His early stories were supported by extensive drawings. This led to his first editorial cartoon being published at the age of nineteen. Over the next two decades, James published over 700 strip and editorial cartoons in Alberta and British Columbia. This netted three awards with the Gulf Islands Driftwood.
Although he gained some local notoriety, James returned to the University of Alberta. He studied art and design, graduating with honors in 1989. This opened doors to the museum industry, where he was a creative force behind many exhibits and documentary videos in Western Canada. Embedded within these exhibits was his love of bringing a story to life. Writing became a passion leading to the publishing of several short stories, two local history books, Night of the Raptors and most recently Marooned in a Strange Land.
W. James Dickinson lives with his wife, Judy on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. They can often be seen sailing within the Salish Sea.