Morgen Bailey, Guest Author/Blogger
This week we have Morgen Bailey visiting from “across the pond”. I’ve met a few people, via the Internet, from Great Britain lately, and I’m enjoying getting to know them. Morgen is a very generous woman who has her fingers in lots of pies, and who seems to enjoy helping fellow writers. Please welcome Morgen.
Marja: Morgen, please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
Morgen: Thank you for such a lovely introduction Marja. Yes, I have lots going on but am loving every second. I'm renowned (amongst my friends certainly) for waffling so I'll try and behave myself today. Me: I come from an arty background (photographer father & uncle, artist mother & aunt, web designer brother - he's my guru) so although it was inevitable that I'd end up doing something creative… just a shame it took me 38 years to work out what I wanted to do. Six years later I'm only really at the point where I'm ready to inflict myself on the world.
Marja: You're such a delight that the world could probably benefit from your presence. I took a look at your website, and I’m in awe of all that you do. How do you manage to find so much time to accomplish so many things?
Morgen: Ah thanks. The honest answer is that I don't get enough sleep but for me it's all about passion and I have it in spades. I've said a few times that I'd go to the opening of a rejection letter and actually, it's not far off. I'm also lucky in that I've been a PA / secretary since I left school so I'm fairly good at prioritising (but note anyone who wants me to do anything please don't say "whenever you like" as it will be just that - give me a deadline and you'll get it back in time ).
Marja: I truly understand passion. I've reached a point where I eat, sleep and drink books and writing. I understand that you write everything from novels to poetry and much more in between. What is your favorite genre?
Morgen: 'Yes' is the answer to that. I'm an agent's nightmare (which is probably why I don't have one) because I can't stick to one genre - I literally write everything other than sci-fi / fantasy or westerns… or romance… (although I have the highest respect for those that do). If I had to pinpoint, I'd say crime and humour, as that's what I like to read, but my dark side usually wins (which is probably why I love writing second person viewpoint).
Marja: Crime and humor? Sounds like you need to read a Marja McGraw book. (I'm smiling because you gave me such a great opening for a plug.) You have frequent blog visitors on your site, and when reading some of the comments you make I detect a wonderful sense of humor. Does humor help with your writing or do you even include humor?
Morgen: (laughs) Thank you. Us Brits are supposedly quite stuffy (and I can be) but I like to have a laugh. The first novel I wrote (for NaNoWriMo 2008) is quite light (about a trainee hitman - I'm hoping to release it as an eBook novella in the next few months) but then the second (early / mid 2009) was more serious but when I returned for NaNo 2009 I wrote a chick lit which featured over 40 men (I kid you not!) and there were some weird (REALLY weird) and wonderful characters and I had great fun doing that (which is just as well as I ended up writing 117,540 words in the month - see earlier reference to being a secretary; very handy for typing at speed).
Marja: Now I'm laughing. Pulease let me know the the trainee hitman story comes out. Would you please tell us about your latest published work?
Morgen: Technically it's articles and a short story for The National Association of Writers' Groups 'Link' magazine (August & October 2011 editions) but I'm hoping to get my 99p eBooks out in the next few weeks. I'm starting with a book of daily exercises (enough for a year) and a writing guide / short stories but I also plan to release some free short stories, probably ones that will feature in forthcoming anthologies, and two or three novellas so it's all a work in progress at the moment.
Marja: And what are you working on at the moment. That might be a tough question because when I looked at your website, I got the impression you may have a number of projects going at any given time.
Morgen: If Rachel (my editor) is reading this then my answer is the eBooks but my blog is hogging my time at the moment. I'm fairly caught up with it all (am I tempting fate here?) and am c. 2 months ahead with incoming material so I'm still hoping to reach the end-Sept / early-Oct goal for the eBooks. I am loving the blog work, and the authors I meet are wonderful (I'm having a ball) but really I should be stricter with 'me' time.
Marja: Another plug. I'll be a guest on your site on October 13th and I hope everyone reading this will stop in. What is your goal as a writer? Where do you hope to be in five years from now, with regard to your stories and poetry?
Morgen: I'd like to have everything (that's good enough) out on eBook and to be a full-time writer. I think every writer would like to be successful enough to have a house in the country / by the sea / in the city (delete as appropriate - the sea for me) but for now I'd like to be able to give up the (part-time) day job (saying this hoping that my boss won't be reading this!) within 6-12 months. It's a wait-and-see and just keep doing what I'm doing, as the saying goes.
Marja: What is your favorite genre? What draws you to a book when you peruse a bookstore?
Morgen: The two extremes I think: dark / light (crime / humour). I love titles, and the quirkier the better. I'm a big Kate Atkinson fan - short story author friend Helen M Hunt and I watched the televisation (is that a proper word? oh well, if a writer can't make up a word…) of Kate's 'Case Histories' recently and loved it - and we both love Kate's writing. She takes something ordinary and quirks it… certainly in her earlier non-Jackson-Brodie-crime books and if I had to aspire to a writer it would be her (her anthology 'Not the end of the world' would be my desert island book - that and Roald Dahl's 'greatest hits'). Pretty or clever covers are appealing but not a deal-breaker.
Marja: I had to smile when I saw that you have a link (http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/me/my-writing/ ) for authors to use if they suffer from writers block, leading to sentence beginnings. In fact, you have so many links to different things, it’s well worth a person’s time to check out your website. What caused you to help other authors like this?
Morgen: Part of it is selfishness, building up an audience for when my books come out but most of it is because we're pretty much all in the same position, just at different stages in our careers. That sounds Irish I know (apologies to any of your Irish visitors), but I figure that anyone asking for an interview, spotlight, guest blog etc. does so because they want people to know that they're here; writing, waiting for them to be noticed. I'm always delighted, and sometimes humbled, when I get 'please pick me' emails (I've not not picked anyone yet) because it's their effort as much as mine (more in the case of the spotlights and guest blogs) to get the piece out. And the benefits are two-fold; a visitor is reading what another author has to say, and hopefully toddles off to their site and (I know this has happened) buys something but before they go, they're bound to be (hopefully) noticing that I'm lurking in the background and it's all about web presence; the who you know not what you know.
I hope that some of the people who've visited (I don't know how many but I get around 100-200 hits a day and for all I know it's my uncle pressing refresh) will be interested in my writing when it comes out but as Harper Collins' Scott Pack (of 'Me and my big mouth' fame ) told me when I met him in February this year, I'm "doing all the right things" and as long as I'm enjoying it so much, and authors still want to be featured, I'll keep doing what I'm doing.
Marja: I had to laugh aloud at the thought of your uncle pushing the refresh button. Hmm. You might send him to my site. Is there any one thing you’d like people reading this blog to know about you that you haven’t mentioned anywhere else?
Morgen: I've mentioned elsewhere (including my self-indulgent interview with myself (no.100 in case anyone wants to go look) that I can bark like a seal and flip a stack of coins from the back of my right-hand elbow and catch them in my right hand (not sure why) but I can also swim upside down underwater. Again not sure why but refer to early mention of me liking quirk. That, or I'm just plain weird / British (delete as appropriate).
Thank you so much for visiting today, Morgen. You really are a delight and an interesting woman, and I hope you’ll come again one day. Thanks for brightening my day.
Morgen: Thank you Marja. It's been lovely being on the receiving end (and reminds me of what all my interviewees go through although I have a ridiculous amount of questions; all optional but most authors are clearly masochists). I'd gladly come back any time you like.
Please visit Morgen's blog at http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/
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