Friends: ‘What are you doing for the weekend?’
Me: ‘Oh just writing my book?’
That was one hell of a long weekend! It started on August 3rd 2013 and ended on February 21st 2015. Yip. 18 months of writing my debut title – exclusively over weekends, so it wouldn’t impinge on client work. The work that actually pays the bills. I have a love of writing and it was this passion that spurred me to choose journalism to study and then as a career. And of course all writers ‘have a book in them’ and I was no different. I had started a few titles over the years, a modern fiction, an autobiography, a book of poetry, so it comes as a little bit of a surprise to me that my first title is actually a trade publication. But I am really proud of it.
My first book, Social Media Under Investigation, Law Enforcement and the Social Web takes a forensic look at how police forces use social media for crime investigation, public relations, crime prevention and community relations. It’s been described as a ‘must read for all law enforcement agencies either setting out on their social media journey or expanding their strategies.’
It came about as a result of my research for my Masters Degree in Digital Marketing. I undertook the first study of how An Garda Siochana use social media in the course of their work. After writing 20,000 words I had a desk and a Mac full of information that just had to be published and so the book was born.
So on September 4th 2014 I started writing my debut title (again just on weekends) and published it on 25th February 2015, a six-month labour of love. But the book has brought me to Phoenix, Arizona where I addressed law enforcement officers from across the United States and Canada at the 2015 SMILE (social media, the Internet and law enforcement) conference. It is a specialist area that I have a great interest and will continue to pursue. My writing continues over on my other blog, Law Enforcement Observer.