The Art of Writing

Acts of Omission, Interviews, James S. Bostwick

James Bostwick shares insight into becoming an author and penning his novel Acts of Omission during an interview with Authority Magazine.

As a voracious reader of legal fiction, Bostwick decided it was time to write his own novel, one that realistically depicts the difficult choices, high risk, ethical dilemmas, anguish and euphoria of everyday life for civil trial lawyers. Bostwick believes there are a lot of works that reinforce “ambulance chasing” personal injury lawyer stereotypes and present skewed or false views of the selection and preparation of trials, so after years of pondering writing a novel, he finally wrote Acts of Omission to correct that deficiency.

When asked about the biggest challenge he faced in becoming an author and how he overcame that, Jim answered:

“…The most significant was overcoming my innate desire to make everything I wrote sound like I knew what I was doing. I wanted it to be lyrical, the prose to resonate and inspire, the dialogue to be real and the descriptions to leap off the page. What I learned was those goals are extremely difficult to accomplish — especially in a first draft. The more I tried for perfection in each paragraph, the less paragraphs got written. I quickly learned that you must spit it out. You are better off just vomiting your ideas out on to the page, if you will, rather than creating a masterpiece with every sentence. Once the juices start flowing the images will write themselves, the story will develop a life of its own. You can always go back and edit, smooth it out and improve it later.”

Jim was asked what 5 things you need to know to become a great author. Based on his experience with writing his novel Acts of Omission, he answered with the following advice:

  1. Write concerning something you are passionate about.
  2. Everyone’s writing wants to explain/tell the reader what is going on — don’t. Show them and let the reader figure it out. When the reader can use their imagination, the story comes alive. In other words, don’t tell them what your character is thinking, show it with their actions or mannerisms.
  3. Don’t use an outline or, if you do, don’t follow it too closely. Characters and storylines must have the freedom to go where the winds may blow them. When your characters start doing things you never had imagined they would do, that’s when the story begins to resonate. Your novel has then developed a life of its own.
  4. Listen to the ideas of friends and family but rely primarily on your own instincts. Writing is a creative process like art — not everyone is going to like the product of your efforts. Every good author is going to have a few one- or two-star reviews. You must give birth to what is inside you and not worry about pleasing everyone.
  5. Editing is key. When you have your 500-page masterpiece completed, remember that it probably has 100 pages of fat that don’t need to be there. When it has been pruned of chapters or vignettes you thought were fun/great at the time but upon cold-blooded reflection aren’t truly necessary, the story will move much faster, won’t have dead spots and will keep the reader more engaged.

James also discusses his biggest influences and habits that helped during his writing process. Read the full Authority Magazine article on medium.com.

James Bostwick – Nationally Recognized Personal Injury Lawyer

Author Talks, James S. Bostwick, Personal Injury Lawyer

James Bostwick has been a San Francisco trial lawyer specializing in catastrophic injuries for more than 50 years and has set the bar for litigating some of the most complex and high-stakes cases in the country. He is recognized as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the U.S. and is one of the most experienced attorneys for plaintiff’s medical malpractice and personal injury litigation with a legacy of record-setting results.

His first novel, Acts of Omission, is loosely based on a real case James Bostwick tried when he went up against the most famous and powerful attorney in the country to fight for justice for a devastatingly injured teenager.

Here he answers some questions about being a lawyer, writing a novel, and finding that work/life balance:

What do you like best about being a lawyer?

There is so much – probably the opportunity to make a real difference in the life of someone with a devastating injury to themselves or a loved one. We can’t fix injured people, unfortunately, but we can make life a bit easier, get them the help they need and provide some economic security for their future. Also, of course, the challenge of preparing and trying a case against really talented adversaries that you really want to beat but can still respect highly!

Are there similarities between presenting a case and writing a novel?

Oh, yes. Perhaps the greatest similarity is the fact both are an artistic presentation of the facts – done in a way that is interesting, compelling, and tells an important story. Both start with a blank “canvas” and you as the author/trial lawyer are responsible for creating a cohesive, understandable and persuasive vision of what needs to be conveyed to the viewer/jury/reader.

