Chris Laing


Chris Laing is a native of Hamilton, Ontario. He worked in private business for twenty years before joining the Federal Public Service, where he served in the Department of the Secretary of State and National Museums of Canada until his retirement.
In the past few years he has expanded his long-time interest in detective stories from that of avid reader to writing in this genre. His short stories have appeared in a number of literary journals. His first novel, "A Private Man", was published by Seraphim Editions in 2012 and it was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Crime Novel. His second novel in the Max Dexter series, "A Deadly Venture", also set in Hamilton in the 1940’s, was published in Sept.,2014.
"West End Kid" is a collection of short stories based loosely on his experiences growing up during World War Two.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Hamilton, Ontario during WW II. My family lived in the so-called "Wartime Houses", a small concentration of prefab houses - hastily-built plywood structures which allowed for maximum heat in the summer and maximum cold in the winter. The neighborhood was teeming with kids whose fathers were either serving overseas or employed in war-related jobs. Needless to say, you learned about life and how to survive at an early age - lessons which have lasted me a lifetime.
I fondly remember those early experiences (the hardships are dulled by time) and attempt to recall them in my writing. "West Side Kid", my collection of short stories, is an example.
My experiences working in downtown Hamilton during the 1950's has strongly influenced my detective novels set in the 1940's. "A Private Man" is the first in the series of Max Dexter Mysteries, a wounded veteran of WWII who returns to Hamilton to set up his own private detective agency. The second novel in the series will be published by Seraphim Editions in Sept., 2014.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
This is my first indie publication. Print book publishers can't make a buck with short story collections (unless you're world-famous) and I have a collection of rejection letters to prove it. A friend told me about Smashwords and here I am. So far, so good.
Read more of this interview.

Where to buy in print


West End Kid: Tales from the Forties
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 39,760. Language: Canadian English. Published: September 13, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Historical » General
An imaginative collection of 9 short stories about a group of kids growing up in Hamilton, Ontario during World War Two. This coming of age collection captures the spirit of the times and reflects the age-old challenges facing every generation.

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