10 years in the making, local author publishes first book
James Maxim put his love for the area’s unique charms into his book Unlikely Paradise.
Story & photo by Kristen Levine
James Maxim grew up in New England, and put his love for the area’s unique charms into his book Unlikely Paradise, a self-published traditional romance novel set in a New Hampshire bed and breakfast.
“I went out to Los Angeles on exchange for my last year of college and stuck there for ten years,” he said. “But the entire time I kept thinking about how I’d get back to New England. I was just homesick; LA was never right for me.”
Maxim started out his career working for mortgage banks doing technical writing and internal newsletters, handling information that lacked a creative aspect.
“Everybody needs writing,” he said. “You do learn a lot about being very clear working for banks; everything you say is watched carefully.”
Eventually moving back home, Maxim undertook the journey cross-country on a motorcycle, returning to graduate school at Northeastern University in Boston.
“I petitioned the school to make a BDIC [Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration],” he said. “You explain what major you want to make, and combine multiple categories of learning that fits into one degree. Mine was management, marketing, theater, English, and general business – I thought I was going to get out and run a dinner theater somewhere, but when I got out, I was sick of theater people!”
Maxim currently works for KD Linked as a Director of Client Services, specializing in social media management.
“I get to wear a lot of different hats,” he said, stating that his job at KD Linked has allowed for more fun and creativity than his previous jobs writing for mortgage banks.
Maxim’s creativity has channeled not only into his professional life, but in his writing. Unlikely Paradise is a project that took ten years to complete: first started during his time in Los Angeles as a short story, Maxim said that the book “Quickly evolved to more than that, because the characters wouldn’t leave me alone.”
“Homesickness and daydreams are a lethal combination,” he said. “When the characters became more and more real, the story developed from there. They were telling me the struggles they went through to get together and how they met.”
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