Tuesday, 26 February 2013

THE LIEBSTER BLOG AWARD

The Liebster Blog Award



My thanks go to Bev Spicer, talented author of Bunny On A Bike and One Summer In France, for getting me involved with this award (no idea what it is but I'm game!) If you want a look at Bev's blog here is the link http://baspicer.blogspot.fr/
I copied this bit from Bev, who copied it from Terry Tyler.
The purpose of the Liebster Blog Award is to recognize blogs with fewer than 200 followers that deserve a look. My job is to list 11 random facts about me, answer the 11 questions Bev Spicer has set me, then to nominate 11 new bloggers, who should bask in the Liebster glow - which means doing the same as I am doing here! ie, post a blog linking back here, with 11 random facts about you, answer my 11 questions and nominate 11 new bloggers (and think of 11 questions to ask them - can be anything!). Here we go... 

11 Random Facts about me
1) I talk to the angels (mentally not outloud!)
2) I can't think on the computer - I've done all this with pen and paper first!
3) My hot water bottle is like a fifth limb
4) I love fuchsias and the weeping cherry tree in my front garden, especially in spring when it is in flower and looks as though it is adorned with frothy pink marshmallows
5) I can be silly without alcohol
6) I HATE multistorey car parks! They should all be banished to Room 101 with their barriers to trap you, their cameras and ticket machines that you need a degree in technology to operate!
7) I hate woodpigeons who come and scoff the nuts I put out for the squirrel and the little birds and I get cross with the squirrel for raiding the birdfeeders. I just wish they could connect with me telepathically and know what was for each of them
8) I'd love an Audi TT Roadster, white
9) I HATE being controlled and would never willingly put myself in that position
10) I hate driving in the snow
11) When I go to angel world I want to find my soulmate and spend eternity with him

Now we come to the 11 questions that Bev set me :-
1) What's the most beautiful place you've visited and why?
The Channel Island of Guernsey. I had a fantastic holiday there in 1974 when I was 19, complete with holiday romance with a gorgeous boy called Steve. We wrote for a few weeks after but it fizzled out as these things do.
2) Do you ever read/write poetry? Why/why not?
My first attempts at writing were poetry, mainly because the autobiography I had in mind seemed such a huge task. Here's the link to some of my poems on poemhunter.com http://www.poemhunter.com/sherrie-lowe/
3) Who would be the perfect dinner date and why?
Rupert Penry Jones or maybe Richard Armitage because they are both gorgeous! Their personalities would have to match their looks though, I can't do with pretentious people.
4) If you could become someone else for a day who would it be and why?
An athlete, say someone like Jessica Ennis who has loads of energy as I have none, but then I wouldn't want to give that energy back!
5) Would you prefer to go into space or explore the ocean floor? Why?
Both would fill me with horror! I like my feet on terra firma! Perhaps a little snorkeling on a coral reef would be nice though.
6) Describe the view from  one of your windows
I live on a modern housing estate so it isn't an area of outstanding natural beauty although we do have some countryside round about but I am near the top of a bank so the view from my back bedroom window stretches for miles. In the far distance I can see the trees at Trentham Gardens which is about ten miles away. In spring I like to watch the sun setting (when we have any!) as it creeps further and further west behind the rooftops with the longer days.
7) Can you remember your first kiss - keep  it clean!
I'll never forget it for all the wrong reasons! My first crush and adolescent daydreams were of a boy in my class at school. Oh to kiss him... What actually happened was that I got lumbered with a boy at a disco on teenyboppers night whilst my friend had gone off with his brother. I was counting the minutes until I could go and get my coat. When I did, being a gentleman he held it for me and when I turned he kissed me! It was gross!!! All wet, rubbery lips! I was so angry that he'd robbed me of a first beautiful, romantic kiss with the boy of my dreams. Urgh!!!
8) Do you do anything to keep fit? What/Why not?
I'd love to but can't, as a result there is rather more of me than I'd like and than there used to be. As I have ME/CFS five minutes gentle exercise wipes me out for days - I've tried numerous times. I'd love to be able to go to the gym though, or better still a long, lovely walk in the countryside on a beautiful summer evening or crisp snowy day. Ah dreams...
9) Describe yourself when you were about 18
Like an oyster shell beginning to open. I'd just started to gain confidence having always been quiet and shy (a bit of a madam at home though - or so I was always being told!) I was wanting to find that special boy to love who'd love me back.
10) Where do you stand on football (try not to be silly now!)
On the fence ha! When my sons lived at home one was a Manchester United supporter, one Arsenal (armchair of course, we lived too far and it cost too much for them to actually go to games, but they have been to a few) I dreaded matches where they played each other because I'd have one lad crowing victory and the other sulking. It never quite came to blows but I always held my breath...
11) What kind of music do you listen to?
All kinds: Take That, Alice Cooper, certain classical pieces. 'Our tune' when my now ex husband and I were young and in love was Pachelbel's Cannon in D. I love New Age music, particularly that of Chris Kimber www.chriskimber.info Check out his video on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoT0f8uyA7c&playnext=1&list=PLBF375617A6282C8A&feature=results_main It is the most beautiful, ethereal music ever and he very kindly let me use part of a track for my Angel Breaths trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8JEVGyX7no&feature=plcp 

Right that's me done, now it's your turn to answer my questions. Here goes...

