Interview with International author, Peter May (part I)

Peter May, best selling international author, granted me an interview.  I was very excited as his newest in The Lewis Triology was released September 1st.  Through this process his wife, Janet, and I have become new friends.  Starting this month they will be on a book tour in the US…..more about that later.  Read my review of The Lewis Man.

Q. Peter, where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?

A. I live in France and spend my winters in Spain. In France I live in a two hundred year old, stone-built farmhouse. It’s a 14619739192_1d38f13ba2_opretty rambling place on three levels. It’s in the middle of France and very far from the sea. In Spain I live in a much more modern apartment with sea views. And in both places I have a study. As you’ll see from the pictures, the set up is pretty much the same in each place. I travel with my laptop between the two locations and link it to two extra computer screens. I like to have as much screen space as possible, that way I can have the file I’m writing in open, together with all my research files, and any research video that I’ve taken.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

PeterMayPortrait1A. When I’m writing, I get up at 6am and take my breakfast with a large cappuccino through to sit at my desk and get ready to write. In both France and Spain I have a fat laughing Buddha. These date back to the time when I was writing my China Thrillers series. There is something pleasing about the chubby, smiling face and big round belly and I always rub his belly for luck before I start writing for the day.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

A. I have won prizes for curling. And no, that’s nothing to do with hair! It’s a Scottish sport, played on ice. Players throw round granite stones weighing 44 pounds, 100 feet across an ice rink towards a target. The player’s teammates follow the stone with brooms, sweeping the ice to help the stone along. It’s a great social activity. When I lived in Scotland, I lived in a tiny village by the side of a sea loch. The local castle (there is always a local castle in rural Scotland!) had been turned into a hotel and had an ice rink. The whole village – people from aged 8 to 80 – would go along and play against each other in open competitions. Very enjoyable! My trophies now sit in a cabinet in France.

Q. Do you have a set time each day to write or do you write only when you are feeling creative?

A. My life is very flexible during the months in the year when I’m researching and working out the story for a book, but when I begin writing, I have a routine that is unbreakable. I write Monday to Friday and take the weekends off. I get up at 6am and am at my desk shortly after that. I write 3,000 words each day and I don’t stop until I have reached that number, no matter how late it is.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

A. Never end a day’s writing at the end of a chapter. Always know where you’re going to pick up your writing the next day. Other than that, try making your living as a writer. When there are bills to be paid, you’ll be amazed how you can find inspiration. Some people say that “Hunger is the best sauce”, I would say “Hunger is the best cure for procrastination”.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing and for how long?

A. When I am writing, I am certainly transported to the time and location of the story. The characters can take over and the LEWISScanstory begins to write itself and the strength of their emotions is very real and affecting. I think if a writer isn’t getting lost in their writing, then their readers won’t either!

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment ?

A. Haven’t got one.

Don’t Miss Part 2 of this fascinating Interview!   Peter May is in the USA right now on a book tour~~~ check the city schedule so that you can meet him and get his book!


In addition to my twice weekly blog I also feature an interview with another author once a month. So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!    Barbara Delinsky will be my October author.

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