liebster2I was first nominated for the Liebster Award two or three years ago and not only did I get loads of traffic to my blog as a result, it gave me something to write about other than my normal ranty stuff and it was fun. Thanks to the fabulous Ailsa Abraham, I’ve been nominated again and I am delighted to have another bash.

You can read Ailsa’s response to the questions she was given (and a succint definition of what the award is about) here. Below are the questions Ailsa wanted her nominees to answer and I’ve done my best to answer them. Hope this is OK, Ailsa!

What prompted you to blog in the first place?

I am a writer and inherent to being a writer is the belief one has something to say. I don’t like speaking to myself (well, not ALL the time) so blogging seemed like a good way of putting my words out there where people could read them if they wanted to. It’s a try-before-you-buy offer to readers: I hoped that if they liked my blogs, they might want to read something I had written and asked them to pay for too. How’s that working out for me? Erm…not brilliantly! I’ve sold maybe 100 copies of my short story collection ‘And The Angels Cried and other stories’ and I know I get many more hits on my blog. But now, I blog because I enjoy it. It’s a place to vent my wrath and share stories about my mum, Nancy.

How much of yourself do you share on your blog?

Too much! I am a typical blunt Weegie and if I’m not being honest, I don’t see the point. However, I don’t regret anything I’ve shared and there are loads and loads of topics I have no intention of writing about. It’s almost like therapy. Blogging has helped me to work out some issues hanging around from childhood. That can only be a good thing, right?

Are any subjects taboo for you?

This is a difficult one. In fiction, there is nothing I wouldn’t write about. One of my WIPs has a pedophile ring in it and themes of abandonment and abuse. I hope I write about it in a non-salacious, grown-up way and I offer no details about exactly what happens to the characters involved. I don’t write about controversial subjects to titillate, but to ask readers to think about subjects they might otherwise try to avoid and, perhaps, question their beliefs a little. I don’t expect them to change their way of thinking, just to think.

Personally, there are many things I won’t write about, mainly out of concern for the other people involved. Well, that and fear of being arrested, obviously.

Would you ever refuse to guest on someone else’s blog and why?

Yes. If someone else’s blog was racist/sexist/bigoted/overly self-promotional/hurtful etc, I wouldn’t consider writing for them. There are also some people who, while not offensive as such, seem to have a life philosophy so different to mine I wouldn’t want to be associated with them, not matter how successful they were. Otherwise, I love to guest on other people’s blogs and I am happy to extend mine to other people too.

How would you like to think your readers see your blog?

Because I am so honest about what I write about, I hope that readers see my blog as down to earth, interesting, thought-provoking and, above all else, fun! I love to make people laugh, even about serious topics.

Which of your qualities do you think comes out most in your posts?

Oh dear, I hope it’s honesty and fun, but I fear that I may come across as arrogant, argumentative and opinionated.

Is there anything you dislike about blogging?

My self-imposed filters! There are many things I think, write and then delete for a variety of reasons. I also dislike the ‘fibro fog’ which makes stringing a coherent sentence together at times. Today is one of those times but I know if I don’t write this now, I never will. Apologies for clunky prose and repetitions.

Do you visualise books in your head while reading them? In other words, are you watching your own movie of the book?

Yes! Every time! Isn’t this why we find films made from books so disappointing? The director so seldom shares out vision. I do the same when writing too. I am a very visual person.

What is your most passionate cause or belief?

Live and let live. I think if we all held to this belief we’d be better off as a species. What does it matter if someone is black/white/Christian/Atheist/Old/young/fat/thin/gay/straight… Instead of looking for our differences we should be looking for all the things that makes us similar. There’s a good old Scottish saying. “We’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns.” Basically, it means each man in your brother, each woman your sister.

What draws you to other people’s blogs?

I like a blog where I am either instructed or entertained or, in the best of all possible worlds, instructed AND entertained.

Phew! Now I have to set some questions for my nominees to answer.

  1. When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  2. In the movie of your life, who would play you and why?
  3. Which book to you wish you had written?
  4. You have three wishes to give to someone else. Who would you give the wishes to and what would you want them to wish for?
  5. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you? That you’re willing to share.
  6. What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

My nominees are as follows:

  • Lizzie Lamb, author of Tall, Dark and Kilted and Boot Camp Bride
  • Tracy Kuhn, talented writer and lovely lady
  • Roisin Meaney, best-selling Irish novelist.
  • Gary Parkin, AKA Mr Uku because he hates doing these things so much and I live to torture him.

Anyone else who reads this and fancies having a go, please be my guest! The rules are that you answer my questions, link back to my site (good SEO there) and pass the baton on to some other good folk.

What are you waiting for? Get on with it!

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