Saturday, January 12, 2013

Liebster Award, because it rocks!

Today I was honored with the prestigious Liebster Award by fellow writer, Dylan J Morgan. For those of you not on Twitter, you may not have heard of the Liebster Award for blogs, but let me tell you, you're not a *real* author until you get one. It's true. So, thank you, Dylan! It's a special honor, especially from such an established author.

As recipient of said award, I get to tell my inquiring readers 11 random facts about myself, answer 11 questions written by Dylan himself, and then pass along the torch to a few of my favorite bloggers. I have big shoes to fill after reading Dylan's funny and dark answers, but I'm going to be a good sport and give it a shot.

11 Random Facts:
  • I was a bit of a klepto when I was a very young girl. Not something I'm proud to admit, but it's true. You're probably wondering what I stole, right? I would be curious too. Let's see: make-up, candy, cassette tapes (yes, I'm that old). Basically, stuff little kids want but have no money to fund. Let's just say it was a phase and probably why I'm so hyper honest and philanthropic these days. Lessons, people. Lessons.
  • I'm a tad superstitious and a tad OCD, which creates for interesting habits. I won't sleep with black socks on or leave drawers or cabinet doors open because I think both are bad luck.
  • I am 100% sure that I have guardian angels. I've been through a lot in my life and there's no way I could have survived without some help. Plus, a psychic confirmed it for me once.  
  • One of my favorite authors when I was a kid was Shel Silverstein. I memorized his Boa Constrictor poem for school and was so happy to introduce his writing to my six year old son this year. I hope he doesn't read "Sister for Sale."
  • The original working title for my novel was Threesome and there were no supernatural elements. I also started with Isabella as my main character, but Grey became very pushy and forced me to tell her story first. Hence, my trilogy.
  • When I was little, my mother used to verbally edit the cards and notes I gave her, pointing out the mistakes I'd made. I'm not sure why I'm a perfectionist these days. Or an editor. To be fair, you really can't turn off an editing brain after you've been hard-wired that way; so I kind of get it.
  • Both of my kids were breech. That's not very common, but I'm exceptional so I wasn't surprised. I was also secretly okay with it because I'm a planner and knowing my due dates was pretty dope.
  • I'm a level one Reiki student under The Rev, Deb Benton and I hope one day to become a Reiki master (Reiki treatment, anyone?). Deb is one of the most unique and spiritually in-tune people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  
  • I have no tattoos, but I really want to get one (in my own handwriting) on my wrist that says, "I choose." However, I also have an aversion to needles, which makes this kind of a conundrum.  
  • I'm a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Not many people know this about me because it doesn't define me. I'm a huge fan of RAINN and the work they do. So, when I'm a big and famous writer, I'm going to do more to support them financially and with my name (like the awesome Neil Gaimon and Christina Ricci). Coincidentally, one of my favorite Christina Ricci quotes is: "Nobody knows the real shit I did when I was a teenager. Only what I allowed them to know." Girl, I can relate. 
  • One of the things I am most proud of (other than my family and my 4.0 college GPA) and was hands down the funnest thing I have ever done, was my recent novel editing job for Jes Young. Others may dispute the "fun" part of this, but for me editing is pure bliss. I absolutely love working creatively with bright, snarky, talented people, and Jes is all of those things. (Insert shameless plug for Underneath here.)
So, after I've bared my soul and totally embarrassed myself, now I get to move onto the fun part: answering Dylan's questions. I hope I didn't lose y'all after kleptomaniac; I swear, it was a long time ago. 
  1. You have a basement in your house and a tornado is coming and you have to get there fast. Apart from your family (obviously) what is the one thing you absolutely must take down there with you? Is it too predictable and lame to say my laptop? Because, seriously, I'd go bat-shit crazy without having an ability to read or write for any length of time. But, if this is assuming I'd lose power or be trapped for some time with no electricity, then I think I'd have to say just a good, old-fashioned journal and a pen.
  2. What do you do to overcome writer’s block? Read. I get so inspired after reading someone else's really good writing. It fires up my brain cells and gets me pumped up, even better than music does when I need to work out. 
  3. I need music to write. What, if any, outside influence do you need to focus on your stories? Interestingly enough, I have several writer friends who really find inspiration in music while they write. I think they are amazing human beings because my brain is just not built that way. I need absolute peace and quiet when I write so that I can focus and get lost in my thoughts. I get way too distracted with music, television, or people talking in the background (as my poor husband can attest).
  4. Name the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the word Bacon. John Hilgers. I was considering not saying another damn word about this, but I think I'd lose readers. The father of one of my besties, Melissa Hickman, loves, and I mean loves, bacon. One year we were shopping for Christmas presents and she got her dad a really funny bacon gift. Now, I can't see a strip of bacon without thinking of Mr. Hilgers. For my guy followers, here is the best picture of bacon, ever!   
  5. Clowns . . . scary or just idiots in make-up? Scary. But not because I'm personally frightened of them, I'm just frightened that a grown human being would ever dress like that. And let's admit it, to a kid, they are pretty damn scary (some have even capitalized on this).
  6. If you could have the success and sales of any genre author other than Stephen King, who would it be? Two words: Nora Roberts. That lady can crank out some books (over 200 to date), landing her on the Forbes list. Think what you will about her, writer snobs, but you can't deny her lucrative career as an author, and she was also the first person inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. That's pretty cool in my book.  
  7. What did you do to prepare for the End Times on December 21st of last year, and were you expecting something a little more dramatic than “just an ordinary day”? Nothing. I had no real belief that this was anything worth worrying about, but I did find it fascinating what other people were doing to prepare. I'm not a survivalist by nature, so the hording and preparing for some unknown apocalyptic emergency is unfathomable to me. I did, however, ask my husband if I could put our 21-month old daughter to bed that night. I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried while rocking her, just thinking what if.
  8. Are you disappointed if you don’t write every day? No. I can't afford to be or I'd constantly be disappointed in myself, and that's an extreme I just won't live with. I'm a full-time, stay-at-home mom first. I love my day job. I get to play with Legos, have tea parties, and run around outside with my kids. Every. Single. Day. So, how is that a disappointment? Does that mean it may take me longer than I want to become a published novelist? Probably. But I try to be present as much as I can with my children and just enjoy them at this wonderful and quickly-fleeting age. So, I write at night like most other writers of young kids do and simply enjoy the writing process as much as I can. I'm not even 40 yet, so I have dozens of years to crank out books, but I don't have dozens of toddler years left with my children.    
  9. Can you say anything about what book you’re writing at the moment? Absolutely! As I mentioned earlier, my book is nothing like I thought it would be. I always thought it was a cliche when authors said, "the characters tell me what's going to happen to them." But, it's true. Grey Terrintino quickly took over my novel and insisted that I write her story first. I don't want to give away any juicy plot points, but she decided who she was interested in, what she looked like, and what her "gifts" will be. They are as intrinsic to her as my genetic traits are to me. My working title is The Guardian Trilogy, and Grey's book is The Guardian of Fire: the Neverworld. Unfortunately, there are other "guardian" titled books, which I found out after naming mine, but most are about angel guardians and mine is not. I actually haven't written my "100 word summary" yet and don't want to disclose too much of the plot. But, in a nut shell, it's about best-friendship (a new word I just coined) because it's one of the most important relationships a teenager has. Grey, Isabella, and Chelsea have been inseparable since they were children, but the girls have been hiding a few important secrets from each other. After a night that spirals wildly out of control and lands the girls into a world of trouble, Grey's secrets quickly begin to unravel, leading them on a fast-paced adventure to rein in her new-found abilities while assuming her Guardianship over the Neverworld and the dangers it entails.
  10. Hamster, rabbit, or baby penguin . . . which is the cutest? Is this a trick question? Baby penguins, of course. I mean, look at these cuties!
  11. Writing wise, what can we expect from you in 2013? Hopefully, my published book! If not, I suck. Hold me accountable, peeps! 
Now the fun begins for a few of my new friends and fellow authors whose blogs I simply adore and must give a Liebster Award to (always lead with a compliment). Seriously, if they didn't have great blogs, I wouldn't give them an award. So, be flattered you four, very flattered.

