Oh, real life. How you thwart my blogging time.
But no matter, because I have been honored with two blog awards this week from my writerly friends. First, many thanks to the dear Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and the awesome Craig Schmidt for giving me the Liebster Award! Before I get to that, I will make note that I have been tagged again as The Next Big Thing. Yay! Special thanks to the ring leader of our little Fantasy Fellowship (ha! LOTR reference ftw!), EM Castellan, for tagging me. However, since I have already done it and the questions are the same I will simply reference back to my older post where
you can find the questions.
On to the Liebster award! The lucky winner of this award is someone with fewer than 200 followers and they are tasked with answering the 11 questions given to them and then to create 11 questions for 11 other people they choose to nominate. Here are the questions Rhiann gave me:
1. If you were to choose a Nom de Plume, what would it be?
Funnily enough, Mara Valderran is my Nom de Plume. So I guess that answers that!
2. What is your favorite flower?
3. If you had to live prior to 1900, what century would you choose, and why?
Crikees this is a tough one. I'm not a history buff by any stretch of the imagination. I would have loved to live in the Renaissance period (probably around the 17th century for me) but only as a man. As a woman, I'm comfy where I am with my rights in this century. =D I applaud Jane Austen for being able to live by her pen, but unfortunately for me I probably would have never gotten there because my mouth would have gotten me killed.
4. What is your motto?
Oh, I have a few. Never give up is one I take from my late uncle. My personal one is "Things don't happen for a reason but you can find a reason for everything that happens." I also like "Fake it until you make it." "Don't cry over spilled milk." "Confucius say 'To make a long story short, don't tell it'".
5. Lake or ocean, and why?
Ocean because there is just something so peaceful about how unending it is.
6. Tell us three things about a favorite character you've created.
She gets compared to me a lot, which was a complete accident. She's sarcastic as all hell, which makes me laugh a lot when I am writing for her. I wrote her into a love triangle that I can't seem to find my way out of.
7. You're in a car and this song comes on the radio - you can't change the station fast enough.
Anything Justin Bieber.
8. Which author influences you most as a writer, and in what way?
I try really hard not to let other writers influence my work. If I find that happening, I will actually stop reading for the time that I am on a writing roll. Writers that inspire me include Jane Austen, JK Rowling, JR Ward, Kalayna Price...the list could go on forever.
9. When you get writer's block, doing this helps. (If you never get writer's block I'm blowing raspberries at you).
I tend to either re-read what I've already written or to watch what I refer to as my inspirational music videos and clips (basically fan videos that have a feel of what I have going on in that book, even if it focuses on a different fandom or clips of the actors that I cast as my main characters).
10. What movie scared you (and maybe scarred you)?
Hmm...I don't know that I have an answer to this one. I did cover my eyes during some certain scenes for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but then again I did also recently watch a movie called The Room which was so terrible it might actual be the best thing since MST3K.
11. What's your favorite Halloween candy?
I'm not a big sweets eater, so I dunno. The Mary Jane peanut butter candies I guess?
And now for Craig's questions!
1. What is something you regret? (no need to get too personal)
Hmm...I suppose I regret not taking my writing seriously for quite a long time. I first came up with the idea for Heirs of War (then called Sisters of the Circle--thank the gods for friends who are much better with titles than I am!) I think about 8 years ago. I wrote here and there with it but I was never serious with it. I viewed it as nothing more than a hobby whereas now I treat it as a job as well.
2. What was the first thing you remember writing?
A series idea I had (probably from watching too much Dawson's Creek or some show like it) when I was about 13. I hand wrote about 30 pages of it and let my sister read it. She's the one who said it read more like a summary than a story, which prompted me to sit down and flesh it out.
3. Who was your favorite actor or actress when you were growing up?
Johnny Depp and Audrey Hepburn.
4. What is your favorite television show that was cancelled before its time/too soon?
Good grief there are so many! I tend to fall in love with shows that get canceled. Two that come to mind off the top of my head are Firefly and Freakylinks.
5. Can you think of a time when you were “pleasantly surprised”? What was it?
I get pleasantly surprised all the time. =D The reception I've had from beta-readers of Heirs of War was a complete surprise and very pleasant. The fact that my sister--who is not an avid reader of fiction--could not put it down was probably one of the best compliments in my writing I've gotten.
6. What is your least favorite type/genre of music?
I'm not a big fan of hip-hop, rap, or country. Though there are exceptions to that, of course. And I will say that country music really does have some of the best breakup songs ever.
7. Which disappointing revelation of a fallen star/celebrity had the biggest effect on you and why?
I don't really have an answer to this because I don't put much stock in the news I read about celebrities. They have their own lives and though I might be guilty of reading about it, I try not to judge them.
8. If you were to recommend one vacation spot, what would it be and why?
I don't travel much, so I'm going to tap into my "Places to Go" bucket list and say Ireland or New Zealand because I think they have the most majestic landscapes ever.
9. What goal are you most focused on right now?
Right now at this very moment I am trying to catch up on my blog and other writerly duties. Overall goal (and big one) is to get published.
10. What is on your bucket list (things you want to do before you die)? *List just one or two.
Go to Ireland and New Zealand. Get published. Apparently I am not very creative in my answers tonight. =D
11. If you were to write a “Thank you” note to someone you’ve never actually met, who would that be and why?
JK Rowling for being a constant source of inspiration and a reminder that writers come from all backgrounds. She reminds me with her story that if you really want something, you have to dedicate yourself, work for it, and above all believe in yourself and your story.
And before I forget, I need to pass this along to some other bloggers! First and foremost, my fellow Epic Fantasy writers (we're endeavoring in an AMAZING new project together! More to come as it develops!) and then some of my other wonderful writing friends!
Susan Francino and Tyler-Rose Counts
Cat M Scully
My questions? Pick 11 from the ones I had to answer because they were all really good questions. =D