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Behind the Bestseller with Literary Agent Sallyanne Sweeney

Sam Blake writes writes bestselling thrillers – her latest Keep Your Eyes on Me has been in the Irish top ten for eight weeks (and is currently 25% off at Easons with free shipping!) but she didn’t get there by accident. When she started writing way back in 1999, she quickly realised she needed to learn fiction writing technique – everything they don’t teach you at school- so she set up Inkwell, running workshops for writers. She wanted to hear from bestselling authors and she needed workshops she could get to on a Saturday. Inkwell was the first provider in Ireland of one day intensive fiction writing workshops and she understands the benefits of hearing about other writers’ practice and technique.

From Inkwell, the Writing.ie site grew, set up to help develop new writing talent – writers from every genre help new authors with articles about their inspiration and technique, but Writing.ie is a text based platform and that doesn’t suit everyone. Conscious that audio is a rapidly growing platform, Sam wanted to explore it: “Writers kept emailing me asking about the best writing podcasts, and I felt it was an area we needed to be in. Writing.ie gives writers a global platform to help promote their books, and podcasts do that too. There are quite a few superb book podcasts, but none from authors revealing what acutally goes on when they are trapped behind their keyboard – and that’s what Behind the Best Seller aims to show.”

Teaming up with the fantastic Headstuff podcast team, Sam launched Behind the Bestseller in January, releasing new interviews every two weeks.

Chatting to authors from every genre, Sam kicked of with multi award nominated bestseller Catherine Ryan Howard in a brilliant, and hilarious, discussion about where her ideas come from and how she plots her complex thrillers. Next up Shane Dunphy talked about his memoir based ground breaking non fiction, his move into audio true crime, and the differences he finds when he’s writing fiction. Claire Allan explained the personal circumstances that got her writing and then switching to a life of crime, and Ruth Long revealed exactly what romance is, and gave some brilliant tips on writing fantasy. Just released, in a bumper edition, Sam Blake talks to literary agent Sallyanne Sweeney.

Sallyanne is one of the agents who will be coming to Dublin for the Date with an Agent event on 25th May and who is very much looking for new Irish talent.  The closing date for submissions is 31st March, so get your work ready now! In this episode of Behind the Bestseller, Sallyanne explains covering letters, how some books make it and some don’t and the thrill of finding a new author.

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