Friday, 17 May 2019

Q and A with Morgen Bailey - Hitman Sam Blog Tour

Having been made redundant as a photocopier software designer, Sam Simpson is lured by a cryptic advert. As he learns it is for a trainee hitman, will he be tough enough to see the job through? Even James Bond had to start somewhere and Sam, as his alias Josh Bradley, looks forward to enjoying James' lifestyle, although soon embroiled in a love triangle, Sam hadn't expected things to get so complicated so quickly.  

Author Bio

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, and email address 


Q and A

Where did the inspiration for the storyline come from?

Hitman Sam evolved from a scene of script I wrote while doing the first year of a creative writing degree course with The University of Leicester. I’m more of a pantser writer than plotter and as Emma Thompson said in my favourite movie Stranger than Fiction, the idea came “explicably and without reason”. Although I didn’t particularly enjoy writing in script form, I liked the story so rewrote it as a novel for my first NaNoWriMo.

Why did you choose to have a male lead character when you’re female?

That’s a good question. I’m not sure why. The video shop was the first thing to spring into my mind then someone choosing assassin-type movies. Then I got the idea that the main character would watch them as research. I could have had a woman train but I think the idea that a man would train to be a hitman would lend itself to more humour.

Do you have a favourite character from Hitman Sam?

I do like Emma because she’s feisty, like Alexa from my second novel, After Jessica, and Izzy from my third, The Serial Dater’s Shopping List. Having just released my latest, a talking dog detective novel, ‘for the young in all of us’, Oh Henry, I would have liked to have given Hamish the Westie dog a voice but then it would have become a different novel.

How much research did you have to put into this book?

Strange as it may seem, I know nothing about being a hitman. Fortunately nor does Sam. I did have to research guns, and there’s a local shooting range, but I didn’t go into such specifics that I’d be caught out… I hope! I grew up with an older brother so I also hope I got Sam’s ‘voice’ right.

How long did it take you to write Hitman Sam?

Having only written short stories up to discovering NaNoWriMo (, the 50,000+ words in a month project, I thought I’d ‘have a go’ so went back through my college work and found the video shop scene. I thought it would be fun to do something light so wrote the story leading up to him going to the video store for his first research trip and what happened thereafter.

What else do you have published?

As well as the four novels, I’ve two collections of (93 and 250) short stories, two writer’s block workbooks with tips (each with over 1,000 prompts), and an editing guide – my day job – a ‘how to write a book then how to pull it apart’ book.
What’s next?

I recently finished The Serial Dieter’s Shopping List, the follow-up to The Serial Dater’s Shopping List. That’s just back in from my fabulous beta readers, together with feedback on a ‘hit and (not) run’ crime novel. I’m also going back to two other part-written crime novels, one about a kidnapping, the other a slightly paranormal, not my comfort zone but I’m enjoying writing it, and have others planned or part written (including a revenge novel!) to return to. I’m also doing Story a Day May ( this month so it makes a change for me to actually write every day. I like to write in chunks so tend to block off days, even a week, when I can concentrate fully on a novel-length project.

Thank you for inviting me today. I’ve enjoyed looking back at the who, what, when, where and why… questions we should ask of our novels. :)


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