Monday, 16 December 2013

Downton Interview with... Writer Morgen Bailey!

Hello Morgen! As a fellow Downton Abbey fan, no doubt you are looking forward to the Christmas Special. What would your fantasy storyline be for the plot of that episode, if you were behind it? Mine would be for Carson and Mrs Hughes to finally (please!) get together and for Mr Bates NOT to be revealed as having anything to do with the suspected murder of vile valet Green. I couldn’t face another jail storyline.

Hello, Sam. Thank you for inviting me. They've killed off too many characters recently so I'd not have any more... which may surprise those who know me as I do it often enough in my own stories. The Bates' are due some good fortune but I suspect if they found out they were going to be parents that would throw another spanner in the proverbial works. It's about time Daisy had some fun, and Isobel Crawley and the doctor got together.

In your book The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, journalist Isobel MacFarlane must date 31 men in a month and she labels them ‘Mr Could Be Right’, ‘Mr Not Bad.,’ etc – how would you label a couple of the men in Downton, if you got to date them? I would label Thomas Barrow ‘Mr Not On Your Life’!

Ah yes. I remember him from Coronation Street (he's far better in this). Would it be too sad to say that I like Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville) as he was one of my favourite characters from Notting Hill (one of my favourite films)? He'd be my Mr Safe (although there's a sparkle in those eyes) and Matthew Crawley my Mr Yum (I was NOT happy when they bumped him off). The ex-chauffeur, Brandson, is cute too, although a little young, I fear.

Which character in Downton would you like to take the credit for creating? For me, it has to be the Dowager Countess with her sparkling one-liners.

Words are what make the show and she certainly has some corkers. I do like women with gumption and that's often where British movies / TV shows excel (dare I say, without alienating your US readers?) often action/banana skin-reliant US movies. Isobel gives the Countess a run for her money on more than one occasion so I'd be proud of her.

Out of everything you have ever written, which character are you most proud of creating and why?

Oh my goodness. Mmm. I've written eight novels and 400+ short stories so that's a tough one but one that springs to mind is April (from April’s Fool (short story)). She's a tough cookie. Issy (our aforementioned journalist) is no pushover either and if you / your readers read the book they'll see she stands up for herself.

Julian Fellowes , the writer of Downton, is also an actor – are you creative in any other way?

I love drawing cartoons, although unlike my writing, I struggle from imagination. One of my 2014 wish-list items is to draw more (and learn to lip read - I'm studying the latter locally next month, and for free, as I'm a fellow tutor!). 

Upstairs or downstairs?

  Upstairs, I'd love to wear brighter colours and be waited on.

Lady Mary or Edith?

Sorry, Edith, but it has to be Mary - it's her sharp tongue - although Sybil was feisty. Edith will get her moment, I'm sure. She has had meatier roles of late.
Mrs Hughes or Mrs Patmore?

Mrs Patmore's hilarious. Mrs Hughes has her moments, and yes, get your act together Carson!, but it's Mrs P for me. Lucky escape from Mr Tufton 

Thanks for joining me, Morgen and enjoy the Christmas Special!

 You're very welcome, Sam. Thank you for asking me. I look forward to it. (Sky+ planner at the ready).

 Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey (“Morgen with an E”) is a prolific blogger, editor / critiquer, tutor, speaker, and podcaster. Chair of two writing groups, she is a freelance author of numerous short stories, novels, articles, and some poetry. Like her, her blog,  is consumed by all things literary. Her books are available to buy from US Amazon and UK Amazon Morgen's email is


  1. Great to see Morgen being interviewed for once. She is such an author's friend :-) Definitely Mrs. P - I agree. But I'd quite like to be downstairs (not the kitchen skivvy, but maybe a housekeeper) because I'd hate all those boring parties upstairs people have to attend. A knees-up is more my line!

  2. Good point, Susan - I like dressing up a couple of times a year, but couldn't manage it every night!