Peter James on the slopes
PJ in hot pursuit on the slopes!

So, moving on from grimy ovens to fresh white snow…. (the competition stays open for another week!) I thought you might be amused by this cartoon of me that appears in the current issue of the Ski Club of Great Britain publication, Ski & Board.

As the son of an Austrian mother, I was dragged off to the ski slopes from the age of 4 — and my early years of skiing in the Austrian mountains were, incredibly, before safety bindings of any sort had been invented — and I’m not that old!!! It was the start of a lifelong passion with the sport — and I find today that I write in few places better than in the mountains in winter. Skiing has featured in one of my novels, Dreamer, and I’m working on a future Roy Grace scenario in a ski resort.

Although I have always enjoyed a variety of sports, the only one for which I had real aptitude was skiing, and when I was fifteen I was invited to join the British Olympic Ski Team, but my parents discouraged it, fearing it would mess up my school studies. So, skiing’s loss is literature’s dubious gain…

Behind the cartoon (and accompanying article) lies a truly deadly duel with Arnie Wilson, a good friend and the ski writer for the Financial Times as well as now editor of Ski & Board. It all came out of an argument about ten years ago. Many of those of you who are skiers will remember that skiing for amateurs was revolutionized about ten years ago by the invention of “carver” skis, which enabled any novice, within a few days, to be making turns as good as the experts.

Arnie was one of their early champions, and we got into endless anorak-style arguments about the relative merits of the traditional ski versus the carver. My point was that a good skier would still ski better on a traditional ski. It was finally resolved in a race between us, down an unpisted mountainside in one one skiing’s wildest – but most fabulous resorts – Jackson Hole in Wyoming. And guess who won????! Arnie has been trying to get even with me ever since – hence the cartoon and the story in the article…

You can read the full article here.