How do you find work/life balance?

You have to set your priorities and then MAKE yourself adhere to them. Family, health, exercise, friendships, and fun pursuits must not take a back seat to your work even if you love it.  It is awfully easy to rationalize a few extra hours, time and time again – and then, before you know it, you have lost critical moments and some important events are history. Things/important elements of your life that you can never regain are gone forever.

What are your top 5 favorite authors/novels?

Seabiscuit and Unbroken by Hillenbrand; Educated by Westover; The Lewis Trilogy about the Hebrides by Peter May; Go Tell It on the Mountain, Baldwin; Deerslayer, Cooper; The Sun Also Rises etc, etc geez – where to stop?!

To read more about the nationally recognized trial lawyer and author James Bostwick click here.

12 Days of Lawyer Giftmas

Acts of Omission, Holiday Gift Ideas, Purchase Acts of Omission

Acts of Omission is celebrating the 12 days of Giftmas by sharing some great gift ideas for the lawyers and law students in your life.

women-and-mens-lawyer-socks-from-hot-sox-giftFor the 1st day, get the lawyer in your life some Lawyer Socks from Hot Sox. These ultimate stocking stuffers can be worn while suited up for trial or while relaxing, working, or studying on a Sunday afternoon.

caddis-blue-light-blocking-glasses-and-readers-giftFor the 2nd day of Lawyer Giftmas, help the lawyer in your life see clearly (and look hip) in Caddis blue light blocking glasses and readers. These stylish glasses, which come in several styles and colors, help block 45% of harmful blue light.

video-conference-lighting-kit-giftOn the 3rd day of Lawyer Giftmas, gift the lawyer in your life the Ubeesize Video Conference Lighting Kit. In our new normal we have turned to webcams and video conferencing for school, meetings, and depositions and perfect lighting can make all the difference in looking your best.

Wooden Door Sign From Mad Tree WoodcraftsFor the 4th day of Lawyer Giftmas, send a personalized handcrafted wooden door sign from Mad Tree Woodcrafts. Mad Tree Woodcrafts creates custom keepsake boxes and mindfully made signs to help us slow down and cherish life’s memories.

acts-of-omission-giftOn the 5th day of Lawyer Giftmas, purchase the best-selling legal thriller Acts of Omission. This debut novel written by top 100 trial lawyer, James Bostwick, has readers saying “move over Grisham.”

the-best-wine-subscription-boxes-for-every-type-of-wine-loverFor the 6th day of Lawyer Giftmas, order your lawyer friend a gift that will last all year – a wine subscription. Town & Country has a list of “The Best Wine Subscription Boxes for Every Type of Wine Lover.” They include Winc, Brightcellars, Usual Wines,  Wine Awesomeness, and more!

Apple Airpods Pro GiftOn the 7th day of Lawyer Giftmas, send the lawyer in your life the latest version of Apple Airpods Pro. These new versions of AirPods have active noise cancellation with transparency mode, sweat and water resistance, and a customizable fit.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg tRuth Keepsake Tea Towel GiftFor the 8th day of Lawyer Giftmas, give the lawyer in your life a Ruth Bader Ginsburg “tRuth” keepsake tea towel in honor of the late RBG. RBG was a tireless champion for equality and justice whose legal brilliance, integrity and perseverance changed America for the better.

membership-to-librofm-giftOn the 9th day of Lawyer Giftmas, send a gift that will support local bookstores with a membership to Librofm. You choose the membership (1, 3, 6, or 12 months/credits), your gift recipient picks their own audiobooks, and your local bookstore is supported by your purchase.

friends-inspired-lawyer-tee-from-etsyOn the 10th day of Lawyer Giftmas, gift the lawyer in your life a Friends inspired lawyer tee from Etsy. “I’ll be there for you” is the perfect slogan for the time lawyers spend trying to help others through complex and difficult waters.

