The Liebster Award: 10 Questions Blog Hop

I joined a blog hop!

Which doesn't actually have anything to do with an award, as far as I know. It's more like a game of virtual tag with no tag backs. I was tagged by Faydra Stratton, whom I met at the FWA Conference this past October. Other bloggers tagged include Beth Salmon, Serena Schreiber and Carrie Morgan.

10 Questions from Faydra: "It's the day before Thanksgiving. Let's start off with some holiday-themed questions..."
1. What traditional Thanksgiving dish do you wish would never show up on your table again?

I'm not sure that I would exclude ANY of the dishes that I consider traditional. However, there is a dish that pops up as a favorite of a select few family members that just doesn't work for me: shrimp salad. I love seafood, I just don't generally want any with my turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.

2. How do you keep writing during the holiday season?

Because my "job" this past year and a half has been to write at home, it's actually not that difficult for me during the holidays. It's more difficult to stop writing and, say, clean house or make food.

3. What does your main character want for Christmas? Why?

Let's see, which main character would I want to use? Here's a thought. I could list them all.
From Lance & Ringo Tails: Lance would like a nice, juicy bone to chew on. Ringo would like Lance and the male, Hairball, to leave the house forever so that he and the female, Catnip, could live happily ever after without them.
From Livinity: As this medieval, fantasy world has no Christmas to speak of, this is a tricky one. If there was something equivalent, Lady Chloe would want to meet her mother and father.
From Sprinter: Riley wants her mother back, but as she knows it's impossible, she wants an invisibility cloak. Also impossible, so she'd be content with a new TV (after she put a crack in her old one).

4. What prompted you to finally sit down and write a book?

I've been writing since I was a child. I used to take colored construction paper and create booklets and write stories in them. In eighth grade, I wrote my first book. By today's standards, it was a YA novel (which will never see the light of day). The more I write, the more I want to write, so there was no "finally sitting down" part of the process. It's always been something I've done, even when I've had other jobs.

5. Where do you do most of your writing?

My hubby helped me create a writing space just off of our living room. Technically, I think it's the kitchenette. But there's a window, and my desk with my computer/printer, and bookshelves, so it's a really cozy place for me with lots of bright light.

6. Is there any genre or type of book you’d love to write but are too intimidated to do so?

Historical fiction. I love reading it and writing it, but I'm too intimidated by the possibility of inaccuracy (and therefore ticking off readers) to write any novels in that genre at this point. I'm working on a short story within that genre, and the research has been a lot more intensive than most stories I write. And I'm still worried about anachronisms, inaccuracy, etc.

7. Confess! What’s your bad habit in terms of writing?

I give myself a lunch break during the day where I usually watch an episode of something on Netflix, or a movie. I finally had to limit myself to a half an hour because watching a two-hour movie in the middle of my designated writing time does not help productivity.

8. What author or book speaks to you the most and why?

This is really tough. The Bible is the book that speaks to me the most, but not because of the writing, although it is excellent. I think Jane Austen would be the author I admire most for her ability to span generations and still be relevant. Someone reminded me the other day that she was writing contemporary fiction (not historical--we look at it now as historical fiction, but that wasn't her genre). Her characters are as real today as they were then, and her storytelling is absolutely masterful. For a woman in her time to achieve what she did is also no small feat.

9. Imagine you've been asked to speak on a panel for writers. What's the topic and what other authors do you want sharing the stage with you?

Ha! That's the kind of thing I try not to imagine. But to answer, I'd say John Rehg, Sunny Fader, and Eleanora Sabin with this topic: character development. It's broad enough that I could likely figure out something to say. Those three authors were just recently with me at a book signing and reading for Florida Bookstore Day, and they are all very skillful, each with a wealth of knowledge when it comes to writing.

10. What's something you learned at FWA 2014 that has since affected your writing?

This was my fifth year attending the FWA Conference, and I always get something out of it. This year, learning about and being asked to join the Alvarium Experiment has majorly affected my writing, mostly because I've been working on my short story for the anthology ever since. I've mentioned it on this blog, and I've posted teasers on Twitter and Facebook. Two authors, Charles A. Cornell and Ken Pelham, approached me and asked me to be one of the contributing authors to a new type of anthology (hence the "experiment"). Each of the fourteen award-winning authors will be telling a story based around a central character. As we near the January release date, more and more information will be released (as promised). In the meantime, here's our latest promotional image.

Now I get to tag someone else. I tag: Marshal Latham of the Journey Into... podcast, and Big Anklevich and Rish Outfield of the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine.
I also tag: everyone! So in this case, anyone reading this who'd like to answer the following questions, go for it.

1. What is your ultimate writing goal?
2. Do you write in one genre or many? Which one(s) and why?
3. How often do you set aside time for writing vs. taking the time because it became available?
4. What classical novel(s) do you wish you had written?
5. If money was not an object, how often would you write and how productive do you think you would be?
6. When you were growing up, what was your dream? Was it to become a writer or something else?
7. Who are the people who have encouraged you the most when it comes to your writing?
8. How many publications do you think are necessary (if any) for someone to be called an author? Do expound.
9. Where would your ideal writing retreat be (if all expenses were paid) and why?
10. What does Dunesteef mean?


  1. Fun! Thanks for participating. The Alvarium Project looks interesting - look forward to hearing more.

    1. Thanks for the tag, Faydra! It was such a pleasure to meet you at FWA 2014.


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