James Oswald

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James Oswald

James Oswald is the author of the Inspector McLean novels and the fantasy series The Ballad of Sir Benfro, as well as endless short stories and comic scripts. He has held a bewildering number of jobs down the years, including wine merchant, turkey plucker and experimental sheep shit sampler (not at the same time), all to feed his writing addiction. He currently lives in North East Fife with three dogs, two cats and a very understanding partner. When not tied to his desk by impossible deadlines, he runs a 350-acre livestock farm, where he raises pedigree Highland cattle and New Zealand Romney sheep.


Interviewed 27 May 2017

Ten words to sum up your working life to date ...

You have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, do you?

Nine things you can see from where you're sitting ...

Farmyard through my office window; sheep grazing in the nearest field; a stack of bills to pay; my old, broken iPhone awaiting repair; a copy of How to Kill Friends and Implicate People by Jay Stringer; Sleipnir the cat fast asleep in my armchair; guitar stand with my Ovation roundback, mandolin and banjo on it, all unplayed in the past six months; whiteboard with notes for the next Inspector McLean book; pile of comics tempting me away from work (Warren Ellis’ Moon Knight, if you were wondering).

Eight minutes to prepare a meal. What's it going to be ?

Only eight? Cheese, probably.

Seven people you'd like to go for a drink with ...

I genuinely can’t think of an answer for this one. I’ll happily drink with anyone who wants to drink with me.

Six things you can't live without ...

Coffee, chocolate, wine, gin, dogs, cats.

Five favourite words ...

Widdershins, contumely, perspicacious, awesome, thrawn.

Four places you'd run away to ...

Christchurch, Sydney, Vancouver, my blanket fort in the cupboard on the other side of the room.

Three books you've bought recently ...

Buy books? Usually they just turn up in the post… OK – After Atlas by Emma Newman, The Silver Tide by Jen Williams, The Muse by Jessie Burton.

Two things that make you rant ...

Homeopathy, blind faith. Actually, I think that’s only one thing…

One thing you'd tell your teenage self ...

It’s OK to be rubbish at first.