Peter James is one of the UK’s most treasured crime and thriller novelists. His award-winning Detective Superintendent Roy Grace crime series has sold 19 million copies worldwide and been translated into 37 languages. Born in Brighton, Peter has been supporting Sussex-based Action Medical Research for more than seven years. We caught up with him to find out why he’s such a passionate supporter of ours and what people can expect from his latest novel…
So, what made you get involved with Action in the first place?
Well, being a Sussex resident I had been aware of the charity for a long time; you’ve got a great deal of heritage, such as your pioneering work contributing to the development of the first polio vaccine. Whether it’s research you’ve funded towards premature baby studies, epilepsy, meningitis…. there isn’t anyone I know who hasn’t been touched in some way by what you do. An opportunity came up for me to host a Golf Day in Haywards Heath for the charity back in 2010 and I jumped at the chance!
Are you a golf fan then?
I’m a fan of all sports! As a Type 2 diabetic, I’m passionate about exercise, either running, cycling, swimming or playing tennis for a minimum thirty minutes every day. I find this the most effective method of all in helping to keep my blood sugars low. Actually I was once selected to train for the British Olympic ski team when I was 15, but my parents, (probably very wisely), felt it would be too disruptive to my education.
Oooh, maybe we should try organising a fundraising ski challenge….
Ha, maybe! But I think your calendar’s already pretty full with all of the cycling and trekking events you organise! Plus I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Afternoon Tea’ I hosted back in the summer. It was a real chance to get to meet some other Action supporters and (hopefully) entertain them with a few anecdotes. This year’s event was held at Mannings Heath Golf Club and Wine Estate, which was wonderful.
You must lead a very busy life; what’s on your agenda for the next few weeks?
Well, yes my schedule does get quite busy but I never complain! I’ve just got back from speaking on the Queen Victoria cruise ship in the Caribbean, and now I’m putting the finishing touches to my latest Roy Grace novel ‘Dead If You Don’t’ which will be out on May 17th 2018, and to my thriller ‘Absolute Proof’ which I have been working on for over 25 years and will be out on Oct 4th 2018.
Fantastic – is there anything you can tell us about these new novels?
The new Roy Grace revolves around a 14-year-old boy who disappears at Brighton’s Amex Stadium at the first big game of the season. At first, it seems to Roy Grace like a straightforward kidnap, but all turns out to be not as it seems. Absolute Proof is a standalone thriller centred around the premise of what would happen if someone credible claimed to have absolute proof of God’s existence.
Peter thank you for your time and for all you have done for Action.
Not at all, thank YOU! It’s an honour to help support you guys and I look forward to our next fundraising event together.