All posts by Sam Blake

Join Us for the KYEOM Launch!

Join Sam Blake to launch KEEP YOUR EYES ON ME at the Royal St George Yacht Club Dun Laoghaire 4-6pm on 5th January 2020 – it’s free and all are welcome! There will be coffee & cake (and my husband insists, wine!)

Keep Your Eyes on Me features jeweller Lily Power so we’ve invited family jeweller CM Weldon to come along and help us get into the spirit of the book – his team will be on hand to clean your jewellery (completely free) so you start the new year with a sparkle!

To help us with numbers, book to attend and get your jewellery cleaned by CM Weldon, or book without jewellery cleaning so we can ensure there is enough cake for everyone! Just click through below…

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Praise for Sam Blake

What people say….

Keep Your Eyes on Me

Original, twisty and very gripping – this is a rollercoaster ride to be savoured.  WC Ryan

One of those delights of scheming and machination where you really don’t know who’s manipulating whom until it’s far too late. And then tips you upside down at the end –  terrific! Alex Marwood

Riveting, complex and no bookmark needed! Laura Rash (Wonderchick40) Bookstagrammer USA

I absolutely *love* a tale of women scorned getting revenge and this one did not let me down. I loved the escapism of it – I was living vicariously through those characters, I tell you. It was pacy and exciting and totally joyous. Jo Spain

A delightfully dark and satisfying thriller that had me anxiously cheering on the wronged women in their quest for revenge. Roz Watkins

The Cat Connolly Trilogy

Sam Blake creates unforgettable characters and dark plot twists full of intrigue (Liz Nugent)

Instantly gripping, perfectly paced, and filled with a brilliant cast of characters, led by the utterly likeable and relatable Detective Cathy Connolly. Writer Sam Blake moves cleverly between locations making sure that the reader is always in an interesting and revealing place that will bring them closer to uncovering the truth. And from the murky depths of these buried secrets comes an ending that truly shines. (Alex Barclay)

A stunning slap in the face of a novel. Beginning with a crime so shocking in its intensity that you have to read twice to grasp the horror. Then the narrative truly kicks in with breath-taking speedSuperb writing and a plot of adrenalised depth. This is easily a contender already for Irish crime novel of the year.
Be warned, the ending will rend your heart (Ken Bruen)

PD James meets Karin Slaughter in this stylish debutSam Blake has created a heroine crime sleuths will love in DC Cathy Connolly. She’s feisty, yet vulnerableextremely intelligent, yet deeply instinctive. In other words, the kind of woman you want to have a glass of wine with and pour your heart out to. (Niamh O’Connor)

It’s always a delight when fiction provides women with depth and personality . . . a deliberately paced, character driver mystery coupled with some genuinely creepy moments and labyrinthine twists makes Little Bones a worthwhile summer read. (The Irish Times)

This dark and juddering thriller . . . A major boon in Little Bones‘ appeal factor is Det Cat Connolly who leaps from the page . . . Little Bones has discussions to raise via Cat and her personal life, themes that colour the contemporary Ireland backdrop for the uninitiated. (Sunday Independent)

From the very first page the reader is treated to a tense, fast-paced journey of suspense. A thrilling debut with a gutsy protagonist and a memorable story. The pages will practically turn themselves . . . Highly Recommended. (Bleach House Library)

One to watch. (Crime Always Pays blog)

A truly engrossing read (Independent.ie)

Tightly plotted, believably charactered and told with style – what more can you want? A great debut.’ (The Bookbag)

‘With so many twists and turns, both expected and unexpected, this book is entirely engrossing. I enjoyed this book so much that at just over halfway in I was already recommending it to friends that I thought would appreciate it.’ (The Quiet Knitter)

Incredibly engrossing with many twists & turns along the way….I would happily recommend Little Bones to anyone looking for a fast paced crime thriller Source: Swirl and Thread Blog

The start of an exciting new crime series introducing fearless Detective Cat Connolly…. one of the year’s most thrilling reads. Source: Easons

Little Bones is a fascinating story about old sins and family secrets. I found the book engrossing from the start, thanks to both the interesting story and its characters. Author: Magdalena Johansson Source: A Bookaholic Swede Blog

I was incredibly impressed by Little Bones. If you like your crime fiction to involve the more traditional police procedural, one that has a little more complexity to the generic, this may well be a book that you will really enjoy. Source: Cleopatra Loves Books Blog

