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Thursday, July 09, 2009

PP Webcon

PP Webcon, I hear you ask, what's that? Well... it's the world's first mystery and crime writing convention to be held online. It'll take place on October 24th this year, and will bring crime writing authors and fans together online. Basically, it's the first convention you can attend in your jimjams and bathrobe. No travel costs. No hotel costs. Meet and chat to your favorite authors in the coffee shop chatroom. Interact with them on live video and live audio presentations.

Pretty neat, huh? It's being hosted by Poisoned Pen Press (the chef's US publisher) and he'll be there of course. The "guests of honor" are Dana Stabenow and Lee Child. Check it out at...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Win a Copy of Peter May's China Thriller "Snakehead"

S.Dionne Moore interviewed Le Chef for her "Novel Journey" blog, and there is a copy of Snakehead available for the person who makes the best comment!

Find the interview here

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Le Chef's News

Mystery author and reviewer, Carl Brookins just interviewed Le Chef, you can read it here...

Also, he's doing another live broadcast on the internet so join him if you can for stories and videos from my research, excerpts from the latest China Thriller to be published in the USA (SNAKEHEAD) and a live Q&A chat session. You can find it here:


there will be two shows, at the following times around the world...

EST: 10am & 1pm
CST: 9am & Noon
MST: 8am & 11am
PST: 7am & 10am

UK: 3pm & 6pm

Central Europe: 4pm & 7pm

Bangkok, Thailand: 10pm & 1am

Beijing, China: 11pm & 2am

Perth, Australia: midnight & 3am

Sydney, Australia: 2am & 5am
If you click on the above link at the moment you'll find some video clips of the last broadcast. And if you miss next Sunday's broadcast, you'll be able to catch repeat viewings afterwards - you'll just miss the live Q & A.
Let's hope it all goes more smoothly than the last one!!!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

North Korea launches missile... but what kind of missile?

Ballistic missile?
Innocent satellite?
I don't know - okay it's a bit blurry - but the photograph I've seen, I think, leaves us in no doubt.
What have the North Koreans sent into space?
Well, it looks to me suspiciously like a bottle of Guinness...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, did you enjoy the play?

So we had a foray into the world of live video broadcast which was....

Considering we spent most of the 80s and 90s writing and producing
television drama, you would think it would be a skoosh to do a wee live video from the
comfort of our home. And it was... or at least half of it was.

A bit of backstory. Le Chef's writing schedule meant that a US book
signing tour was going to be impossible this year - so I came up with
the brilliant idea of a live video broadcast to talk about his latest
book Blacklight Blue and the other new editions in hardback and
paperback which are coming out in the USA this year. The only thing
was, to catch all the time zones around the world, I figured he should
do two broadcasts. So he recorded part of the talk in four clips with
some of his research video cut to music and we decided he'd kick off
with that then switch to live for the Q&A session at the end.

So - at 4pm our time, we set everything up and it goes like a dream!
Recorded stuff cross fades to live. Q&A is great, people online from
Lochgoilhead to Minneapolis! Cue a glass of celebratory bubbly.
Phone to order a pizza from Georges in Saint-Cere. Collect Pizza to
re-heat and enjoy after the next transmission... everything going to
plan... the time rushes by and suddenly it's almost 7pm our time and
we go to set up for the next broadcast....

With two minutes to go, we're sitting in Le Chef's study lining things
up when we lose the internet connection.
It's too late for us to try and get to another internet connection and a mailing has gone out to all his fans across the world, so it's really important that we go live without delay.... If we can't do it - someone else will have to do it.

We phone my brother in New York and do the old... "Okay, both the
pilots are incapacitated, you're going to have to land the plane, oh
and by the way, there's someone who needs an appendix taken out, but
don't worry, we have a pilot and a gastric surgeon here in the control
tower, and they'll talk you through it" routine.

So my brother logs in to the TV station online pretending to be Le
Chef, he locates the four pre-recorded segments, he presses all the
right buttons, cues up the first one and Bingo! Gets it transmitting -
only 3 minutes late! We give him instructions about how to do the
others, then start phoning friends trying to find somebody nearby who
has internet. We have 27 minutes until the pre-recorded stuff is
supposed to link back to Le Chef live for the Q & A. Of course the
nearest neighbours are suffering the same internet problem as we are.
We have to try further afield. Finally we locate a friend and try to
explain the problem - in French - he gets the point that it's an
emergency and tells us to come over.

A hair-raising drive, with laptop, in the dark through wee French
country roads, up across the ridge, and down through a jumble of stone
buildings (with a half an inch to spare each side of the car) to an 18
century converted barn which this photographer friend has converted to
a studio. In we rush! Of course he's French so we have to kiss and
shake hands and go through all the pleasantries. Then the wife and
the son and the daughter-in-law and oh look you haven't met the new
grandchild... all come out, to see us.... and they all have to be
kissed and handshook..... and do we want a drink?


It's an emergency - urgence! Comprenez!

Damn, what's the French for "Live internet broadcast"?!!!!

So down we dawdle to the studio where the photographer says to Le
Chef, no problem - it's Wifi.

Yes, it's Wifi all right. Password protected Wifi. Can he remember
the password?

Mais non!

He never uses it himself, it's in his computer.

But, he says, we can use his computer. Le Chef says it's a live
internet VIDEO broadcast. So - he needs a camera. Is there an
ethernet cable and he will connect direct to the modem?

Oh yes, the photographer is sure he has one... Somewhere around
here...........? or here........... ? or is it here...........? Ah
yes... finally..... here it is!

Le Chef gets his butt on to the seat, and logged in with his camera
cued up just in time to hear his voice on video announce.... 'and I'll
answer all your questions, live"..... cue camera.... action!!! He
was on! Breathing heavily, but on! Answering questions from readers
from Fife to San Diego. Unbelievable!

Oh how we laughed. Well, afterwards, we laughed. Well, after our
second bottle of bubbly back home in front of the fire, we laughed.

And the best bit was three hours later.... the internet inexplicably
came back.

And just as we were going to say never again, all these E-mails came
in from folk asking - when is the next one?


Apart from that ... it was a breeze...

So now the show's had more than 3500 viewings, I guess it was all
worth it! If you want to see the recorded video, you can view it any
time at

....and now he's thinking it would be fun to do another one!