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A Life of Crime (Writing) with James Murphy

A Life of Crime (Writing) with James Murphy

By James Murphy
Join Northern Ireland Crime Fiction Writer, James Murphy as he discusses writing tips and techniques with a host of Crime Fiction’s bestselling authors, to help you begin your writing journey.
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Currently playing episode

Episode 2 Brian Mc Gilloway (The Last Crossing)

A Life of Crime (Writing) with James Murphy

Episode 2 Brian Mc Gilloway (The Last Crossing)

A Life of Crime (Writing) with James Murphy

Episode 12- Graham Bartlett, Police Advisor
Graham Bartlett was a UK police officer in Sussex for thirty years. He mainly policed the city of Brighton and Hove, rising to become its 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 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. 
May 12, 2021
Episode 11- Simon Trewin, Literary Agent
Simon Trewin established his agency, Simon Trewin Ltd, in February 2019 and counts both Sam Blake and A.A. Dhand among his Crime Fiction writers.  Prior to establishing his agency, Simon used to lead the London Literary arm of this worldwide talent agency and was a senior partner. He has been an agent for over twenty years and is a three time nominee for the Bookseller Industry Awards Literary Agent of the Year. As a former Secretary of the Association of Authors' Agents his knowledge of the book world is assured. Trewin began his career in the theatre and he continues to represent a number of playwrights including West End and television favourite, Jeremy Dyson. In 2007, he was one of a group of agents who broke away from super agency, Peters, Fraser and Dunlop to set up United Agents. After a spell as a Director at UA, he made the move to William Morris Endeavor in search of a more global stage, 'I wanted my clients to play on the biggest possible canvas they could. Simple as that". WME's American ownership and Trewin's stable of high profile US and UK authors make him something of a literary powerhouse on both sides of the Atlantic. Trewin's client lists included a number of award winning writers including: national treasure and former Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion; John Boyne, author of the phenomenally successful book turned film, 'The Boy In Striped Pajamas', and Andrew Miller, winner of the 2012 Costa Book Of the Year. His literary tastes are diverse, taking in literary and historical fiction, dystopian fantasies (Lalline Paul); children's books (Mackenzie Crook); thrillers (Robert Goddard); historical non-fiction (Keith Lowe); graphic novels (Isabel Greenberg); and popular science (David McCandless). His support for new writing is highlighted by his role as a trustee for the Arvon Foundation.
April 27, 2021
Episode 10- Kerry Buchanan (Knife Edge)
Kerry Buchanan is a vet who retired when her disability left her unable to carry out the duties required. Since then she's designed leukaemia patient databases, researched high pressure food processing, taught ICT to people who were convinced computers would explode in their face if they hit the wrong key, and run her own livery business. Kerry lives on a farm in amongst the drumlins of County Down in Northern Ireland, surrounded by animals, both two- and four-legged. The view from every window provides inspiration for her stories which is the reason, she says, for her productivity. These days, she's a full-time carer for her father, who is 93 and suffers from dementia, but still makes time to write prolifically. She was been lucky enough to win an ACNI SIAP award in 2019 and then a second ACNI award in the summer of 2020. Her short stories are widely published, including The Armada Tree, which won Kraxon Magazine's Story of the Year Award (2019), but she is only now beginning to submit some of her novels. Her first crime novel, Knife Edge, will be published by Joffe Books in 2021.
April 21, 2021
Episode 9- Gerard Brennan (Shot- Shannon Mc Nulty, Book One)
Gerard Brennan's latest novel is SHOT, published by Dockyard Press. His short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies; including three volumes of The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime and Belfast Noir. He co-edited Requiems for the Departed, a collection of crime fiction based on Irish myths which won the 2011 Spinetingler Award for best anthology. His novella, The Point, was published by Pulp Press in October 2011 and won the 2012 Spinetingler Award for best novella. His novels, Wee Rockets and Fireproof, were first published as ebooks by Blasted Heath in 2012. He graduated from the MA in creative writing at Queen's University Belfast in 2012 and completed his creative writing PhD in 2017.
April 15, 2021
Episode 8- Easter Special 2021 with Guest Host, Bella Murphy
Join 8 yr old aspiring journalist and presenter, Bella Murphy, as she interviews her Dad about Crime Writing, Teaching, Podcasts, books parenting, and practically everything in between. ***Warning- May Contain Proud Dad Moments***
April 2, 2021
Episode 7- Sheila Bugler (Before You Were Gone)
Sheila is an Irish crime writer living in Eastbourne. She is the author of two series of crime novels. The first, featuring DI Ellen Kelly, is set in South East London. The second series features journalist Dee Doran and is based in Sheila’s adopted home town, Eastbourne. When not writing fiction, Sheila runs creative writing courses, offers a range of editing services and is a creative writing tutor for the Writers Bureau. She is a regular contributor to writing magazines and reviews crime fiction for She is also a regular guest on BBC Radio Sussex.
March 17, 2021
Episode 6- Paul Waters (Blackwatertown)
Paul Waters is the author of Blackwatertown, published in paperback (softcover) and ebook by Unbound and audiobook, on 23rd July 2020. He is also an award-winning BBC producer and the co-presenter of the We’d Like A Word books and authors podcast, which was shortlisted for 2020 Books Podcast of the Year. Paul grew up in Belfast during ‘the Troubles’, was involved in cross-community peace groups and went on to report and produce for BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, the BBC World Service and Channel 5. His claim to fame is making Pelé his dinner. But Paul has also covered elections in the USA, created an alternative G8 Summit in a South African township, gone undercover in Zimbabwe, conducted football crowds, reported from Swiss drug shooting-up rooms, smuggled a satellite dish into Cuba to produce the first BBC live programmes from the island and produced the World Service’s first live coverage of the 9/11 attacks on America. Paul has taught in Poland, driven a cab in England, busked in Wales, been a night club cook in New York, designed computer systems in Dublin, presented podcasts for Germans and organised music festivals for beer drinkers. He lives in Buckinghamshire and has two children.
