I was delighted to be nominated for the Liebster Award by fellow author Marie Anne Cope. I first had the pleasure of listening to some of Marie Anne’s thrilling and spine chilling stories at the Wrexham Carnival of Words in May. If you love a good horror story, like to be scared out of your wits or enjoy the macabre her books are most definitely for you. You can find out more about her Marie Anne and her books and blog at http://scaryramblings.blogspot.co.uk/
For those not in the know, the Liebster Award is a really nice award that shouts out and supports small and developing blogs. The person who nominates you asks some questions for you to answer and you then nominate blogs of your choice and ask these bloggers some questions of your own. This helps to spread the word about blogs, gives writers some encouragement and support and generally makes the world a happier place. Perfect!
As per the rules (more of those later), I’ll start with 10 Random Facts About Me-
- I own a fabulous 1974 VW Camper called Buttercup.
- I like tomato sauces but hate raw tomatoes.
- My favourite country is Vietnam.
- I love live music and my top 5 gigs are Prince, The Who, Stevie Wonder, Faithless and Joan as Policewoman.
- I helped build a set for the Travelling Globe Theatre last summer.
- My favourite soft drink is water.
- I was a teacher for 18 years.
- I sing backing vocals on the album Well Done Jessica by Gamma Ray Sam https://gammaraysam.bandcamp.com/
- I love shoes and own about 85 pairs.
- My favourite colour is blue.
Now I have to answer some questions by my nominator Marie Anne Cope. Here goes…
- When and why did you start to write?
I can remember having a pen in my hand from a very young age. I suppose I first started writing for an audience when I was teaching. I wrote stories, poems, plays and jingles for the children in my classes. So that would have been about 18 years old and onwards.
- What is your chosen genre and what was your motivation for choosing it?
I write children’s picture books normally in rhyming form. My teaching career was spent surrounded by books like this and I love them. They encourage imagination, creativity and silliness. What could be more inspiring?
- Is your blog the same genre and if not, why not?
I used to have three blogs – one about the restoration of my van Buttercup, one about Little Lamb Phonics and a video blog for Little Lamb Tales. This was totally unmanageable so I have a Youtube channel for Little Lamb Tales Little Lamb Tales video blog (storytelling) and now write blogs that are generally about reading, writing, parental tips for helping their children with early literacy, storytelling in the van and general musings on books and words.
- What came first – blogging or story writing?
Writing came first but in terms of what was published first that would be my blog. I first blogged about 8 years ago although that was a personal blog rather than a writer’s blog.
- Do you think a blog is a must for a writer and, if so, why?
I’m not a big fan of doing things because you must. I write because I enjoy it and because it’s part of who I am. Therefore I blog because I enjoy it and I think that’s the key. If you like blogging then blog away. If it’s not for you, you will end up resenting it. Many great writers don’t have blogs. I think this is a personal choice. If you do like blogging it can be a fantastic way to reach out to people who may not normally come into contact with you.
- Describe your writing routine and why it works for you.
Because my storytelling, author visits and staff training run alongside my writing it’s hard to have a definite writing routine. Some weeks I am in a different school every day, some weeks I’m at home all week writing. For the times when I am at home, I find I’m most productive in the morning. A cup of Redbush tea and breakfast is followed by a few hours of concentrating on the story I am working on. I always try to take a fairly big break, go for a walk, listen to music, stretch, eat etc before returning to it. I tend to stop writing by about 3.00 as my brain starts to become foggy after then.
- Do you have a special place to write and if so where is it and why?
I write in my office (pen and paper first, then computer once I’ve scribbled and made changes) at my desk. My desk is under a window with a view of trees and a library. I always have a notebook with me and I’m fond of writing outdoors too, especially the beach.
- If you could go back in time, what piece of advice would you give yourself as you embark on your writing journey?
Find a good editor you can trust (I use Sue Miller from All Word Matters http://allwordsmatter.co.uk/ and Team Author UK https://www.facebook.com/TeamAuthorUK/?fref=ts), find out as much about the world of publishing as you can and have faith in yourself.
- What is your favourite genré and is this the same as the one you write?
I love historical fiction (faction) and crime fiction. And if the two can be combined, happy days!
- What do you feel the advantages/disadvantages of blogging are?
The biggest disadvantage is time. Making time to do it, finding time to do it and trying to blog regularly. The advantages are it’s another opportunity for writing, it helps you to connect with other people, it allows you a voice.
- What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A Headteacher I worked for in London really encouraged me to get things published. He told me I should just do it! So I did!
If you are chosen to receive the Liebster Award the rules are quite simple and listed below.
- Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
- Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.) At the bottom of this post I’ve included a whole lot of images you can use for your 2016 Liebster Award.
- For the 2016 Liebster Award I will be shaking things up! Write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
- Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (This year I’m making this optional. If you wish to engage with your readers it’s a great idea to include random facts about you.)
- Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
- List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
- Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post or mine if you don’t have all the information so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)
So now to my nominations. I have chosen the following bloggers to nominate
Jenny Jones https://oldbirder.wordpress.com/
Rosalie Marsh https://discover-rosalie.blogspot.co.uk/
Matthew Drzymala https://matthewdrzymala.com/
Lesley Rawlinson https://wordsfromthewoodpeckertree.wordpress.com/
My questions for them are:
- If you could write anywhere in the world where would it be?
- Has any film ever come close to the book?
- Do you scribble in notebooks or write straight onto the computer?
- Was there one thing that prompted you to write more than anything else?
- Which genre do you write and did you choose it or did it choose you?
- What are you currently reading and would you recommend it?
- Have you ever gone into a bookshop and managed to leave without buying a book? If so, how?
- If your house was on fire which book would you rescue? (after your family and pets obviously).
- Do you think blogging helps with your writing? If so how?
- Which book do you wish you’d written?
- What would you like to write about in your next book?
Thanks once again to Marie Anne for the nomination. If you are a reader who is thinking about blogging just go for it. And if you are a blogger keep writing! Thanks for reading.