My guest today is Morgen Bailey. Morgen writes fiction, mainly short stories and novels with some poetry, and has been published in the
. We met online, and if you haven’t visited her blog, do yourself a favour. It’s filled with writing related info such as podcast, tips, reviews, interviews, etc. UK
Welcome, Morgen. It’s a pleasure to chat with you today. Let’s talk writing!
Anne - When did you first realize you were destined to be an author?
Morgen - I was relatively new to the area and had completed evening classes on computing and languages, then spotted creative writing and was immediately hooked. This was c. 6 years ago and the last year or so has turned to an obsession. My mum said recently that it shouldn’t take over my life but I didn’t have the heart to tell her she’s a few months too late.
Anne – LOL! That ties in with my next question. Do you have a fear, phobia, or habit you’d rather no one knew about?
Morgen - I’m not sure this is unusual but I often put my house keys in my bag then have to look again to check, even though I know they’re there. There’s no fear or phobia that springs to mind but I’d feel happier if I could live long enough to write everything in my ‘ideas’ folder. :)
Anne – Oh, I do that too, except for my vehicle. I’m afraid of locking myself out and getting stranded. What one how-to write book is a must on your bookshelf? Why?
Morgen - I’d say
Magson’s new how-to ‘Write On!’ because he’s listed me at the back as one of his useful sites but really it’s a great book so that’s a far better reason. :) Adrian
Anne – I have to concur! Your site is very useful. How long does it take you to write a book?
Morgen - I’ve written three novel first drafts during the 30-day NaNoWriMo, 2008-2010, which were 53000, 117540 and 51000 words respectively. That may sound impressive but that’s where the real hard work starts. Four edits of the big chick lit wheedled it down to 105,000 but I was still finding silly mistakes (though/thought) – talk about eyes glazing over. Now I have an editor so I get my writing to a stage where I feel she can do a better job. That said, I’m concentrating on short stories now but these NaNo novels will probably end up as novellas or in the case of the chick lit, a ‘best of’ anthology (one character from the book per story)… we shall see.
Anne - Do you belong to any writer’s organizations, critique groups, and/or depend on beta readers?
Morgen - I run a writing group split into two (with three overlaps) of Monday night critique and writing workshops. I also belong to two other local groups, again a mix of critique and writing. My group is a member of NAWG, for whom I’ve written some articles, and I’m also a member of NAWE. The writing groups are great for feedback although time is limited so I have a great editor, Rachel.
Anne - How many rejections did you acquire along the way? What kept you going?
Morgen - I’m rubbish at sending things out so I only have 29 rejections. Most are for short stories but some are for novels but on reflection they weren’t ready but it was a useful process.
Anne - If you could just snap your fingers and go, where would you visit, return to, or move? Why?
Morgen - I love Brighton, Sussex but I went to Norfolk (both England) for my birthday recently and can see myself being there; anywhere where there’s water really so how I ended up in one of the most landlocked counties in England I don’t know (well, I do – work moved here) but it may not be for ever.
Anne - Of all the characters you’ve created, does one hold a special place in your heart? Why?
Morgen - I have two. Both short story characters. April in ‘April’s Fool’ is a downtrodden farmer’s wife who gets her own back and in ‘Feeding the Father’ our unnamed protagonist tugs at the heart strings.
Anne - What makes you cry? Laugh? Lose your temper?
Morgen - Almost every movie I watch at the cinema. Why I don’t take a loo roll or box of tissues with me I don’t know. I’m a huge baby. Clever humour makes me laugh. Falling on banana skins is SO old but have the actor say something witty then I can howl. As you would expect, it’s all about words for me.
I rarely lose my temper but it’s usually the little things like trying to pick something off the floor three times because I didn’t grab it properly the first time. I watch my language because my dog knows and looks even sadder than normal (it’s the big brown eye effect) – I think he was shouted at in a former life. I’ve had him since he was about 18 months old (he’ll be 11 around Christmas) but I think he has a good memory; far better than mine.
Anne – Once again you made me LOL. Love it. A dog with better memory than his owner! Any words of advice for struggling, unpublished writers?
Morgen - Just write. It’s all about practice. Would you sit at a piano for the first time and expect to play a concerto? Read too, anything, just to see how a story works, sentences are constructed and dialogue can be done well (or sometimes not).
Anne – Thank you, Morgen. This has been such fun. Last, but not least, I’d like to encourage everyone to visit MORGEN’s BLOG. NOW!
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