Some Questions with Murray Bailey

February 7, 2019

Murray Bailey was born in Greater Manchester, England. He gradually moved south until he reached the beautiful Dorset coast where he now lives with his wife and family. Having young children and an all-consuming passion such as writing doesn’t leave much free time, but when he can take a break, he enjoys running and cycling, kayaking along the gorgeous River Stour and making sandcastles with his children.

How many books have you had published?

8 - including from the Ash Carter thriller series and 2 from the Egyptian trilogy

How long have you been writing?

12 years ago although the first was only published 3 years ago.

Have you got another job besides being an author?

I’m self employed as an international risk consultant- which isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. It just means I give advice to lenders.

How and Why did you begin writing?

I’d been a magazine editor and edited text books but the first novel was triggered by a trip to Singapore with my father. It was the inspiration for Singapore 52.

Interests when not writing?

I used to be a triathlete but since a knee injury my other focus is now family - a 2 year old in particular

Where do you get your ideas?

I don’t know. I’m not a great sleeper and find my mind going over plots at night. I have ideas for another 5 books

When is your next book coming?

Secrets of the Dead is out in paperback at the end of February. Later this year will be Singapore Ghost.

Do you find social media a useful tool?

I’m sure it is but I’m a bit of a Luddite I’m afraid.

Has a book ever made you cry?

Angela’s Ashes I think but it must have been 20 years ago.

Does writing energise or exhaust u?

Energise most of the time. However it’s a bit of an obsession and as such it can become all consuming at times. Which isn’t good.

If you could give an aspiring writer one piece of advice…

Don’t expect to be famous. View it as an enjoyable (maybe cathartic) hobby. My writing tip is to have more than one book on the go. If you find today’s chapter a struggle, sleep (or not in my case) on it. Meanwhile switch to the other book.

How did u feel when u first got published?

It’s amazing to see your book in print. I’m still waiting for the excitement of seeing them on bookshelves although Waterstones stocks some of mine online.

Have you got any unfinished/ unpublished works?

Like I said I have a few plots I’m working on. Singapore Ghost is unfinished but I’ll be returning to it later this year before it goes to editing.

What kind of research do u do for your books?

I read text books for my Egyptian series and have just completed a course in hieroglyphics. I also did two tours of Egypt for research. I’ve an upcoming book set in Chicago and will be visiting the homicide detective department there soon - fortunately I can combine the trip with paid work. Location is very important to me.

How many hours per day do you write?

About 2, Monday to Friday. I do a lot of writing in the train

How do u come up with character names?

It’s tough especially for the ancient Egyptian characters. For other books I sometimes use the names of people I’m working with - with their permission of course. And it helps book sales!

What was your Favourite Children’s book?

The Wizard of Earthsea. I suspect I’d have been into Harry Potter these days.

Have you ever got to the planning stage of a murder?

I won’t answer that on the grounds that it could incriminate me. However there’s a certain builder...

Name 3 items can’t live without?

My kids (I know that’s a cheat). Otherwise they are: my laptop, charger and appropriate international adapter so that I can write.

Who would you invite to a dinner party, Alive or dead and why ?

Agatha Christie. I’d love to know how she plotted and came up with so many unique twists.

What’s the plot for next book?

Ash Carter is in Penang in 1953. His job is babysitting a reporter investigating ghost stories at the army barracks. It seems a simple task but then Carter’s past comes back to haunt him and everything changes.

Finally…What inspired ‘black creek white lies’

My parents live in Cornwall on a creek very similar to the one in the book. It all started when my mother complained that the Ash Carter books were for my father - so I wrote one for her. There will be a sequel, I just need the time to write it!

You can buy all Murrays Books at


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