Little Bones has suspense, mystery, suspicious death, festering families, a brilliantly executed plot, PLUS characters with plenty of flavour Source: Little Bookness Lane Blog

It was a great book, with some unexpected twist and with an ending that first was promising and then turned devastating. I recommend this book warmly! Source: It’s a Mad, Mad World

A gripping read Source: Irish Country Magazine

Sam Blake’s debut novel is a fast-paced thriller with a twisting plot and a likable heroine Source: Irish Times (Weekend Review)

From the very first page the reader is treated to a tense, fast-paced journey of suspense. A thrilling debut with a gutsy protagonist and a memorable story. The pages will practically turn themselves… Highly Recommended Source: Bleach House Library

Another cracking thriller, delivering a fast-moving, tense and shadowy plot full of unexpected twists and turns, and the palpable sense of danger that is becoming a hallmark of the Cat Connolly books Source: Lancashire Post

There are so many amazing twists in the plot that by the end you don’t know who to trust. I also enjoyed the ending which was fairly ambiguous. It leaves you on the edge of your seat and it definitely leaves you wanting more from the series Source: Warm Days Will Never Cease

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MURDER ONE! Ireland’s International Crime Writing Festival

Murder One, a three-day long weekend crime writing festival that launched in November 2018 was jam packed with interviews with Irish and international authors, panel events, and a free speakers corner where attendees could listen to readings from some of Ireland’s newest crime writers.  Murder One  featured all aspects of the genre from thrillers and spy fiction, to police procedural and supernatural, cosy mysteries to psychological suspense with more coming for 2019 – we have something for everyone.

Michael Connelly has a full house when he discussed DARK SACRED NIGHT with Declan Burke. All our fabulous authors received a hand numbered and printed limited edition Oscar Wilde quote to remind them of their visit to Dublin, UNESCO City of Literature.

Michael Connelly opened the inaugural Murder One International Crime Writing Festival with a special preview event on October 28 2018, discussing his latest book Dark Sacred Night with crime writer and Dublin City of Literature writer in residence Declan Burke.

Michael Connelly is the bestselling author of twenty-eight novels and one work of nonfiction. With over sixty million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into thirty-nine foreign languages, he is one of the most successful writers working today.

A former newspaper reporter who worked the crime beat at the Los Angeles Times and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Connelly has won numerous awards for his journalism and his fiction. In Dark Sacred Night Renée Ballard is working the night beat again, and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard kicks him out, but then checks into the case herself and it brings a deep tug of empathy and anger.

Bosch is investigating the death of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally murdered and her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now, Ballard joins forces with Bosch to find out what happened to Daisy and finally bring her killer to justice.

The main programme took place in Smock Alley Theatre, one of Dublin’s premier event venues, from 2nd – 4th November.  Featured over the weekend were 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.

Lynda La Plante discusses Murder Mile and the Widows Movie with Niamh O’Connor

International bestselling & award winning author, Lynda La Plante, whose TV dramas from Prime Suspect to Trial & Retribution have kept viewers on the edge of their seats, discussed her criminal passions and her latest novel, Murder Mile, with Niamh O’Connor. As Widows, the movie inspired by Lynda’s hit TV series is released, does print still pull her back and how does she keep those ideas coming?

Lynda La Plante was born in Liverpool. She trained for the stage at RADA and worked with the National Theatre and RDC before becoming a television actress. She then turned to writing – and made her breakthrough with the phenomenally successful TV series WIDOWS, that has been adapted for film this year. Directed by Steve McQueen from a screenplay by McQueen and Gillian Flynn WIDOWS features Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall and Liam Neeson, and is released by 20th Century Fox on November 16 2018.

In her latest book, Murder MilePrime Suspect meets Ashes to Ashes as we see Jane Tennison starting out on her police career . The fourth in the bestselling Jane Tennison series, Murder Mile  is set at the height of the ‘Winter of Discontent’ in February 1979. Can Jane Tennison uncover a serial killer?

Lynda La Plante also brought 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, vistors got 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. Signed hardbacks are available at The Gutter Bookshop – get in touch to order yours!

The legendary Val McDermid talks maggots and methods of murder with Niamh O’Connor

Murder One has been developed and is curated by two of Ireland’s most experienced literary event programmers, Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin of Writing.ie (aka crime writer 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, this sensational festival attracted engaged crowds to see some of the biggest names in international crime writing.

We’re planning the 2019 festival now – sign up so you don’t miss our news.