March 9, 2021
Episode 5- Simon Maltman (Witness)
Simon Maltman is the ‘Ulster Noir’ author of novels, novellas and short stories. An Amazon Bestseller, he also splits his time working as a musician and as a tour guide on his ‘Belfast Noir’ tour. Simon’s greatest claim to fame however, is having the honour bestowed upon him to create and produce the music for this very podcast series. Great job Mr Maltman.
March 1, 2021
Episode 4 Kelly Creighton (Author of the DI Sloane Series)
Kelly Creighton is a novelist, crime writer, short story writer, poet, and author of the Detective Inspector Harriet Sloane series. She works as an editor, publisher, creative writing tutor and mentor. Weekly she shares writing content on her YouTube channel, such as readings, reviews, interviews and tutorials. Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Creighton began her career as a visual artist. In 2014 she founded The Incubator lit journal, which features the contemporary Irish short story. Her 2015 debut novel, the psychological thriller The Bones of It, was the San Diego Book Review Book of the Year. Set after the Good Friday Agreement, the novel about masculinity was taught on a political violence degree course in the States. Creighton’s loosely linked short story collection, the Edge Hill Prize longlisted and Saboteur Award shortlisted, Bank Holiday Hurricane was released to critical acclaim in 2017. The Sleeping Season was readers’ first introduction to Detective Inspector Harriet Sloane in 2020. Problems with Girls (also 2020), was the second instalment in the Sloane series, set in East Belfast, rounding the series out as ‘distinctly feminist’. Both The Sleeping Season and Problems with Girls received rave reviews. Book 3 in the DI Sloane series will be published in October 2021. Alongside Claire Savage, Creighton is a co-editor of the multi-genre Christmas short story anthology Underneath the Tree, which showcases local genre writers. Her second short story collection Everybody’s Happy will be released in May 2021, and is available on pre-order now. It contains eight stories about art, shadows and self. Fun Poems for Kids is a booklet of poems by Kelly and her nine-year-old daughter, Martha, completed over the lockdowns, it aims to encourage children to read and write poetry. Creighton’s work has been published in over a hundred literary journals and featured in many anthologies. She has been shortlisted, or runner-up, for many poetry and short story prizes. Creighton’s work has always been supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She has presented at numerous literary festivals in the UK, Ireland and America. She lives in Co Down with her three dogs, two daughters, two sons, and one husband.
February 23, 2021
Episode 3- Sharon Dempsey (Who Took Eden Mulligan?)
Sharon Dempsey is a crime writer and a PhD candidate at Queen's University. She was a journalist and health writer, working for a variety of publications including the Irish Times, before turning to crime fiction. Her crime debut, Little Bird, was released July 2017. She facilitates creative writing classes for people affected by cancer and other health challenges and tutors at Queen's University and Stranmillis College. 'Who Took Eden Mulligan?' is the first in a new crime series set in Belfast.
February 15, 2021
Episode 2 Brian Mc Gilloway (The Last Crossing)
Brian McGilloway is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Inspector Benedict Devlin and DS Lucy Black series. He was born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1974. After studying English at Queen’s University, Belfast, he took up a teaching position in St Columb’s College in Derry, where he was Head of English until 2013. He currently teaches in Holy Cross College, Strabane. His first novel, Borderlands, published by Macmillan New Writing, was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger 2007 and was hailed by The Times as ‘one of (2007’s) most impressive debuts.’ The second novel in the series, Gallows Lane, was shortlisted for both the 2009 Irish Book Awards/Ireland AM Crime Novel of the Year and the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2010. Bleed A River Deep, the third Devlin novel, was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of their Best Books of 2010.
February 9, 2021
Episode 1- Sam Blake (The Dark Room)
Sam Blake*  is originally from St. Albans in Hertfordshire but has lived at the foot of the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland for more years than she lived in the UK. Married to a retired member of An Garda Siochana she has two children, three cats and sole responsibility for a small ant farm while her eldest is in university in Swansea (learning to build rockets). *Sam Blake herself is a character from the imagination of Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin who is the founder of the multi award winning writing resources website, The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and is the founder of Murder One, Ireland’s International Crime Writing Festival.  Vanessa is a board member of the Society of Authors, led by Chair Joanne Harris, the UK based trade union that campaigns and lobbies at government level on issues that affect authors. She is also a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) – noteable past fellows include Charles Dickens, Benjamin Franklin, Stephen Hawking, Karl Marx, Adam Smith, Nelson Mandela, David Attenborough, William Hogarth and Tim Berners-Lee. A past chair of Irish PEN, she is the convenor of the Irish Chapter of the Crime Writers Association.  Sam Blake's The Dark Room hit the bestseller list on release on 7th January and focuses on a country house hotel in West Cork. Hare's Landing is a house full of secrets where the past never dies. Pick up your copy here
February 1, 2021