I'd like to introduce you to Peter May, a writer of thriller novels that
are genuinely exhilarating affairs from start to finish.
Peter is famous for writing his series of China Thrillers - a
series that includes his Firemaker novel, along with the racy
Snakehead story that is set in Texas.
Peter always carries out intensive research into the places in
which he sets his stories; he also makes a point of thrilling
his readers by incorporating various science-related issues into his plots.
Peter, interestingly, used to work on the Scottish TV drama series
Take The High Road as a script editor.
These days, though, he's living it up in France, where he's hard at work as
normal on yet another series of thrillers.
So, remember the name, and try and pick up one of Peter's books as
soon as you can in order to see what you've been missing all these years!
Thankfully, Steve Rudd managed to catch Peter with a rare few minutes to
spare, during which he frankly talked about all and sundry.
Here's what he had to say for himself...
Hi Peter, how you doing?
I just got back from four days in Paris promoting the first two books of
my China series in French.
The first one, The Firemaker (Meurtres ŕ Pékin), has been nominated
for the Grand Prix by readers of Elle magazine - a very prestigious
literary award here in France - and will be the magazine's
Crime Book of the Month in April.
I spent an afternoon at the Elle stand at the Paris book fair talking
to the women on the jury.
When I'm out promoting my books I always wear my kilt.
So there I was, one man amongst a crowd of French women, and
I was the only one in a skirt!
From being born in Scotland, you have come a long way over the past
fifty years to where you are now, as a highly successful thriller
writer living in France. What secrets do you ascribe to your success?
There are no secrets to success. Ingredients, perhaps.
And I guess those would be harnessing whatever talent you are born with,
working damned hard and being incredibly lucky.
You are the author of six epic novels that form part of a series of
books that are primarily set in China.
Did an interest in China lead to you writing such books, or did an
idea to set such books in the Orient actually cause you to become
as fascinated and entranced as you are with the country as a direct consequence?
A bit of both, really. I first visited China in the early 1980s.
I was in Hong Kong researching another book, and took a day trip up into China.
It was just after the end of the Cultural Revolution, the country had
been isolated from the rest of the world for decades, and it was like
landing on another planet.
Street markets were like something out of mediaeval England.
Little old ladies hobbled around on bound feet, everyone still
wore the blue cotton Mao uniforms and there wasn't a motor vehicle in sight.
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