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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February/April 2016First of all, I want to apologise to anyone who tried to access my website last week, I had a major meltdown which made it inaccessible and after a lot of hair tearing and choice language I had to give up the attempt to repair it. After admitting defeat, something I never like to do, I deleted the system files and reinstalled completely new ones. As you can imagine, this was a lengthy process and my site was completely unavailable for the best part of a week. So, once again, apologies for that.
The beginning of the year is always a quiet time and I've been plodding on with my new book, a Kirsty Campbell one this time, but plodding is the word, although the end is almost in sight. This has been a difficult book to write due to the complexity of the characters and the plot, and there have been times when I thought it wasn't working, but then all authors experience that when writing a book, so I'm not alone.
In February, a visit to the Anatomical Museum in Edinburgh was interesting and I wrote a blog post about it if you are interested. If you click on Museum with a Macabre Twist it will take you to the post. And, of course, as I am now a committee member of the Society of Authors in Scotland, there were several committee meetings to attend during the first part of this year. I also continue to be a member of the online Authors Electric collective for which I provide a blog post once a month. They post a new blog post every day, and my day is the 19th of every month. With 29 authors posting to this site there's always something of interest to be found.
Then in March, I was booked to speak at the annual conference of the Scottish Association of Authors which is affectionately known as SAW. I adjudicated the self-published book competition, and it was quite a difficult task because the books submitted were all of a professional standard, indistinguishable from traditionally published books. The weekend was stimulating and I was able to enjoy the various speakers until it came time to present my own workshop which I called The Nuts and Bolts of Self-Publishing. It was well attended and the attendees were interested in my presentation, so much so that we overran by 15 minutes. But the highlight for me was the keynote speaker, Caro Ramsay, who had a poke at all the well-known writers there in her usual good-humoured way. When it was my time to be insulted she drew a brilliant picture of a zombie filled Dundee which came about 'the year that Chris went hybrid'. So, if you find any zombies in Dundee, it's all my fault. My blog post is titled The Dundee Mafia and the Year Chris went Hybrid if you're interested in having a look.
There were also a couple of book launches over the period. My good friends Mark Leggatt, and Wendy H Jones, published their new books, and of course, a couple of Crime Writers' Association (CWA) lunches. I love attending these. It lets me catch up with other Scottish authors, and the chat is always good.
So, now I need to catch my breath and continue writing the new book, hopefully, it won't be long now before it is finished. I'll see you again soon.
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Chris Longmuir, Crime Writer
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