Monday, 7 January 2013

I Did it My Way - Chris Longmuir

Now we are going to indulge in a bit of crime. Award winning author, Chris Longmuir is here all the way from Scotland! Hurray!

I often wonder how authors get into the darker side of life but am cautious about asking. However, today all is revealed :

Says Chris, 'I’ve been a reader since I started school and discovered books. I read all sorts and at one time tried to read my way through the local library. Needless to say I didn’t quite manage it.

My introduction to crime came when I was about 13 or 14 and someone gave me an Agatha Christie book which was my
introduction to Hercule Poirot. After that I read everything Christie wrote from Miss Marple through to Tuppence and Tommy – who remembers them? I also read some pretty awful thrillers written by Hank Jansen – I later discovered Jansen was a variety of writers, one of whom was Bob Monkhouse!

Then there was my horror phase – Bram Stoker, James Herbert, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, I read them
all. Funnily enough I also liked historical sagas – Catherine Cookson, Margaret Thomson Davies, and several others. However, my first love was always crime, and I progressed from the cosies of Christie through to the darker writing by Val McDermid and Mo Hayder. Mustn’t forget the American authors though. I particularly like Jeffrey Deaver, Harlan Coben, and Michael Connolly. I could go on and on. I actually think it’s my avid reading of American authors that influences my crime books because I find their style a lot pacier than British novels.

When I started writing it was with a historical saga and I entered this in the Romantic Novelist’s Association’s (RNA) New Writer’s Scheme. They liked it so much they gave it three readings and placed it with a publisher. Unfortunately my timing was off because that was the year sagas went out of fashion and publishers were getting rid of their saga writers. However, it is now published as A Salt Splashed Cradle, and doing very well, thank you.

But having been rebuffed with my saga I turned back to my first love, crime writing, and now have two crime books published and a third almost complete. The first one that was published was Dead Wood which was actually book two in my Dundee Crime Series, and it won the Scottish Association of Writers (SAW), Pitlochry Award, as well as the Dundee International Book Prize. Book one in the series, Night Watcher, which was published later won the SAW Pitlochry Award as well.

The only thing I find more enjoyable than reading crime books is writing them. Long may it continue that way.'  
Indeed Chris - a popular genre and probably always will be. I have just read A Salt Splashed Cradle so far, Chris's historical saga book, and I found it a really good read, with a wonderful setting. It is a book to curl up with and let it take you to another place.

Find out more about Chris and her books here:

Chris Longmuir’s website:-


  1. Finding one's literary niche is akin to coming home! ;)


  2. I agree with Francine. I sooo wish I could write crime, but I can't write without humour to save my life. A crime comedy anyone? Fab, inspiring interview! Good luck, Chris! :) xx

  3. I've read a couple of crime books over the years and I've enjoyed them. I love watching crime shows on TV so I really should get back into them. Perhaps I should start with Chris' books!

    PS. a crime comedy sounds great Sheryl!

  4. Oooh I love crime novels and I wish I could write them but I have a serious hangup: I usually skip over the gory bits (the really gory ones, I mean) so I couldn't possibly create them myself. Doh! But I do admire your journey, Chris, and this was a great feature. Thanks to Miriam for hosting! :-)

  5. I like the idea of a crime comedy too! :) A really interesting post - I had no idea Bob Monkhouse had written a book! You learn something new every day...

    I love watching crime dramas on TV, but have never really tried reading a crime novel - maybe I'll start with one of Chris's books... :)

  6. Ooh! Thanks for a great blog post, Miriam. I too would like to write a crime comedy, but that's a step too far for me. When I try to write humour, it sinks like the proverbial stone. so maybe I'll just have to stay with the dark side! Oh, and Bob Monkhouse wrote quite a few of the Hank Jansen novels. They were pot boilers with a variety of different authors churning them out in the name of Hank Jansen. He said he wrote one every 2 weeks (phew!) for the fabulous payment of 2 shillings and sixpence (old money) for each book. I was fascinated by the teenage thugs and their flick knives! It was a new world for me, but Oh so common now.

  7. I've enjoyed both your books, Chris, and like the way you get into the character's head. I don't think I could enjoy horror - I'd have nightmares - but your crime stories are quite readable, even for a chicken like me.

  8. Great interview. Really interesting how you got into crime, Chris! Love the new cover to Salt Splashed Cradle too.

    Janice xx

  9. I think crime must be one of the most difficult things to write and I honestly would not know where to begin to create such a complicated set of events - very in awe of your talents Chris! I do occasionally stray into reading crime - Ruth Rendell and PD James mostly. And when I was in the third year at school most people in the class were reading the Pans Book of Horror series which included stories from writers like Bram Stoker.

  10. Thanks all - apparently there is sub-genre called cosy crime ! Would that do you Sheryl?!