Chris Longmuir says
Dundee and crime are the mix I use to create stories about the dark side of life. There are no angels in my novels which illustrate the lives of drug users, pushers, gangsters, stalkers, and the people who live in their midst. The police characters are no different, they have their own demons to deal with. In a depiction of modern day Dundee, it is difficult to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys.
My best selling books so far are the three books in the Dundee Crime Series, but that's to be expected because they were the first ones published. These three books form a series because the police characters remain the same throughout, although the main characters are not the police, which makes them standalone novels as well as a series, and they can be read in any order. I am continually surprised how popular, DS Bill Murphy, who is a bit of a loser, has become with readers. The first two books in the series won awards, both won the Scottish Association of Writers' (SAW) Pitlochry Award, and book two, Dead Wood, won the prestigious Dundee International Book Prize.
Last year I decided on a change of direction and published The Death Game, book one of the Kirsty Campbell Novels, a new historical mystery series with a touch of the gothic, featuring Dundee's first policewoman
But crime fiction is not the only thing I write. A Salt Splashed Cradle is a historical saga, a gritty romance set in a north-east fishing village. I have also published a nonfiction book, Crime Fiction and the Indie Contribution, which looks at the rise of ebooks and independent publishers.
I do hope you will take time to have a look at my books.
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Chris is an award winning novelist. She is best known for her Dundee Crime Series, featuring DS Bill Murphy. Night Watcher, the first book in the series, won the SAW (Scottish Association of Writers) Pitlochry Award, and the sequel, Dead Wood, won the Dundee International Book Prize, as well as the Pitlochry Award. Missing Believed Dead is the third book in the series.
Chris has recently published The Death Game, the first book in a new series. This series is set during and after the First World War, and features Kirsty Campbell, former suffragette and Dundee's first policewoman.
Her crime novels, often described as scary, atmospheric, page turners, are set in Scotland, mainly Dundee, although the novel she is currently working on is set in Gretna. Chris also writes historical sagas, short stories, and historical articles which have been published in America and Britain. She has recently published a non-fiction book - Crime Fiction and the Indie Contribution. She is currently working on a new Kirsty Campbell novel.
Chris lives in the seaside town of Montrose which is 30 miles north of Dundee. She is an Open University graduate with a post-graduate qualification in Social Work, plus a qualification in criminology. She retired early from a social work career in order to concentrate on her writing, but she has also worked in a variety of jobs including - shops, offices, factories, and was even a bus conductress for a time.
Chris is a member of the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers Association (CWA), and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). She confesses to being a techno-geek who builds computers in her spare time.
If you want to find out more about Chris, check out her biography.
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I'm slightly late posting the May news because my computer went into meltdown and it's taken me ages to get things sorted, but I'm up and running now. So, what happened in May? Well the main thing was Crimefest. In case you don't know that's an annual crime convention held in Bristol for readers and writers of crime, both fiction and non-fiction. I've been going for several years now, and it's a great place to meet up with old friends and to make new ones. It's a friendly convention and everyone gets to know everyone else. There are loads of panels and author interviews, and I was on the Emerging Indie Voices panel, although I think I've been emerging for quite a long time now. The panel moderator was Joanna Penn, an energetic and very successful indie author. I think it's fair to say this panel was one of the highlights of Crimefest, and I really enjoyed being on it.
The other event I did was a visit to Forfar Stroke Group, a lovely set of people, and it was a pleasure to speak to them. Other than that, the new book is progressing very slowly, and I'm at the stage where I wonder whether the story is going to work. But every author hits that block in every book they write. It's a time where you start to doubt your own abilities as a writer, and I'm hoping once that hurdle is passed, as it usually does, the book will come on in leaps and bounds.
I know I shouldn't mention this as this is part of the June news, but I've published a box set of the Dundee Crime Series, so why don't you have a look at the web page I've put up for it.
It's been a busy time this past month. As well as having all the hassle of redecorating the living room, new carpets, new suite etc (I'm not really a domesticated person), I've had several events. It's either a feast or a famine, nothing for ages, then everything comes at the same time. So what have I been up to? I'll list the events below.
- The Birkhill Mobile Library - talk;
- Forgan Arts Centre Book Fair;
- Angus Writers Circle - crime story competition adjudication;
- Tartan Treasures - diary entry competition adjudication;
- Murder Mystery event at Carnoustie Library;
- Angus Writers' circle - presentation and talk re winning competition entries;
- Tartan treasures - prize giving ceremony:
In the middle of that there was the SAW (Scottish Association of Writers) conference at Cumbernauld. But that was a blast because, apart from all the excellent workshops and speakers, I won the best self-published book award for The Death Game. As this is a completely new competition I am the first winner of the trophy.
There are still some events in the pipeline. I've been asked to speak to the Forfar Stroke Group, probably in May but the date is still to be confirmed. And of course there's Crimefest, the big crime writing convention in Bristol. I'm on the Indie Panel this year, and if it's as good as the one they had last year, it will be great.
To top it all I'm trying to get my new web site up and running, and this will be the first post for the new site. I suppose all my previous news posts will now go into limbo. It's an exciting time.
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Chris Longmuir, Crime Writer
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Scottish Association of Writers
Writing in Scotland since 1969