Short, Sharp Interview: Morgen Bailey

morgen - logo (med)PDB: Can you pitch The Serial Dater’s Shopping List in 25 words or less?

Certainly, how about 10? “31 men in 31 days – what could possibly go wrong?”

I do have a longer synopsis (162 words) here.

PDB: Which books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

I’m an avid cinema goer because my local has a season ticket so I pay £15 a month and can go as often as I like. The last movie I saw there was ‘Cloud Atlas’ which was awful (I even put on Facebook, “That’s three hours of my life I’m never going to get back”). My two lodgers (housemates – I didn’t realise until recently that a ‘lodger’ isn’t really a term used in the U.S.) and I have movie nights every Monday and Wednesday evening. The last film we saw was my favourite, ‘Stranger than Fiction’ and before that was ‘Man on Fire’. We’re big Denzel Washington fans. I love clever scripts. I love comedy but ‘silly’ humour does little for me.

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

It’s harder. I do analyse books as I read them, and have a pen and paper or dictaphone to jot down any phrases I like. Many writers have criticised Dan Brown’s and JK Rowling’s writing but say they tell a good story. I’d like to think that I tell good stories, although I’d hope my writing is strong too.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

Not really. I wrote 102 pages of a (lad lit) TV drama for the defunct and found it quite painful – too ‘bitty’ for me. I’m a flow prose writer for sure. I liked the story though, so have since converted it into the beginning of a novel. If any of my novels are ever picked up for a movie, I’d be more than happy for Steven Spielberg to allocate his own scriptwriter. 🙂

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

Researching and editing are my least favourite aspects of writing (and the time marketing takes, although I enjoy the interactivity with other writers and readers) so I do as little research as possible although enough so I’m confident with the facts I use. The worst thing is for a reader to read anything that makes them jump out of the story and there will always be readers who are experts on your topic and take great delight in telling you when you’ve made a mistake so you have to do your best not to. The internet has made research SO much easier.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

They are the ‘be all and end all’ of being a writer these days. I’ve only been writing since January 2005 and more seriously since late 2008 so have only been active on social media for the past few months but I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. Nor would my blog. 99% of the content has been thanks to my guests and I found them (and them me) via socia media. It would be a fairly lonely existence (esepcially online) without them.

PDB: What’s on the cards in 2013? is taking Script Frenzy’s place this April so I’ll be doing that. Having done (50,000 words minimum every November) for the past five years, it’ll be great doing another stint before then. I might even do the second ‘camp’ in July. The minimum word count for Camp NaNoWriMo is 10,000 but I’m still going to aim for 50,000 and I usually do what I aim for. 🙂

TSDSL final smallThen I’ll be doing final edits to novel no.2 (second due out and second written), a mystery for which I have an editor and eight first readers waiting to critique it, which is fantastic. I also have five other novels sitting in files, waiting to be tweaked and sent out. I’m going to focus less on the blog this year (and have actually put up almost everything that’s come in) and more on my writing. I’m a writer, after all. As Mur Lafferty says, I should be writing.

Morgen Bailey biography

Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey (“Morgen with an E”) is a prolific blogger, podcaster, editor / critiquer, Chair of NWG (which runs the annual H.E. Bates Short Story Competition), Head Judge for the NLG Flash Fiction Competition. She is also a freelance author of numerous ‘dark and light’ short stories, novels, articles, and very occasional dabbler of poetry. Like her, her blog,, is consumed by all things literary. She also recently created five online writing groups and an interview-only blog. Her debut novel is the chick lit eBook The Serial Dater’s Shopping List.

Published by PaulDBrazill

Writer. Teacher.

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