Yet again it has been a wonderfully busy month. The really big news has been the UK launch of the hardback, e-­book and audio versions of my 8th Roy Grace novel, Not Dead Yet, as well as the paperback publication of my standalone thriller about “designer babies”, Perfect People.

I was gratified to see Not Dead Yet go straight into the official UK bestseller list at No 1, beating American James Patterson -­ for the second time! I was also very delighted this week, for the first time ever, to have books in the Hardback Top 10, Paperback Top 10 and Kindle Top 10. As I write, Not Dead Yet is No 2 in hardback, Perfect People is No 9 in paperback and No 6 on Kindle!

Also as an added bonus, two weeks ago I scored my first ever Canadian No 1 with Dead Man’s Grip!

Within the next few days I will be signing a really exciting TV mini-­ series deal for Perfect People, and I hope to be able to give you all the details of that in my next newsletter. Meanwhile work on planning for the movie of Dead Simple is steadily progressing behind the scenes…

I’ve just returned from a research trip to the USA with my “real life” Roy Grace, former Detective Superintendent Dave Gaylor, where we have been attending a conference and meeting a number of police officers in New Orleans. It is never any hardship for me to go to New Orleans -­ one of my favourite cities -­ I love the French Quarter with its narrow streets and fantastic street-­life, its smoking bars and its fabulous food -­ especially those Louisiana oysters. The downside? Erm, I put on rather too much weight!

I’m back in the US on July 9 to attend the wonderful convention of crime and thriller writers, Thrillerfest. I am doing these three events open to all there (but you have to register for the convention):

Wednesday 11th. -­ CraftFest 4:00pm I’m talking on the theme “FICTION OR FACT: How Important Is Research?”
Friday 13th (!) -­ 4:00pm -­ I’m Panel Master for “Does Evil Exist?” My panelists will be Al Giannini, Alma Katsu, Raymond Khouri, Bill Landay, John Lescroart & T Jefferson Parker. Each of us is going to tell the audience something evil we have done, so it should be -­ well -­ evil!
Saturday 14th -­ I am the host for the ThrillerMasters’ Roundtable -­ where I will be joined by three giants of the US thriller world -­ David Morrell, RL Stine and Sandra Brown. We are going to be talking about a wide range of stuff, including things the public do not know about us….!

I’m very lucky to have a number of celebrities as my fans, one of whom, Joan Collins, kindly picked Perfect People as her Book Of The Year for 2011 for the Daily Mail. I took her to lunch at The Wolseley -­ one of my favourite London restaurants, as a thank you. She is an utterly delightful lady, great fun to talk to and she looks absolutely stunning -­ every bit as beautiful in the flesh as in her photographs. We had a good joke plugging each others books (as you can see in this photograph) and I’m sure you will be amused when you come across the reference to her latest book in Not Dead Yet!

In my last letter I told you I was about to take part in my second motor race of the season, at Brands Hatch. Well I’m pleased to say we did well, coming 4th in class with the car intact! Here is a picture of me taking the textbook line through Graham Hill Corner.

Unfortunately last weekend we did less well, although I’m relieved to say I wasn’t to blame! My lovely and huge fun racing partner, Andre Severs, came off during qualifying at Oulton Park, hitting the Armco barrier at 100mph! He’s suffered some broken bones, but I’m happy to report he is out of hospital and back home. Ironically this is the same bend where I had my big crash in 2009 -­ you can see details of that one -­ both film and still footage on my blog -­ this is the link: http://blog.peterjames.com/2009_06_01_archive.html

The bad news is that the Seat is going to be out of action for some while, and so is Andre as he recuperates -­ but I guess for you the good news is that with my motor racing temporarily curtailed, I now have more time to write!

Please remember I always love to hear from you on Twitter, on blog posts, on Facebook and by email at scary@pavilion.co.uk.

Peter James