Fellow writer, Fran Clark has been kind enough to nominate me for this lovely award!
‘Liebster’ is a German word which means ‘beloved’ or ‘dearest’. It is awarded to bloggers whose blogs we love.
Thank you, Fran for thinking of me to receive this award.
Fran has a wonderful blog which includes ‘Thursday Shorts’. Poignant short stories full of twists and turns, which will keep you on the edge of your seat, emotionally, to the unexpected end.
Fran has also written a powerful debut novel, Holding Paradise, about two women, Josephine, who brought up her family in London in the 1960s, and has returned to her native Caribbean island, and her daughter, Angelica, who flies out there from London, in 2008, because she is convinced that her mother’s wisdom can help her turn her life around.
As with other awards, once you have been nominated, you should post the badge on your blog, thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog. In this case you should answer the questions proposed and write 10 questions for those you nominate to answer in turn.
These are my answers to Fran’s questions:
1. What subject do you most like to blog about?
I started blogging about Jane Eyre and Victorian Literature, but right now, I blog about anything and everything. I know that sounds arbitrary, and even, chaotic, so I’ve learnt to use ‘menus’ in my header which neatly package my entries into: Jane Eyre and Victorian Literature; About me and my novel, Author Teamwork, which includes Blog Hops, Awards, and posts I’ve ‘reblogged’, Challenges which I take part in regularly, and Book Reviews, and I’ve added an ‘Etc’ page for everything that doesn’t fit in anywhere else!
2. Other than writing do you have any other artistic talents?
Well, I learnt to play the piano, and reached Grade V, when I was 17, but unfortunately, I no longer play regularly, so it’s ‘almost’ lost. I ‘recover’ my rusty talent in summer sometimes and play short classical pieces, but I’m not musically creative, I’m afraid.
3. Is there a part of the world you would like to write about?
Actually, I’d love to visit and write about Jamaica. It’s a key place in both Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea. Rochester’s first wife, Bertha Antoinette Mason, was Jamaican, and her daughter, Annette Mason, one of my main characters, has lived there all her life, until she arrives at Eyre Hall, at the beginning of my novel. I am thinking of setting some scenes of the final part of the trilogy in Jamaica.
Jane Eyre in Jamaica with Bertha Mason’s daughter! Not an easy scene to write, but I’m giving it a go!
4. How would you describe The Eyre Hall Trilogy to someone you met at a party?
People at parties don’t want to hear about ‘writing back’ or ‘patriarchy’, or ‘reading between the lines’, or ‘multiple narrators and points of view’, so I’d say:
The first novel in the series, All Hallows at Eyre Hall, is a great read. It’s an intriguing and exciting neo Victorian, gothic novel, set in an imposing mansion, frequented by villains, heroes, lovers, and ghosts. Read chapter one, and you won’t be able to put it down!’
6. Have you ever taken any courses in writing and how helpful do you think they are to writers?
I’m an English teacher, so I’ve taken and taught on language and literature courses, in general, or from an educational perspective, but I’ve never taken part in courses specifically or exclusively for writers. It’s something I look forward to taking part in.
7. At what stage in your life did you start to call yourself a writer?
Two months ago when I published my first novel. I didn’t dare call myself a writer before, but I’m sure I’ve always been a writer 🙂
8. What do you do for relaxation?
I take long walks by the beach as often as I can (I live an hour and a half inland). I read romantic, no stress, HEA novels, and scribble nostalgic poems. I love preparing meals for friends and family, and playing with my grandchildren. If I’m very stressed, shopping may be on the list, too!
9. What are you working on at the moment (Doesn’t have to be book related)?
I’m looking forward to my summer holidays, which start next Tuesday, and I’m planning to finish Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall, the second book in the trilogy, which will be published before the end of 2014. It’s my absolute priority right now.
10. What would you best like to be known for?
I’d like to be remembered with love and affection by my family, friends, colleagues, and students.
11. I wish that my life was like a black and white musical, a la Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – any secret or strange desires of your own?
I wish I found a time machine which would enable me to walk through the streets of Victorian London for a day, say, the inauguration of the Great Exhibition, in 1851, where I’d have tea with Charlotte Bronte and Christina Rossetti, at Crystal Palace. In the evening, I’d walk across London Bridge, and along the south bank of the Thames to Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral, with Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins.
These are the blogs I’m nominating because I love reading their inspiring posts, so they are dear to me, and they deserve to have this beautiful badge on their wall. Check them out!
Congratulations on your award. Here are your questions. The answers can be as long or short as you like.
1. What motivates you to blog?
2. Choose a post you’d like us to (re)read.
3. What do you feel strongly enough about to discuss for hours?
4. Write the first line of a novel.
5. Write the last line of a poem.
6. Where would you live if you could live anywhere?
7. Which book(s) would you take with you to a desert island?
8. Which historical person would you like to have lunch with?
9. Which book would you have liked to write?
10. Which is the next book you’re planning to read?
I’m looking forward to reading your answers and checking out your nominees!