Wednesday, June 8, 2011


"It all starts with the writer: film, TV, book -- it doesn't matter -- it all starts with the writer." Sam Worthington

James announces his upcoming Department 13 book tour on the glamorous online entertainment magazine, Artist Interviews, and explains why he calls it his "Too Ugly Tour."


AI: You're an award-winning author of suspense thrillers. Your two novels -- Department Thirteen and The Identity Factor -- are about to be launched in the United States with tremendous fanfare and a nationwide media blitz. You have Hollywood celebrities supporting and congratulating you. Why call your promotional tour the "Too Ugly Tour"?

JHT: As many people know, my face is disfigured from an operation I had back in 1991. It was a low point in my life as a writer, where I felt my career was going nowhere and we needed money. So I applied for a customer service job with a large company here in Adelaide, Australia, where we live. I was refused, not because I lacked skills, but because I was too ugly. At the time, it was a kick in the guts. But it was also a blessing in disguise, because if I had been hired, I may well not have persevered with my writing to become the published author I am today. So I decided to call my tour the "Too Ugly Tour" as both a reminder of and dedication to the hard knocks of life that are actually blessings in disguise. So while I will be appearing in bookstores and doing media interviews about my novels, I will also be sharing my story in schools with the hope of encouraging students not to give up when those kind of things happen. Kids today get hit with lots of those same kinds of judgments: you're too fat, too dumb, too poor, too...whatever. If we believe those lies, we become our own worst enemy and are defeated in life much more easily. Don't fall into that trap!

AI: The highs and lows you have experienced! What enabled you to keep going through so many heartaches and disappointments?

JHT: Belief in myself and in my writing. I've worked at all sorts of jobs to support my passion to write. I've shoveled concrete, washed windows, mowed lawns, worked construction and cleaned houses. I cannot tell you how many nails I've hammered or toilets I've scrubbed. I did it because I was willing to do whatever it took to support my family while pursuing my writing. That's because I felt a sense of purpose in what I was doing...that I had beaten the odds and been spared from cancer for a reason...that my books were not just "donut novels" -- all fluff and air -- but stories with a difference...the result not just of my imagination, but my life: the emotions and pain that I've felt, as well as the triumph. Each book contains glimpses into the extraordinary people I've met -- many of them heroes, many of them victims -- and the experiences I've lived, and the places I've traveled. That having been said, my books really aren't about me; they're about my readers. It's about each of them -- each of you -- being able to count on me using every available tool in my writer's toolbox to pack each and every story full of meaty characters, provocative storylines, interesting settings and a satisfying conclusion. I know I won't please everyone all of the time. But I try hard to achieve that high give my readers something worth reading.

AI: Your international thriller, The Identity Factor, has already been adapted for film and scooped finalist awards in four international book competitions, including the National Best Books Awards and the Eric Hoffer Award. LA's the Place magazine called it "One killer of a thriller...a Jason Bourne meets The DaVinci Code kind-of mystery inside a puzzle." UK book and film critic, Daniel Cann, who loved your new headstrong action hero, Zoe Gustaves, wrote one of the most stunning reviews I've ever read. He said, "Comparisons have already been made with Dan Brown and Robert Ludlum. After reading this novel, I can see why. Turner is a master at creating tension and suspense. Ludlum, Grisham, Patterson, can now add James Houston Turner to that esteemed list." Accomplished actor, Adoni Maropis, who played the master villain, Abu Fayed, in the hit television series, 24, had this to say: "I love a great villain. Great villains demand great heroes and The Identity Factor has both. This book is full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end."  Adoni was brilliant in his role as Abu Fayed, and if anyone knows heroes and villains and how essential they are to a story, it is he. How does all this incredible praise make you feel?

JHT: To be compared with such A-list authors as Robert Ludlum, Dan Brown, John Grisham, James Patterson, and Lee Child is an honor I find hard to articulate. It is very, very humbling. But this amazing praise came ten years after I wrote that book. That's right, ten years. Let me set the stage for you. I finished writing The Identity Factor, which plunges into the heart of Arab/Israeli issues in the Middle East, back in 2001. Hollywood had even expressed interest in it as a film. Then came the attack on the Twin Towers, and virtually overnight, no publisher wanted anything that was Middle Eastern. And virtually overnight, my book was a pariah. Another rug yanked from beneath me. But I refused to give up on the story, and in 2008, decided to publish it myself here in Australia, where it won those awards (which I felt exonerated me for not discarding it like people said I should do). Now, of course, the Middle East is a hot topic of interest and there are all kinds of TV programs, films, and books set there, which is what attracted Adoni's praise as well as the interest of Comfort Publishing, who will be launching The Identity Factor in the United States when it launches Department Thirteen (my retitled 1999 novel) at the University of Houston Clear Lake, followed by a nationwide tour to promote the books. Aussie Sam Worthington, star of the blockbuster films, Avatar and Clash of the Titans, had this to say to me at the G'day USA black tie gala in Hollywood last January, when I told him the good news about my publishing contracts: "It all starts with the writer, mate: film, TV, book -- it doesn't matter -- it all starts with the writer. Congratulations on scoring your deal. You deserve it."

Sam Worthington at G'day USA
Artist Interviews magazine is one of America's first online celebrity magazines and the winner of numerous awards. You may read the entire emotionally-moving interview with James by clicking HERE.

Keep up with all the latest info on James's Too Ugly Tour by visiting, or by following James on Twitter or Facebook.

Additional information on James, including all the latest news and reviews, may be found on his website:

See for yourself why people are talking! Order an eBook edition of The Identity Factor from Amazon by clicking HERE.

For all of Comfort Publishing's titles, visit