Friday, January 21, 2011

Crime Writers’ Association names Peter James as new Chair

The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) has announced that best-selling crime novelist Peter James (right: photo by Gareth Ransome) will be its new Chair, following in the footsteps of authors who include Ian Rankin, Dick Francis and Lady Antonia Fraser. Peter will take over from current Chair Tom Harper in April at the Association’s annual general meeting in Darlington, County Durham.

Peter James is one of the UK’s most popular crime and thriller novelists. His Roy Grace detective novels have sold more than one and a half million in the UK alone and six million worldwide in total. The series is now translated into 34 languages and his latest novel, ‘Dead Like You’, went straight into the Sunday Times bestseller lists at no 1 in both hardback and paperback. His novella, ‘The Perfect Murder,’ went to No 1 on iBooks and has spent 40 consecutive weeks in the iBooks Top 10. 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 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.

Born and brought up in Brighton, Peter divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and on the South Downs near Lewes in Sussex. An established film producer and script writer, he has produced numerous films, including The Merchant Of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. A TV adaptation of the Roy Grace series is currently in development, with Peter overseeing all aspects, including the scriptwriting. In 2009 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Brighton in recognition of his services to literature and the community.

Peter James said: “I view it as a tremendous honour to be appointed Chair of such an important organisation. The CWA is both the society and the voice of authors writing in the widest read, most influential and in my view most important sector of literature. Good crime and thriller writing, both modern and historic, reflects the way the world that we live in has been shaped and continues to be shaped. The writings of the CWA members help us both to escape life's dark sides and to confront and understand them.

“With the advent of exciting new digital reading platforms, and undoubtedly further technological advances to come in the way we access literature, I will do all I can in my time in office to promote the whole image of crime and thriller writing as the genre that should be taken seriously and read by all - not just those who love a good mystery, but by everyone who enjoys the pleasures and riches of finding a book that captivates them."

Tom Harper said: “We are thrilled that Peter has agreed to be our Chair for the next year. The CWA represents the best writing in the UK’s favourite branch of fiction. Having someone with Peter’s talent, standing and passion for the genre will be a real boost to the Association and its members.”

Find out more about Peter James at and Peter’s website and follow him on Twitter.

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