Monday, 2 March 2015

The Versatile Blogger

I’ve been a face book friend of AnnaBelfrage for a number of years now and enjoy her lovely time-slip novels (latest one just published, I noticed) and her fabulous blog posts, so I am delighted she has chosen my blog for The Versatile Blogger Award.This means I have to comply with the following requirements: Oh dear, number three looks a bit tricky.

  1. Display the Award Certificate (cut and paste it from my post)
  2. Write a post and link back to the blogger who nominated you
  3. Post seven  interesting things about yourself 
  4. Nominate up to fifteen other bloggers (and why you’ve nominated them)
  5. Inform them of their nomination  (probably via comment on their blog unless you have their email!)  –

I always intend to blog more often but I often run out of things to say or I am too busy writing the next book. Right now, having just published A Song of Sixpence to Kindle, (paperback to follow shortly) I am between books. It is publication day today and it doesn’t get less exciting for me. Back in 2009 when I published my first book, Peaceweaver, I thought it would blast into the charts and take the world by storm. My disappointment was profound when it only made the faintest of ripples. Marketing is always awkward. I am very shy and do all I can to avoid promotion. The trouble is books don’t sell themselves and if you want to sell books you have to shout just a little bit. I have a learned a lot since 2008 but I always heave a sigh of relief when I’ve done all I can to see the book is well-launched and I can get back to my first love, writing the next one.

Once kindle became available my book sales took off and readers started to interact with me. Previously I was unaware that this happens. I have never contacted an author to say  how much or how little I enjoyed their work, perhaps it is a new thing, made possible by the internet age.
Direct contact with readers helped me to relax and feel a little more comfortable in the virtual world although I will never wholeheartedly enjoy face to face promotion. 

I have seven books now and find that once a reader buys one, they move on to my others – this is
very comforting. Now I am becoming a little more ‘known’ I get emails and messages from readers saying how much they enjoy my work – I cannot tell you the impetus this gives me. When I am flagging mid-way through the writing process and I get an impatient message asking when it will be published, it makes me get my skates on!

Every one of my readers is very important to me.  I put them first and sometimes I have to spend an hour answering mail before settling down to write. Feeling their love entices me from my shell. Once a negative comment would have destroyed me but I can ignore them now and it is all due to the confidence my regular readers have given me, they have become my armour.

Now, seven interesting things about myself – this really is a challenge for someone who lives in the middle of nowhere, sits around in a baggy jumper all day moving imaginary characters through an imagined historical world. I will give it my best shot.

1.       Um – half an hour later I have come to the conclusion I am not very interesting at all; my apologies for the next six uninteresting points.
2.       Although I spend all day every day on the internet or writing on the pc, I am a stranger to mobile phones and never learned to drive a car. I don’t need either. I rarely go out and when I do I don’t want my day interrupted by phone calls, they can leave a message at home or better still, email me. I have the handsomest, sexiest chauffeur alive –so he took away my desire for driving lessons.
3.       I have a full-blown phobia of spiders. No other insect or animal scares me but I cannot bear the eight legged monsters that lurk in corners, scuttle across the floor when you least expect it. I don’t kill them because I can’t get close enough. I run screaming in the opposite direction. I  know it is ridiculous but every time I see one of those incessant, nasty, unnecessary, beastly photos of them on Facebook I want to be physically sick L
4.       I love to garden but I suffer greatly from pain and it is increasingly difficult for me to do it. My garden used to be beautiful but I just cannot maintain it to the standard I used to and this breaks my heart … and my back. However, I can’t seem to stop buying new plants.
5.       I am very tolerant of other people’s opinions, especially when it comes to history, which is why you will rarely find me in an internet discussion. Historical events are open to many diverse interpretations and even the long dead author of contemporary sources had an agenda – nothing is set in stone. I cannot understand why people can’t agree to differ. Some of the attacks I’ve seen on the net are astounding –my message is:  an opinion that differs from your own won’t change anything, so why argue? Diverse opinion is the thing that makes history so fascinating – be friends, it will make a better world.
6.       I am tee-total. I used to enjoy a beverage or two but the medication I take means I bypass the pleasure and get straight down to the headache. I have discovered that non-drinkers are constantly targeted  by slightly sozzled, well-meaning friends who won’t take no for an answer.  ‘Go on, love, just one won’t hurt.’ Well, it does!
7.       This is my last but not my least interesting fact. In around twenty two days I am going to be a grandmother (or mamgu as we say in Wales)! I was beginning to give up hope of it ever happening.  I have four birth children all old enough to be producing kids but my eldest and youngest boys seem to be bachelor material and my daughter is having far too much fun just now. They have left the job to my middle son and his wife. I am tremendously excited and have been feverishly crocheting baby clothes since I heard the news. As a family we’ve become a bit boring, all adult gatherings at Christmas and Easter – next year the house will be full of toys and chocolate, hopefully in a few years we will be overrun with kids.

The bloggers I nominate for The Versatile Blogger award are:

Janet Wertman – Like me Janet writes in the Tudor period and I love her blog which is full of information about the Tudor world.
Kate Murray – Kate is very talented artist and writer and her blog reflects that. I love it when she posts short stories, perfect for a coffee break.
Rachael Thomas – Rachael is a good friend of mine. We are members of the same writing group and she is now a fully-fledged Mills and Boon author, her third book available soon.
Paula Wilcox – Paula writes in the Anglo Saxon period, she also runs The Review blog and is supportive of other writers and a valued friend.
Beth Von Statts – she runs the Queen Anne Boleyn blog offering a platform to writers of Tudor fiction. Her blog is well presented and her guest authors always interesting.
Claire Ridgway- Another Tudor webpage. Claire is a prolific writer of Tudor non-fiction with an array of on-line blogs and pages. She is a wonderful resource for Tudor Fiction authors – if Claire doesn’t know the answer, she’ll know the person who does.
Wendy Steele – another writing group buddy. She writes, dances, and is in the process of renovating an old Welsh cottage. She will have no problem with thinking up seven interesting things about herself.

Don't forget my Tudor novel A Song of Sixpence; the story of Elizabeth of York and Perkin Warbeck is available NOW on kindle.


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