What magical ingredients made me become a blogger/writer? I think if I was doing a sum it would be a strange black cat, plus a book: (Dorian Gray,) add some thoughts about art and lots and lots of reading. No minus equations allowed, creativity always involves a stack of pluses and no negativity!
Recently my eldest daughter asked me for some old photos of her when she was little for a project she is currently doing for University. So I opened my large oriental camphor wood chest and we had a lovely time searching through many photos. I came across a really cute photo of my cat Chester when he was a tiny, adorable kitten, and I was a mere slip of a girl. I realised that my very first post on this blog is missing a very important ingredient. What could that be? An easy answer – some delightful old photos of my much-loved cat Chester. He was such a magnificent fellow, and I loved him very much, so let me share them with you….
Me with Chester, looking all energetic!!!
Here he is exploring interesting little hiding places:
And he had an inquisitive nature:
This is how magnificent he was when he grew up! This photo doesn’t quite do him justice, he really was a handsome fellow, with striking markings and a character to match.
If you’d like to join in with my bloggers monthly link up, please draw attention to your old posts by writing a short blog post as I have done and then add your links to the comment field of this post. If you wish you may use the photo at the top of this post as your blog post header. All link up posts will go up on the second Thursday of the month, and join in whenever you want. No pressure!
Also if you wish you can link your posts to a popular hastag #Throwback Thursday#THT or if you’re posting on a Friday #FBF #FlashbackFriday. These are great link ups for old photos, or memorabilia…
Thank you very much to James Fahy author of The Changeling series and Hell’s Teeth for nominating me to take part in The Writer Q & A Tag. Do check out his blog: James Fahy Author, and follow him on Instagram, he has an awesome page…………Jame’s Fahy Instagram Page
What’s this tag about? Its a fun tag celebrating books, and writing. Also it’s a way to discover and make new blogging friends. So that can’t be bad can it?
Here are James’s Questions for me – and at the end of the post there are some questions for my Nominees. I believe I have to nominate ten but I like breaking rules so we’ll see how many I nominate…
What book first made you cry, and why? The first book that made me cry. Um….I’m not sure it might have been a little picture book while I was in my pram…Need to ask my mum…..More recently I’m cultivating this crying book lark to a whole new level. There have been a whole bunch of books that have triggered my crying – here’s some of them: Marcus Zuzak’s The Book Thief, The Fault in our Stars, by John Green, You Before Me by Yoyo Moyes, Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey, Summertime, by Vanessa LaFaye, The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller, The StoryTeller by Jodi Picoult, and The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson, etc… Most of these I’ve reviewed on this blog on my A – Z Book Reviews. These particular books definitely had me crying big time. But that’s okay as I love books that stir the emotions. They really make me happy! Nothing like a good cry, but I have to stop doing it in public places that’s too embarrassing! Just in case you want some crying inspiration look no further than Buzzfeed’s 53 Books That Will Definitely Make You Cry
If you could be any one of your favourite characters (your own or others you’ve read) for one day, who and why? I’d like to be a guy… there you are I’ve said it – confession time! I’d like to write in the POV of a guy for the second or perhaps the third book in the series of my current WIP: The Curse of Time…. I’ve been a lass for a long time, and getting inside a guy’s head will be a challenge so perhaps I’d like to be Dorian Grey for a day ’cause I want to stay young and get up to mischief! Ha Ha!! I see my Ryder character in my WIP: The Curse of Time developing into a modern day Dorian Grey – he’s a bit young at the moment but he’s heading that way!
What is your favourite opening line from a book? I’m pretty taken with this opening line in this book:“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.”
– Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs.
Do you have any odd writing rituals (has to be a yellow legal pad and a HB pencil for example) No, not really. Apart from lingering in my pyjamas longer than necessary and opening up the door to the Avon lady still wearing them. I swear she thinks I live in my pj’s. Oh, and I forget to drink, eat, brush my teeth, floss, and go to the toilet. Those ain’t so good. When I get to the serious hunger stage I rush off to have breakfast, and do my ablutions…. I’m one of those writers that tends to get their ideas really early in the morning, in fact they often wake me up, sigh…and then I have to get to it straight away… or if I can’t do so due to work or other constraints I’ll jot them down in a note pad and come back to them later.
Have you drawn on real locations / experiences in your writing? Yes, a lot, I think our experiences shape us and in turn they shape our writing. Often this is at an unconscious level. Sometimes I look over what I’ve written and it scares me because to me writing is a bit like bearing your soul for your readers to pick your unsuspecting bones, and often those bones are startling even to yourself.
