The Liebster Award!

It turns out, my good friend over at The Story of Ink and Papyrus thinks I’m interesting enough to be nominated for this award! Whee!

For those who don’t know what the Liebster Award is (I didn’t), it’s basically a set of questions your nominators asks you.

The rules are pretty easy:

  1. Link and thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions they asked you
  3. Pick eleven bloggers with less than 200 followers (the rules vary here – different versions say anywhere between 200 and 3,000 followers) to nominate them.
  4. Ask them eleven questions
  5. Let them know by commenting on one of their posts.


1. Why do you write what you write?
Wow. Let’s start with the tricky ones first hey? I suppose, at a most basic level, I write what I write because it’s what I love.  I have always loved fantasy, ever since I was quite young. I especially love fantasy that has elements of magic/sorcery/supernatural etc, but that mainly focuses on people, their lives, their wars, that sort of thing. I love the world I’ve created (not meaning to sound arrogant or anything…I just like it), and I love exploring it through my characters.  I just like fantasy, ok?

I sometimes dabble in writing more realistic fiction, but I always find myself drawn back to my fantasy world…so I suppose I also write what I write because I’m too obsessed with it and try something different. 😛

2. Where would be your dream place for a holiday?
Gosh. All sorts of places spring to mind.  Europe, if I’m being vague.  I’ve always wanted  to visit Austria, but I think I’d have to go with Scandinavia.  It just looks so beautiful and magical and amazing.  I’m hoping when I’m in Europe next year I’ll have time to explore Scandinavia, so who knows, my dream place for a holiday may become a reality soon!

3. What is your first language and how many other languages do you speak?
My first language is English.  And I’m going to tell you a secret.  I have quite a few European friends, and I am almost constantly living in this state of being pissed off that I was born somewhere where learning more than one language isn’t necessary.  I studied Indonesian, German, Japanese, and French through school (not all at once – don’t worry), but I only really remember numbers and snippets in Indonesian and Japanese, and only a few phrases of German and French (although once it’s been triggered my French isn’t totally appalling).  I’ve also been learning Russian for two years which I love, but I’m nowhere near being bilingual.  Perhaps I just need to disappear to another country and not come back until I’m fluent…

4. What is your favourite name?
For boys or girls?  For boys I love the name Theodore, mostly because I like the nicknames Teddy and Theo.  If I ever have a son, mark my words, he will be called Theodore. I like lots of girls names, but the ones that stand out are Emilie (NOT Emily) and Estée.  I also love the name Aragorn, but I’m pretty sure that still isn’t socially acceptable…drat.

5. Cats or dogs?
Both! I never understand why people think you need to choose between two perfectly fabulous species of animal that are both intelligent, loving, loyal, and adorable. Pfft.

6. Who or what inspires your writing?
I don’t know if anything really ‘inspires’ my writing.  I have authors I admire and look up to (which I guess is like being inspired), but they didn’t inspire me to start writing or anything.  Mostly  though, my writing just comes from me.  I started writing my current MS (it’s been through many, many drafts since this first beginning) in 2007.  I had a dream (#cliche), sat down to write, and it all just sort of spilled out.  It most definitely wasn’t planned, and a few months later I had a (yet to be drafted and redrafted and edited and re-edited) novel.

I suppose when I need inspiration I turn to music.  Being a musician (well…I was a musician), music has always been a bit part of my life, and I am definitely one of those people who writes to music.  I love soundtracks for my writing – Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, anything by Joe Hisaishi, Assassins Creed (random, I know, but check it out…).  Not because of the films they’re associated with (I hadn’t even read Game of Thrones when I listened to the soundtrack in November for NaNo), but because of the music itself.  I just find my ideas and emotions flow much more freely when being spurred on by fabulous music.  The only downside is I now associate songs I listen to the most while writing with the scenes they helped create, rather than the scenes from the movies they’re supposed to depict.  Oops.

7. Who has the biggest influence on your style?
I feel like a walking cliche, but I’m just being honest: George R.R. Martin has had a massive influence on my style.  Well, that isn’t true.  But we write in similar styles I suppose.  Even before I read his books, I liked to split my chapters into different character POVs, telling multiple stories at once until they all combine (unlike Martin’s, mine don’t take thousands of pages to combine however).  Our genres are very similar within fantasy – he maybe uses more magic than me, but it’s still mainly normal person based.  Reading his books was almost like a reassurance I suppose: oh, ok, he also has multiple POVs who aren’t always necessarily in the same place/telling the same story, and he still got published.  Oh, ok, he also includes sex etc. in fantasy and he got published.

