Jim reeve
Beautiful Sunset
A beautiful sunset and a lovely place to fish. (Click the image to see a bigger version)

Guernsey   Welcome to my website. I’m Jim Reeve, an Essex-based author of four published books and three novels, a number of short stories and plays.

    I was born in 1936 in the East–End and escaped death by being evacuated to Cornwall with my brother and mother in 1940, our house having received a direct hit soon after we left. I did my National Service in the Royal Air Force Regiment in Berlin, before the wall went up, let alone came down. Then I spent the next five years in the Metropolitan Police Force before changing careers and becoming a housing officer with the Greater London Council, retiring thirty five years later as a District Housing Manager for Basildon Development Corporation. Being at the sharp end most of my life has provided me with plenty of material for my novels.

   I live in Essex and am a local historian. When the Society of Women Writers and Journalists admitted men, I was the first to win a prize in one of their competitions. I have won a number of other competitions including Writer of The Year, Essex’s Age Concern on three occasions, the Megs Competition and the Jack Kendal trophy three times, plus various other competitions.

   I am Treasurer of Brentwood Writers’ Circle, which has sixty members, and for three years was Chairman. Read more...

Chelmsford Through Time - Jim Reeve As the county town of Essex since the thirteenth century, Chelmsford was the original site of the local assize, and is today a bustling market town. Chelmsford's history is omnipresent; the city boasts a magnificent fifteenth-century cathedral, and its former courthouse, the Shire Hall, opened in 1791. The birthplace of such prominent companies as Britvic and Marconi, the town continues to be an important commercial centre.

Today, Chelmsford has something for everyone. Surrounded by picturesque villages and greenery, the city itself has a vibrant cultural life. Within half an hour of central London, the city is perfectly situated for city commuters and tourists alike. Using both old and new photographs, author Jim Reeve takes the reader on a nostalgic trip through Chelmsford, showing how it has grown and flourished over time. Read More

Basildon Then & Now - Jim Reeve The Essex town of Basildon was originally created to relieve overpopulated areas of East London, but now has developed into a successful town in its own right, with a vibrant shopping centre and prospering local businesses. Basildon Then & Now celebrates this journey, illustrating how the town developed from the old areas of Laindon, Vange and Pitsea, and and grew out of the muddy plotlands. Read More
A Schoolboy's War In Cornwall - Jim Reeve Although only children at the time, the Second World War had a permanent effect on the schoolboys who lived through the conflict. Watching a country preparing for war and then being immersed in the horrors of the Blitz brought encounters and events that some will never forget. Now in their seventies and eighties, many are revisiting their memories of this period of upheaval and strife for the first time. Read More
Memories Of Basildon - Jim Reeve Modern Basildon has its roots in the railways and the decision of The Land Company in 1891 to buy up land from cash-strapped farmers and sell it on in plots; posters went up in London advertising the benefits of country living, and must have sounded like heaven to many people living in the slums of the East End.
In this book the children of these original plotlanders vividly recall their experiences. Read More
Wickford Memories - Jim Reeve Illustrated with over 100 old photographs, this book brings together the memories of people who have lived and worked in Wickford, vividly recalling childhood, schooldays and businesses, and the war years. The book contains the vivid memories and photos of some wonderful characters of Wickford who, if Jim had not recorded their memories, may have been lost for ever.
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Writing Fiction

Although I have had four non-fiction books published and a number of short stories, I would love to see my novels in print, but it is far more difficult to get to the top of the slush pile with fiction. Publishers now- a- days will only look at a novel if it comes from an agent and an agent will not take you on unless you have a fiction record or you are somebody famous. In many respects you can understand publishers being reluctant to take a chance on an unknown. When they take on the commitment of a new author, it is expensive to edit, publish and launch a book. It is not until the writer produces his second book, and it starts to sell well, that they may begin to recoup what they have paid out and make a profit. A publisher and agents look at a new author for the long term, one book is not a lot of good to them as the author has to build up a following. Before submitting your book it is wise to look up the publisher’s requirements on their web-site. Then, after confirming what they want, which is usually a letter, a synopsis and the first three chapters of your best seller, make sure you mention that you are half way through your second novel. It shows that you are not an author who has only has one book in them.

In desperation to get in print, many writers turn to self publishing, but then they do not have the advantage of an editor and have to do their own marketing, which is not easy, trying to convince book shops that you have just written a best seller when the cover looks a bit scrappy. Then there is the expense. Mind you, there are the printers who will print as many copies as you want on demand. The up and coming way now-a-days is e-books and in the event of not obtaining an agent, this is the way to go as a few e-books are taken up by publishers. Books can be sold cheaply via Amazon or Kindle. If this is the route one chooses to take, it is imperative to check, check and check again and then get your worst enemy to go through the book. There are too many books produced this way that have glaring mistakes and nothing puts a reader off more than poor spelling or grammar. Don’t be put off with the above; after all, as I have found out over the years, rejection slips are very good for lighting the fires. Where did I put that Ramage novel? I must send it off again!

~ Jim


© Jim Reeve