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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Unlike the last two months, September has been busy for me. The month had hardly started before I was sitting on a train, heading for Stirling, and the annual Bloody Scotland festival which celebrates crime writing. This festival just gets better year after year, and I reckon it gives the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival a run for its money. This year I was acompanied by my 13 year old granddaughter, and she had a ball. She enjoyed it so much she wants me to book her in for it again next year. I've done a blog post on it, and if you want to check it out just click on the link at the side of this page.
I hardly had time to draw breath before I was off on a reading tour of Dundee, accompanying an American tour group and giving readings at various sites which I use in my books, including the Howff Cemetery, Verdant Works, Camperdown Zoo, and Templeton Woods. They were really interested in how to throw a live and kicking body over the electrified fence into the bearpen at the zoo. I'll be blogging about it on Authors Electric on the 19th October. We had a wonderful day and I made new friends. The next day I accompanied the group to Auchmithie, a small fishing village 3 miles north of Arbroath. We had lunch at the celebrated But n' Ben restaurant followed by a historical re-enactment by the villagers. I gave readings from A Salt Splashed Cradle, in the restaurant and in the church where the re-enactment took place. And I'll be blogging about this visit on Authors Electric on 19th November. If you've never visited the Authors Electric blog site then it's time you did. There's a new blog post every day written by one of the 29 members, plus a few guest ones. The blog is well worth a visit.
Later that same week I met my Canadian friends Don and Melanie Robertson-King in Dundee. It was great meeting up with them again on their tour of Scotland, and we tried to fit in as many of the sights of Dundee as we could.
All of this happened over a ten day period, so you can imagine I was knackered by the end of it. However, I loved every minute of it. But, I wasn't finished yet. Ten days later, just enough time to get my breath back, I was off to Edinburgh for my first committee meeting as a Society of Authors in Scotland committee member. I'm a great supporter of the Society of Authors, they do so much to help authors in what is becoming an increasingly difficult climate for many of them. I think all authors should consider joining this organisation, there are many benefits. Check the society out here, Society of Authors
Now, all I need to do is wait and see what October has in store for me.
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Chris Longmuir, Crime Writer
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