James joined the Royal Navy in 1993 as an apprentice and went on to serve for twenty years, the majority spent in the Submarine Service. He rose through the ranks, taking a commission as an engineering officer in 2001, and serving as a Senior Engineer and Nuclear Reactor Plant Supervisor. His final years in service were spent training future submariners in the role of Senior Lecturer in Nuclear Reactor Engineering.
Having written short stories and novels throughout his naval career, James completed an MA in Creative Writing at Portsmouth University shortly before leaving the navy in 2013, completing his debut novel, Tenacity, shortly afterwards.
James lives in Hampshire with his wife, Elaine, and two children. He spends what spare time he has riding his bike around the South Downs and travelling to Edinburgh to watch Scotland play rugby at Murrayfield stadium.