Harm’s Way, the third and final part of the Jago trilogy.

I think the central thrust of the story is that these people have a purpose. There’s no fat, no excess, in their lives. They each have an active role to play in the continued existence of their people. They each are engaged in their own, ongoing struggle to survive, within which confines they attempt to contribute to the greater good.

And somewhere below that are the demons that they carry – Jesse’s childhood trauma, Johnny’s dark past, and in the case of Mother Harm, the ruthless nature that means she bonds with some for life, while others she can she can walk away from, as if they don’t exist.

“She’s wilful,’ Dakota explained. But that doesn’t get halfway towards her true nature.

I’m looking forward to writing this.



In the novel Jester, Jesse is brought up to practice a type of behaviour that is intensely focused on self-perfection. He believes that if he can visualise himself doing a thing, he can do it, and he is willing to do the hard work to make it so.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere.




I completed the final edit of Jester. I’m pleased with it. Very pleased. It turned out better than I thought, and the break I took from editing that to do the script for Jago meant that I returned to it with clear eyes. I could read through and spot the errors.

There will still be some things I miss, and things I might consider changing, but it’s done. Best to walk away rather than chew on ever-decreasing circles of editing that lead nowhere.

Got to do the cover now. I’m torn between the image Lucas did for me, and another idea I have.

Then some publicity.

Then onto the next thing.

Harm’s Way

A couple of days ago I opened a new word document and saved it under the title Harm’s Way. It was an auspicious moment. This will be the third and final book in a trilogy. I first began thinking about the story that eventually became the Jago trilogy in 2016, and I finished the first book, Jago, in 2020. I’m currently finishing off the second book Jester, to be published later this year.

Harm’s Way is the final book. I pretty much know the story, though it may surprise me yet, and I’m looking forward to working on it.

Usually when I begin a book, I just start, and there’s no real pleasure in it, just a nagging compulsion to get the words down on the page. But with this story, simply opening the word document gave me a feeling of elation. I know it will work. I know it will balance with the other books in the series. I know the strands of the plot will mostly be tied up by the end, and in a satisfying way. I know there will be dark places in the story, though I’m not sure of where they will be yet. And I know there will be light too.

So I’m feeling good about the story. Not in a hubristic way – I still have to put in the work, and there’s never a guarantee. But if I approach the task honestly and diligently, it will work.




Jester is almost done. Need to do some sweeps to get rid of the repetition of various things, no need to mention them twice, never mind three or four times. I’m hoping also for a critical reader or two to give me a hand with the details of a story set in a foreign land that doesn’t quite exist.

Between now and getting Jester done, I’m taking time out to work on a completely separate, one-off story called Joel. I finished two short books at the end of ’20 and I was pleased with the length and structure of both – episodic, not much more than a hundred pages each, and that’s what I’m aiming for with this new one.

That’s all for this year. The trick now is to forget the outcome and focus on the process.

Which is writing, of course.


I’m working through Jester – doing a final edit – and really enjoying it. For a long time it was going to be called Little Blade because one of the things about Jester Scout is that he has a lot of names, and none of them are his real name.

But it’s an origin story – it tells of how he became Jester. So in the end, that has to be the title of the book, even though Little Blade is probably a better title.

So next year there’s only one book to be released, which is Jester. Lucas has done me a cover, which is great, and it should be ready February or March.

Jago – free download

Celebrate Black Friday by reading about the end of the world. Mad Max meets One Tree Hill by way of San Diego, a heroine called Dakota Scout, and a murderous boy known as Jester.


Free download – Friday 27 November til Tuesday 1st December. Click image for link or search on Amazon for Jago by James Ross



After the release of Jago earlier this year I’ve been working on a plan for the second novel in the series, Coyote.

I needed a spine to hang the story on, and planned it to be based around one of the characters, Esta Healer, so I had a peruse through my notes to see what I’d already written. Then I discovered 10,000 words I’d forgotten I’d written, about different character, Jester.

Et voila, as the frog-eaters say. I have the spine on which to hang the narrative of Coyote.

And the original character-idea will now do for the third book, Harm’s Way. Which is 2-3 years hence and in which Esta is a more central character.


In the middle of all this writing/not writing chaos I haven’t forgotten that Dakota is still out there, lost in the badlands, trying to make sense of things.

And Jester is still searching.

He’ll kill the world if he has to, to find her.