What I Write

We all tend to view the world around us through the filters we carry.  One person may see glitter, while I see shards of broken glass.  We create our perception of the world based on experiences, interactions, successes and failures in life.   My writing is influenced by the set of filters I have honed over my lifetime; neither good, nor bad, it’s just my take on things and it tends to be a bit darker than others.

I write primarily crime fiction and through my lens, bad people do bad things to good people.  It’s been that way since the beginning of time and that’s reality.  Predator and prey.  Those who live in the dark edges of society view it in those simple terms, you do the taking or get taken. The stories I develop are influenced by two decades working inside the prison system, with murderers, gang members and thousands of men doing life on the installment plan.

Life loses a little meaning behind bars.  Don’t make good on a gambling debt, or refuse to have your wife mule drugs for the prison gang and you’re dead.  Trust no one, keep your business off the tier, or settle it up with a knife on the yard.  It can be a brutal world and in spite of the increase of tough on crime laws, most criminals end up back on the streets unprepared for life on the outside.

An unsophisticated drug dealer and the stone cold serial killer share one thing in common, the next big score.  The way they get there is where I come in, with stories told through my unique filters.

— James L’Etoile

I weave social themes into my stories; human trafficking, political corruption, domestic terrorism, illegal immigration, prison gang and black market organ transplants in upcoming releases.

Contact James L’Etoile by email.


  1. glad to have come across your awesome site, Monsieur l’Étoile – Star… 🙂 sunny greetings from Toulouse, France! my very best and tons of inspiration, cheers! 🙂 Mélanie

    1. Merci, Mélanie. Thank you visiting my site and my best wishes to you from Northern California.

  2. Dear James, Thanks for highlighting Tanner and Emma. We have recently moved up to their area and hope to meet them for a corgi playdate. I think the read to dogs program is brilliant. Have a wonderful day, Kathy and Myapup

    1. Thanks Kathy. Corgi people are always welcome here!

  3. You live in a beautiful part of the world. I used to live in San Jose — ideal weather year round. 🙂 Here’s saying “hi” to you from Switzerland! Thanks for dropping by my site!!

    1. Mild climate is definitely a big plus here. Within a two hour drive you can be in the Sierra Nevada mountains, or the Pacific Ocean. I’ve flown over Switzerland…it looked nice from 35,000 feet. Hi back at ya.

      1. 🙂 If you had flown over die Schweiz today, you wouldn’t have seen a thing except greyness (which should be the national color) and wetness. 🙂 I guess the hills have to get so lush and green somehow.

      2. I saw snow. Lots and lots of snow…

  4. Kristina Ralat · · Reply

    Just curious, why is there no mention of Little River on your website? I just read it and loved it!

    1. Hi there, Kristina! Thanks so very much for the kind word on Little River. With all the recent focus on AT WHAT COST and the upcoming sequel, BURY THE PAST, we pulled Little River from the previous publisher and I haven’t gotten around to pushing it back out there on the website. There was a page or two on the website about Little River, and if you dig into the blog archives, you can find a post or two about the book–the background an the island. Thanks for reaching out and letting me know–It means a great deal! It’d be awesome if you’d care to leave a review on goodreads, or amazon…

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