Hello again! So the fabulous Joyce Chua has nominated me in the Liebster Award Q&A party, and I’m so thrilled she thought of me. It’s a great chance to get to know bloggers both familiar and new, and I’ve found a ton of new and amazing writers to follow.
(Nicole Evans also nominated me, so I answered her questions in Part 1. Thanks guys!)
The rules are as follows:
- Answer 11 facts about yourself
- Answer 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you
- Nominate 11 more bloggers and give them new questions to answer
Joyce, in her blog post, also recommended a favorite blog, so I will too. I know I’ve gone on and on about him in other posts, but if you are not following Chuck Wendig’s blog Terribleminds, please do. His advice posts are always wise and hilarious, and I love his zany, bat-shit crazy writing style and sense of humor. Even if you’re not a writer, his listicles and rants and observations will cheer you up or give you a good laugh. They certainly have made me snort things up my nose with laughter, which maybe doesn’t sound so pleasant now that I think about it, but you know what I mean. He’s brilliantly wacky, and very sharp, and I really can’t recommend his blog enough. He also features new authors on the day their books are published, and lets them share five things they’ve learned while writing it, so those posts are always insightful too.
Now, on to the facts and questions!
1) I have a younger brother and an older sister, so I am very much a middle child. I dislike conflict, am really good at compromise.
2) Related to that, I’m one of those people who zing back and forth between being extroverted and being introverted. I’m mostly an introvert, and desperately need my alone time after lots of social interaction, but I can fit in during a party or gathering as well.
3) One of my all-time favorite films is Kingdom of Heaven, but only the Director’s Cut. The theatrical version was a mess, so unfortunately the film flopped, but the extended version is absolutely brilliant. It’s got such depth, and the characters are so nuanced, and even though its set in the 1100’s during the Crusades, the themes are still relevant (or even more relevant) today. It’s long, but so worth it, and there are so many great actors in it. And if you watch it multiple times there is so much symbolism and beauty in the cinematography too. (Also Eva Green is in it, and she’s incredible, and my ultimate girl crush.)
4) I love blueberries. (Random, I know, but I wanted to keep this one short.)
5) My favorite season is Autumn, but Summer is a close second.
6) I speak a little Italian, and only a few words of Spanish, so I will always regret not taking more language courses when I was younger.
7) I prefer tea over coffee, but I like both.
8) I’ve always wanted to have red/ginger hair, but I’m too afraid to dye it.
9) Places I’d love to travel to someday: New Zealand, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Caribbean in general, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, and China.
10) I accidentally attended the London premiere of The King’s Speech? Ok, so here’s what happened. I did a semester abroad here during college, and my program had discounted tickets to the London Film Festival. The King’s Speech was just another film listed among the festival offerings, so I signed up for tickets to it. I got one (and nowhere on it did it say anything about it being the premiere!), so when I got to the cinema, there I was, on the red carpet. I was completely flabbergasted. I sped down the red carpet, and pulled out a notebook and pretended to be a member of the press so I could hang out by the entrance and watch the stars arriving. I actually ended up meeting Benedict Cumberbatch too, because he was there (for some reason?), and I got his autograph. He’s very tall, and very nice, and I was a stammering mess. I’m still in shock that it all happened. (Boy, maybe I should have led with this story, huh?)
11) Well I’m really struggling to think of things now. Er, I’m obsessed with Hans Zimmer film scores.
Now for Joyce’s questions:
- What is your strangest writing habit/routine?
- I won’t read anything similar to whatever I’m writing at that time. I’m afraid I might absorb something from it and accidentally/subconsciously copy something, and I don’t want to do that. So I try to read other genres or time periods from whatever it is that I’m writing.
- What is your biggest regret in life?
- Not spending more time with my dad, who I miss every day.
- What kind of music do you listen to, especially when you’re writing?
- Lots of film scores and video game soundtracks, because I visualize whatever scene I’m writing like it’s a movie, so the cinematic music helps me to ‘set the scene’, as it were. (One recommendation: The Witcher 3 soundtrack. It’s epic and spooky and thrilling and mysterious all at once.) I also try to find contemporary music whose lyrics or sound really fit the themes/plot of the story. I put all these songs into a playlist for each MS, and listen to it when I’m writing or brainstorming that story.
- What is one skill you have always wanted to learn?
- Like I said above, I’ve always wished I learned more languages growing up.
- Who’s your biggest writing inspiration?
- Probably Kate Mosse or Bernard Cornwell. Their books have always been hugely inspirational to me. I try to write in a way that combines what I love of their styles: atmospheric and heart-wrenching (Mosse), with intense action, attention to detail, and a wry sense of humor (Cornwell).
- What was your favorite book or series as a child?
- His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
- Ooh that’s tough. I love London, so I’m quite happy with where I am, but my own private tropical island would also be nice.
- If you were stranded on a desert island with three books/series, what would they be? (“How to Build a Raft” and the like don’t count!)
- (Oh look an island! With books! I’ll just live there then.) I’d have to say Lord of the Rings, but I also dearly love The Silmarillion, so I might try to sneak that one in too. The depth of the world that Tolkien created, and its mythology and languages and seemingly endless stories, would keep me occupied for a long time. (Until help came. Or until I decided the island was my new home.)
- What is your biggest fear?
- I have two: flying, and failure.
- What is one author quote that you identify with the most? (It can be about writing per se or life in general.)
- I’m not sure who said it originally, but it’s “Write like you’re running out of time.” And it’s true. We won’t be around forever, but our stories might, if we’re lucky.
- What made you decide to be a writer and where do you see yourself in five years?
- I loved escaping into books when I was growing up (I still do), and I’d love to be able to give that gift of time travel or teleportation to someone else. I hope I can keep writing, and maybe, in five years, I’ll have an agent and be a published author.
Here are my questions:
- If you could only pick one, what is your favorite film?
- Which planet in our solar system is your favorite? (Pluto and the mysterious Planet 9 are totally acceptable.)
- What is one of your pet peeves?
- What are you reading currently?
- What’s the best book you’ve read recently? Why?
- Have you read a book recently that you didn’t like or couldn’t finish? Why?
- If you could go back in time to any era or place, when and where would it be? (Without there being any significant consequences of course.) (Unless you wanted there to be….)
- What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
- Who is your favorite artist? (Can be author/creative type, but I’m thinking more visual arts here.)
- What are you writing or working on right now?
I nominate the following amazing people:
Thanks so much for nominating me Joyce, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Thanks for reading!