Author Peter James on the inspiration for his books and meeting Camilla

Author Peter James said he loves “writing about things that could have happened to any one of us” and revealed that much of the inspiration for his novels comes from real-life experiences.

Ames, 73, is the author of a crime series based on the investigation of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, which was adapted for the screen by ITV in 2021.

Ahead of the second series of detective drama Grace, James told the PA news agency that his novels and subsequent series were inspired by real events and police officers he knew.

The first two-hour part of the second series is based on James’ novel “Looking Good Dead”.

Discussing the idea behind the book, he told PA: “With Looking Good Dead, the true source of that came about 15 years ago, before I wrote the book.

“I got a call from a police officer I knew … and he said, ‘Would you come and look at a piece of video footage Sussex Police raided?’ He said this is very confidential and what I want to know is whether or not this person acted.

“And it was a young girl who was stabbed and I said I don’t think it’s acting, it looks awfully real to me.”

James said the “Snuff Movie” footage “got stuck in (his) head” and decided to use it as inspiration for his novel.

He said he toned down the level of violence as he prefers his writing to be “exciting and dark at times, but not in a way that disgusts or freaks anyone out”.

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James added that the inspiration for Grace came from a police officer, Detective Dave Gaylor, who visited him after he was burgled many years ago and the two have worked together ever since.

He said: “My central character, Roy Grace, is based on a real life ex-cop who I work very closely with on the books.

“He reads all 150 pages and tells me how my police characters really think.


Camilla talks to Peter James on the set of Grace (Gareth Fuller/PA)

“And we’re very good friends now — when I got married he was my best man and he really helps me get the authenticity of Roy Grace.”

Despite the criminal and often gruesome inspiration for James’ novels, his fan base is far-reaching.

He has sold more than 21 million books worldwide and his works have been translated into 38 languages.

He told PA he’d heard the Duchess of Cornwall was a fan of the Roy Grace series, but couldn’t quite believe it.

He said: “It was extraordinary because you’re used to getting bullshit, you know, people say, ‘I love your book,’ and what’s your favorite book? And they haven’t actually read it, they’re just trying to be polite.

“But about six years ago a friend emailed me and said go buy today’s mail and there was a photo of Camilla sitting in her library with about five of my Roy Grace books behind her head .

“So I wrote her a letter and she wrote back and said, ‘I love your books.'”

During the filming of Grace’s second series, Camilla visited James on the set, where she talked about the books in what he says is “incredible detail” and asked him questions he didn’t know the answers to.

“She remembered some things about the books a lot better than I did,” he said.

Grace’s second series airs on ITV on April 24.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/author-peter-james-on-the-inspiration-for-his-books-and-meeting-camilla-41553482.html Author Peter James on the inspiration for his books and meeting Camilla

Fry Electronics Team

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