Tag Archives: #FrankMuir

…Author Frank Muir offers a splendid piece or three of his mind…

…I’m grateful for the legions of great pals I have in the Great Global Author Diaspora… some of whom I’ve only ‘met’ in the Virtualsphere, others in person… one such from the ‘in person’ group is terrific crime thriller writer, Frank Muir (he goes all posh with his ‘Sunday’ name on his books – ‘T. F. Muir’)… I first read one of his DCI Andy Gilchrist thrillers a few years ago, and was hooked on his series ever since… his latest wee masterpiece, BLOOD TORMENT is currently edging closer to the top of my to-be-read pile…

blood-torment1

…apart from his obvious wordsmithing skills, Frank possesses opinions… and ain’t shy in expressing them… LUV IT!… here’s a sample of what I mean:

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At the invitation of that wonderful ‘auld’ Scottish author, Seumas Gallacher, I realised I had a few things on my mind that I would like to share with Seumas’s readers through his generous offer to let me loose on his blog. All free of charge, too, which is more than likely contrary to most people’s belief that Scots are as tight as a politician’s coffin. Which brings me to my first rant.

duckBeing Scottish, too, I’m used to hearing derogatory remarks about our alleged unwillingness to ‘buy a round,’ or ‘chip into the kitty,’ or that the old threepenny bit had twelve edges so you could use a spanner to screw it out of a Scotsman’s hand. And oh my, what we allegedly do to poor sheep with our wellington boots – it’s enough to make a Scotsman grab onto his sporran and run to the hills to hide in shame. Well, let me reassure the people of the world (or at least all of those who subscribe to Seumas’s blog!!) that the Scots are none of the above – at least none of the Scots I know.

I first met Seumas on one his trips back to Glasgow, when he invited several of his Facebook friends – authors and readers – to meet for a get together in a hotel in Glasgow. It turned out to be a great event, one in which I met other kindred lovers of books, and found Seumas to be friendly, helpful, and extremely generous, in fact picking up the tab for the whole event – in other words, a true Scotsman.

pinkMy second rant is about FIFA, the governing body of football (soccer, to Seumas’s American friends), who don’t seem capable of running a stag party in a brewery, let alone manage the rules of the beautiful game. Rife with rumours (many allegedly true) of bribery and corruption, FIFA seems to be run by a clueless bunch of dunderheads with barely an ounce of common sense in the collective six inches between the ears. Point in fact – for the latest match between two auld rivals, England and Scotland at Wembley (incidentally, played on Armistice day – see below), FIFA’s irrational argument that Scotland’s dark blue strip would be difficult to distinguish between England’s all-white strip because Scotland’s strip had white shorts, defies all sense of logic. Scotland were obliged to wear all-pink strips instead, even though in countries that still show football games on black and white TVs, the contrast between pink and white strips would be less striking.

arms-2But worst of all, after that same match, FIFA reported both the England and Scottish teams to their disciplinary committee for wearing armbands with poppies in commemoration of all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives in combat. The argument behind this case of monumental stupidity was that FIFA’s rules do not permit the display of political statements on any football attire – an admirable rule in and of itself. But would someone please explain to that group of ignoramuses that wearing poppies is never, has never been, nor ever will be, a political statement.

And so to my last rant, which is really not a rant, but a blowing of all Scots’ trumpets (or bagpipes) on behalf of our fiercely patriotic nation. Two words – Andy Murray. If there was ever a harder-working, more humble and dedicated professional sportsperson in any corner of the world, then I would need to see him, or her, to believe it. With two Olympic gold medals, two Wimbledon and one US Open grand slams, and finishing the year as World number one – never before done by any Brit (man or woman) in the modern era of tennis – Murray has defined himself as one of the greatest, if not the greatest ever, Scottish sportsperson. Of course, being an ardent fan of Andy Murray comes with its drawbacks, because – as every Scottish tennis supporter knows – Murray puts us through the wringer, time and time again. So much so, in fact, that the Oxford English Dictionary is thinking of redefining ‘murder’ as – a Scotsman watching Andy Murray play tennis!!andy

Talking of murder, if any of Seumas’s fans like to read a good crime story, please feel free to visit my website at www.frankmuir.com and learn a bit more about me and my books – the first and only contemporary crime series set in St. Andrews, Scotland, the home of golf – but that’s another story.

