I am very grateful to have been given a Liebster Award for blogging by the lovely Celia Kennedy.
Celia blogs at Woman Reinvents Self and is also the gifted author of Charlotte's Restrained, which I have read and can recommend.
The Liebster award is for new bloggers and is given among the blogging community to get to know each other and highlight a newbie.
My blog, The Bowes Library Corner began as a safe place to express opinions about the world we live in and how we interact with it. It contains a series of different articles which are inspired by my work as an author, events in the world or in New Zealand and the struggles I see many others undertaking. Some people seem to do it really tough and my heart goes out to them, while others coast on through, unaware we all watch with green eyed jealousy. I’m attracted to libraries in a very surreal way; hence the name of the blog. When we were travelling New Zealand, I probably managed to blag my way into most of the libraries along the way and have a nose around their books. We lived in a camper van and I had no fixed abode with which to sign up for membership and I couldn’t have taken a book out even if I wanted to. But I just loved how every library looked and felt different inside, as though reflecting the character of those who ran it. It was fascinating. Books and central heating are definitely the best things ever invented.
Sometimes I blog in my corner about my novels and some particularly interesting piece of research I might have done. My all time favourite blog was an interview with my leading male in the Hana Du Rose Mysteries - Logan Du Rose. No matter what I do, I think I will always love that blog best. Other times I rant about something in life which is unfair or just plain wrong. It depends how I feel.
So, Celia has provided me with a number of questions which I will do my best to answer. Here goes.
1. What was your first blog about?
That’s embarrassing. I think I was defending my right to write on the toilet. It was for another blogger. I’m definitely not giving you the link.
2. How would you say your blog has evolved?
I think I’ve relaxed and allowed more of myself to come through. It was all a bit wooden at the start. I’m less afraid of expressing my opinion nowadays. I’m getting old enough to wear purple and spit, so I care much less about what other people say about me.
3. What do you find most satisfying about writing?
The release it gives me. If I have a bad day, I write about it and feel better. If I dislike someone, I make them a character in a novel and give them a horrid time. Karma is wonderful and they never need to know that I killed them off, gave them acne or made them run naked down the high street in a fictional world, laughing while I did it.
4. Has your blog led you in an unexpected direction?
Yes, I recently joined kiwimummyblogs.co.nz
I’m a newly nationalised Kiwi, a mother and a blogger. It’s opened up this whole other world of women for me to connect with. Blogging can be a lonely experience if nobody ever talks back, but actually interacting with other bloggers is awesome.
5. How many blogs do you read?
I get email notifications and pick and choose. I like the ones containing writing tips and often check into the ones where parents are blogging about their family struggles, because I’ve been there.
6. What grabs you about someone else’s blog and have you incorporated it into yours?
For me, I’m happy with what I blog about. It’s personal and nobody can write about things the same way I do, because they aren’t seeing through my eyes. But I do take style tips from other blogs that work really well and am interested in those that don’t work great. I like to dissect them and find out why.
7. If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you do?
Read, eat, find a designated toilet spot, read and repeat.
8. You can travel to anywhere in the world! What location came to mind?
9. Have you been there before or would it be a new experience?
My parents are there. I haven’t seen them for a couple of years now. I would turn up on their doorstep unexpectedly and hug my mother really hard for a very long time, whilst passing tissues to my blubbering father.
10. Your blog goes viral and you are asked to vlog – would you want to?
I’d give it a go. I have an extremely funny outtake from a vlog I did for a blogger in India in which I was meant to be talking about my novel, Artifact. It took my daughter and I ages to get the seat right, the lighting as we wanted it and I had a few dummy runs. We didn’t realise until much later that the iPhone we used had been running the whole time we were fussing around. At one point I actually adjusted my underwear. Hilarious.
11. Have you ever revealed something in your blog that a loved one was surprised by? Tell us a great story!
I once said in an interview that I started writing because I was lonely and depressed after emigrating to New Zealand. I had heaps of positive feedback from other people who used writing, song writing and poetry to deal with emotional turmoil and it was really edifying. My husband never reads my blogs but this one time he did. He came to me and asked me how I felt and I was a little suspicious, wondering what he was about to drop on me. He smiled at me and walked away. Later when he asked me again, I thought I’d better investigate. Turns out he’d actually read my blog and misunderstood. He thought I always wrote when I was depressed. I’d spent the day tapping on my laptop and he thought I was miserable and harbouring some deep seated issue I couldn’t talk about. We had a very interesting conversation during which I realised that back in 2006 when we first got to New Zealand and I was really unhappy, he hadn’t actually noticed.
Thank you to Celia Kennedy for nominating me. Her novel, Charlotte’s Restrained, I read and really enjoyed.
I would like to nominate fellow author and dragon impresario, CJ Rutherford. I’m sure his Irish wit will stand him in good stead for these questions, although I should probably address them to his sidekick, Claude.
1. What time of day do you blog?
2. What’s the most controversial thing you’ve ever blogged about?
3. What’s the one thing you’ve blogged and then wished you hadn’t?
4. Who is your favourite blogger?
5. Do you find that blogging as Claude makes you braver in the things you say?
6. What is your vision for your blog?
7. What is your favourite blog topic?
8. Did you start with a particular blog style in mind or has it evolved over time?
9. Potato chips or chocolate (Colin not Claude!)
10. Who is your personal idol and would you want them to read your blog?
11. Would you ever take a blog post down if it caused offence, or would you leave it up there for posterity?
Thanks again, Celia Kennedy.
Let’s keep blogging!