Behind the Bestseller

Behind the Bestseller: what makes a book a success? Bestselling author Sam Blake talks to authors, editors, publicists and agents to find out exactly what that magic ingredient is.

Join crime author Sam Blake as she chats to bestsellers from every genre to find out what makes a book fly off the shelves. Discussing concepts and ideas, where stories come from and how authors develop them into what you see on the page, Sam also chats to agents, editors and publicists to understand their part in the process.

Behind the Bestseller is part of the HeadStuff Podcast Network

Sam started writing fiction in 1999 when her husband went sailing across the Atlantic for 8 weeks, she was convinced that first (terrible) book would be a bestseller – but it took her a bit longer than she expected to get published and it was her actually the fifth book she wrote that became her debut novel. Little Bones hit the number one slot on release and launched detective Cat Connolly into the world, as well as launching Sam's writing career. Little Bones kick starts the trilogy when Cat Connolly finds a baby’s bones hidden in the hem of a wedding dress, In Deep Water moves her story on and focuses on the disappearance of her best friend Sarah Jane Hansen, leading Cat deep into the Dublin underworld. The third in the trilogy No Turning Back delves into the Dark Web. Featuring locations in Dublin and London, Cat’s world is complicated by her relationship with her Detective Inspector, Dawson O’Rourke. Cat Connolly is a kick boxing champion, and is a fit and feisty protagonist often in trouble herself as often as she's investigating it. The Sunday Independent says of 'Little Bones': ‘Connolly, for whom the word “gutsy” might have been invented, is a terrific character . . . a compelling debut; the author keeps her complex storyline going all the way to its incredible ending’.

Along the way to writing 'Little Bones', to improve her writing and to try and find out exactly what those magical ingredients are for success, Sam set up The Inkwell Group, first bringing bestselling authors to intensive one day fiction writing workshops and later developing a publishing consultancy. She is also the founder of, the multi award winning online writing magazine that is now one of the biggest in Europe.

With all this experience she is well placed to quiz authors on exactly what made the difference for them, to get into the detail of how brilliant stories are born and how they grow.

Described as Strangers on a Train meets Dial M For Murder, Sam’s first psychological thriller Keep Your Eyes on Me arrives on bookshelves in January 2020 - tune in to hear to hear her uncover the secrets of success.