Peter May - The Firemaker - U.S. Tour 2005
click here for dates

for all information contact:
Janice Hally - telephone (Europe): (+33) 565 38 64 70   or click here to E-mail

"May is described as 'Cruz Smith meets Cornwell'... Raw, like sushi, and recommended."
The Publishing News

Peter May's books only tell part of the story...

Well-built and well over 6 ft tall,
with a long mane of wavy hair tied back in a pony tail,
author Peter May is a striking figure to begin with,
but add his national dress of the kilt...

   and this is a man who is hard to ignore. 

Peter May says if he ever writes an autobiography it would be sub-titled,
"How a guy in a skirt got the Chinese police to open doors for him"

Peter May is Scottish. 

He handles a wok like a Chinese chef

...and he wears a kilt.

From drinking competitions with Shanghai cops... eating deep-fried scorpions with Government Officials in Beijing.

Let him tell you how a guy in a skirt got the Chinese police to open their doors for him.

If you would like to interview Peter May
for print, radio or television

(you can also arrange for him
to give a demonstration of Chinese cooking)

please contact:
Janice Hally
Telephone (Europe): (+33) 565 38 64 70
or click here to E-mail

Read on, for more background on Peter May and his China Thrillers...

After producing 1,000 episodes of top-rated primetime drama in his homeland, Peter May had earned his place as one of Scotland's most prolific, popular and successful television writers.  But it had come at a price.  For 15 years he had been tied to his homeland and all other ambitions had been on hold.  Finally, a sense of carpe diem, a desire to return to his first love - writing books, and the pull of a country half-way around the world would change his life.

How did this Scotsman find himself in China?

From his attic study in the remote Scottish Highlands, Peter May looked out over the sea loch to the mountains beyond and an idea took shape.  It involved a cop, not a Scottish cop, but a Chinese cop in the capital city of Beijing.  It also involved a pathologist, a female, American, forensic pathologist.  As the mist dropped down to obscure the mountains, May realised he knew nothing about the Chinese police force.  He knew nothing about forensic pathology.  But he turned to his computer and made those first initial searches on the Internet, knowing that the information was out there.  Soon, he would be on his way to China, a country that had fascinated him for years, on the first of many trips.  Over the following years he would spend many months there, travelling annually to watch that vast nation undergo a period of radical change.

Honorary Member of the Chinese Crime Writers' Association

In his determination to make sure that the descriptions of places and people in his books are accurate, May has made friends in all walks of life, from all over China: from officials in the Ministry of Public Security, to restaurant owners, from law professors to engineers, from students to retired cops, all of whom have helped him to understand the way of life in China today.  As an acknowledgement of his achievements, his fellow Crime Writers in China made him an honorary member of the Beijing chapter of their Crime Writers' association - May is the first Westerner to receive such a tribute.
"The Firemaker is stunningly original,highly topical and extremely well-written...
[May's] dialogue is witty and apposite, sometimes extremely funny." Scotland on Sunday

What does research involve for Peter May?

All in a day's work:

- examining a recently autopsied corpse at the Shanghai city morgue then going straight to a banquet lunch with the chief pathologist

- being taken on a hair-raising ride in the pitch dark through the backstreets of Beijing to find the hidden headquarters of the homicide squad

- making 23-hour-long journeys across China on trains where no-one can speak English.

"super-sleuthing in modern-day China... [May] has extensively researched his novels and gets right under the skin of his subject every time."  Good Book Guide
He has had access to places that few foreigners have ever visited.  He has seen:
- 4,000 year old Chinese artefacts at Beijing University private museum of archaeology.
- behind the scenes at the terracotta warriors' museum in Xian
- the Beijing Institute of Forensic Science (part of the Ministry of Public Security)
- the Shanghai police operations center, where banks of television screens and hi-tech equipment monitor traffic and people across the city.

Research for the China Thrillers also took him to some unusual locations in the USA
- the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology museum in Washington DC, where he saw the bullet which killed Abraham Lincoln
- death row and the death house in Huntsville prison, Texas.
- the isolation ward in the U.S. bio-warfare unit at Fort Dettrick, Maryland - where they deal with the most deadly diseases known to man (he couldn't stop washing his hands after leaving that place).

He uses the latest digital video equipment to make a record of his research.
With a background as a writer and producer of prime time television drama in Britain, May is at ease using video to help him in his research.  The latest editing software allows him to cut and play back details of his trips on his computer screen while he is working, allowing him to concentrate on his writing.

"beautifully written and very evocative" Tangled Web

But everything comes at a price, as he found out one dark winter's evening

Guanxi (gwan-shee) is the name for the system in China, where if someone does you a favour, you owe them a favour in return.
After several trips to China where he was given total access to the Beijing and Shanghai police forces, the time came when a car with blacked out windows turned up to take him to a meeting where he was asked to repay his debt...
What happened next?  Let him tell you in person.

