Local Face: Peter James

  |  Published: Oct 1st 2015

Peter James and his wife, Liz have lived in Wendover for 32 years. Their three children grew up here, attending the local schools, including Wendover Middle School (as it was then called) where, for fifteen years, Liz was  a teacher.

Peter grew up in Retford in Nottinghamshire and attended the local grammar school before Leeds University, where he graduated in English Literature. He began his career with Marks and Spencer, before joining Mothercare in the early seventies. In 1984 he moved into marketing with Aspen Television, then to Terence Conran’s empire as chief executive of Conran Design Group. In 1988 he returned to Mothercare as chief executive of their UK and European operation.

Peter has been heavily involved in local activities both before and since his retirement. In 1980 he worked with local charities to found Aylesbury’s first Gateway Club for children and adults with physical and learning disabilities. In 1983 he spearheaded the fundraising campaign to raise money for the construction of Wendover’s much needed St Mary’s Centre and, for the last twenty years, he was secretary and treasurer of the Friends of St Mary’s Church. More recently he has become an active member of Wendover U3A and now runs a monthly discussion group covering topics such as whether or not we should get rid of Trident, to issues surrounding the funding of faith schools.Since retirement Peter and Liz spend much of their time travelling throughout Europe, with trips as far afield as southern Italy and the Arctic Circle. Meanwhile, Peter’s main pastime is writing, which he has continued since his university days. “For many years,” he says, “I just wrote short stories, with no thought of trying to get them published. Then I decided to have a go at a novel. It took five years, but when I finally produced ‘Deferral of Guilt’, I was persuaded by family and friends to send it to a publisher. To my surprise, Macmillan rang me back within a week saying they were keen to publish, but could I commit to producing two more novels within eighteen months, preferably featuring the same characters? Unhappy at the prospect of being chained to my computer for that length of time, I declined.”

With that door closed, in 2012 Peter decided to self publish “Deferral of Guilt” on Amazon and was astonished to see it climb their top 100 charts to reach number one in both the Crime and General Fiction categories, outselling at one point even JK Rowling! Now, three years later he has launched his second novel, “Seeds of Doubt”. Says Peter, “I was lucky with ‘Deferral of Guilt’, in that I launched it just as Kindle sales were really taking off, so I am not expecting the same runaway success with ‘Seeds of Doubt’. But my main pleasure was in writing it. If the novel gives pleasure to others, that’s a bonus.”

“Seeds of Doubt” by James Parr (Peter’s pen name) is now available from Amazon, either as a paperback or as a Kindle download.

Browse our Articles

Articles By Date
Search our Articles
Back to top