I also often find myself looking back to the works of Tamora Pierce.  If you haven’t read her writing, and you like fantasy, you’re missing out.  Her writing was what really got me ‘into’ fantasy – lots of strong female characters, magic, different worlds and languages, intrigue, spying, gods, battles.  I gave away a lot of my books from my younger years (I don’t know why – now I find myself desperately trying to hunt them down), but I never gave away my Tamora Pierce books.  I still read them regularly.  So I suppose in a way Tamora Pierce has the biggest influence on my style because  she was the one who made me interested in fantasy.

8. If money was no issue, what would your dream job be?
Author. Duh.

9. Is there one classic book that everyone loves but you secretly (or not so secretly) can’t stand?
Where do I begin?

Jane Austen.  I HATE Jane Austen with a fiery passion.  I don’t find her works ‘revolutionary’.  I don’t feel as though she ‘gets the feminist perspective’.  I don’t like the way she writes.  I don’t CARE that she’s fantastic and important and all that shit.  I get bored.  Which is sad, because from the movies I’ve watched, I actually quite like the stories, just not the damn writing.

I also can’t read Victor Hugo (love Les Mis, not the writing), Charles Dickens, anyone like that.

I can’t stand the writing in The Book Thief, which is becoming a problem because I desperately want to see the film but I hate seeing movies before I’ve read the books.

Do you know what this is? What they all have in common? The narrator TALKS to you.

Yeah, I know narration is talking to you, but like, the narrated stops and involves you. ‘Reader, blah blah blah’. No. Shut up. Tell me your damn story. STOP TALKING TO ME I DON’T CARE.


10. Who is your favourite character from your own works and why?
Those of you who follow my WIPpets (does anyone actually ‘follow’ my WIPpets?) would probably have guessed that Lord Rolando is one of my favourite characters. I can’t really explain why because *spoilers* (I’ve decided I’m going to behave as though my books will one day be published and therefore spoilers are a concern because I believe in the power of positive thinking), but he’s just so complex and GAH! I just love him.

I also like Siri. Siri is totally badass.

And Jacabo, but I don’t think you’ve met him yet…

11. The Doctor arrives at your door step in need of a companion. You have all of time and space to choose from. Where would you go and why?

Confession: I don’t watch Doctor Who. Which is unexpected, because I LOVE SciFi. I just…I dunno. Meh. I can’t commit to the changing Doctors (I know why they change, I just can’t commit to them). It’s like James Bond.

Anyway. All of time and space. Shiiit. Does this include fantasy times/spaces.  Because that changes EVERYTHING.

I would love to meet Tolkien (not to fangirl, to talk). I would love to attend one (or all) of his lectures. That would just be amazing.

I would love to see what the world looked like before people got out of control and started building skyscrapers and weird metal and glass thingies.  What landscapes looked like before asphalt roads and suburbs.

I’d kind of love to go to Middle Earth (during the peace after Aragorn becomes king), because who wouldn’t?

Along that line, I want to say I’d like to go to Westeros, but considering we don’t know how that ends…

I’d love to go to Naboo because it’s beautiful.

Wow. I am such a nerd.


So, they’re my answers.  I’m sure most of the people I’m about to nominate have done it before, but even if you only answered a few questions (even if it was just in a comment below), I’d love to see them!

My nominees are (I was flexible on the subscribers – I included the up to 3,000 rule)

The Story of Ink and Papyrus (I know you nominated me but I want to ask you questions!)


Emily Witt 

Kate Sparkes

K.L. Schwengel

Elaine Jeremiah

Sirena Robinson 

A.M Leibowitz

Journey Taker (Xina Marie Uhl)

Melissa Barker-Simpson

The Sound of One Hand Typing (John Holton)

My questions for all of you are:

1. When did you first realise you wanted to write?

2. What is your go to writing/comfort food?

3. Music or silence whilst writing?

4. How do you like to write? Indoors? Outdoors? Laptop? Pen and paper? Tablet? Typewriter?

5. What’s one piece of advice you wish someone had given you a year ago?

6. What do you define as being successful?

7. What’s your favourite genre to write?

8. What’s your favourite genre to read?

9. Do you have to read a book before you see the film version?

10. How long have you been blogging for?

11. What book has had the biggest effect on your life (or, which 10 if we use the original social media thing).


Let me know below if you decide to answer any or all of these questions, what you thought of my answers, and if you have any questions for me? 😀


4 thoughts on “The Liebster Award!

  1. Yay! All the answers!
    I can’t say I’m super surprised though. 😛 And I’m glad that I’m not alone in my intense dislike for Jane Austen although ‘The Book Thief’ is one of my favourite books. 🙂

  2. Congratulations on the award 🙂 I really enjoyed your answers. I particularly liked your comment about the narrator – that just cracked me up! I like Siri too, she lights up a scene. But Jacabo, hmm…I’ll look forward to meeting him! I don’t watch Dr Who either and I’m a sci-fi fan/geek/nerd. Thanks for the nomination, and the interesting questions 🙂

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