IT worker writes novel on daily London commute

Author Ed James
Author Ed James
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An IT worker has found a novel way to kill time on his mammoth commute – writing successful crime fiction.

Instead of whiling away the hours slurping Starbucks as he battles from East Lothian to London every day, talented Jamie Thompson puts the extensive amount of time he has on his hands to good use.

With some impeccable time husbandry he manages to write an incredible 3500 words a day. His prodigious output helps him make strict deadlines slapped on him by publishers who have earmarked him as a hot talent of the future. Not surprisingly Jamie says: “It is very tiring, but I’m not 
someone who rests very well.”

The Edinburgh University graduate gets up at 4.45am at his cottage in Drem, East Lothian. He writes for 50 minutes in the taxi, reaches Edinburgh Airport at 6am and does ten minutes in departures. After the seatbelt “ping” on the plane, he does another 42 minutes. If he gets a seat on his train at 8am, he manages to squeeze out another couple of pages before walking into his London office 400 miles later to start work at 8.40am. He repeats that on the way back.

The 35-year-old, whose books have been described as “Ian Rankin for the Xbox generation”, even chooses costlier airlines that offer him more room to work and has re-routed to different train stations in London that guarantee him a seat. If staying over in London, he selects a small budget hotel where he can write, albeit on a fold-down desk while sitting on his bed.

Writing under the pen name Ed James, he normally works four days a week in London and is currently on track to have his latest two books written, edited, proofed and published by late September. By applying this odd discipline, it means he will have completed five novels in total.

Over 50,000 fans have read the author’s Edinburgh-set books, featuring DC Scott Cullen, but few know the bizarre story behind their creation. He said: “The success of the books has just blown me away, there’s more than 200 reviews on Amazon and lots of them are five stars.”

And the writer admits he has a sneaky source of inspiration for his plotlines – stories he reads in the Evening News! He said: “I save the articles that spawn ideas in my head. A lot of my ideas are based on things that happen in real life and the local aspect brings something to the books.”