Gilbert Scott School project

James at Borders in Leeds and York...

A timeless, inspirational journey to be travelled by inquisitive minds seeking to make sense of the world in which they live.


    Holly and George sneak out of a gloomy bereavement party, held in memory of their sister Helen, who had died suddenly, a year earlier. Outside they meet six mischievous Magpies who whisk them away on a magical adventure to meet Helen in an unimaginably beautiful other-world. Here they come to understand how to live through their loss in a positive, playful and productive way.

The timeless secrets of the universe are revealed to them from all sorts of unexpected encounters: Old Harry - Helen’s kind, eccentric Guide; the dashing Jody - a young Kite-surfing expert; an Angel, the ever-present magpies, a Rock, a Lake, the Wind and many other colourful characters, who guide them towards an empowering and calm acceptance of life’s challenges, choices and delights.

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“There are too few books like this that open the minds of young people to a positive, responsible and joyous attitude towards death, life, personal accountability and fulfilment of purpose.”

Eileen Scott   Author of ‘Soredia’



     While searching for a new energy and optimism following several sudden and untimely young deaths within his circle of friends and family, including those of his fiancée and sister, James started writing short stories in an attempt to define and crystallise his feelings.

     Readers, regardless of their religions or belief systems, found themselves exploring their own responses towards his stories in which tricky concepts - death, life, personal accountability, fulfilment of purpose - were fascinatingly intertwined. With encouragement, feedback and support from them, those stories led to ‘Seven for a Secret’ - a timeless, magical adventure, provoking intriguing perspectives on why we are where we are in life.

     During two decades as a teacher and performance coach, James has delivered hundreds of talks and workshops around the world, accumulating a hoard of insights into the challenges and choices associated with personal achievement and peak performance.

     He is committed to the work of Amnesty International and speaks regularly in schools and colleges around the UK on their behalf.

James divides his writing time between the UK and South France.



“A new realm of awareness in the ways we relate

to living and dying”

Christine Allan   Principal Lecturer in Education, Leeds Met., Univ.


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