Chris Simms

Novelist

Chris Simms writes tense thrillers mostly set in and around Manchester, the area where he lives. However, his debut novel Outside the White Lines had no specific location. Instead it concerned a psychopathic van driver who roams the UK motorway system at night searching for stranded motorists. The idea came to Chris in the early hours of the morning when his own car had broken down on a lonely stretch of road. His later novels (and short stories) have been nominated for various crime-writing awards.

Although Chris’s novels fall into the crime genre, the types of book that influence him as a writer are psychological thrillers featuring a deeply flawed central character. Examples cited by Chris include The Wasp Factory, The Butcher Boy and The Collector. Chris’s writing has been noted for its simple, pared-back style. He attributes this to his early career as a copywriter in the advertising industry: a role that demands using as few words as possible to get a message across.

Alongside his work for the RLF, Chris is on the committee of the Crime Writers’ Association and edits Case Files, the online magazine of the Crime Readers’ Association. He also helps sportspeople to write clearly in his role as a proWriting coach. Outside of writing, Chris is head coach of a junior side at his local rugby club and, during the summer months, he competes in open-water swimming events. He is married with four children, but is still awaiting permission to get a dog.

Chris Simms

Fellowships

University of Manchester 2012-15