Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Writing Crime? Need Help? Ask the Experts!


In a free online event this Saturday lunchtime, top Dublin writer, Sam Blake will be grilling an ex detective, a CSI and a forensic psychologist on how to write gripping yet authentic crime fiction.

In the lunchtime session, bestselling author Sam will quiz Graham Bartlett, Kate Bendelow and Dr Emma Donnelly on their roles, the three top mistakes they see in relation to their jobs in fiction and how authors can get the best of both worlds; drama and reality.

Graham, a former senior detective who now advises and trains around seventy crime authors and TV writers, Kate a serving crime scene investigator from Manchester and Dr Emma a Dublin-based clinical psychologist are all writers in addition to their day jobs. As well as Sam putting them through their paces, there is plenty of time for audience questions and a surprise give-away too.

Retired Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett said, ‘I am delighted Sam invited us to take part in this event. Kate, Emma and I advise authors through but the opportunity to take our service on the virtual road is an honour. I hope lots of people come along armed with everything they ever wanted to know about writing authentic crime fiction but didn’t know who to ask.’

Writing Crime? Ask the Experts is a live Facebook event hosted by at between 12.00 midday and 1pm Saturday 20th February 2021


Note to Editors

Sam Blake

Sam Blake’s latest novel, The Dark Room is out now, a psychological thriller transporting readers to a mysterious country house hotel called Hare’s Landing in West Cork Ireland, where the past never dies. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘Laced with creepy menace and dark characters that live in the mind, it gets under the skin very quickly’. Her debut novel 'Little Bones' (Bonnier 2016) was No 1 in Ireland for four weeks, remained in the top 10 for another four, and was shortlisted for Irish Crime Novel of the Year. It launched the bestselling Cat Connolly trilogy. Now Sam is keeping a focus on strong female characters, writing psychological thrillers for Corvus Books. 'Keep Your Eyes On Me' went straight to No 1 in January 2020 and 'The Dark Room', hit the bestseller list in January 2021, outselling Graham Norton. Sam has already signed for two more thrillers with Corvus Atlantic that will keep her busy until 2023. Sam lives close to Dublin and started writing in 1999 when her husband went sailing across the Atlantic for eight weeks and she had an idea for a book.

In her day job Sam Blake is Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, the founder of the award winning writing resources website and a board member of the Society of Authors. She’s spent the past 20 years assisting new authors to achieve their dreams through The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and has helped many award winning and bestselling authors to success. Check out Sam's online writing courses where she draws on her own huge experience to take you through her writing process to help you write your own book.

Graham Bartlett was a UK police officer in Sussex for thirty years, rising to become a police commander. On the way he was a homicide senior investigating officer and led on managing dangerous offenders, sexual offences, domestic violence, child protection and hate crime. He was a qualified strategic firearms and public order commander, leading the policing of many armed operations, large scale protests and sporting events.

Since retiring, he has become a police procedural and crime advisor helping scores of authors and TV writers (including Peter James Mark Billingham Elly Griffiths and Dorothy Koomson) achieve authenticity alongside their drama. He works with authors at all stages of their writing career and adopts an ethos of ‘creativity with credibility.’ Graham runs a series of hugely popular online courses and workshops under the banner of ‘Crime Writing: Making it Real. He is also a best-selling crime writer, with two non-fiction books – Death Comes Knocking and Babes in the Wood – to his name and a crime novel in the pipeline.

Kate Bendelow is a serving Crime Scene Investigator with 18 years of experience. She has worked on thousands of crime scenes including rapes, robberies and murders. Kate can provide you with an insight into what really goes on behind the crime scene tape. A writer and the author of The Real CSI: A Forensic Handbook for Crime Writers, Kate has a novel scheduled for May 2021.

Dr Emma Donnelly lives in Dublin and works as a Chartered Senior Clinical Forensic Psychologist. She has two decades of clinical and academic experience in the field and has worked predominantly with victims and perpetrators of crime. Emma has lectured in colleges and universities in Ireland and England as well as having guest lectured to police students in John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York. Emma has worked in a number of prisons in Ireland and the UK where she has specialised in the assessment of sexual offenders, violent offenders, and killers as well as working with prolific and problematic offenders. Emma is an experienced consultant, working with systems, interagency and multidisciplinary teams, including An Garda Síochána, the Child & Family Agency (Tusla), and the Health Service Executive (HSE) as well as consulting to best-selling authors and writers. Emma is a trained investigator in forensic interviewing. Prior to life as a psychologist, Emma worked in the radio and film industries.


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