Tag Archives: Dublin

MURDER ONE! Ireland’s International Crime Writing Festival BOOK NOW!

I am SO excited to bring you news of this…

In a UNESCO City of Literature that boasts innumerable festivals all year round, you might think that all bases had been covered, but with the increasing popularity of genre festivals, this is not strictly true.  Crime writers have regularly appeared at the major Dublin literary festivals but crime writing has arguably been under-served thus far.  All this is about to change with the advent of Murder One, a new three-day long weekend crime writing festival that will feature readings and interviews with Irish and international authors, panel events, and a free speakers corner where attendees can listen to readings from some of Ireland’s newest crime writers.  Murder One will be a broad church accommodating the kindred genres of thrillers and spy fiction, police procedural and supernatural.For a first festival the line-up of crime writers is massively impressive. International bestseller, Michael Connelly opens with a special preview event on October 28th at 2.00pm in City Hall with Declan Burke moderating.

Thereafter the main programme takes place in Smock Alley, one of Dublin’s premier event venues, from 2nd – 4th November.  Featured over the weekend will be a stellar cast of crime and thriller writers including Lynda La Plante, Peter James, Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Clare Mackintosh, Lisa Jewell, Ruth Ware, Mick Herron and Robert Goddard together with many of your favourite Irish crime writers including Liz Nugent, Jane Casey, Karen Perry and many more.

International bestseller Lynda La Plante will also bring festival attendees a unique free workshop for anyone interested in the world of forensics or Crime Scene Investigation. This interactive event is hosted by Think Forensic whose experts include CSI’s, forensic scientists, and senior investigating officers. In Lynda La Plante’s CSI Murder Room, get a hands on introduction to forensic science during which you will be briefed on the crime of the day, inspired by Lynda’s newest thriller Murder Mile, and help the team solve it.

A limited number of rover weekend tickets are now available – with added goodie bags! Check out www.murderone.ie to book

The festival has been developed and will be curated by two of Ireland’s most experienced literary event programmers, Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin of Writing.ie (aka SAM BLAKE 😉 ) and Bert Wright formerly of Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival and currently curator of The Dublin Festival of History and the DLR Voices Series.. Working with Dublin City Libraries, Dublin City Events, and Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, the organizers aim to attract not just an avid local audience but also literary tourists from all over the world. The model of the long-running and hugely successful Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate is very much in mind.

With crime writing consistently the highest selling genre worldwide, the time is ripe for a great literary city to expand its festival portfolio and Murder One, it is hoped, will become one of the key events in the national and international crime festival calendar.

Smock Alley Theatre, Temple Bar, Dublin 8

Thursday November 2nd – 4th 2018

BOOK NOW at www.murderone.ie 

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The Story Behind Little Bones…

Stephen King talks about story being the collison of two unrelated ideas – the ideas behind Little Bones weren’t entirely unrelated but they collided one sunny Sunday afternoon as I was driving back from a Readers Day that author Sarah Webb and I had programmed at a hotel in Dublin Airport. It was about 5pm in the afternoon and pre M50 so a LONG drive home (I once counted 35 sets of traffic lights) but as I put on the radio and pulled out of the car park a documentary was starting on RTE about Kerry born playwright George Fitzmaurice. Fitzmaurice is best remembered for his play The Country Dressmaker which he submitted to the Abbey Theatre. It was such a success that it rescued the theatre after the problems of John Millington Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World in the same year. Born in 1877, Fitzmaurice became introverted and isolated as he grew older and died in 1963, in a rented upstairs room in No.3 Harcourt Street, Dublin. He was aged 86 years and left no will and few personal belongings – apart from a copy of every play he had ever published and a few in draft form, which were in a suitcase under his bed.

It was Fitzmaurice’s suitcase that caused the collision of ideas.

Several years previously I’d watched an RTE TV documentary about a young  Irish girl who was living in lodgings  in Manchester. Belinda Agnes Regan discovered she was pregnant before she left Ireland but,  unmarried, had no choice but to hide the pregnancy. She delivered the baby herself, incredibly in a room she shared with another much younger girl who apparently slept through her ordeal. Wrapping the baby in a shawl, she crept to the bathroom but when she returned, the baby wasn’t breathing.  Hiding the body in a suitcase, she left it under her bed, returning home to Ireland to talk to the family priest. While she was away, the body was found  by her land lady and she was arrested for infanticide.

These two stories, quite separately lit a light bulb in my head and on the drive home I started wondering about dress makers and what would happen if the bones of the baby had ended up in a dress – a wedding dress – the crucial thing that Belinda Agnes Regan must have yearned for, for nine long months. At that point I had no idea who owned the dress, or how the bones got there, or WHY…

Stories can take a long time to develop, and to find their way. I was struck by the image of the bones being found by accident in the home of a beautiful young artist. Cathy Connolly jumped off the page as a character from early in the very first draft – her quest for the truth becoming a theme for the book. More often in trouble than out of it, she is so real to me now that I can hear her talking whenever I think of her.

Writing and rewriting what started life as The Dressmaker , the characters and story grew, developing over time. While the story didn’t change, when Bonnier’s Twenty7 signed the Cat Connolly trilogy, the title of the first in the series did – to Little Bones.  And very soon  Little Bones will out in the wild, and you can meet Cat Connolly, laugh with her and cry with her, and step right into her world.

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