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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Highlights of Harrogate Crime Festival

The audience at Harrogate. Were you there?

Special Guest: Ruth Rendell who was interviewed by Jeanette Winterson

Special Guest: William McIlvanney in converstion with Ian Rankin

Forensics: Val McDermid in converstion with Sue Black – it was hilarious

Special Event: Vera – Brenda Blethyn, actress; Elaine Collins, producer of Vera; and Ann Cleeves who writes the Vera books – fantastic

Brenda Blethyn and Ann Cleeves signing books after the event. The queue had to be seen to be believed

Special Guest: Lee Child who was interviewed by the comedienne, Sarah Millican. One of the liveliest reviews I’ve seen Lee do

Special Guest: Kate Atkinson who was interviewed by BBC 4 Front Row’s Mark Lawson

Late Night Quiz: The Scarlet Ladies Team

Late Night Quiz: The winners – the Scarlet Ladies

And so we come to the end of our photo parade of this year’s Harrogate Crime festival. I can’t wait for next year. I’ll see you there if you’re going.

Chris Longmuir

Monday, 15 July 2013

A Reader Has Her Say

I am happy to host a guest blog by one of my readers, Julie Merrilees Watters. Julie has never written a blog post before, but when I saw this on the Montrose Memories Facebook page, I pleaded with her to allow me to post it. Happily, she agreed, and I haven’t altered anything in her post except for separating it into paragraphs. So now I’ll hand the blog over to Julie.
Julie Merriless Watters

It was great to be able to attend Waterstones in Dundee for the launch of Chris Longmuir's new book Missing Believed Dead, along with my Mum on Thursday night.

As book launch virgins, we weren't sure what to expect. We were very pleasantly surprised to find an area in the bookshop was set out with chairs; there were welcome nibbles & drinks to keep any pangs of hunger or thirst at bay. Talking of welcomes - Chris, who was at a desk at the front, spotted us coming in & she came all the way to the back to say "Hello," have a wee chat & a hug, as well as take the time to sign a few copies of her previous books for us.

I asked Chris if she was nervous about the event. She had actually been anxious that nobody would turn up! However, people trickled in & there were no seats left by the time Chris was due to take the floor. Waterstones staff quickly had to bring in more chairs to try & accomodate everyone.

After an opening welcome, Chris gave us a hint or two about Missing Believed Dead's plot, along with few verbal appetizers about some of the characters. She chose to highlight the D.S. in her story & I was left with the feeling that I wanted to mother this chappie or fend off some of the blows bound to come his way via his new boss.

Chris asked us if we wanted to hear the first chapter read & shared some advice she'd been given as a writer. That advice was to basically hook the reader in that first chapter. She very cleverly set the scene & I was able to picture myself there witnessing the event as it unfolded & thinking "which one is going to prevail here?"

Later, Chris asked if anyone had any questions they wanted to ask. There were quite a few ranging from "Do you base your characters on real people that you know?" "How do you keep track of your characters?" "Will you please sort out the D.S. in the stories with a good woman?" "Do you write for 6,8,10 hour stretches per day?" I asked on the quiet "Do you keep a notebook with you all the time to write lines down, so you won't forget them?" Chris held the interest of the audience easily & concluded her talk to a healthy applause.

I had the pleasure of meeting Chris' family afterwards & we had a lovely time discussing Montrose Memories, the people we had met as a result of it & the things we had since learnt about our town that we hadn't known before. It really was such an enjoyable night. Well done, Chris! XX
Getting a hug from Julie
And thank you, Julie, for such a wonderful description of a wonderful night where I got to meet so many of my readers.


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sink or Swim – It’s Launched

I didn’t have a celebrity to smash a bottle of champagne over the bows of Missing Believed Dead, as it slipped down the runway into the world wide web. Or should that just be the world? There was just me and some friends, all tooting as loud as we could, and hoping to draw some attention.

So, I want to thank the people who supported me. People like J.B.Johnston, who featured a cover reveal on Brook Cottage Books. Click here if you want to see it. Then she followed it up by a review, where she described it as “a gritty, suspense filled and extremely clever thriller”. Not only that, but she said she was so drawn into the story, she dreamed of the characters one night. In my opinion that might have been better described as a nightmare! Sorry for the dreams, Jonty, but thanks for the suport. If you want to read the review for yourself, then click here.

I found another review on the Eclectic Electric, the Authors Electric eBook review site. Thank you Julia Jones for taking the time to write and submit it, and for considering me a competent, confident crime writer. High praise indeed.

Famous Five Plus, a fantastic group that supports quite a few authors, didn’t fail me either. They published several posts, starting with Have You Heard? They’re Missing Believed Dead, in June. this was followed up by Are You Ready For It? on the day of the online launch. And this weekend they’re featuring it in their Hug a Book competition, where a lucky reader can win a copy by answering a simple question. Thanks Famous Five Plus.

Then there was my interview with another great crime writer, Bill Kirton, where he made me bare my soul on his blog. Thanks, Bill.

And there’s still another blog to come. My good friend, and debut author, Melanie Robertson King, plans to feature a post her blog Celtic Connexions, on the day of my Waterstones paperback launch, which, in case you’ve forgotten, is on Thursday 11th July. Thanks in advance, Melanie.

But there are others I need to thank. There are all the people who read pre-publication copies of Missing Believed Dead, and provided reviews. Thank goodness they all loved the book, although I was prepared for the worst if they didn’t. They weren’t obliged to write good reviews. And all the people who tweeted and shared my posts on Facebook. Emails and good luck wishes can’t be ignored either. It gives me such a buzz when someone takes the trouble to drop me an email, leave me a message or put up a comment on Facebook, or makes it known in any number of ways that they enjoy my book. That’s what we write for. If I’ve forgotten anyone, I apologize. Put it down to an increase in senior moments, but I thank you anyway.

Maybe this is the place where I should share with you the dedication I put at the beginning of Missing Believed Dead. It’s “This book is dedicated to all my faithful readers who give me support and provide me with the encouragement to keep on writing. Without readers, a writer is nothing.”

Now listen to the first chapter of Missing Believed Dead.

And check out the other books in the Dundee crime Series

Chris Longmuir