What story scares you? Horror stories scare me, and up until recently I’ve avoided them! I never read horror as a teen, I was really into detective stories – Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, comic books, and fantasy. I only started reading horror books in earnest (if you can call it that,) Halloween 2015. I joined in the red eye readathon and that did it – I found that I really enjoyed them. Shock, Horror! Of all the subsets of horror, psychological horror really scares the heck out of me. This type of horror draws the reader into the character’s thoughts and emotions. You begin to imagine that particular horrific event happening to you. In my opinion those kind of stories are the most scary. A recent example of this is the short story – Big Driver in Stephen King’s compilation of Short Stories Full Dark No Stars, in which a female writer is sexually attacked by a truck driver while driving back from a writing event promoting her work. That really struck home. That for me is horror at its most powerful, and it works so well combined with dark humour, which Stephen King is undoubtedly a master of.
If you were told you could only read one book before being executed for your terrible, terrible crimes, what would you choose and why? My terrible crimes… oh that must be that Dorian Grey influence I suppose. No question it would have to be some steamy romance, one last heart pounding moment before I die!
Have you ever met any of your literary heros, and if so, were they amazing, dissapointing or just plain awkward? I’ve met a few YA authors via events at The Edinburgh Literary Festival, The Cambridge Literary Festival, and been close to some at UKYA. I think I’ve been pretty chilled about it all.. And nobody has been disappointing as yet… They’ve all been lovely.
Which word / phraze do you find yourself always over-using and having to edit out? Smiled. Smile. Smiling.Cried, Cry, Crying. Yes it’s a light and dark kind of tale so probably these words are over-used….As it’s predominantly written in the past tense I had to be careful not to have to many was’s. At one point there were so many was’s it sounded like I had a wasp infestation. With words funnily enough I think names of people can be tricky. I ended up with two Emily’s at one point, and then I had to make one of them an Emma. She’s still an Emily in my mind…The Chinese girl in the book started off as Aurora or something like that ………….I can’t quite remember but Aurora didn’t sound right so I changed her name to Jade. The main character’s names have always been Amelina and Ryder, liked them from the offset and stuck to those. Oh and I had to change the name of the dog, it started off as the name of my friend’s son. Somehow that didn’t seem OK, bit cheeky, so in the end I settled for Toby. Woof woof… I met a Toby while working at John Lewis… hope he doesn’t mind! Come to think of it my doggy character is a bit like the JL lad, lively to say the least! He went running every morning before he started work. Toby the dog would approve!
Name three people you would have at your ultimate book-club/dinner party. (living or dead…or undead.) Oh this is a fun one! Maureen Johnson because she’s so witty, and would get the party up and running. Stephen King because he would be so amazingly interesting to talk to, and Oscar Wilde, as I just love Dorian Grey! There would have to be music too, so I’d sneak in some gatecrashers: David Bowie, and Prince, because I loved them both, and they died too young. One last crazy party in their honour. Also I’d sneak in the lead singer from Stereophonics, Kelly Jones, who’d be my eye candy crush, and last but certainly not least, Bon Jovi. Two crushes – That would be some party!
I nominate these eleven ….. amazing bloggers to join in, it’s not compulsory but you might just find it fun! Your questions are just below this list.
1. If you met a sexy vampire what would you do? Hook up, get the garlic and crosses out or run a mile?
2. What’s your favourite genre of book and why?
3. Who is/are your favourite author (s) , poet (s)? What is it about them that inspires you?
4. If you had to control a classroom of year 6 kids would you bale, or enjoy the challenge? Would you be (a.) too undisciplined to do so, you’d just join in the general mayhem, (b.) enjoy bossy them around, or (c.) pray in a corner for the bell to sound. Guess which one would be my reply, winners will be mentioned on my blog!
5. What made you become a writer/blogger? Do your family support you or do they think you’re crazy, bored, attention seeking, or all of these? Tell us a bit about your current WIP and/or books…
6. What is the most awful job and/or experience you’ve ever done/had?
7. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Does this spill out onto other parts of your life? Are you generally organised/disorganised? Can you guess what I am?
8. Do you believe in Ghosts? Fate? Love at First Sight? Fairies? Psychic happenings?Numerology, Mermaids, The Loch Ness Monster, Demons…etc…Make your own observations …. and let me know..
9. What is the worst haircut/clothes/hats you’ve ever had/worn? Photos please, or describe in vivid detail…
10. Please finish this sentence with more than three extra words: Life is one foot in and one foot out, you ….
Anyone else who’d like to join in please do…
Well, that’s it then, thanks for stopping by, don’t forget to comment. Love ya! xx