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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Guest Blog on Crime Writing by Morgen Bailey

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 and creative writing tutor for her local council. 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 is also active on Twitter, Facebook along with many others (listed on her blog’s Contact page).
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 and she has six others (mostly crime) in the works.


The always busy, enthusiastic, and extremely helpful Morgen Bailey agreed to a guest blog last Christmas time, which was slated to run in March then April and now May -- the great lady sent THREE guest posts, one as wonderful as the other.

Look for them every second day or so over the next week. In the meantime, let's hear from Morgen:

 When people ask me what genre I write, I say “dark and light”, which to me is crime and humour; my favourites to read.

Chelsea Bun mmmm who can blame the old man for stealing it?
One aspect of writing crime is subtlety. A crime can be anything from an old man stealing a Chelsea bun cake (as in my short story The Chelsea bun) to a crime of passion (as in Weapon of Choice).
Again though there was no violence or gut-wrenching description but it was creepy and more about the characters. So unless blood and guts are what you want to write, less is most definitely more.

Fiction can be plot-lead or character-lead and in crime, most stories would be the former rather than the latter. Of course we need to have characters we care about, loathe, or any other emotion in between. If we feel nothing for him or her (whether a protagonist – the goodie – or antagonist – the guy (or girl) usually dressed in black) then the author has failed (in my opinion anyway).

Depending on what type of crime you’re writing varies how accurate you need to be. Of course there will always be ‘expert’ readers out there who will take great delight in telling you that a marathon is 26 miles and 365 yards not just 26 miles, so you need to do your homework, but if you have a theft of a cake you’re going to need less detail than a full-on multi-murder crime scene.

I came across this really interesting article entitled ‘Why locked room mysteries are so popular’ recently:

Story a Day by Morgen Bailey
The crime genre has never been more popular. I had a face-to-face with three agents at the 2011 Winchester Writers’ Conference, all of whom told me that they were after more crime (and historical) – in fact one of them (who shall remain nameless but is revered within the industry) looked me in the eye and said “you’re a crime writer, you need to write crime” and it turns out that I do. I’ve been writing a story a day on my blog since 1st June 2012 and rarely a story goes by without a ‘body’ in it, in one form or another.

Suspect or cop? With hand gun
The best thing about writing crime is that we can ‘kill’ people legally and who hasn’t had a run-in with someone in our life that we would like to fictionalise and do horrible things to.

If you’re like me and love writing, then the chances are that you can’t ever imagine ever doing anything else. Isaac Asimov is quoted as saying “I write for the same reason I breathe … because if I didn’t, I would die” – a little dramatic perhaps but if we’re passionate about what we do, then hopefully it’ll transfer to our writing and onwards to our readers, and just maybe they’ll email us and tell us what they thought.


Thank you, Morgen, that was great. Readers, you can read more of this wonderful author on Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog. Enjoy and perhaps comment?

I found this concert on youtube of a UK band,  Crimes of Passion. Morgen has nothing to do with my posting this heavy metal song, but I want my young readers to know there are authors out there who'll give you the ride of your life and it's not heavy metal like this but just a darn good read. But hear this and decide for yourself, a Story a Day or -- Pretty in Blood. 

Full website links
Online writing groups (blogs / Facebook):



  1. Thank you very much for hosting me, Kenna. :)

  2. I hope you like what I've done with it, Morgen. Good luck.