Monday, July 31, 2017

Why writing life doesn't have to be lonely!

I am delighted to have a special visitor to the Crime Scene blog today. Debut crime fiction author, Sharon Dempsey!
Her novel, Little Bird is published this week, and I know Sharon and her novel very well at this point.

I started mentoring Sharon last year, and it was a pleasure every step of the way. Little Bird is a terrific novel, and with a description from the great Brian Mc Gilloway of 'a dark and compelling tale from a thrilling new voice in Irish crime fiction...' you are sure to enjoy!

So without further ado, I'll hand you over to Sharon!!!

They say writing is a lonely occupation. All those endless hours in front of the computer, with only your cat for company. Well, my experience has been slightly different. From the start, I was fortunate to have best-selling crime writer Louise Phillips by my side.

When I began writing Little Bird, I knew I wanted to commit to the story, to see it through to the end. I also knew that the best way for me to do this was to be given a deadline. Once a journalist, always a journalist. I also needed to feel that my writing was worth investing in; that I wouldn’t be wasting my time. It was with this in mind that I approached the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and applied for the Support for the Individual Arts Programme.

Anyone who has ever applied for Arts Council funding will know that the process isn’t easy. I had to prove my commitment to artistic practice, to explain how the funding would be used, and to submit the beginning of my book.
When I was successful in being awarded the grant, it felt like a validation and that has been important in helping me to keep going. Plus, there was a deadline involved so I knew that I had something to work towards. 

I have always loved Louise’s books and I knew that she worked with the Irish Writers Centre, delivering creative writing workshops. My plan was to use the Arts Council funding to engage in a mentoring programme with Louise.
I sent Louise the first 10, 000 words of my manuscript to see if she wanted to work with me. Thankfully, she liked what I had written, and we began the process of developing our mentoring relationship over emails. This meant that I had an insightful reader early on; at every 15,000-word instalment, Louise read what I had written and offered her advice. She has been fantastically supportive, from giving me advice on character development, to picking up over-used words. I don’t think I would have completed the book without her encouragement. The final version of the book is quite different from that first draft but Louise’s editorial advice was so important.

By actually saying, I want to write and this is what I have done, I have been amazed at the community of support on offer. There are great book events to get involved in, from the Belfast Book Festival at the Crescent to the regular launches at No Alibis. Seek out your local writers’ groups; mine is Witches with Wolves. Tell people about your book and you will be more likely to finish it.
Engaging in mentoring with Louise offered me so much more than editorial feedback. It was about giving myself permission to say I am writing, and to encourage me be serious about my writing. To have a brilliant writer like Louise by side also means that my writing life has never been lonely.


An unmissable serial killer thriller

Forensic psychologist, Declan Wells, is dealing with the aftermath of a car bomb during the Troubles in Belfast, which has left him in a wheelchair. But that is only the start of his problems.

Welsh Detective, Anna Cole is running away from a dead-end relationship and the guilt of her mother's death. She hopes secondment to the Police Service of Northern Ireland will provide a distraction.  
There is a killer on the streets targeting young women and leaving behind macabre mementoes to taunt the police.
Can Declan and Anna work together to catch the deranged killer before he strikes again?

And is it ever possible to leave the past behind you?

Little Bird will be launched at the Crescent Arts Centre on 3rd August at 7pm.

Links below

Twitter @svjdempz




Monday, July 24, 2017

Tana French wins Strand Critics Award for Best Novel!!

At an invitation-only cocktail party in Manhattan, Tana French has won the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for The Trespasser (Viking Penguin).

After being nominated a record five times for Best Novel, Tana French took home the top prize for The Trespasser which received rave reviews for blurring the lines between genre and literary fiction. In a statement read by her publicist Ben Petrone, French said: “I am honored and I really wish I were there tonight, and I am relying on Ben Petrone and Andrew [Gulli] to down a couple of my favorite cocktails for me.”
Andrew F. Gulli, the managing editor of the Strand said of Tana’s win, “It was great to see Tana get the top prize, since she was nominated so many times.”

For full list of nominees and winners in the various categories, see below….

Best Novel 
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown and Company)
The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown and Company)
The Trespasser by Tana French (Viking)
What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin (William Morrow)
Out of Bounds by Val McDermid (Atlantic Monthly Press)
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (Gallery)

Best Debut Novel:
The Widow by Fiona Barton (NAL)
IQ by Joe Ide (Mulholland)
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell (Touchstone)
A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overholt (Sourcebooks Landmark)
The Homeplace by Kevin Wolf (Minotaur)
The Lost Girls by Heather Young (William Morrow)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Clive Cussler

Let the fun begin!!!

After a month of playing catch-up on life, including four literary festivals, mentoring, an article for a U.S. magazine, a short prose piece, year end accounts, meeting friends who might otherwise disown me for lack of contact, and getting to know my family again, the real madness will start again shortly, with edits back on my latest novel next week, the publication of THE DOLL'S HOUSE in the U.S. August 8th and 10 weeks of workshops in the IWC starting September!! Let the fun begin!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Writing Authentic Crime Fiction with Louise Phillips!!

Louise Phillips Irish Writers Centre Crime Fiction Writing Class
It all starts again at the Irish Writers Centre this September, only this time to add flavour and depth, we have ex-detective, Tom Doyle, on board to discuss all things crime scene, policing and so much more.

A unique opportunity not to be missed!!!

Starts: Tue 19 Sept 2017
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Duration: 10 Weeks
Cost: €280/€260 Members 

This course with bestselling and award winning crime author, Louise Phillips, offers in-depth analysis of all aspect of great crime fiction, including creating memorable characters, plot, pace, dialogue and point of view. As part of the programme, participants have a rare opportunity to work with former police detective, Tom Doyle, to discuss crime scene evaluation, front-line policing, detection and so much more. The course will also look at writing that breakout novel, publishing today, and getting that elusive agent/publishing deal. If you want to write authentic crime fiction, don't miss this course. 
Louise Phillips is the author of four bestselling psychological crime thrillers all of which were nominated for the Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year. Her second novel, The Doll’s House, won the award in 2013. The Game Changer, her latest novel, was published to critical acclaim in 2015. She has also been a judge on the Irish Panel for the E U Literary Award.
For more information visit HERE

Monday, July 3, 2017

Crimewriters Panel Boyle Arts Festival 22nd July 2017!!

Join myself, Declan Burke, Andrea Carter & Arlene Hunt on the 22nd July for 2 hours of all things crime fiction!!!Part of this year's Boyle Arts Festival.....
Time 5 p.m.- 7 p.m You can book the event HERE
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