The Crime Interview: Peter May

by Len Wanner

In this 9,000-word interview, Len Wanner talks to Peter May, international bestselling author of the China Thrillers, the Enzo Files and the Lewis Trilogy.

Peter May on:

  • Dialogue – “I used to say to the writers who worked for me when I was a script editor: “Never write a line of dialogue that doesn’t either advance plot or develop character.” If you apply those rules to most of the dialogue you read in books, it fails miserably.”
  • Character - “All story derives from character. It’s what people do that determines stories, and what people do is determined by who they are, so for me character is the starting point of every story.”
  • Popularity - “The irony is that The Blackhouse was rejected by every major publishing house in Britain.”
  • Propaganda – “The Department of Propaganda in the Ministry of Public Security [in China] is basically a production and publication unit. They publish crime fiction and they make crime movies and TV series. The propaganda is based on the notion that the characters who represent the police in literature, cinema, or on TV are always the good guys.”

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