Follow Murder One on Twitter @MurderOneFest, Instagram @MurderOneFest or Facebook @MOneCrimeFest

Join our mailing list to keep in touch with Murder One and find out what’s coming at Ireland’s International Crime Writing Festival in 2019

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Short Story Anthologies

I’ve been very privileged to be asked to contribute to several landmark anthologies – the short stories in them are all related to the Cat Connolly books and are extra stories about the characters.

Looking At The Stars was a limited edition anthology of Irish writing edited by Kerrie O’ Brien and Alice Kinsella to raise money for the Rough Sleeper Team of the Dublin Simon Community.

It features a mixture of poetry, prose and non-fiction from a host of incredible Irish writers but, most importantly, it will also feature writing from those currently in the services of the Dublin Simon Community. It raised over €15000 for the Dublin Simon Community.

The Broken Spiral is an anthology of short stories by Irish authors in aid of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. The project is named The Broken Spiral as this is the symbol of the centre, and because it is emblematic of the winding, re-winding and often circuitous journey towards healing that those who have experienced trauma face. This symbol also serves as the shape of the collection, which, though it inevitably explores darkness and difficulty, ultimately offers solace, and a way out of the labyrinth. The Broken Spiral has raised much-needed funds for the centre, but also act as a restorative to survivors of trauma who have spoken out and survivors who remain in silence through the redemptive power of storytelling. The aim of the collection is to bring hope to the reader, and to re-establish a belief that healing can, and does, happen.

The Broken Spiral anthology launched in mid-November 2017 at the Irish Writers Centre.  Featuring writing from Pat McCabe, Mia Gallagher, June Caldwell, Louise O’Neill, Colin Barrett, Sinéad Gleeson, Roisín O’Donnell, Rosaleen McDonagh and Claire Hennessy. Sponsored by Dublin UNESCO, Bodytonic, Mutiny and the Irish Writers Centre. Edited by R.M. Clarke.

Reading the Future is a wonderful limited edition anthology of 250 Irish writers celebrating 250 years of Dublin’s oldest bookstore, Hodges Figgis. Edited by Alan Hayes it features bestsellers, award winners and two Booker shortlisted authors Donal Ryan and Sally Rooney.

My story features Anna Lockharte, a character in No Turning Back, and who I hope will feature in a future book!

 

 ‘The Danger and the Glory, Irish Writers on the Art of Writing’  (Arlen Press 2019) was originally conceived as a web-based project, and is the brainchild of academic Hedwig Schwall and the team at the University of Leuven. It has been supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and The European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies  and features essays by 50 Irish writers including the Anne Enright, Kevin Barry, Evelyn Conlon, Roddy Doyle, and me! It’s an intriguing read, designed to open up interesting debate around the nature of inspiration and the mystery of the writing process.

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Sam Blake at The Professional Writing Academy

Sam Blake is a guest tutor at The Professional Writing Academy Crime Fiction Online Workshop designed and facilitated by course director & Unsung Hero of Publishing 2018 Tom Bromley. 

Are you passionate about crime fiction? Would you like to expand and hone your writing skills? This four-week online course will help you master the conventions of crime fiction as you develop ideas, create compelling characters and inject suspense into your writing. You’ll learn how to develop page-turning plots and put this knowledge into practice by writing a short crime story or start of a novel. Broaden your palette of writing techniques and explore the world of thriller, suspense and crime  – and you can do it wherever you are in the world!

About Tom Bromley (but obviously the pic above is *me* 😉 )

I am a published author, editor, creative writing tutor, book reviewer and ghost (not the scary kind). I have written ten books under my own name and the pseudonym Thomas Black, which are a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. I have also ghostwritten a dozen more titles, several of which have been international bestsellers.

As a creative writing tutor, I teach novel writing and five further courses for the prestigious Faber Academy. I am also Director of Fiction for the Professional Writing Academy, where I run courses on crime and genre fiction.

I work, too, as an editorial consultant and mentor for a number of publishers, literary agencies and organisations, and also in a private capacity. Locally, I host the Salisbury Writing Circle — a community of new and experienced writers alike and write a weekly column on the arts (sort of) for the Salisbury Journal.

This autumn, I’m also one of the founders and Director of the inaugural Salisbury Literary Festival.

You couldn’t be in safer hands!

Sign up here http://bit.ly/CrimeSignUp

See my thoughts on literary festivals, events and courses, PLUS how to deal with writer’s block below…

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