by Lydia Roberts
"My fiction stories tend to be very silly adventure stories, usually involving a talking animal," he says.
James used his week-long residency at Varuna to flesh out his manuscript, I Love Spiders, which will be published next year.
"As a freelancer working from home who also has a small child running around, the time and space for creative work that came from Varuna was absolutely priceless," James says.
"Until Varuna I had been writing in spare hours on weekends and evenings, my residency was the first real opportunity I had for a long, focussed period of writing and it was a great springboard to bring the idea for the book into reality."
His advice to aspiring young artists is to, "find your community".
"Join a writers group and get involved with a writers' centre. Writing can be a lonely and quiet vocation and no matter how much you love your story it can quickly lead to self-doubt and lack of motivation.
"A supportive group can give you accountability, encouragement, and help you see your own work in a new light."