1) Where is your favourite place on earth? Why?
2) How did you get into writing?
3) Where and how do you write? e.g. pen and paper, computer, first thing in a morning etc
4) Of all the scientific achievements that we take for granted in our modern world, which do you wish you'd invented and why?
5) If you were Jesus (or a member of your family who died many years ago) and you came back now, what would you change about the world today and why?
6) If you were a flower or a tree, what would you be and why?
7) If you were an animal, fish, insect etc, what would you be and why?
8) Are you sporty? If yes, what in? If no, what do you hate most?
9) What sort of child were you? Good, naughty, easy going, hard to handle?
10) Are you still like that now?
11) If your books became million sellers and films how would you change your life?

That's it! Good luck.

The people I nominate for The Liebster Award are:-
Brooklyn Hudson http://brooklynhudson.blogspot.co.uk/
(more coming soon)

THE NEXT BIG THING





Welcome to The Next Big Thing

My writer friend, Jeff Joseph, recently tagged me for a ‘chain’ blog entitled ‘The Next Big Thing'. The deal is: I answer a few questions about my current work-in-progress, then I invite other authors to do the same. A bit like a chain letter, except it is only focused on an author’s work-in-progress. Jeff Joseph was tagged previously by Kathy Logan. I've included details of their blogs so you can explore their answers to the same questions. The authors I’ve chosen have been tagged below my answers. So here goes:

What is the working title of your next book?
Two Miracles

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Friends and family after reading the prequel Shadow Across the Sun, the memoir of my first twenty years said, 'You must write a sequel about what happened to you when you set off on your new life at the end of Shadow.'
The title came from what I ask the angels every night - everyone needs a miracle now and then; I need two. To find out what they are you'll have to read the book!

What genre does your book fall under?
Memoir, autobiography

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I'd like new people to play my characters, fresh faces that viewers won't associate with previous roles. I'd also like to help kick start actors' careers simultaneously to my own.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
 It is a story of love, marriage, family, birth, illness, death, experiences that everyone has had at least one of but which we all deal with differently.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self published

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Due to my health it takes me nine months to a year to write a book, that's without the editing, where it takes 'normal' people a few months. I write it out by hand and work a chapter at a time, re reading and making alterations as I go on so that I don't have to do a complete rewrite at the end. Each chapter only goes onto the computer once I'm happy with it - or as happy as any author is, we can make amendments forever! There has to come a point where you say, 'That's it.'

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This and its prequel Shadow Across the Sun, Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes and Tis - and maybe James Herriot's books but only in as much as they are memoirs. Frank McCourt says in his opening paragraphs 'The happy childhood is hardly worth your while.' My childhood was the happiest imaginable - but not for long. It was overshadowed by illness: my sister became ill in the bed next to me and would have died had she been in a room on her own, then the unthinkable happened and my mother died, shattering my childhood abruptly.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Shadow came first and what inspired that was sitting in the beautiful summer sunshine in the garden 32 years ago, with my eldest son a baby asleep in the pram beside me as I read Danielle Steele's Fine Things. As her character developed cancer it was as though the sun went in and I had the conscious thought 'I've lived this; I could write it.' Of course it took many years and a lot of practice plus three complete re writes until I was satisfied with it. I'd always had a notion to write a sequel but ideas for novels, which I'd thought would be more commercial, especially as the words 'The market for memoirs by non celebrities is appallingly bad.' came from an agent, took precedence.  

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
Personally I've always loved reading the memoirs of ordinary, non celebrity, people since reading James Herriot's books in the 1970s. I find it interesting to read how they deal with the situations life deals them, their careers, relationships etc and I hope that others will enjoy mine for the same reason. I think that many people will relate to my life experiences and compare them to their own.

Here are the blog links for Jeff Joseph and Kathy Logan

The authors I’ve invited to join in the fun are:
Brooklyn Hudson brooklynhudson.blogspot.com
                    Bev Spicer  http://baspicer.blogspot.fr
  
                    Linda http://www.dakotadouglas.co.uk