I am a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. I am also a member of their blogging team. At the end of last year I was invited to launch a new monthly blogging series on the RNA blog interviewing book bloggers and reviewers.
The latest blog in the series went live earlier this week and I am attaching a link below so you can take a look, if you wish.
Belief is a fragile thing. Self-belief even more so. My belief in my own abilities washes in and out like a tide – sometimes I’m riding the crest of a wave, other times I’m submerged and overwhelmed. It’s at times like these that you have to find the strength to push through and carry on regardless.
It’s especially hard to keep that enthusiasm going with no input or encouragement from others. We tend to think we are alone in our struggles, that we must be the first to experience these feelings and that no one can truly understand but we are wrong. Even the most outwardly confident person battles demons of doubt.
Whilst we are all special snowflakes I bet the majority of our angst has been mirrored by others and that someone, somewhere will have been brave enough to blog about their feelings. That’s why it’s good to look beyond the boundaries of the world we have constructed and seek out new people. You may find a kindred spirit.
And how much easier the struggle would be if someone believed in us and what we are doing. What a shaft of sunlight that would be on the days when we are convinced the world is a cold and unfeeling place. I was delighted to discover my humble little blog and I had been nominated for a Liebster Award. What a wonderful validation. A pat on the back for all those times I have dragged myself to the keyboard when I literally wanted to be anywhere else. Finding out someone cares can make all the difference.
In April I blogged about the importance of having a cheerleader and crucially being a cheerleader for others. You can read that post here https://goo.gl/f8LFc7 The Liebster Award is cheerleading in action. If you can take part, do so – you won’t be disappointed.
The Liebster award is an online award given to new bloggers or those with less than 200 followers by other bloggers- it’s all about providing support and encouragement and increasing exposure.
‘Liebster’ in German apparently means ‘sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome’ and is the ideal name for an award that allows baby bloggers to share the love.
I was delighted to discover that I had been nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely Jane at Candelo Blooms https://candeloblooms.com/ Jane describes herself as ‘An Old-fashioned Rose enthusiast, who is passionate about her garden, creativity and beauty, nature, birds and the environment, sustainability, self-sufficiency, Slow Living and enjoying all the good things of Life!’ How could you not love her?!
Her blog centres around her garden. Each month there are feature plants and updates on her gardening adventures. Jane also blogs about baking and includes some mouth-watering recipes with easy to follow instructions and if all that wasn’t enough she also chronicles her favourite places with exotic names such as Nethercote Falls and Moon Bay (…if that’s not a title for a romantic novel I don’t know what is!). All of these wonderful blogs are accompanied by stunning photographs taken by the lady herself who is clearly a talented photographer. You will be spoilt for choice about which post to read first. I know I was and I am looking forward to learning more about Jane’s beautiful part of the world.
The Liebster Award has been going since 2011 and the rules have evolved over time. The official rules of The Liebster Award 2016, if your blog has been nominated and you have chosen to accept it, are below:
Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you.
Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers.
Create 11 questions for your own nominees to answer.
Once you have written and published it, you then have to: Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.
What inspired you to write a blog?
I published my debut novel The Flower Seller (http://goo.gl/g4L7oY) in June 2016 and I decided it would be fun to start a blog at the beginning of 2016 leading up to publication and beyond. I try to blog twice a week, once at the beginning of the week about a broad range of subjects and once on Thursdays on a writing related topic.
2. What are your favourite things about blogging?
I love how inclusive, supportive and encouraging the blogging community is. Blogging helps to hone my skills as a writer and it’s always nice when a particular post strikes a chord with readers. I have been introduced to some wonderful people from all over the world because of blogging and my life is richer as a result.
3. What are your tips for new bloggers?
Decide how often you can realistically create and post a blog and then stick to that schedule. Publicise your blogs on Twitter and make use of hastags like #Sundayblogshare and #Mondayblogs to reach a wider audience.
4. What do you think are the 3 most important qualities in a person?
A kind heart, a sense of humour and loyalty.
5. If you were to make a mood board about yourself, what are 3 core beliefs or loves, which you would include?
Goodness that is a hard question! Live every day like it’s your last, be kind to yourself as well as others and don’t let fear hold you back.
6. If you could time-travel, which time period would you like to visit and why?
I enjoy genealogy and I would love to be able to go back and visit previous generations of my family so that I could experience their everyday lives. I know the facts and figures of where and when they lived and what they did for a living but to actually see their homes and the world they lived in would be pretty special.
7. If you could meet 3 famous people, who would they be and why?
Jimmy Connors. My all time favourite tennis player. I loved his fight to the last point philosophy – a good analogy for life itself. I was lucky enough to meet him at Wimbledon one year when he was commentating. I came over all fan girl and asked for an autograph which he graciously gave me and then had a chat! He was as nice in person as I always hoped he would be.
Daphne Du Maurier. One of my favourite authors. A fascinating and complicated character in her own right, I would love to discuss the mechanics of writing with her and our shared love of Cornwall.
Eleanor of Aquitaine. What a lady! A duchess by birth, she became Queen of France through her marriage to Louis VII and later England through her marriage to Henry II, mother of ten children and matriarch of the notorious or glorious (depending on your viewpoint) Plantagenets. She would be able to provide a fascinating firsthand account of the tumultuous times in which she lived.
8. What is your favourite book or author? Tell us a bit about it/ them.
I am going to have to cheat and give two favourite authors. Daphne Du Maurier for her rich gothic plots and her love of Cornwall and Sidney Sheldon the master of the page turning read. Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn is a classic and my favourite Sidney Sheldon novel is Bloodline – a thrilling read, part love story, part murder mystery that keeps you guessing right to the end.
9. What is your favourite garden and/ or plant?
My favourite garden is Trebah in Cornwall. A simply magical garden built along the sides and floor of a valley and with its own private beach at the end. An enchanting garden. My favourite plant has to be the agapanthus – because they remind me of Cornish holidays.
10. What are your favourite hobbies/ pastimes (apart from blogging, of course!)
Reading, writing, history, gardening and following tennis, athletics and ice skating
11. Name 10 things which make you happy!
My puppy Willow
Losing myself in a good book or blog
Spending time with family and friends
Visiting and learning about new places
Indulging my love of history
That first cup of tea when the house is quiet
Listening to the rain falling when I am cosy in bed
Ten Random Facts About Me
I love to walk to the beat of a different drum. Tell me to go left and I will immediately want to go right!
I love tomato soup but hate tomatoes.
I love being left handed even though it can be challenging (ever taken over the stirring of a pot from a right handed person and ended up covered in sauce…)
I believe in making the most of every day and achieve it more often than not.
I enjoy spending time on my own.
I am fascinated by the Plantagenets – mad, bad and dangerous to know but captivating too.
I enjoy cheese and jam (no bits) sandwiches.
I get grumpy if I don’t write.
I’m still twenty-three – it’s just everyone else who got older!
I love sitting in my sun lounge with a good book and my dog.