By Mark Williams and Neil Vowles

Libraries in Brighton and Hove sparked Peter James’ love of books.

Brighton-born Peter James is the most borrowed author in the city, with three of his books featuring in the top ten that were borrowed from Brighton and Hove libraries in 2012.

The novelist said that it was his time as a schoolboy in the city’s libraries that first developed his love of detective fiction.

His fans have much to look forward to this year with the 64-year-old set to publish his first collection of short stories and with work progressing on TV and film adaptations.

His first collection of short stories, Short Shockers, will be available as an e-book next month, with a second collection in December and a book out next year.

Mr James is also currently working on a screenplay for a film adaptation of Dead Simple, the first of the Roy Grace novels, with director Jon Duigan.

‘Increasingly important’

Filming could start as early as autumn, although the part of Roy Grace is still to be cast.

Peter James will also be coming to the small screen with Perfect People, set to be made into a TV mini-series after the production team behind Cracker bought the rights.

He said: “In the 1950s as a kid, I used to live in Hove Library and I used to go to Brighton Library a lot as well.

“I used to spend whole days of my school holidays working my way through the shelves.”

Topping the library list in 2012 was Andrea Levy’s The Long Song, which was the City Read in September 2011.

Mr James said that libraries were becoming increasingly important because the loss of high street book stores meant it was increasingly the only places in towns where people could browse and get advice from knowledgeable staff.

He said: “I get 0.2p from borrowing, but I don’t mind if people just read my books in libraries, I think it’s important for people to read and to love books.

“Buying books is expensive and I know it’s difficult for people who are out of work.

“I know if people buy my books in shops they then pass them on to friends or family, so it’s not that different.”

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