A Very British Blog or Not - Chris Longmuir

I was invited by John A. A. Logan to take part in A Very British Blog Tour 2013, but being me I was a bit slow to get off the mark, so instead of being part of the tour I thought I would simply explore how British I am by answering the same questions that everyone in the tour did.

Now, according to the rules of the Blog Tour, there is a dress code, and as I am averse to dress codes it’s maybe just as well I’m doing my own thing. If you want to know what the dress code is, after all you may want to follow it! Here it is:-
Gentlemen will wear suits, white shirts and dark ties (or kilts, sporrans, baggy T-shirts etc). (Tartan ties are expected wherever possible). Ladies will wear dresses (one inch above the knee, no higher, no lower) and floral summer hats (or baggy troosers and bunnets if preferred). A break for TEA and cucumber sandwiches (or Irn Bru and Girders) is expected at some stage and is permissible. The list at the bottom of the page is not a queue. We British hate queues and will accept them no longer. It is an invitation and you are expected to accept that invitation and support the home-grown product. Now then, let us proceed in an orderly fashion. As you know, we are all very boring and staid in Britain, aren’t we?

So what do I think of the above? Blah, that’s what I think. For a start, men in suits and shirts, or even kilts, have no hopes of pulling me – if I wanted to be pulled that is. Give me jeans and tee shirts any day. As for dresses, I can’t remember the last time I wore one, and hats should be banned. I don’t mind the tea, but please put something more in my sarnie than cucumber. And I hope you’ll notice when you reach the end of the page, that there is no queue there, nor is there an invitation. However, I have no objection if you want to join in.

So, what about the myth about the British, that we’re stuffy, class conscious, boring, staid? Is this still relevant in today’s world? That’s what the quiz is all about, so let’s find out.


Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment?

A. I was born in Wiltshire. Trowbridge to be exact, but I left there when I was only two years old, and have never been back. Must rectify that sometime. I now live in the seaside town of Montrose on the north-east coast of Scotland. Here’s a picture of the beach looking towards the lighthouse on the opposite bank of the river.

Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or are you based elsewhere at the moment?

A. I’m not very adventurous, so I’ve always lived and worked in Britain.

Q. Which is your favourite part of Britain?

A. I suppose that has to be where I live, although I’ve holidayed in many places and I also attend writers’ conferences in this country. Bristol Crimefest, and the Harrogate Crime Festival come to mind. Harrogate is a lovely place. But there are lots of lovely areas in Scotland. I live not too far away from several glens, and the scenery is fantastic. The east coast of Scotland is well worth a visit, but I have some favourites on the west coast as well. Ullapool is quite nice.

Q. Have you ‘highlighted’ or ‘showcased’ any particular part of Britain in your books? For example, a town or city; a county, a monument or some well-known place or event?

A. My Dundee crime series, two books so far, with a third on the brink of publication, are set in Dundee which is only thirty miles south from where I live. But I also feature Montrose and Ferryden in my historical saga, A Salt Splashed Cradle, although I’ve given them the names of Invercraig and Craigden.

Q. There is an illusion – or myth if you wish - about British people that I would like you to discuss. Many see the ‘Brits’ as ‘stiff upper lip’. Is that correct?

A. I think you’re right, but I’m not sure the stiff upper lip exists anymore. Maybe in my granny’s time it would have done. The older generation weren’t given to displaying their emotions. But I’m sure the present generation are much more touchy feely.

Q. Do any of the characters in your books carry the ‘stiff upper lip’? Or are they all ‘British Bulldog’ and unique in their own way?

A. I don’t think I have any British Bulldogs in my books, although I have several tough guys. I think I’ve read so much American fiction that its influence has rubbed off on me. I would say that my books are probably a blend of Scottish noir written with a touch of American style. If you read them maybe you can let me know if my analysis is the correct one.

Q. Tell us about one of your recent books?

A. I’ve just finished a new book so I’m in the throes of revision, rewriting, and editing, but when it hits the shelves it’s one of my Dundee crime stories. In it I’m having ‘fun’, if that’s the correct word, bumping off internet predators, and the story revolves round the disappearance of a child five years previously. It is quite obvious from the beginning that the killer is a member of one particular family, but which one is not so clear. There is also another question around whether the missing child has reappeared, and I’m not going to tell you any more. Just keep an eye out for my publication date.

Q. What are you currently working on?

A. The previous question supplies the answer to that, but I suppose I now have to think, what’s next. And I think I’m going to return to a character I developed several years ago in an, as yet, unpublished book. I’m going to write the prequel to that and make it the first book of a series, then rewrite and publish the one that’s sitting in my hard drive. The books will be about a policewoman in the early part of the twentieth century, so they will be historicals.

Q. How do you spend your leisure time?

A. Leisure time? What’s that? But if you really want to know, when I’m not writing, I’m reading. I have taken time off occasionally to build computers, but I’m afraid there are only so many computers that will fit into a bungalow, so I’m going to have to stop.

Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global audience?

A. I’m not sure how to answer this one because I don’t have an audience in mind when I write. I have a reader in mind, and that reader can be anywhere, as long as they want to read what I’ve written. So, locally or globally, I don’t mind in the slightest.

Q. Can you provide links to your work?
A. Yes, and thanks for the questions!

Chris Longmuir


It's great, isn't it, that we now have the freedom to plan a prequel to one of our own books...and plan a series...knowing it can be published and reach readers, without having to seek someone's approval/permission?
Chris Longmuir said…
Never said a truer word.

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