Would the real Peter Jones please step forward

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Back when my agent was shopping How To Do Everything And Be Happy around the UK publishers, there was some talk about whether or not I should change my name to avoid confusion with the other Peter Jones who, whilst equally tall, is often described as being more dragon like, and has a tendency to arrive at venues in a helicopter.

Sharing a name with a celebrity has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand people rarely forget me. I’m Peter Jones. Like the dragon. Like the shop. Memorability is a useful thing when you’re an author. On the other hand, journalists have this annoying habit of getting VERY excited about the possibility of an interview… and then lose interest just as quickly when they realise I’m not a billionaire, or a regular face on prime time television.

It’s a little like I offered you a five quid, and you thought I said five-hundred quid. When you realise I meant a five pound note you might feel ever so slightly let down. You might politely tell me to keep my cash. I want to say, “it is still cash you know!” but neither you and I are the actual people in this scenario, and nobody’s talking about cash.

Even amongst readers there’s some confusion. I occasionally get emails along the lines of “so you’re not the real Peter Jones then?” (am I somehow not real). And at a book signing back in January one lady came up to me, asked for the book to be made out to her son – and then promptly told me that he was doing my business course at college (I just nodded and smiled). Then a couple of weeks back, when I popped along to Author Della Galton’s latest book launch, one of her readers (who was clutching a copy of How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim) exclaimed “Wow! You’ve written a book with Peter Jones! Will he be here today?” When Della pointed out that I was standing right behind her there was that awkward moment of confusion that I’m beginning to expect when I’m introduced to people.

It occurred to me that a little re-branding might be in order. Time to tell the world that there’s another flavour of Peter Jones available, and like any branding exercise, give people some sense as to what I’m about. With this in mind I had some new author photos done.

Reaction has been mixed. Most have reacted very positively. Others… less so. I feel that I’ve stuck my head above the parapet somewhat. But then I suppose that was the point.

I’d be interested to know what you think (though try to keep in mind that I’m a human being, with actual feelings, armed with a delete button…), and even more interested if you’ve got a similar experience of your own to share. Use the comments box below.

You can see more of the pictures from the shoot on my facebook profile

9 thoughts on “Would the real Peter Jones please step forward

  1. Dear Mr Jones

    Change your name to Eric Jones, I dont believe there is anyone else called Eric now in the whole world. It would solve many problems.

    Thank you.

    Kind regards

    Ms Ward.


  2. You know what Peter? Peter Jones of the funny coloured socks and helicopters couldn’t have written your book. Not that he isn’t a genius, yes he is in his own right. But so are you. I didn’t encounter confusion or disappointment, since I got the audio book and it was evident as soon as you started talking with a different accent that you weren’t to be confused with a dragon. Personally I have the utmost respect for both Peter Joneses, you’ve both inspired me in different ways. Remind the numpty journalists that you are unique and have written a book that, without taking anything away from him, the “other” Peter Jones couldn’t have. You are now famous in your own right. Not that fame means anything anyway! The slightly malevolent side of me thinks it would be rather funny if you succeeded in copyrighting your name and declaring the others as fake :D. I of course am waiting for a famous Chantal Wellavize to emerge. Unless it’s me, I suspect I’ll have a long wait! (Oh and to actually answer the question, love the personality in your photos).


    1. Gosh Chantal – I’m almost speechless. Almost. Thanks for the HUGE vote of approval. That means a great deal.

      PS. Chantal Wellavize is possibly one of the best names I’ve ever heard. Fancy being a character in one of my many planned novels?


  3. Oh heck, don’t go speechless on me. That would mean no more books!

    Funny thing is, when I got divorced and chose to change my name back to my maiden name, as my friend was counter-signing the deed poll certificates, she pointed out that I could have chosen ANY name in the world. Umm… yeah, didn’t think about that! Other than the fact that I can’t pronounce it when I’ve had a bit too much to drink, I’ve just about got used to having it back (having hated it throughout my childhood).

    How cool would that be to be remembered forever as a book character! Please make her sexy, mega-successful, able to ride round the Grand National bareback and with a track record of avoiding bad men… you did say it was fiction? 😉


  4. The original Peter Jones, is of course the guy who founded a department store in Sloane Square and then sold it to another bloke named John Lewis. Who is not the same John Lewis as the bloke in the US who has the Twitter handle @johnlewis, and who gets an awful lot of tweets about how great his customer service is, and happy 150th birthday.


    1. Where’s the darn LIKE button on this blog!? Anyway… is that true? I didn’t know any of that. I’m going to tweet that guy in the US and tell him I want my shop back.


  5. Wasn’t their an actor called Peter Jones,also,?might be making that up,haven’t read your book yet,but will have a look.


    1. I suspect you mean Peter Jones who was the original ‘voice of the book’ in the radio play version of The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. There’s also a ‘spank daddy’ Peter Jones… but let’s not mention him.


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