rbg-the-life-and-times-of-ruth-bader-ginsburg-giftOn the 11th day of Lawyer Giftmas, we know your lawyer friend would love the New York Times bestseller RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg from Bookshop.org to support your local independent bookstore. 

new-yorker-book-of-lawyer-cartoonsThe 12 days of Lawyer Giftmas comes to an end with a great gift for all the lawyers and law students in your life – the New Yorker Book of Lawyer Cartoons. A good laugh is needed more than ever this year, and what better way than by reading a collection of eighty-five cartoons about the legal profession by critically acclaimed cartoonists including Addams, Steig, Arno, Shanahan, and Leo Cullum.

We hope you all enjoy gifting to the lawyers and law students in your life, and that they feel the appreciation for the hard work and dedication they put into helping people at their greatest time of need.

Support Local Bookstores This Holiday Season

Acts of Omission, Audiobook, eBook, Holiday Gift Ideas, Shop Local

This holiday season it’s more important than ever that we support our local independent bookstores.

Independent bookstores are not just stores, they are the anchor to a community where friends gather and out of towners come to visit. They spur ideas and creativity and range from quiet places where perusing is a day well spent to lively performance spaces.

There are many ways to support your local bookstore:

Shop Online: Use this handy bookstore finder from IndieBound.org to find a local bookstore to support. You can also shop online at Bookshop.org, an online bookstore that financially supports local, independent bookstores. Acts of Omission is available in paperback, and you can choose which independent bookstore you’d like to support.

Buy Gift Cards: You can’t go wrong buying a bookstore gift card for someone you care about! Call or go online and purchase gift cards from your local bookstore.

Enjoy Audiobooks through Libro.fm: One of the best ways to get audiobooks is through Libro.fm because each purchase directly supports an independent bookstore of your choice! And, of course, if you enjoy legal thrillers, mysteries, suspense, and courtroom drama, Acts of Omission is available as an audiobook!

Pre-order, Pre-order, Pre-order: Pre-ordering a book helps bookstores know what you want to read so that they can order it, have it in stock, and in your hot hands as soon as it’s released. When you pre-order, it also lets publishers know that there is a demand for an author’s work –  a win, win all around!

Engage with bookstores on Social Media: Follow independent bookstores on social media and sign up for their newsletters. Get updates on book releases, virtual events, giveaways, and more. Then recommend that others shop at their local store as well. Tag independent bookstores in your Instagram Story, share virtual events on Facebook and Twitter, and revisit bookstore events you’ve loved by sharing photos are all great ways to show your support.

Donate to Binc Foundation: The Book Industry Charitable Foundation helps booksellers impacted by financial emergencies and is currently helping booksellers affected by COVID-19. If you’re able to, consider donating to the foundation to support booksellers during this difficult time.

James Bostwick continues to support his favorite local San Francisco Bay Area indie bookstores Book Passage and Sausalito Books by the Bay, and thanks you for supporting yours!

Great Gifts for Lawyers and Law Students on Your List

Acts of Omission, Holiday Gift Ideas, Law Students, Lawyers, Purchase Acts of Omission

It’s never too early to start shopping for the holidays. If you have a lawyer or law student on your holiday list this year, we’ve gathered 12 “lawyer tested” gift ideas that are sure to please those honorable, hard-working loved ones of yours.

  1. Elevate attire with Women and Men’s Lawyer Socks from Hot Sox. The ultimate stocking stuffer can be worn while suited up for trial or while relaxing, working, or studying on a Sunday afternoon. Price: $7-12
  2. See clearly (and look hip!) with Caddis blue light blocking glasses and readers. These stylish glasses, which come in several styles, help block 45% of harmful blue light. Something we can all use while staring at screens. Price: $60-115
  3. Enhance the Zoom Room with a Video Conference Lighting Kit. In our new normal of the Covid-19 era, many have turned to webcams and video conferencing for school, meetings, and depositions and perfect lighting can make all the difference in looking your best. Price: $65
  4. Escape with the best-selling legal thriller Acts of Omission. The debut novel written by one of the top 100 trial lawyers, James Bostwick, has readers saying “move over Grisham.” A must-read for lawyers and aspiring lawyers, the story is based on a case Bostwick tried and authentically depicts the risks and rewards of being a trial lawyer. Price: $9.99-16.99bostwick book release
  5. Honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg by displaying this “tRuth” keepsake tea towel. RBG was a tireless champion for equality and justice whose legal brilliance, integrity, and perseverance changed America for the better.
  6. We also love the New York Times bestseller “RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg”. Price for the towel: $14.99; Price for the book: $23.91 on Bookshop.org supporting local independent bookstores.

