Wednesday 19 July 2023

Peter Lovesey

'Never meet your heroes' is one of those 'rules' in life that has some merit, but there are also various exceptions to it. Perhaps it depends on the hero! Anyway, a writer whom I've admired enormously since the 1970s is someone who has become a very good friend over the thirty-odd years since we first met. He's justly popular, not merely as a crime writer of the first rank but also because of his kindness and warmth. There are few authors whose new books (and short stories) I await with such anticipation. And one thing is as true today as ever. He never disappoints. His name is Peter Lovesey.

Yesterday Helena and I had the great pleasure of spending much of the day with him and his wife Jax, visiting his lovely home in the historic and delightful town of Shrewsbury - it's a 150 year old coach house, full of character, and with views over the gorgeous Shropshire countryside. It's in the nature of the crime writing life that one's encounters with friends at festivals and other events are often quite hurried, so it was delightful to have the chance to catch up with Peter and Jax in greater depth over coffee, lunch, then afternoon tea. A memorable day for me, to be sure.

One particular treat was visiting Peter's study. Among the items on display were an Edgar and a rather splendid Anthony award (the design of the award, given at Bouchercon, changes each year). And, of course, he has a terrific library. Not just books relating to crime, but also to athletics - one of his other great passions. There was also a great framed poster relating to his Victorian TV series Cribb.

Peter shared with me a number of letters he'd received in the past - including one from me, back in the mid 90s, in which I told him that my then publishers wanted me to keep writing more of the same, whereas I wanted to stretch myself as a writer. I'd forgotten I'd written that, but it was an important time in my life as an author - and how glad I am that I stuck to my guns...Among the many other things we discussed were a new anthology project which I'm just getting off the ground and the fact that Peter is nearing the end of his latest novel - good news for all his fans. I'm looking forward to it already. 


Anonymous said...

I met him when he was in NY years ago and he is everything you say warm and lovely. He also gave a reading at a local library where we met again. I look forward to his next best seller!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Martin Edwards, for posting this, it’s lovely to see the photos of Peter and Jax at home, and to hear Peter has almost finished writing his next novel - exciting news indeed!

karabekirus said...

You made my day, Martin! I learn from your visit that a new Peter Lovesey book is coming.