The Liebster Award goes to:

Ksenia Anske

Jes Young 

Leigh Ann Kopans

Layla Messner

All of these bloggers are witty, beautiful, creative women whose work I admire and want to share with my readers too! Please don't kill me, but as recipients of this award, you four get to blog about 11 random facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions I pose below, give the Liebster Award to a few authors/bloggers whom you admire (other than me), and create 11 unique questions for them to answer. Easy-peasy with your schedules, right?

Your questions, should you choose to be really cool and accept this award:

1) How old were you when you first discovered your love of writing and what kind of writing did you do?
2) Old-fashioned letter writing: still in style or out of vogue? 
3) If you could write anywhere in the world other than a Starbucks or your home, where would it be and why?
4) Who was the first author who made you a fan-girl?
5) Who is your celebrity crush, boy and girl?  
6) Who is the one person you cannot live without during the writing process and how do you lean on them?  
7) What was the best piece you've ever written? The worse?
8) Sweet tea, coffee, or soda to fuel your caffeine fix while writing?
9) What keeps you up at night? 
10) What was the most helpful writing "tool" you discovered during your career?   
11) You are all authors, so what will we be reading by you this year? 

Okay, so that took entirely longer than I expected, but was a lot of fun! Thanks, Dylan, for the challenge. I'll get back to beta-reading your new book (The Dead Lands) tomorrow because somehow I got off-track tonight.

Can't wait to see the responses from Ksenia, Jes, Leigh Ann, and Layla (no pressure, ladies, really). Please post your links below so my readers can learn more about you too. 

Peace out!   


  1. What a funny (and random!) memory you have about my dad - too hilarious!! I will be sure to share this with him. You should know that my brother has fallen into his footsteps - breakfast with the two of them is insane. Constant talk about "best thing to come out of a pig" or as my dad loves to say, "The pig is the ultimate sacrifice for breakfast. An egg, sure whatever - a chicken just lays that out. But a pig! A pig is devotion!" My family is so weird. Side note: much to the astonishment (and yes, disgust) to my dad and brother, my hubby has given up bacon - like, for LIFE. One day he woke up and decided he was too old to eat such an unhealthy food. And BAM! Just like that, he was done. No hint of regret, nor the teeniest of cravings.

  2. Great answers, Colleen, thanks for accepting the challenge. Loved your random facts, too, very interesting to learn new things about someone I've only just 'met'. I hope your recipients enjoy your questions.

    Your "Guardian" series sounds interesting, I can't wait to read it.