Blanefield man’s book about his voyage on a Peace Boat

Richard James in Laos
Richard James in Laos

A Blanefield man has written a collection of short stories based on his experiences while travelling on a Japanese Peace Boat.

Richard James (30) had some unusual and entertaining stories to tell after his travels with the Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) Peace Boat in 2012 and he thought he should write it all down so that he could share them with other people.

His book, which is described as an ‘eclectic mash up of styles and genres’, features over 20 stories inspired by the ports of call on the voyage and includes a tale about a Japanese maid in Tokyo, a power hungry vizier (high-ranking political advisor or minister)in Istanbul and a sailor attacked by ghosts while navigating the Panama Canal.

Richard is now teaching English in Japan but he is currently on sabbatical and travelling in Laos, south east Asia.

He said: “I always enjoyed creative writing as a kid. I started properly when I was first living in Japan.

“I’d had an idea running around my head for a long time and one day decided it was time to start putting it down.

“I sat at the dining room table and hand wrote an entire novel. It’s pretty awful, but I still have it in a folder under my bed.

“Then I started working on the Peace Boat collection of stories which were inspired by my travels on the boat.

“I throughly enjoyed writing it but the greatest joy for me is when you have finished.

“It’s fun to write but nothing beats the feeling of hitting the final key, sitting back and saying to yourself ‘done’.

“Since I’m always travelling my desk is different every day.

“Today it’s a proper wooden one in a hotel in Vang Vieng, Laos.

“Last month it was a balcony in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The only consistent thing is that there is always a bottle of water next to it as it’s very hot here.

“I’m working on another book just now which was inspired by stories from the weekly Japanese scandal rags.

“Then I’m planning another short story collection.”