Notes from Abroad by Peter James
This has been somewhat of a week of contrasts.I delivered the manuscript for my ninth Roy Grace novel, Dead Man’s Time, to my UK and US publishers—only a little late (!)—had tea with my delightful namesake, P.D. James, in her London home, and went hunting wild boar in Russia with the chief of police of Moscow. Erm, in that order! As one does …Phyllis James is truly a delightful lady, and at ninety-two years old sharp as a tack, with a wicked sense of humour and the joyous spirit of someone half her age. She lives in a very elegant bright green house in London’s smart Holland Park, nicely cluttered with books and pictures in a way that so many author’s homes are. We had a great time chatting about writing—and it was good to hear from her that, just as I do, she is always nervous when starting a new book, wondering if this will be the one that doesn’t work. We spent a good part of our time together swapping gallows humour stories and sick jokes, and then she said she had this idea, because she is always being asked if we are related, that perhaps we should pretend to be cousins. So folks, I had tea with my new cousin, Phyllis!Going out with the police regularly, I constantly encounter their gallows humour—it is the way they cope with the daily horrors that many of them see.
The big shock of my Russian trip has been to learn of the level of e-book piracy here: My publisher estimates that for every e-book sold, two more are downloaded illegally. I say it is time to stop using this word “piracy” because it has a romantic, swashbuckling ring to it, and let’s call what it really is: “nasty, grubby theft.” If someone broke into your home and stole two-thirds of everything in it, you would not call that piracy … I think you’d call it being robbed. Well, in my view, every time one of our e-books is illegally downloaded, we authors are robbed of our earnings.
Author Bio: PETER JAMES is one of the UK’s most treasured crime and thriller novelists. His Roy Grace detective novels have sold over 13 million copies worldwide. The series is now translated into 35 languages and his last five Roy Grace novels went straight into the UK Sunday Times bestseller lists at #1. Peter has developed a close working relationship with the Sussex Police over many years, spending an average of one day a week with them and his writing reveals a unique insight into the reality of modern day police work. He has also carried out extensive research with police in Moscow, Munich, Paris, Melbourne, Sweden, New York and Romania, and regularly attends international police conferences to ensure he is at the cutting edge of investigative police work.