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P D James

1 December 2014

It is sad to read about the death at 94 of the highly-respected and much- loved P D James. Most people know her as an author and her body of work has given vast enjoyment to a great many people. At the age of 93, she said she wanted to write just one more crime novel.
She will be remembered by many as a friend and I am one of those who had the privilege of knowing her from when I was her paperback editor many years ago. Her paperback rights in the UK have long since gone to Penguin, retained as part of a corporate deal when the paperback publishing house was sold on, but her hardback publisher has always been Faber and FaberClick for Faber and Faber Publishers References listing, and she had the same editor there, now retired, for many years.

P D James was also a stalwart champion of authors' rights and served as President of the UK Society of Authors for 16 years. 

She was a tougher adversary than she seemed, as we all discovered when she took the BBC to task - see this transcript of her conversation with Director-General Mark Thompson.

She had many close friends amongst other authors and was widely liked amongst the writing fraternity, as the many tributes to her have shown.

P D James was a highly skilled and methodical writer and her 10 Tips for writing novels are well worth reading.

We shall miss her as a friend, inspiration and exemplar.