Who is Stephen Charles James?
Born in Kampala, Uganda my love of the African landscape, culture and wildlife was strong. This small boy of British parents saw his beloved East Africa change from it’s enviable simple lifestyle to a blood-thirsty war zone courtesy of Idi Amin and the infamous Mau Mau uprising.
I had experienced many visits to England, due to my family ties and we eventually relocated to avoid the ravages ahead. This country was so different to Africa. England’s climate and colours were nothing like my home. Fortunately, we moved to a part of this country that was an absolute pleasure. Residing in a small English village by the seaside, a far cry from the hot red soils of Africa.
England just wasn’t Africa, though. My parents missed the warmth and open plains. Suddenly, the idea came… we were moving to Australia. As a child, you have no choice in these things and so we just accepted the news and prepared for the next leg of our journey. My brother, sister and myself (the baby of the three of us) began wondering what was ahead. In 1966 there wasn’t much known of this continent ‘down under’.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was going to absolutely embrace life in my new country. A little difficult at first… being a young boy with a British-flavoured accent, I soon made friends and began discovering what was on offer.
The torment I was about to put my parents through, was unintentional but unavoidable. Being a child with an enormous amount of imagination, energy and action was a sure recipe for trouble. My friends and I were on a trip of discovery, our suburbs… our music… our games… our friendships. Starting out propelled by our bicycles, we soon moved to cars and motorbikes. To this day, I still keep in touch with many of them.
The wild child did have to get a job though and so I started work at 16 years old. After several jobs of varying types, I eventually fell on my feet landing a job with Australia Post. This I would hold onto for nearly 30 years… uncharacteristically stable for me after my near gypsy upbringing so far. I was also to meet and marry my wife and best friend. We forged a life together, sharing and enjoying so many common interests and look forward to each new chapter of our lives together.
The last few years of our life have been spent living at the fabulous sun-drenched Gold Coast of Queensland. As an avid lover of books and stories, I decided that it was time to unleash my creative side once again. This creativity had been hidden for many years but it was ready to burst forth. My passion for the written word and it’s ability to engulf a readers mind was overpowering. I was ready to convey the many stories that had been running like movies through my mind. It’s fair to say, I was inspired by the magnificent location too.
Loving it… I have written and illustrated 3 children’s books… 2 adventure novels… and about to unleash my next project!