Spotlight On Writers - James Hancock, interview at

Spotlight On Writers – James Hancock

Spotlight On Writers

James Hancock



  1. Where, do you hail from?
Although we only moved here in September 2023, I live in Dorset, which is a county in southern UK. I was born and lived most of my life in Hampshire, in the UK. I grew up in a small rural town where not a lot happened and you could easily let the world do its thing whilst you quietly did yours.
  1. What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?

It’s a small seaside town. I miss seeing squirrels in the morning, but am happy with the replacement seagulls. Although we aren’t really ‘pub people’, there’s an old haunted one around the corner, and we occasionally go there and spend a couple of hours with some friendly locals. I still haven’t had my ghost encounter there yet, but it’s early days.

  1. What turns you on creatively?

So many things. I’m lucky in that way. Observationally, I’m a sponge for weird moments and eccentric folk. They find their way into a story, or become the main instigator for a plot. I’m also blessed with a vivid imagination, silly thoughts, strong recollection of dreams/nightmares, and a mind which is a little unhinged. I have trouble switching off at night, and as soon as my brain wakes up in the morning the story demons start screaming. I’ve never struggled for ideas; in fact, I have to manage the constant barrage and let most go. All that and the obvious… great books and films. If I feel the itch to write a horror story, and then I watch an impressive horror film, it helps get the mind racing and ball rolling. The right kind of music can’t hurt too: Ennio Morricone and Thomas Bergersen being great for getting those creative juices flowing. And the occasional confidence boost helps; in a sea of rejections, when a success bobs past it helps with self-doubt and spurs me on to write some more. But I think that’s the case with all writers.

  1. What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?

Rhubarb. The first half of the word sounds like a soft cuddle, and the second half is a cold slap across the face. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a time where I’ve written it into a story, so many moons ago I wrote a silly little poem about it instead. Here’s a minute of your life you won’t get back, but you (indirectly) asked for it.


My favourite word.
You flick from the tongue like a deadly dart.
A fighting word,
had it not been chosen to sweeten moods and crumble hearts.

Deliciously embarrassed celery,
you are a joy to me.
To pronounce with a revving roll, or bellow from the belly of the H,
I am in wonder of your simplicity and your complexity.

I cut into my lawn and sow your seeds into moist earth.
Roots form.
Tears fall as red shoots gather and stretch through soil,
reaching out to be with me.

Together at last.
I dance in the midnight garden
as you mature from my watering can offerings.
Allow me to run my fingers through your lush green leaves.

Barb without barbs,
your soft sexy skin entices a stroke and sings for sugar and spice.
I whisper your name in quiet rooms, beside still waters,
and dream of you upon my lips.

  1. What is your pet peeve?

I probably have more than I should, but the one which really grates my cheese is being asked a question and then interrupted whilst giving an answer.

  1. What defines James Hancock?

I’m nice in small doses. I’m probably quite intriguing at first, but after a while, you’re looking for an excuse to leave the room. Like a funky smell that you can’t find, and when you finally do, wish you hadn’t. I don’t smell though. I don’t have much of a filter too, and often say what I’m thinking when it was probably best left as just a thought. Most of the time, it probably shouldn’t have even been a thought. And given the chance, I waffle on a bit, as you can tell with this answer. I’m a husband to an extremely patient wife. I’m a father to two embarrassed daughters. I’m a lazy person trapped in the body of someone expected to do stuff. I know I’m not a great writer, but I also know I have to write. I must! The voices insist on it. I also like cake.

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This publication is part 390 of 397 in the series Spotlight On Writers