Christina James is the pseudonym of a well-known former bookseller who is also a publisher and editor. She grew up in South Lincolnshire. She is the author of the DI Yates psychological crime series. Although the series progresses through time, each novel is standalone and does not need to be read within the context of the others. They are contemporary, but the Spalding James describes is the Spalding of her childhood, so the novels are set within their own definitive location.
James emphasises that her novels are not part of the “procedural crime” genre, nor are they of the blood-and-guts variety. She tries to attract readers who are interested in the psychology of crime and who appreciate well-crafted writing. She works hard to maintain a high standard of writing in all her work.
All the novels are set in and around Spalding, in the Lincolnshire fens, though events sometimes take Yates himself much further afield, to other places in the UK and even to India. Yates was conceived as the opposite of the stereotypical crime fiction policeman – he is
young, enthusiastic and happily married, not middle-aged, jaded and with a string of broken relationships behind him. As the series has progressed James’s fans have particularly come to like DS Juliet Armstrong, Yates’s intuitive bisexual sidekick, and Juliet’s role has increased accordingly.
Eight novels in the DI Yates have been published, beginning with In the Family in 2012. All were originally published by Salt. QuoScript has published seven of the novels – all except Almost Love, which James is currently rewriting. QuoScript are the exclusive publisher of the ninth Yates novel, De Vries, in the spring of 2020. De Vries is the sequel to Sausage Hall, the third and currently most successful of the series.
Christina James is a frequent speaker at festivals and bookshop and library events, including virtual ones. She is happy to be asked to judge literary competitions, both in crime writing and other genres and to provide author “surgeries” and seminars. She particularly enjoys helping young or new authors, especially if their writing is quirky or innovative. She is delighted to be invited to join radio or television literary chat programmes and write articles about writing for newspapers and magazines, including online-only publications. She maintains a writer’s blog – www.christinajamesblog.co.uk -and has a large following on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as some supporters in more far-flung places. She is happy to write guest pieces for other bloggers and authors. Interest has been shown in serialising the Yates novels on TV.
Christina lives on the edge of the Pennines with her husband, a cat and several hives of bees. She is currently working on the next Yates and a completely different kind of crime novel, set in the Far East.