Tuesday, 30 March 2021

New Publication Spotlight and Author Guest Post: Old Cases, New Colours by Madalyn Morgan

Thank you for inviting me to write a guest post on a topic of my choice for your fabulous Blog Ellesea Loves Reading.

My choice of topic is genre. Should a writer change genre? Is it right to change genre?

Changing genre was something I was told not to do during a creative writing course. I was told readers didn’t like their authors to change the genre. I don’t agree. Most of the readers I know are better read than I am. The rules on genre are more relaxed now, I hope.

The first four novels I wrote, The Dudley Sisters Saga, are set in WW2. The four Dudley sisters have the war in common, but their lives and jobs are very different. In the first book, Foxden Acres, the oldest sister Bess is a teacher in London who, when the children are evacuated, returns to the country to oversee a group of land girls turn the Foxden Estate into arable land. Although all four of the Dudley sisters are introduced in Foxden Acres, it is Bess’s story. A story of love and loss, and how love crosses the class divide.

Applause, Margot Dudley’s story is completely different and her personality is the opposite of her sister Bess. Margot works her way up from usherette to the leading lady of a West End show. Driven by blind ambition she becomes immersed in the heady world of nightclubs, drink, drugs and fascist thugs. In Applause, the genre changed.

China Blue, the third book in The Dudley Sisters Saga, is different again. Claire Dudley joins the WAAF, excels in languages and is recruited by the SOE to work in German-occupied France. Claire’s is a secret love story. it’s also a story about sabotage, cruelty, and the heroism of the French Resistance. A different genre, I’m sure.

The 9:45 To Bletchley, the fourth book in the saga, is Ena Dudley’s story. It’s a spy thriller - and so a different genre. When Ena’s work is stolen en route to Bletchley Park, she is accused of sabotage. Ena investigates and exposes a spy ring.

From three of the four novels in The Dudley Sisters Saga, I have written four stand-alone sequels - all different genres. From Foxden Acres, Foxden Hotel - a murder mystery set in 1948. It’s a story of intrigue and secrets, threats and blackmail that brings the Dudley sisters together to fight an abusive fascist from Ena and Margot’s past. From China Blue, Chasing Ghosts - a psychological thriller set in 1949. When Claire’s husband is accused of wartime treachery, Claire goes to Canada and France in search of the truth. And, from The 9:45 To Bletchley, I’ve written three stand-alone sequels. The first, There Is No Going Home, is a Home Office cold case and cold war spy thriller, set in 1958 London and goes back in time to Berlin 1936. In the second sequel, She Casts a Long Shadow, Ena is preparing to expose the mole at MI5 when her husband is abducted by Special Branch and she is thrown into a murder case.

The stand-alone sequel to She Casts A Long Shadow is about to be published. Old Cases New Colours is a detective story. Ena, sick of lies and bureaucracy, resigns from the Home Office and starts her own private investigation agency. While investigating an art theft and a suspicious death, Ena is called as a prosecution witness in the Old Bailey trial of a cold-blooded killer who she exposed as a spy the year before.

The only Dudley sister who doesn’t have a sequel is Margot (Applause), but that is about to change. My work in progress is called Christmas Applause. Set in the Prince Albert theatre, it will be a celebration of Margot’s life as the leading lady in WW2. The story brings together the Dudley sisters, their daughters - now young women - and Margot’s friends from the war. Christmas Applause begins in 1961 and goes back in time to the 1940s, to the Blitz, ENSA, and to Margot’s rise to leading lady and the Talk of London.

I have never before written a feel-good Christmas story. It is a new genre and a first for me.

Old Cases, New Colours (A Dudley Green Investigation)

Sick of working in a world of spies and bureaucracy, Ena Green, nee Dudley, leaves the Home Office and starts her own investigating agency.

Working for herself she can choose which investigations to take and, more importantly, which to turn down.

While working on two investigations, Ena is called as a prosecution witness in the Old Bailey trial of a cold-blooded killer who she exposed as a spy the year before.

Amazon UK                Amazon US 

I was bought up in a pub in a small market town called Lutterworth. For as long as I can remember, my dream was to be an actress and a writer. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live with so many characters to study and accents to learn. I was offered Crossroads the first time around. However, my mother wanted me to have a ‘proper’ job that I could fall back on if I needed to, so I did a hairdressing apprenticeship. Eight years later, aged twenty-four, I gave up a successful salon and wig-hire business in the theatre for a place at East 15 Drama College and a career as an actress, working in Repertory theatre, the West End, film and television.

In 1995, with fewer parts for older actresses, I gave up acting. I taught myself to touch-type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau and began writing articles and presenting radio.

In 2010, after living in London for thirty-six years, I moved back to Lutterworth. I swapped two window boxes and a mortgage for a garden and the freedom to write. Since then, I have written nine novels. The first four, The Dudley Sisters’ Saga, tell the stories of four sisters in World War 2. My current novel, Old Cases, New Colours, is a thriller/detective story set in 1960. I am writing Christmas book - Christmas Applause - and a Memoir; a collection of short stories, articles, poems, photographs and character breakdowns from my days as an actress.

Madalyn Morgan’s books- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Madalyn-Morgan/e/B00J7VO9I2

Blog – https://madalynmorgan.wordpress.com/

Facebook – www.facebook.com/madalyn.morgan1

Twitter – www.twitter.com/ActScribblerDJ

Pinterest – www.pinterest.co.uk/madalynmorgan

Instagram – www.instagram.co.uk/madalynmorgan1