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Fierce is the title of a fantasy novel out on 1 May 2024 (pre-order Fierce via Amazon UK or Fierce on Amazon.com). You can read the first chapter on the blog, and also some of the background. If you’d like to join the review team for this, and the sequels, let me know or join via the booksprout group of Skyssian Saga Heroes.


Perfects follows two genetically engineered young adults in a future where genetic modification of people is illegal. Into Charlie’s life comes Pandora, a young woman fresh from the same children’s home Charlie grew up in. Initially there is distrust, and a spark of something else…

This one is at complete second draft stage and would benefit from being beta read.

Published Work

These are all available from Smashwords, Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and a range of other ebook outlets. 

Cover Title & Blurb
Front cover for Fierce, a fantasy novel by James Kemp (image: James Kemp)


Where are the voices in Yngvild’s head coming from?

Yngvild grew up on the small island of Straven, with her foster brother Noren, and a small group of adults that crew a fishing boat and look after a flock of sheep. It’s a quiet backwater in the Western Isles, and apart from the odd visit by raiders, pretty safe. Until the King’s Ship Seagull comes visiting, to keep an eye on the mysterious visitor from afar that has turned up unannounced.
Nicknamed ‘Yngvild the Fierce’ because at the age of 14 she scared off raiders by bouncing a practice arrow off the helmet of their leader, twice. Yngvild and Noren go to the capital, Kronstadt, with Old Bjorn, the man she thought was her father. Helga Trollslayer, Yngvild’s long-lost mother, passes Yngvild the sword known as Jafnadr, an heirloom from her dead father. Yngvild, Noren, and others, are heroes descended from the gods. On arrival at Krondstadt they’re dropped into the murky world of heroes, and the trouble begins.
Now a young woman with voices in her head, which she thinks are from the legendary sword she’s just been given, or maybe from the silver talisman she wears round her neck. Yngvild sets out with Noren to find out who killed her father, and seek justice…

The Inspiration for Fierce

Fierce was inspired by a trip to Bergen with my wife, and I’ve also drawn some inspiration from reading Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series and Elizabeth Moon’s Paksenarrion series. Not to mention all the other fantasy work I’ve read, back to the Belgariad as a teenager, LOTR, lots of exposure to running D&D as a DM, the entire work of Terry Pratchett, most of Neil Gaiman, etc. It’s got a female MC, and I think it would be a good fit for readers who enjoy stories about young heroes discovering their destiny and seeking justice in a world filled with mystery and danger. There’s a smattering of romance in there, but very much a tertiary point, I was trying to write Yngvild as a real person with all the thoughts and desires that go with that.

Fierce by James Kemp is a good fit for readers who enjoy stories with a relatable female protagonist about young heroes discovering their destiny and seeking justice in a world filled with mystery and danger.

What Reviewers say about Fierce

From onlinebookclub April 3, 2024, 6:29 pm – The reviewer wrote:
“The end was somewhat of a cliffhanger since Rojden was still capable of causing havoc. Yngvild willingly sacrificed Noren for Malfin was shocking. It was not completely clear if the King’s ship was returning Yngvild and Noren to Straven and I hope to see a sequel. It was apparent that Yngvild loves Noren, but her feelings for Snorri and Jerre could leave her questioning if her love for Noren was real or if he was the only one close to her age in Straven. I was curious how Arald made it to Rojden when he was supposed to be deceased and held in Kronstadt by Lady Helga Trollslayer.”

[more to follow]

Buy Fierce on Amazon for £9.99 or $14.99

Front cover of Themself by James Kemp
Front cover of Themself by James Kemp
Themself: My Experience as an Open University Creative Writing Student

Themself: My experience as a creative writing student

This is an inspirational piece of life writing that should encourage those that want to try a new creative pursuit. If you’ve always wondered if you can write, this book shows that you can do it too.

James Kemp started Creative Writing with the Open University in October 2013. Themself is the story of how he became a better writer. As well as the stories and poetry he wrote there is commentary on how and why they were written. He shares notes on how to build worlds, create characters, tell stories, write poetry and fiction.

The main stories in Themself are:

  • Night Patrol – a tense night with the British Army
  • Rounds – a young midwife solves a problem by helping several others
  • Refusal – an immigration officer deals with a visitor who is more than she claims
  • Hunting Nazis – two former SOE agents settle some unfinished business in 1953 Berlin.

Buy Themself on Amazon for £9.99 or $12.99

Crisis Point cover

Crisis Point (Exodus)

Crisis Point

A stand alone novelette set in the same world created for Perfects and shows a military conspiracy to overthrow the democratically elelcted US President. This is a future where space travel has got cheaper and major corporations have used the FAI treaty that establishes space as non-national from 100km above the Earth. This gives them a guaranteed tax free haven, and also allows them to establish research and development labs outside national governance.

In the middle of the 21st Century Mike Duff is an officer of US Space Command, in a period where the United States has entered one of its periodic isolationist phases. The military are getting cut, and they and the defense contractors aren’t happy about it. Mike is a patriotic American, loyal to the Constitution and proud of his country, but he doesn’t like the increasing mix of Church and State that the politicians are bringing.

Buy Crisis Point on Amazon for £1.99 / $2.99 Audio book narrated by Gary Westphalen.


Much of my writing is available on the blog and you can read it for free, including bits of the stories listed above. If you like it feel free to leave comments, and if you think it can get better please drop me an e-mail with suggestions (james at the blog’s domain, i.e. @themself.org).