…thanks gazillions for the post, Frank… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…Author, Frank Muir… my superb Scots’ scribbling pal, Guest Blogs with us today … enjoy… #TBSU…

…the marvel of the Guest Blog phenomenon rolls on apace… another Scots lad, no less, today adorns my blog with yet another demonstration of how richly talented  and deep is the quill-scraper society… my good pal, Author, Frank Muir is here to make the hairs stand on the back of yer neck… as with most of we Heathens-From-North-Of-Hadrian’s-Wall, he is well able to speak for himself… here he is:

 

 

HEADSHOT - Colour - December 2013

FRANK MUIR (Author, T.F.Muir)

I am often asked why, having been born and raised and now living once again in Glasgow, Scotland, I chose St. Andrews as the setting for my crime series, and I always give some version of the same answer – my wife, Anne, and I had driven up from Glasgow for a long weekend in St. Andrews, a place we visit more than any other, and on a cold winter’s night, with not a cloud in the sky, while walking back to our hotel after an evening in the pub, we turned into a side-street and I just stopped. Maybe I’d had too much to drink, or my mind was filled with thoughts of romance, but I was simply struck by the setting.

Behind us lay the castle ruins; to the left, the cathedral ruins; and ahead, this ancient street as narrow as a lane, with old stone buildings either side, eerily shadowed by moonlight. Call it a moment of epiphany if you like, but as I stood there, it hit me with a clarity that stunned me that this place – the auld grey toon of St. Andrews – would make a perfect setting for a crime series.

We entered the street, and I have to say that with thoughts of murder and mayhem churning through my mind, I clung closer to my wife, the pair of us keeping to the middle of the road. As we walked back, and my thoughts fermented, I came to see that St. Andrews had national recognition from Prince William attending the University, and also international recognition from the town being renowned as the home of golf. And with its sheer seaside cliffs, its stone harbour pier, black roiling seas and golden beaches, and of course that cold, wet, miserable Scottish weather blasting the town senseless most of the year, it seemed to me that here was a place just waiting to be written about.

Mind made up, and eager to begin writing, all I needed was the name of my detective, which came to me in the space of a couple of heartbeats – Andy Gilchrist. Where the name Gilchrist sprang from I had no idea, and the ease with which it popped up had me worried that I must know someone by that name. But I wracked my brain, probed my memory banks, talked to my wife about it, and came up with a blank. No, I knew no one by the name of Gilchrist, so Andy Gilchrist it was.

Now, all of this happened over thirteen years ago, when Prince William attended St. Andrews University (at one time I feared he might be King by the time my books were ever published), but it was only last year that I finally came to understand where the name Gilchrist had come from.

I visited my cousin, Tom, whom I had not seen since the death of my mother seventeen years ago, and as long-lost cousins tend to do we talked mostly about family. We both shared the same grandparents, and I mentioned that I planned to carry out a genealogical search on our family one day, although I knew I could never go back any further than our Grandpa John Rae on my mother’s side, because my mother told me her father had been adopted at birth. Tom, who had read my crime series, looked at his wife, Jane, for a long moment, then back at me, and said, ‘We thought you knew.’ I must have given him a blank look, for he then told me that John Rae had been Grandpa’s adopted name, but that he had been christened John Gilchrist. Well, I tell you. Hairs really do rise on the back of the neck, and electricity really does zap up and down spines. I was a perfect example of horripilation full bore – I still shiver when I recall that moment.

However, the realisation that somewhere deep in the darkest canyons of my subconscious had lain some genetic memory passed down to me through my Grandpa John, now raised another more perplexing, perhaps even worrying, thought.

Another question I am often asked is – where do you get the ideas for your gruesome scenes in your crime novels? I always give an answer along the lines of: I read a lot, and I read a lot of crime, so I write what I like to read, and ideas just come to me. And the psychology of the criminal mind fascinates me. What drives someone to kill? How do they feel in the act of murder? How can they then live with it? And in the end, I say that I just make it up, that it is all a figment of my imagination.

Up until that meeting with my cousin, I had always thought the answer was simply that. Now I wonder if my gift for writing believable scenes of violence and all things gruesome is not just imagination, but the faintest recollections of genetic memory passed down to me from long dead relatives.

If so, I must be descended from a frightening, murderous lot. So now I worry that my murder scenes are not just figments of my imagination, but are based on fact. I guess I will never know.

But it does make you wonder.

 

…thanks for coming aboard, that man…

Frank publishes under the author name T.F Muir, and his next novel – THE MEATING ROOM – number five in his DCI Andy Gilchrist series, is scheduled for publication on 18th September 2014 (something else is happening that day, but he can’t remember what). For more information on Frank and his books visit his website at www.frankmuir.com

THE MEATING ROOM - T.F. MUIR - 18 September 2014

Frank’s excellent ‘back list’ is here

Eye for an Eye

Hand for a Hand

Tooth for a Tooth

Life for a Life

…go on, enjoy a superb Scots writer’s WURKS…

 

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE/RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

 

 

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