Mr David James
What is your fondest memory of your time working at Daramalan?
That’s tough. I’ve taught some brilliant, fantastic people and have made good friends among the staff over the years. The best days though are when ex-students return and tell me about what they have been achieving in their lives. It really helps you feel that you have made a difference.
How did Daramalan College influence your life?
Daramalan has been standing beside me and supporting me through so many aspects of my life, good and bad. From the hard times of divorce and cancer treatment to the good times of remarriage, gaining my Masters Degree and of course discovering writing, Daramalan has always been a place where I have felt safe, welcomed and cherished. For the last twenty years Daramalan has also been host to the annual Phenomenon Gaming Convention that I help to run, helping us to put on role-playing games and events that draw participants from all over Australia.
Not being Catholic myself, when I first came to Daramalan I thought I’d only last a year or two. Now, thirty years later, I can’t see myself working anywhere else.
I know that you wrote and published three books, can you please tell us more about them?
“Wingless” is a speculative fiction trilogy set in the modern world and tells the story of a small group of Angels that have been banished to Earth for refusing to take part in the great war. While I originally self-published Wingless, the trilogy has now been picked up by a publishing company in the USA called Three Ravens Publishing, and they will be bringing out the entire series over the next year, complete with an audiobook as well as e-book and traditional paperback.
How did you start writing?
I started writing role playing games for gaming conventions in 1987. These games would typically run for about three hours and ranged from five player team games run around a table to fully costumed fifty player freeforms. One of these games gave me the idea for my first novel, and things just grew from there.
Are you planning to write another book?
Always. I am thinking of taking a break from speculative fiction however and writing the next one as a proper science-fiction novel.
What are you most proud of in your life?
The joy, and pride, I get when a lesson just works. When I can see the students grab an idea or concept that they hadn’t previously encountered, and it just clicks with them. That look in their eyes is amazing, and then they go on and do so much more than I ever could with it.
When my students surpass me, that’s what makes me proud.
What is your advice for current and former students?
Basically, don’t be afraid to try and fail. You will learn more from the things you fail at than you ever will from your successes. But I’ll cheat here and use the words of one of my characters, who I have to admit, is far smarter than I am.
“When you wonder who you are, remember that you are the sum of your actions, your thoughts and your feelings. You are your mistakes, some of the scars from which you will wear with pride, and some you will try to forget. You are your victories, and the lessons you learn from failing. You are unique, and while I may not be able to teach you how to fly, that doesn’t mean you never will.”
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A comfortable chair sitting in the mid-afternoon sun, with a cat on my lap, a good book in my hands and a painfully dry martini within easy reach.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I think I’d love to be able to play an instrument, but I know I do not have the manual dexterity required to do that. So, I’ll have to settle for making music with words.
Who is your hero of fiction?
For someone who has been a fictional hero of mine through just about all of my life, I’d have to say it is The Doctor. A Timelord from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. Mainly because he; (or she, it changes); always tries to be kind, even if it doesn’t always work.
Posted By , 03 Aug 2023