Peter May is a popular crime writer. His Lewis-trilogy has become immensely popular and his latest novel Coffin Road has recently been translated into Swedish. His books are of course almost unbearably thrilling crime stories, but somehow the crimes and the police work is almost back staged by the setting. Peter May has an ability to describe the harsh environments of the Outer Hebrides, and the people living there, in a way that really catches the reader.
We are very happy that you could take time from your busy scheduele and answer a couple of questions about your writing and about the intriguing landscape in your books. Firstly, can you tell us a little about what the landscape of the Outer Hebrides means to you?
Peter: The landscape is like no other. In the 1990s, I spent five years in the Outer Hebrides when I was creator and producer of a television drama entitled Machair. We made 99 episodes during that time and we shot scenes all over the islands in every kind of weather. In the process of searching for the perfect location for each scene, the production team and I explored every hidden corner, every part of the coastline, every beach and cliff. We tramped across all the peat bogs and through the interior of the islands, and we looked at every house and outbuilding. I know the landscape, the people, and the environment they inhabit probably better than I know the town I was born in! And although I live in France now, when I go back to Scotland, the Islands feel like “home” to me. They have a very special place in my heart.
The weather pushes its way in to become an additional character,
present in every scene.