Today on #IrishWritersWed I am absolutely delighted to be joined by Crime Fiction Writer Sam Blake.
Sam Blake is the pseudonym for Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, the founder of The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and the national writing resources website Writing.ie. As Ireland’s leading literary scout, Vanessa has assisted many award winning and bestselling authors to publication.
Today, Vanessa gives us a wonderful insight into a few of her favourite writing places and her inspiration for her novel Little Bones.
Sam Blake’s Writing Places
Any writer who has a day job (I have several) and/ or children (a couple of those too) knows that getting away from it all is sometimes essential to getting a book finished.
I have quite a busy mind and the only way I can turn it off and focus on story is to head out of the house and plug my earphones in.
Little Bones features a twenty four year old Detective Garda Cathy Connolly who is also always on the move as well. She’s a kick boxing champion and fits in a tough training regime around her job.
But when she finds a baby’s bones stitched into the hem of a wedding dress, her life changes more dramatically than she can possibly imagine.
Location is important in Little Bones – part of it is set in the East End of London, close to where I went to University in Mile End, and part in Dun Laoghaire where my husband, also a member of An Garda Síochána, was stationed for over twenty years.
I’m originally from St. Albans in Hertfordshire, which is a unique English Cathedral City. It’s colourful and often bloody history was marked by the arrival of the Romans, and it is famous for both its Roman remains and beautiful medieval architecture.
The street market in St. Albans is one of the biggest in England and when I’m in London, wandering through Whitechapel market as Emily Cox does in Little Bones, I feel right at home.
Helford Passage in Cornwall is where I go to switch off and really notch up my word count. The mobile phone reception is terrible which means my phone is quiet, and located in the heart of Daphne du Maurier country, it is a fabulous place to write.
Rebecca is my favourite book of all time.
In medieval times Helford Village was an important port with a water ferry connecting the banks of the river and is still busy today, so when I need to take a break I wander out of the front door and watch the comings and goings.
It doesn’t take much to fire your imagination down here – during the Napoleonic Wars, pirates and free traders populated the reaches of the Helford River and Daphne du Maurier’s Frenchman’s Creek, only a short row from our cottage, tells the story of one of these.
The writer Liz Fenwick lives on the other side of the river and I catch the ferry to visit her in the Shipwrights Arms whenever our time in Helford co-incides.
On our side of the river, The Ferryboat Inn serves fabulous food all day which keeps the family happy while I tap at my keyboard.
It feels strange writing crime in such an idyllic location, but as with everywhere I go, snippets of conversation, and the people I meet, inform the plot and provide constant inspiration…
Thank you so much Vanessa. It’s always lovely to find out a little more about a writer and where the inspiration comes from.
Vanessa has lived at the foot of the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland for (almost) more years than she lived in the UK. She has two children, three cats and a fish.
To find out more about her alter ego, visit her website at Sam Blake Books
Also on Twitter as:
Little Bones Book Blurb:
Twenty-four-year-old Garda Cathy Connolly might be a fearless kick-boxing champion but when she discovers a baby’s bones concealed in the hem of a wedding dress, the case becomes personal.
For artist Zoe Grant, the bones are another mysterious twist in her mother’s disappearance. Then her grandmother, head of the Grant Valentine department store empire is found dead, and a trail of secrets is uncovered that threatens to shake a dynasty.
In a story that moves from London’s East End to the Las Vegas mafia, one thing is certain – for Cat, life will never be the same again.
Purchase Link: Little Bones
You can read my review of Little Bones HERE
Here’s the blurb!
Good intentions can be deadly . . .
Cat Connolly is back at work after the explosion that left her on life support. Struggling to adjust to the physical and mental scars, her workload once again becomes personal when her best friend Sarah Jane Hansen, daughter of a Pulitzer-winning American war correspondent, goes missing.
Sarah Jane is a journalism student who was allegedly working on a story that even her father thought was too dangerous.
With Sarah Jane’s father uncontactable, Cat struggles to find a connection between Sarah Jane’s work and her disappearance. But Sarah Jane is not the only one in deep water when Cat comes face to face with a professional killer . . .
In the world of missing persons every second counts, but with the clock ticking, can Cathy find Sarah Jane before it’s too late?