Not much is known about James's life before the infection, for there isn't anybody left who has that information any longer. The only actual recollection of James's short yet fulfilled life during the infection was known by his compadres Brody , Joe , and Lavernius. Yet even they were not sure of the full extent of his life before the great "awakening", as he'd call it. The little time they spent together during the beginning was spent surviving as most were, without much time for talk of the world before. They simply cared about making it out alive whilst still taking there time to experience life despite the unfortunate events that unfolded in-front of them. They generally spent there days looking at the bright side of the infection and enjoying themselves along the way. As time went by though, the group crumbled. Be it due to disagreements, or lack of supplies. They all went their separate ways in the end, occasionally crossing pass in later days. Although as more time went on and the infection spread more and more to the point Chernarus, James's became sickly in mind, as most did to some degree. This ultimately caused him to become rather reclusive, rejecting most of those around him as outsiders or folk who are ultimately out to kill him. This eventually coerced James to go into hiding.
He eventually came across a cabin in the far stretches of Chernarus, abandoned and still in living condition. Although with the plans he had in mind it took him nearly a month to get it to a state he was happy living in, and nearly double that to turn it into a self sustainable living environment. In the start this was rather easy for James to live about his daily life. He very rarely had contact with the infected and was able to live about most of his days without much worry. Although as time went on this all began to spiral downwards.
For James hasn't always been the most "stable" of fellows up in the ol' noggin. He has definitely always been able to take part in daily life, but he most certainly was never very sane. This state of seclusion only caused this to get worse as time went on, at first he thought he was just going through some troubled times and that his mind would subside eventually. Though that time never came at all. In fact it never came close, his mental state began to crumble as his longing for human contact grew bigger each day. It came to the point where he himself couldn't remember who he was. He began to lie to himself day after day till those lies became truths and his past truths became lies. Hell' For all he knew he was a King. It had become far too much for him to handle, his past self surviving in nothing but fragments of his former life. Although what happened next is somewhat of a mystery. All he remembers is a storm of fire in the night to an awakening of a new face.
He has ended up back down South after events unfolded with an old face, simply just surviving the wastes once more. Looking for the contact he had yearned for all this time in waiting.