Freddie P. Peter – Author
Photo by Suki Dhanda
Freddie P Peters: Born in France, in an ancient town between Bordeaux and Cognac… despite the charm of the countryside and the appeal of the good food and wine, I could not wait to escape. A trip to Bath, then London and there was no turning back. But you may ask, your first language was French? And you write in English? After 30 years in London, I can perhaps dare. Don’t be amazed though, I am not the only one to break the rule… Samuel Beckett, the illustrious 1969 Nobel Prize winner moved to Paris during the Second World War and wrote one of his best-known novels Waiting for Godot in French. What a role model!
Career: Alma Matter, The Sorbonne and King’s College London…I am a lawyer (oops) and then I became an investment banker (gulp). 25 years spent in the Square Mile (City of London) did give me a view on many hot topics from Financial Crises to Being Foreign and Female in a Male-dominated Industry, from Contemporary Art to Politics, without forgetting the most essential of questions “Where have Ethics gone in all of this?”. But once upon a time, the City was a melting-pot too…
Art: I love art, visual arts, music, cinema, theatre…am I missing something? Reading perhaps! I wanted to be an artist…always. I love to tell stories, as a kid just to make my family laugh or now to see the effect it has on my audience. I dreamed up new plots all the time. “Tu es toujours dans la lune.” Having lost that plot for a considerable number of years during my time in Investment Banking, I am glad I have eventually found it again.
Writing …now: “When I sit down to write a book, I don’t say to myself I am going to produce a work of art. I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some facts to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing”, George Orwell. I feel today that I have amassed enough material, seen and experienced enough to tell you a good story. Perhaps Orwell may have liked my tales of the City as well.
Doing the work: They all say it and I am going to say it too…write, read, write, read, write… There is zero short-cut. If you are interested in finding out about my latest read and what inspires me, join the Freddie Book Club. It’s easy just follow the link. Writing could feel lonely, but it doesn’t because George is always there to supervise. My cat is very critical. He sits on my papers (I write long-hand) …OK, the plot is not tight enough. My moggy is a bossy editor too… OK, this needs a rewrite.
Charities: Unsurprisingly, I support a number of organisation that are involved in the Arts, Patron of Artangel and Tate, Henry Moore Foundation, Non-Executive Director of DACS (Design and Copyright Society), and I support young and mid-career artists by collecting their works through a number of small but super galleries: ARCADE (www.thisisarcade.art), MATT’S GALLERY (www.mattsgallery.org) , and BREESE LITTLE.
My other big involvement is with mentoring. It’s all about giving back but also showing young professionals that any business can be run ethically and responsibly. I mentor at King’s College London and The Prince’s Trust. What else: Travel, new people, new cultures, new environment…and then more art, music, theatre, cinema, galleries… bring it on.