Writer, Gourmet and Chef

Peter May loves Chinese food - or "food" as they call it in China.  He does all the cooking at home and has collected many recipes on his travels.  If you have a wok, some ingredients and a camping stove to hand, he'll happily give you a demonstration of how to make some tasty Chinese treats.  He even has his favourite recipes on his website, and his vivid descriptions of extraordinary Chinese meals always attract the attention of fans and reviewers.

Speaking of food - he's an expert on dining etiquette in China, too

He can answer those Frequently Asked Questions, such as:

- How many deep-fried scorpions do you have to eat so you don't insult your host?

- What's the best way to eat a Shanghai hairy crab?

- What do you do when a group of Shanghai cops challenges you to a drinking contest?

- How do you cover it when the live shrimps on your plate splash soy sauce over your shirt?

- What do you do when you realise that those poppy seeds on your shrimps have legs and - in fact - they're ants?

and finally...

Chilling coincidences

A scary catalogue of events from Peter May's stories have later come true in life.  Does he have a window on the future?  Does his writing somehow affect the route the future takes?  Or is it all simply a series of bizarre coincidences?  Whatever the explanation - it makes him concerned about what he chooses to put on paper next.

Peter May - The Firemaker - U.S. Tour 2005

Peter May presents a
Chinese feast for thriller lovers...

The secret of the Chinese banquet is not only the huge variety of dishes but the clever balance of flavours: and Peter May’s recipe for success with his ingenious China Thrillers follows exactly this principle.

Suspense, thrills and mystery...

"pulse-pounding prose... a masterwork of sheer momentum" The Herald

Strong characters and relationships...

"...both romance and thriller... his jealousy and her acid tongue make for entertaining reading" Manchester Evening News

Investigations and plots involving the latest science...

"as gruesomely detailed as anything Patricia Cornwell or Kathy Reichs describe" Irish Independent

Exotic locations and an authentic glimpse of another culture...

"An intense and fascinating journey through the city streets and vagaries of the Chinese police system."  The Good Book Guide

May combines meticulous research with his skill as a storyteller to take his readers on spellbinding journeys where the sights, smells and sounds that bring his locations to life are to be relished as much as the provocative plots and controversial storylines - more science fact than science fiction. 

To this potent mix of setting and plot he adds characters whose spirit and humour have charmed readers from the outset.  At the heart of each story is the turbulent relationship between Margaret Campbell, forensic pathologist from Chicago, and Li Yan, senior detective with the Beijing Police.
Cultures and personalities clash between the complex and acerbic American doctor, and the wry and enigmatic Chinese policeman; but from two distinctly different approaches they share one objective - to solve the crimes they have been brought together to investigate.

"...think Silence Of The Lambs crossed with Quincy,
with a bit of the Lonely Planet's Guide to Beijing thrown in."
Daily Record

Peter May - The Firemaker - U.S. Tour 2005


Your readers, viewers or listeners will enjoy finding out more about Peter May - and so will you.

To interview Peter May for print, radio or television
(and even arrange for him to give a demonstration of Chinese cooking)

please contact:  Janice Hally Telephone (Europe): (+33) 565 38 64 70  or click here to E-mail

You can also interview via the Internet...
Do you use an Apple Mac?
PC or Mac Users

Arrange a video or audio interview via iChat

With iChat and an iSight camera, you can conduct a two-way video interview with Peter May at a time and place that's convenient.

Even without a camera, iChat's one-way video option will let you see, hear and talk to Peter May.

Audio interviews with Skype

Skype's free software allows you to call from your computer to another Skype user's computer worldwide. 

Interview Peter May on a crystal clear line
with with no call charges.

(works across PC and Mac platforms)
  download free Skype software here
for all information contact: Janice Hally - telephone (Europe): (+33) 565 38 64 70   or click here to E-mail

Peter May - The Firemaker - U.S. Tour 2005

at bookstore signings, libraries, readers' or writers' groups

Peter May
can visit your venue while on his tour of the USA
Why not click here to check his dates
and see when he will be in your town?

for further information, contact:
Janice Hally
Telephone (international): +33 565 38 64 70
or click here to E-mail

* * *
or what about a "virtual" author's visit via the Internet?

Have you considered a live author's visit via the Internet for your readers' or writers' group?

Mac-Users PC or Mac
Your group will be able to see, hear and have a live Q&A session with Peter May.

If you have an Apple Mac you can arrange a video Author's Visit live via iChat
Organise a two-way audio Author's Visit from computer to computer (PC or Mac) with Skype
(free software allows you to use your computer like a phone to call other users worldwide with no call charges)
download free Skype software here

for all information contact:
Janice Hally - telephone (Europe): (+33) 565 38 64 70
  or click here to E-mail
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Click here for U.S. Tour Dates

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