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The Modest Proposal Institute: An Old Path to a New Future, by Paul James

Welcome to the first interview of people like you who have become authors. Many of them event have reached best-seller status on Amazon and have won awards.

I am very excited to share these authors with you. Keep in mind I have not read the books so it is up to you to decide if they are for you.

These articles are all inclusive. You will find cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, science fiction, children’s picture books, and more!

Let’s meet and dive into Paul James’ story.

The author of: The Modest Proposal Institute: An Old Path to a New Future.


Wendy: Paul can you give my readers your background?

Paul: I trained as a Mechanical Engineer and retired as a Manager of Planning in the power industry. Originally from England, I now live near Toronto, Canada, and have done for many years, where I walk, run and take wildlife photos whenever the weather will let me. I’ve always been interested in books and, in my writing, I like to capture the humorous side of life even when sometimes the world doesn’t seem to warrant it.

Wendy: What is the title of your book?

Paul: The Modest Proposal Institute: An Old Path to a New Future

Wendy: How about the Genre?

Paul: Young Adult Dystopian Science Fiction

Wendy: Paul can you share with my readers what your book is about?

Paul: A boy, Alexis, grows to be a man in an offshore boarding school, The Modest Proposal Institute, built by his grandfather and an enigmatic retired engineer. Like many young men, he dreams of saving the world. The only barrier he sees standing in his way is a kid called Shane.

Shane is at the school because his awkwardness upsets ordinary people and he knows himself to be extraordinary. He intends to lead the Institute. His only real rival, as he sees it, is Alexis.

Each boy believes that only by besting the other will they achieve their dream and that only under their leadership will the future be safe.

Wendy: Tell us a little about your background (your journey: where you grew up, your family of origin, your current family, your education and work experience.

Paul: My Journey started in the northeast of England where I was born and grew up. Both my parents were nurses, as were three of my aunts. Despite this background, a medical career didn’t appeal. Tinkering with machines did, so I became a Mechanical Engineer. After graduating, marrying, and spending some years working around the world in the Power industry, we settled in Canada and had two great kids. They’re now in their thirties, so not really kids anymore. I retired seven years ago and we’ve spent much of the years since traveling the world.

Wendy: When did you start to thinking about becoming an author? Was there an event or “awesome” moment that precipitated your desire for a change or had this been brewing for a while?

Paul: From the moment I learned how to read, I’ve loved reading and that led to wanting to tell stories of my own so there was no special moment when I decided to become a writer. I started getting published with short articles for local newspapers and short stories for websites and it grew from there.

Wendy: How hard was it to make the decision to write your book/s? How did you get started?

Paul: It wasn’t a hard decision, it was a natural progression from short articles to short books. I try to keep my books under 50k words, which means that, for longer stories, like The Modest Proposal Institute, I have to create a series. I’ve written a number of books, in other genres, but for this series I decided to get some training and guidance from Self-Publishing School. In some ways, I see this newly trained me as being the way I really got started on a soon-to-be writing career.

Wendy: How supportive were your family and friends?

Paul: My family gave me the time to write but generally I don’t share my writing with them and I rarely engage with friends about my writing either, so they don’t have a lot of opportunity to be supportive.

Wendy: What challenges did you or are you encountering?

Paul: The biggest challenge I face and have always faced is my own ability to plot. I’m not a strong plotter or a fast writer, which makes for inconsistent progress, which often leads to periods where I find it difficult to write at all.

With my new series, I have new challenges. I’m writing a story about people doing things that are contrary to the fashionable ideas of today. My story comes from my love of history, which has led me to believe we are following a path followed by so many other long-gone civilizations and I wanted to write about that. However, I appreciate that few people would agree with my predictions and that makes the story hard to write without having reviewers and readers totally turned off. As well, I want to get boys reading again.

When I grew up, there were plenty of books for boys, particularly, science fiction and action stories. Today, there aren’t many, or even any, so I’m writing a series that returns to things boys and young men are interested in – science fiction, ideas and adventure – hence my young adult dystopian science fiction series.

Wendy: What did you learn about yourself through this process?

Paul: I learned that, while I’m a good dreamer, I’m not a natural writer when it comes to putting the story down on paper.

Wendy: Looking back, is there anything you’d have done differently?

Paul: Probably not but getting some guidance and advice earlier may well have been a good path to follow.

Wendy: What advice do you have for new authors?

Paul: Get some training while you’re just starting out. There are a lot of writing courses out there and they will all give you a good grounding. I’d add, also learn how to do the marketing side of writing. It’s as important as the writing side of the profession today when so many of us self-publish.

Wendy: What advice do you have for seasoned authors?

Paul: It would be presumptuous of me to advise seasoned authors when I’m really just starting out myself. But if they have written for many years and not sold many books, as I had, I’d advise getting trained on the internet marketing side of the business.

Wendy: What’s next for you? Do you think you have another book in your future?

Paul: I have a number of books in mind. The Modest Proposal Institute is a series that I expect to be five books long. Books one and two are published, the third is being written and I’d like to have the fourth done by the end of 2019. The fifth book will be in early 2020. However, on a different note, one of my nursing aunts left me her wartime diary and asked me to make it into a book. I procrastinated and she is long since dead; however, I have the book more or less ready to publish now and I’d like to spend some consistent time on it to self-publish it.

Wendy: How can people contact you and get your book?

Email address:


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All My Books, Wendy Van de Poll

Wendy Van de Poll is a twelve-time best-selling author on Amazon. She is also a ghostwriter and freelance writer. Check our her service page to explore everything she offers for her clients. Wendy works with clients who want stellar website copy, great stories, and the desire to write, and self-publish their own books. The genre’s she writes in are pet loss, children’s picture books, human-animal bond, and cozy mysteries. You can reach her to talk about your new project. You can also visit her at Center for Pet Loss Grief.