Meet Emma Christie author of The Silent Daughter

Scottish noir is a big publishing trend at the moment and today we're pleased to introduce debut author Emma Christie, whose novel The Silent Daughter is set mainly in Edinburgh. 

The Silent Daughter is available as an ebook from Amazon and in paperback in all good bookshops plus from our Thriller Women list at bookshop.orgNB: if you buy books through this link we may earn a commission from, whose fees support independent bookshops. 

The Silent Daughter book cover

Now to the questions!

TW: You've had a very long journey to publication - can you tell us about it?

EC: I quit my job as a news reporter in 2010 with the idea of writing a novel. I’d been
trying to write and work at the same time and just couldn’t manage it. I have HUGE respect for people who can. I finished my first book about a year later, and after much tweaking, was signed to an agent at the end of 2011. We started submitting in 2012 and I imagined I’d be snapped up by a publisher right away, but…two unpublished books and seven years later, I finally got a deal for The Silent Daughter! I’ll be eternally grateful to my agent, Caroline Hardman, for her unwavering faith.

TW: Why did you choose the thriller genre to write in?

EC: I didn’t really choose it at all. In fact, I thought I was writing a literary novel when I started – but then my agent turned round and said – you do realise you’ve written a thriller, don’t you? With The Silent Daughter, I was aware that’s what I was writing and have to say, I love writing that genre. The best bit is when the clues start appearing of their own accord and I end a chapter with something that takes me completely by surprise!

TW: Which other thriller authors do you love?

EC: Confession: I mainly read non-fiction, especially history books. I’m a total medieval history addict. But I grew up reading Dick Francis and Stephen King. More recently, I love the Gillian Flynn books. I’m making a big effort these days to read more books in my genre to help develop my understanding of it!

TW: You published in lockdown and have done a lot of work to network with and champion other debut authors. What'ss the story behind that?

EC: I was extremely lucky to be published after the first lockdown and before the second one began, But I’ve connected with many debuts who were published when the shops were closed and it’s heart-breaking at times to see a writer have their dream come true with a publishing deal and then whisked away by the lockdown situation.

In response to that, I came up with the idea of Diary Of A Debut Novelist online festival – to help give a voice to debuts publishing in a challenging situation. I was very lucky to be selected for a 180-second slot at Scotland’s biggest crime book festival, Bloody Scotland, but I know many debuts don’t get the chance to speak at festivals. So I thought – let’s make our own! Even though I was the organiser, it was absolutely a team effort. It was a brilliant experience and I feel so lucky to have so many brilliant debuts in my life!

TW:The Silent Daughter has a strong Spanish theme. How did that come about?

EC: I’ve lived in Spanish-speaking countries for much of my adult life – Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Spain. I’m fluent in Spanish, my partner is Spanish and in my other life as a tour director, I work mainly in Spain! So, it was natural for me to want to write about that part of my life experience. It wasn’t just an add-on, however. I made some characters Spanish for a specific purpose – can’t really say what without spoilers, however!

TW: Without giving the game away there's a big twist in The Silent Daughter. What are your plotting and red herring tips?

EC: That’s a really hard question! I am not a planner and, as I mentioned above, I often surprise myself with how the chapters end. I honestly have no idea where most of it comes from. Sometimes I write something and think – aha, that’s…something – and a few chapters later I’ll find a way to make that ‘something’ into a red herring. Some of them were deliberate, but I suppose I just thought of where reader’s minds mightgo, and played a little with those thoughts - without outright lying! It’s important not to lie to readers, but I’m all for confusing them!

TW: Do you think the thriller industry is doing enough to welcome diverse authors and highlight issues such as BAME, LGBTQ+, gender and disability?

EC: I think the publishing industry in general could do much more – and most industries, or that matter!

TW: What's next for you in your career?

EC: I’m currently working on book two and hopefully it’ll be released in early autumn next year. Can’t say too much about it at the moment but I’m determined to actually enjoythe process!

This is the first time I’ve ever worked full-time as a writer – Covid has snuffed my tour guiding career – and it’s a pretty big adjustment for me to be writing all day, every day. Still working out how to get the balance right, but I’m happy to have thechance to give it a go!

Quick fire questions:

TW: Slow burning or action packed?

EC: Slow burn! But…I do love action. Can I say both?

TW: Edinburgh or Glasgow?

EC: Oooooohhhh, that’s hard one too, and I also want to say both. For beauty,

Edinburgh. For personality, Glasgow!

TW: Male or female protagonist?

EC: Aaaahhh, both again!

A big thanks to Emma for answering our questions.

Emma Christie

More about The Silent Daughter

Deceit runs in the family . . .

Chris Morrison is facing his worst nightmare.

His wife is in a coma.

His daughter is missing.

And the only thing more unsettling than these two events . . . is what might connect them.

Some secrets can change a family for ever.


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