This evening I’m delighted to announce that Crime writing tutor and blogger Morgen Bailey has answered a few questions for me. Here, Morgen chats all things being a crime writing tutor, how she works best, and her all time favourite book.
1) As a child, did you have a favourite author?
I did. Roald Dahl. And he’s still my favourite. My father had a small chain (four) of photographic shops not that far away from Great Missenden and did some photography for Roald (including Sophie’s fourth birthday party, apparently) but I never got to meet him, which is really sad. They were similar ages so got on really well. And now, still Roald but picking a living author would be Kate Atkinson. I did a three-fortnight course on her first three books at one of my local colleges and was hooked. Her writing is quirky and I love quirk. I’ve been told mine’s quirky which is a real compliment. I had the chance to go to one of Kate’s book signings a while back but when I went to buy a ticket, they’d sold out.
2) Did you enjoy English at school?
I loved it and why I picked creative writing in an evening class programme ten years which brought me to where I am now. English was my favourite subject and the one I did best at. Art (especially pottery) second. I have my English teacher to thank for me liking the dark stuff as did Macbeth, Lord of the Flies, Moonfleet and Jane Eyre.
3) Did you go to university and if so, did you enjoy your degree?
I didn’t as such. Other than English and Art, I didn’t like secondary school – which is a shame as I loved my primary school so worked hard and did well going on to one of the best schools in the area. I did do the first year of a Certificate in Creative Writing degree so I have points to go towards anything else. I’ve been teaching creative writing for the past three years so did a condensed qualification for that.
4) Can you describe your job as a writing tutor – what do you love about it and do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
In person, I teach for Adult Learning (for my local council so all over Northamptonshire) so nineteen plus but most of my learners (they’re not students because they learn rather than study) thirty-something to retirement age (upwards). I currently offer eleven different courses but will be chopping that down to beginners and intermediate from the next academic year to concentrate on my writing. I also have seven online c/w video courses with Udemy and plan to do more of those.
5) How did your first novel review feel? What did you do to celebrate?
Scary but delightful. With the title of ‘A light hearted romp through the perils of online dating’ and five stars, I couldn’t help but be thrilled. I don’t market my books enough so don’t have many reviews but I’ve just joined the KDP Select programme so am doing some free days so hoping that will change.
6) Do you have an all time favourite book?
I had one prepared should I ever be on Desert Island Discs: Roald Dahl’s Collected Short Stories, which is still my favourite (Kate Atkinson’s Not the End of the World collection comes close). If Kirsty Young (or whoever hosted DID by the time I was famous enough), I’d have the world’s largest picture encyclopaedia as my book and endless supply of wide-lined paper and really nice pens, although someone recently asked for a solar-powered non-internet laptop with a word processor and was allowed so I’d go for one of those, as long as the sun wasn’t so bright that I couldn’t see the screen.
7) How do you like to work – music or silence?
If I’m writing or editing then I have classical music so no words. Otherwise it tends to be shuffled Pink Floyd or ‘Morgen’s Favourites’ playlist (thanks to Alexa, my Amazon Echo).
8) Do you have an all-time favourite song or particular genre of music you enjoy?
Pink Floyd would be amongst my DID selection but the one I’d save from the waves would be Radiohead’s Street Spirit. Despite having heard it hundreds of times, I can never remember how the music begins. Bizarre. Apart from jazz, punk and country and western, I like most things including dance, classical (Eric Satie and Beethoven especially) and modern pop and R&B. The good stuff.
Thank you for inviting me, Elle.
No problem Morgen, thank you for your time.