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Peter Guttridge

By Sarah Hutchings

Peter Guttridge
This interview with Peter Guttridge was first published on The Deckchair website on 17/05/2007.
How did you get your first break?
I won a start-of-a-novel competition at the excellent West Sussex Writers' Group in Worthing - then had to finish the bloody thing to prove I could do it!
Could you describe your working day.
Horribly right-on. In the summer, yoga 5am-7am, then writing (with breakfast at my desk) 7.30am-noon. Other stuff in the afternoon (reviewing, reading, meetings). Evenings are playtime - which might be going out /reading a book/watching a film on DVD/ meeting friends for drink or dinner.
How does an idea become a novel?
By working it through, in a synopsis, or writing a couple of scenes then going paragraph by paragraph.
Which book do you wish you'd written?
Thomas Pynchon's 'Gravity's Rainbow'. If I'd written one chapter of it I'd die a happy man.
As a reader, do you always finish a book you've started?
GOOD question. If it's for my own pleasure - yes. If it's with the thought of reviewing it (I review for the Observer) - no - life is too short!
If you weren't a writer, what job would you like to have done?
Yoga teacher. I've a knack - I think.
Describe your perfect day.
It is, of course, totally self-indulgent but also - depressingly - involves work. And, actually, is the same as my work day. How sad is that?
What keeps you awake at night?
Oh dear - how shallow is this - nothing!
Why did you choose to live in Brighton and Hove and what keeps you here?
Came to Brighton for my partner's work but once here - why would anyone leave!
How does living here inspire your work?
I'm writing a trilogy (there's posh) based in Brighton's past so living here is essential. However, because it is set in the past I spend my time walking around Brighton tripping over things - I'm looking up because Brighton's past is on the first and second floor of buildings.

Peter Guttridge is originally from Burnley in Lancashire but now lives near the South Downs and works as a freelance writer. He has been the crime fiction reviewer for 'The Observer' since 1998 and was Director of the Brighton Literature Festival from 1998 - 2002. He has also been Fellow of the Royal Literature Fund at Southampton University. He is writer in residence and Creative Director at The Word in Brighton.

His current work in progress is apparently to be called 'Look Back in Agra'. It will be the latest in his series of crime comedy novels featuring his protagonist-journalist Nick Madrid, who loves yoga (as, indeed, does the author) and his friend Bridget Frost (known as 'The Bitch of the Broadsheets'). He is also working on 'The Brighton Trilogy' which will not be comic. The first in this series will be called 'Dead of Night' and is set for release in 2007. Chief Constable Robert Watts will be the main character.


'No Laughing Matter' (1997)
'A Ghost of a Chance' (1998)
'Two to Tango' (1998)
'The Once and Future Con' (1999)
'Foiled Again' (2001)
'Cast Adrift' (2004)
'Don't Think of Tigers' (2001)

He has a website at www.peterguttridge.com


This page was amended on 03/02/2012
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