6 more gifts to complete your 12 days of Giftmas:

Mad Tree Woodcrafts door signs

Wine club subscription box

Friends inspired Lawyer tee

The New Yorker Book of Lawyer Cartoons

Gift card to Libro.fm for audiobooks

Apple AirPods Pro

Acts of Omission – eBook Edition

Acts of Omission, eBook, Order Acts of Omission

Acts of Omission, the legal thriller written by nationally recognized trial attorney James Bostwick, is available for purchase in eBook format.

The Acts of Omission eBook is an excellent addition to your digital library if you enjoy legal thrillers, mysteries, suspense, and courtroom drama!

In addition to being easier to transport, an eReader allows you to change the font size as well as the background color which is helpful for nighttime reading.

Acts of Omission is loosely based on a San Francisco case James Bostwick tried in 1984 when he went up against one of the country’s most famous attorneys to seek justice for a devastatingly injured teenager.

At its heart, this legal thriller is a soul-searching exploration of the meaning of friendship, love, and loyalty set in the maelstrom of a stunning courtroom battle. Fast-paced, with surprises at every turn, this is a compelling page-turner filled with duplicity, sacrifice, heartache, and bare-knuckle legal brinkmanship. It is a searing tale of a legal system gone awry, where greed and power fight an unending battle against a young lawyer’s willingness to risk everything in his quest for justice.

“Captivating depiction of the triumphs and falls of a trial lawyer. Fascinating story of a complex civil trial, love, scandal, betrayal, and discovering the meaning of success. Highly recommend, one you cannot put down.”

See for yourself why this novel has sold out multiple times, received rave reviews, and was nominated for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. Don’t wait any longer, purchase Acts of Omission eBook at any of these sites: Amazon Kindle, Nook by Barnes & Noble, or Google Play eBookstore.

You can purchase all versions of the book here on the Acts of Omission website. For updates on the novel, giveaways, sequels, and more follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

James Bostwick Featured on Walter Cronkite’s 6 O’Clock News in 1978

Interviews, James S. Bostwick

Acts of Omission author, James Bostwick, was featured on Walter Cronkite’s 6 o’clock news in 1978 for securing a $7.6 million jury verdict, the highest jury verdict in the country at that time that received worldwide media coverage.

The medical malpractice case was tried in San Francisco involving an 18-year-old woman who had been rendered quadriplegic during radiation treatment for cancer she had suffered as a child. This was an extremely difficult liability case against two major local hospitals and a nationally recognized radiation therapist. The 1978 jury verdict of $7.6 million received worldwide media coverage.

James Bostwick has been a San Francisco trial lawyer specializing in catastrophic injuries for more than 50 years and has set the bar for litigating some of the most complex and high-stakes cases in the country. He is recognized as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the U.S. and is one of the most experienced attorneys for plaintiff’s medical malpractice and personal injury litigation with a legacy of record-setting results.

Read about more of Bostwick’s record-setting verdicts here.

James Bostwick’s Talk with the Commonwealth Club Available Online

Acts of Omission, Author Talks, Interviews, James S. Bostwick

If you didn’t catch veteran trial lawyer James Bostwick’s live-stream discussion with the Commonwealth Club of California on September 8th, don’t worry…it’s available as a podcast or through Commonwealth Club’s YouTube channel.

