Who Is Peter James?
“ International best-selling crime thriller novelist published in 36 languages ”Biography Interests Career Awards
Brighton, Sussex, England
Charterhouse, then Ravensbourne Film School.
My mother, Cornelia James (d.)1999 was Glovemaker to Her Majesty the Queen running the business with my late father who was a chartered accountant. The firm is today run by my sister, Genevieve and her husband, and still supplies the Royal Family, and there were plenty of our gloves on display during the recent Jubilee. All those wonderful waves by Her Majesty on the boat on the Thames, were in Cornelia James gloves! There is a tenuous but classy link between gloves and one particularly great writer (not that I would dare put myself in his league): Shakespeare's father was a glove maker!
Phoebe, a German Shepherd with a gorgeous temperament, unless you are unfortunate enough to have been born as a rabbit or a burglar… Oscar, a rescue Labrador/something cross who was found abandoned on the streets of Havant. He's so chilled out at times we think he secretly does drugs... And, Coco a Shih Tzu/Poodle cross – called a Shi-Pu! She is utterly adorable, and very feisty.
I lived for 10 years in a very haunted Georgian manor house, near Ditchling, Sussex. It was converted from a monastery built on the site of Roman ruins, and had the ghost of a Centurion, a monk, a baby and a nasty, man-hating grey lady! Then moved to a group of converted farm buildings on a historic site outside Lewes, which were occupied by a whole bunch of ghosts of victims of the Battle of Lewes, but they were politely evicted. My Sussex home is now a Victorian rectory and so far ghost free, as is my apartment in Notting Hill, London, on the site of a former cinema. No spectral screenings yet during the night, but always hoping...
Made publishing history:
In 1994, in addition to conventional print publishing, Penguin published my novel, Host, on two floppy discs, billing it as "the world's first electronic novel." It caused huge controversy, I was pilloried on the Radio 4 Today Programme for attempting to destroy the novel, and I was front page news on many papers around the globe, all equally furious! In the immediate following years I became a media spokesperson for the electronic publishing age, and in 1996 found myself as a keynote speaker at a conference at UCLA on the future of reading, alongside (gulp) Steve Jobs and the CEO of Time Warner!
I am patron of Brighton and Hove Samaritans, joint patron of Neighbourhood Watch, nationwide, joint patron of Sussex Crimestoppers, patron of The Whitehawk Inn, joint patron of the Friends of Seaford Library, Vice President of The Old Police Cells Museum, Brighton, an Ambassador for Brighton University, and a Martlets Hospice Champion.
Other charities I actively support are The Sussex Community Foundation, The Backup Trust for Spinal Injuries, The Chichester Life Centre, the Book Trade Benevolent Society, Starehe Boys' Centre in Kenya and Action Medical Research (supported by my annual Peter James Golf Classic).
I also support and work with The Reading Agency, a charity with a mission to give everyone an equal chance in life by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers. Because everything changes when we read.
After Dinner Speaking:
I do – and enjoy - regular after dinner speaking engagements. Recent engagements include the County Times Business Awards dinner, the Association of Legal Aid Solicitors dinner, the Association of Private Investigators annual dinner, the Sussex CID Ball, the Pan Macmillan Sales Conference dinner in Agra, India, the Martlets Hospice luncheon, the Lewes Rotary Club dinner, Brighton & Hove Rotary lunch, the Sussex Heritage Trust dinner, the Brighton and Hove Motor Club dinner dance. In addition I have given numerous speeches on cruise ships, and at literary festivals around the globe, including Dubai, Munich, Paris, Melbourne, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Antwerp, Toronto, Auckland, Milan, Barcelona, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok.