Today I’m excited to bring you a guest post from Morgen Bailey but first a little about her book:
Title: The Serial Dater’s Shopping List by Morgen Bailey
Publisher: Bombshell Books
Date Published: 12th July 2018
Are you looking for the perfect summer holiday read? Then you’ll love this laugh-out-loud comedy about the highs and lows of dating.
Izzy is a journalist who usually writes a technology column for a local newspaper. Her somewhat-intimidating boss William sets her the task of dating thirty-one men, via an internet dating site, all within a month, and writing about it for the paper.
Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend Donna, Izzy knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts and starts ticking them off as she meets the men.
Follow the ups and downs of the dating process including Tim ‘the Weeble’, whose date leads Izzy to see banoffee pie in a whole new light, Lawrence the super-skinny social worker, Felix with his bizarre penchant for Persian Piranhas, and ‘the music maestro but don’t talk about dead pets’ Jake.
By the end of the month, will Izzy have met Mr Right?
You can buy your copy here:
The Reluctant Serial Novelist:
I’d never planned to be a novelist as I loved short stories so much (and still do – I’ve written over 400). I’d heard the average novel takes a year and didn’t want to spend that long on one story but then I discovered NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org), the yearly 50,000+ words in a month project. I ‘had a go’ in November 2008, with a comic crime, which ended up being just over the minimum and I self-published as Hitman Sam.
After writing another standalone, After Jessica, inspired by a true event, it was then late October 2009 and another NaNo was looming so I needed to come up with something to write next. I had a Word document crammed with ideas, amongst which was a variety of ‘weird’ men. After two crime novels, I wanted to write something fun so created Izzy to meet this assemblage, and The Serial Dater’s Shopping List was born. It ended up being a 115,640-word first draft, written with three days to spare! I took over a year to edit (and re-edit) it down to just over 100,000 words while continuing to write short stories.
In November 2018 and half of January this year, I wrote the first draft of the follow-up, The Serial Dieter’s Shopping List, which has Izzy’s sidekick, health and beauty columnist, Donna set with the task of eating thirty-one under-five-hundred-calorie dishes in thirty-one days, a year on… the following May. As if that wasn’t complicated enough, she’s sent to the sister newspaper at Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, not far from where I grew up so semi-familiar territory. She works there during the week but stays with her wacky mother, Lesley, in nearby Tring, where my mum lives.
They say to write what you know and while my knowledge influences my writing, I haven’t dated thirty-one men in thirty-one days… despite my brother calling Serial Dater my autobiography. I also haven’t tested that many ‘healthy’ dishes, even as a member of Weight Watchers and Slimming World – not at the same time!
One upside of writing a series is that you already have a bank of familiar characters – familiar to you and to the reader… so they have to be consistent. Series are so popular because most readers (and authors) feel bereft at the end of a novel they’ve enjoyed and want more. Izzy still features in Serial Dieter but Donna and her boyfriend (I won’t say who he is but they get together in Serial Dater) are the main characters so get more airtime although Donna more so because they’re apart during the week.
One downside is that once your first book is published (Serial Dater is published by Bombshell Books), the details are then set in the proverbial stone so if you want to change anyone’s name, a location or other key feature, you’d have to change it in the first book. There was no way with all the office staff, Izzy’s family and her dates, that I wasn’t going to repeat the first letter of some of the names used – it’s how readers remember names best – and in the Serial Dater’s case I’d like to have changed a couple of the names as they do appear in the second but not in the same scenes so I’m hoping there’ll be no confusion.
I do plan others in the series – the next two being crime rather than women’s fiction, although the lead characters may be women, one certainly can be, but Izzy and Donna will have a rest while I create a whole new set of characters and thus have more freedom, albeit staying within the same ‘Shopping List’ concept. Watch this space!
Morgen’s website is http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com and email is firstname.lastname@example.org. She is morgenwriteruk on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where she also runs a free mentoring group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/morgensmondaymentorship. She’s happy to hear from anyone interested in writing and / or reading. Morgen makes a point of the ‘Morgen with an E’ because MorgAn Baileys include a rocket scientist (female) and male: athlete, Green politician, basketball player, and transsexual porn star!
Morgen Bailey (Morgen with an E) is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writers’ Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker, and co-founder of Northants Authors. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit, and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions. She also runs her own monthly 100-word competition. 2018 events include talks and workshops at Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers, workshops and panels at Delapre Book Festival, interviewing and workshops at BeaconLit, and NAWG Fest with her ‘Editing your Fiction’ weekend residential course. Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others. Her blog is http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, and email address email@example.com.