Listen to the podcast here or watch the hour-long talk titled “A Legal Thriller: Taking on a San Francisco Icon” here:

Moderated by Commonwealth’s Grownups Forum Chair, Denise Michaud, the talk had over 345 views in less than 24 hours on YouTube. Bostwick discusses his novel Acts of Omission, which was inspired by a high-profile San Francisco case Bostwick tried in the 1980s. The novel was recently nominated for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and is in contract with a major movie producer to bring the San Francisco story to life.

Bostwick outlines his story about a young, struggling attorney who took on one of the most famous lawyers (a San Francisco icon) to seek justice for a devastatingly injured teenager. He provides insights into the complex and competitive area of medical malpractice and also opens up about the writing process and how to get published – what works and what doesn’t work.

Acts of Omission is available in hardcover (almost sold out), paperback, e-book, and as an audiobook. Order from your local bookstore or on Bookshop.org, Barnes & Noble or  Amazon.com. For audiobooks, you can find it on Libro.fm and Audible.

For updates on the novel, giveaways, and sequels, please follow on Facebook and Instagram.

Acts of Omission Libro.fm Audiobook Facebook Contest Winners

Acts of Omission, Audiobook, Giveaway, Roger Wayne, Shop Local

Congratulations to the following Acts of Omissions Libro.fm audiobook winners:

  1. Pat Fayo – the top winner, also receiving the 12-month membership to Libro.fm
  2. Lisa Murray
  3. Cheryl Valdes
  4. Sandra Christine Lopez
  5. Marilyn Lauria
  6. Linda Holm
  7. Laurie Kereluk
  8. Linda Dreher
  9. Doreen Lamar
  10. Jean Frederickson

Make sure to check your emails for an email from actsofomissionbook@gmail.com. Message us on Facebook if you did not receive the email and we will send you the one-time use code.

Libro.fm is a site that makes it possible for you to purchase audiobooks from your local bookstore. You can purchase books à la carte if you are an occasional listener, or become a member at the same monthly cost as others and your first audiobook is free.

Enjoy listening to the legal thriller narrated by award-winner Roger Wayne!

When you are finished listening to (or reading) Acts of Omission, please leave a review at any of the following sites, as James Bostwick loves to hear from all the readers: AmazonAudible, and Goodreads.

For updates on the novel, giveaways, sequels, and more follow us on our social media channels Facebook and Instagram.

Veteran Trial Lawyer and Author James Bostwick to Speak at the Commonwealth Club

Acts of Omission, Author Talks, James S. Bostwick

On Tuesday, September 8th at 2:30 pm PDT, trial lawyer and author James Boswtick will speak with Commonwealth Club members and the public about his legal thriller, Acts of Omission, and what it was like to take on a San Francisco icon.

The live-streamed event is free and the public can register here.

The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum. Every year, the Commonwealth Club Club presents more than 450 forums on topics ranging across politics, culture, society, and the economy.

Bostwick will outline the story and what it was like as a young, struggling attorney who took on one of the most famous lawyers in the country to seek justice for a devastatingly injured teenager. It is a tale of love, friendship, sex, and betrayal that also paints an authentic picture of the risk, dilemmas, and tactics involved in high stakes litigation.

Bostwick will provide insights into this complex and competitive arena. He will also discuss the genesis and inspiration for his novel, as well as the writing process and how to get published—what works and what doesn’t.

James Bostwick has been a San Francisco trial lawyer specializing in catastrophic injuries for more than 40 years. He obtained the largest medical malpractice verdict in U.S. history and is recognized as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the U.S. His first novel, Acts of Omission, was nominated for the 2020 Harper Lee Legal Fiction Award and is under contract to soon be a movie.

Acts of Omission is available in hardcover (almost sold out), paperback, e-book and as an audiobook. Order from your local bookstore or on Bookshop.org, Barnes & Noble or  Amazon.com. For audiobooks, you can find it on Libro.fm and Audible.

For updates on the novel, giveaways and sequels, please follow Facebook and Instagram.