Most of those bench experiences were “challenging and exciting”, he said, because they involved helping people “navigate” through a series of difficulties to a better end. The result — “The Collectibles” — the former Newark resident’s first novel.

He accepted the fact that he had no choice but to write.

“I wanted to have the freedom to tell a story that had been incubating inside me for years,” said Jim Kaufman, who served from 1975 to 1990 as judge in the town of Arcadia and practiced law in Wayne County and surrounding counties for 25 years. “I wanted to draw without limitation on my experiences in business, law and on the bench.”

Most of those bench experiences were “challenging and exciting”, he said, because they involved helping people “navigate” through a series of difficulties to a better end.

The result — “The Collectibles” — the former Newark resident’s first novel.

In the book, an orphan from the Adirondack Mountains, Joe Hart, becomes a Navy submarine commander and then an attorney unequaled in his field, only to have his world crash because of an unexpected tragedy.

Preston Wilson, a child of wealth and privilege, harbors a fear of financial failure. When that threatens to become a reality, he seeks Hart, the one attorney who might be able to help him.
Before Hart agrees to work for Preston, he secures a promise from him that he will fulfill an unspecified condition, when asked. Desperate, Preston agrees. Too soon, Hart calls in his unconventional I.O.U. — six lives will be changed forever.

The core of “The Collectibles” is a philosophy, a way of approaching life, Kaufman said.

“I wanted to put into words for readers what has been in my mind, heart and hopefully shown in my deeds throughout my life,” the author said. “There are many things in life we can’t control. But I can, and have over the years, helped a few people deal with issues in their lives. We are all in need of help in one way or another. It’s not about control and money, but about heart and reaching out.”

Kaufman is “relieved” that his novel is complete.

“Writing is one of the greatest challenges of my life,” he said. “It’s substantial work. I learned that writing is about re-writing. But writing this novel was a lot of fun. At times the words poured out of me.”

The author is working on a screenplay for and a sequel to “The Collectibles”, as well as a second novel.

Kaufman and his wife, Patty, live in Wilmington, N.C. and have two children, Kristine and Jeffrey.

Where to purchase

“The Collectibles” will be in bookstores the first of the year, but can be pre-ordered from Amazon.com. For more information, visit jamesjkaufman.com or e-mail DownstreamPublishing@gmail.com.

Also by Kaufman are “Noise, A Problem to be Heard” and “What to do before the Money Runs Out”, both non-fiction, professionally-related books.