For those of you who frequent this blog, please pardon the capital letters, but I wrote this in Word and I use the auto-caps feature. So much easier than having to capitalize every sentence. Anything to save my fingers when I write. For those of you who are new, I don’t capitalize anything on this blog, also due to the fact that I use auto-caps and have gotten out of the habit. Plus it helps deflate the grammar snob in me.
Also, this is a long post, but it couldn't be helped...
Lisa Yarde, dear writer friend and fellow self-published author, gifted me with the Liebster Award. (Thank you, Lisa. I have fun with these...) It appears to have been around for a while, so I looked it up. All I could find was that it started in Germany, that Liebster means “dear” or “dearest” in German, and that you pass it on to 3 – 11 bloggers who have anywhere from less than 200 followers to less than 3000 followers. Talk about things evolving on the internet...
As part of the more recent round of Liebster Awards in the blogging world, you have to tell 11 random things about yourself, answer 11 questions from the blogger who gave you the award, make up your own 11 questions, and pass the award on to 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers. I’m not sure I know that many bloggers with less than 200, but I’ll try. I’m not even sure I know that many bloggers anymore since I’ve been pretty scarce around here in the last few months.
Here are the answers to what Lisa called “those questions for my fellow writers
1. Who is your favorite writer and why? My very favorite writer is Mary Connealy. Just looking at my library will confirm that. She writes what she calls “Romantic Comedy with Cowboys.” I call it Hysterical Historicals. I think I have nearly every historical romance she’s written since I found Petticoat Ranch. I love her humorous writing style, her sassy heroines, her noble (if sometimes misguided) heroes, and her happy endings. A close second would have to be Robin Lee Hatcher. I love her historical romances too.
2. If you had to pick any one spot on a map and move there, where would you go and why? Is there somewhere on earth that looks like Rivendell from the Lord of the Rings movies? Ok. Since there’s not, I want a coastal view where I won’t get hurricanes. And add a forest to that. So maybe that’s the Redwood Forest in northern California?
3. Who are your top real-life and fictional heroes / heroines? Real heroes -- my husband (the most loving, generous person I know), my kids (just because they’re cool), February Grace (my amazing friend who lives with grace and beauty despite the curves life throws her). The fictional heroes don’t even compare.
4. How long does it take from first draft to published work? The first one, Eldala, took from November 2005 to August 2007. This one, the sequel… I started the first draft in 2009. In the midst of trying to write, we decided to move. We started the remodeling process. I had health and depression issues. We spent months trying to find our lost dog. We put our house up for sale. We moved out of the house and into a rental. We moved out of the rental and stayed with my parents for 2 weeks in northern Montana. We moved into a rental house in Butte, MT. We recovered from moving. I had more health and depression issues. In the last 7 years, I’ve written 8 or 9 drafts. I’m just now getting into the best draft. When will I publish? I have no idea.
5. Among your own books, who's your favorite character and what's your favorite book? I have two books—Eldala and its in-progress sequel. Eldala is my favorite because it’s my first novel and it doesn’t have to be edited anymore. It’s a real book. Right now, I’m not too fond of my sequel.
My favorite character is Kieran. I related to him the most because he was an ordinary person who had to decide to do something extraordinary. I had to do the same when I wrote his story. And I absolutely adore the person who inspired him – Steven Waddington. Mr. Waddington is a fine actor, and from everything I’ve heard on his Facebook fan page, a fine person as well.
6. Why do you write about certain characters, settings or in a particular genre? My genre is medieval fantasy with romance. I write romance because I love love. I write fantasy so I can make up my facts and add in magic. I use a medieval world because it fascinates me, but I sure wouldn’t have wanted to live in that time period. Since I write medieval fantasy, I can leave out whatever facts I want about the time period and make things up.
7. Who knows you best in life? My husband. And he adores me.
8. What's your earliest memory and why does it stick with you? I remember making pizzas with my mom and dad in our little house on McKinley Street. I was 3. When they were done, we used my red wagon to take them to another house because we didn’t have a big freezer to store them in.
9. How did your first job impact what you do professionally today? My first job was working in a real estate office. I think it greatly improved my typing skills. Handy when you’re a writer. Sometimes my fingers move faster than my brain.
10. What did you buy with the first royalty payment? It came from Lulu.com. I think I just put it in the bank. I’m sure I was excited to get paid as a writer, especially since I’d never expected to write a novel, ever.
11. If you weren't writing, what would you be doing instead? Reading. But I do that anyway.
Here are 11 random things about me and/or random things that popped into my head.
1. I love to write fantasy. I usually don’t read it. My favorite genre to read is Christian Historical Romance.
2. When I was in junior high, my friend and I found a lady across the street who had several roping horses. Somehow we ended up helping her take care of them, and she taught us to ride. I was in love.
3. Now that I live on 25 acres, I want my own horses, but we have to wait.
4. I’ve always wanted to live in the pines. Now I do.
5. My favorite pines are the tall Ponderosas. We have those in Montana, just not where I live. I think it’s an altitude thing. Our property has Douglas fir. They’re shorter and fluffier.
6. I love the smell of Christmas trees. Last year, I discovered that a Douglas fir does not smell like a Christmas tree after you bring it into the house.
7. We’ve also decided that the idea of cutting a tree yourself, from your own property, sounds nice—until you have to drag it up the long, steep driveway and then cut 2 or 3 feet off the bottom of it to fit it in your house. It was easier last year, when we could just drag it to the truck and drive it to the rental house.
8. This was the first year we needed a ladder to decorate the tree.
9. Can you tell that Christmas is my favorite holiday?
10. I never thought I’d be so happy to see Spring. Or think about Summer.
11. In Arizona we had warm, warmer, “how the heck did it get this hot?”, and pizza oven. Despite the snow that lasts 5 months, I’m glad I’m in Montana now. (Although I was starting to get tired of the white stuff by March.)
Questions for my blogging friends, and these are really random –
1. If you’re a reader, what’s your favorite genre to read?
2. If you could go anywhere in the world to visit, where would you go?
3. What’s your favorite movie?
4. Chocolate or vanilla? Or some other flavor?
5. Coffee, tea, or neither?
6. Dessert person? If so, favorite dessert.
7. What was your first job?
8. Why did you start blogging?
9. Do you have any hobbies? What are they?
10. What’s the best time of the day for you?
11. Do you like crowds or being with just a small group of people?
In choosing these bloggers, I know I’m not keeping to the 200 followers thing, but I have almost 300 followers now (which still surprises me), so the rule has already been broken.
1. February Grace
2. Christine Hardy
3. Lori Vliegen (Lori has 1500 followers, but you have to see her blog)
4. Annalisa Crawford
5. Lindsay Ostrom
6. Wendy Brightbill (she has an amazing story)
7. Mary Connealy (check out her books – no, Mary didn’t tell me to say that)
8. ?? I’m sorry to say, since having less internet access, I’ve cut my blog reading list back quite a bit.
To my nominees, if you decide to play along, let me know so I can read your answers. Whether you do or not, you’re dear to me.