I started writing as a kid and never stopped, at least not for long . . .
I remember writing a science fiction novel in the seventh grade and when a few kids on the bus heard me reading it to my friend, they made me share it with them. Every morning they’d ask for a new installment. I’d write in the evening and read it to the kids on the morning ride to school. My teacher learned of this and, after reading the first chapter, had me read to the class each morning. I’m not sure how long that went on or if I ever even finished that book, but I realized that I liked having people hear my stories.
In high school, I decided that I wanted to make movies for a living one day. I was going to be a writer-director. After I graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where I won awards for my films, I moved to the Los Angeles area and tried the Hollywood thing. One script that I co-wrote with a friend was produced and, though I won’t say much about the movie, I will say that the experience allowed me to meet Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann on “Gilligan’s Island.” I even kissed her. It was on the cheek, but that’s still better than most people can say. Anyway, my success in the film business was so staggering that I decided to go to law school.
So, several years after leaving college, I was back at school again, attending the University of Connecticut School of Law. During law school. I met Colleen, who attended Boston College Law School at the time and who would, perhaps unwisely, eventually agree to become my wife. After school, I clerked for the Supreme Judicial Court, the highest state court in Connecticut, and later practiced employment law in Boston for a few years at one of the country’s largest international law firms.
But other than my three years of law school, which were academically intense and left little time for creative outlets, I never stopped writing. And even though I wasn’t actively writing during those school years, I was still thinking up stories that I planned to write one day. And when I left law school and began clerking, I started to write in earnest again. But I set aside screenplays and focused on writing novels. And, always, I yearned for more time to write. And when I began practicing with my law firm, that yearning became even stronger even as my time to write diminished.
My day finally came the same wonderful day that my twin sons were born. My wife and I decided that one of us should stay home with them. But which one of us? She had wanted to be a lawyer literally since she was seven-years-old and she loved her in-house attorney position. By contrast, I chafed spending my time on legal matters while burning for more time to write books. It was an easy call for us. (Don’t get me wrong, by the way – that aforementioned day would have been completely wonderful solely for the reason that our sons came into our lives, but the fact that I would also have far more time to write simply added to the day’s wonderfulness.)
So I learned to write during naptimes. Soon, I was lucky enough to catch the interest of my terrific agent, Michael Bourret of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC. With the boys in school now I have even more time to write. So, as it says above, and in my books, these days I write and help raise my boys.
Life is good.
James Hankins lives in Massachusetts
with his wife and two sons.
He used to practice law.
Before that, he wrote screenplays.
Now he writes books
and helps raise his boys.
If you’re curious to know more, read on. . . .