Welcome to my website
My name’s James Essinger. In my professional life I’m a writer, editor, literary agent and publisher. I also sometimes handle public relations projects.
Professionally, I write novels and non-fiction books under my own name and also novels and non-fiction books as a ghost-writer, meaning that I write the books for someone else and that they are published under that other person’s name. I don’t ask for a co-author credit on the front page, or anywhere else, for a book I ghost-write. If I’m ghost-writing a book for someone, the book becomes their intellectual property and I think it should only have their name on it.
My most recent novel which I wrote under my own name is The Mating Game, published in November 2016. I wrote The Mating Game following an extensive collaboration with my good friend Jovanka Houska, who is an international chess master and the women’s British chess champion. Both our names are on the book. The Mating Game is available from amazon.co.uk and amazon.com as an ebook, and as a paperback from UK bookshops and from amazon.co.uk. It is also available, as a paperback from The Conrad Press website. The book can be posted anywhere in the world if you purchase it from The Conrad Press website, and post-free in the UK.
I’ve also written a novel, Cantia, which is about some bright and (I hope) likeable and entertaining kids who discover an underground Roman world below modern Canterbury. It is currently out with publishers and if I can’t find a third-party publisher who offers me a deal I like, I will publish it with my own publishing firm The Conrad Press.
I’m also working on a new biography of the great Victorian scientist and computer pioneer Charles Babbage. This book is called Machines of the Mind, and is being published on both sides of the Atlantic by the publisher Melville House in 2017.
I’ve also published a book about Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, and her enormously important contribution to the history of computing. This book is called Ada’s Algorithm and has been published in the UK, in the US, and in Spanish and will be published in due course in Finnish, which is appropriate in many ways because Finnish is my second language. I spent three nine-month periods in Finland in the early 1980.
I also run Canterbury Literary Agency, which I founded in 2011. I run it with my colleagues Dr Laurence Green, Andrew Greet, who is also an international chess master and a former Scottish champion, the writer Annelisa Christensen, and a leading Kent businessman.
Additionally, in December 2015 I founded a new publishing imprint, The Conrad Press, which by the end of 2016 will have published twenty-four books, all novels apart from one memoir.
I also write occasional journalism and short stories and on occasion I write poetry.
I have an MA degree in English Language and Literature from Oxford University. I studied at Lincoln College.
I'd love to hear from you. Please use the contact form to email me.