I’ve been nominated for the Leibster award by Trix Wilkins who is a ‘Storyteller Friend’ and one of my encouragers. She has written a novel in which she reimagines a more Jane Austenesque ending to Little Women.
Leibster Award Rules:
For those who aren’t familiar with the Liebster (I wasn’t), it is an award given by bloggers to fellow bloggers and aimed to encourage writers. The rules for the Liebster Award are as follows:
- Thank the person who has nominated you for the award and link to their blog
- Write some random facts about yourself
- Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you
- Nominate up to 11 people for the award (comment on their blog to let them know)
- Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions
Random facts about myself:
- I collect stamps – but only from Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.
- A newer hobby is genealogy. This combines my love of history and detection.
- I never intended to be a writer and especially of fiction.
- I once won the competition to design the cover of my primary school magazine. It meant a lot to me at the time because I wasn’t (and still aren’t) at all arty. The lady who won the year before me and should have won our 6th grade year as well will design the covers for my upcoming novels (you can request to join ‘storytellerchristine‘ on Facebook to see the proposed designs).
- I’m a hybrid – my father is from New Zealand and mother from Australia.
- One of my favourite things to do is go on 5 day hikes in New Zealand
- Bit of a technophobe and so writing and running two blogs has been a challenge.
My 11 questions to answer:
I’ve been a little cheeky and changed some of the questions I was to answer as they weren’t ‘me’ at all. However the 11 questions for my nominees will be the same and that will make this post much shorter!
- What were your favourite authors as a child? Why?
I loved anything by Enid Blyton especially the Adventure series (Castle, Island, Valley). My sister warmed my heart by buying all eight of them for me for Christmas last year. I still loved them. Probably because of the adventure and travel and food.
Also loved L. M. Montgomery and C. S. Lewis’s ‘Narnia’ series and later Lord of the Rings …I read these last two series almost every year.
2. Is there a country you have always wanted to visit, and if so, where?
I’d love to go to Ireland and to the Shetland Islands both to go hiking and because ancestors came from there. In fact, after getting into family history I’d love to go to all the towns and villages and visit graveyards …and try to imagine my ancestors there.
3. What is your favorite kind of weather?
I love the tingle in the air of autumn but not that it is about to be winter. I love the flowers of Spring and the heat of the Australian summer with the smell of Eucalyptus leaves in the air. Perhaps I love all seasons but winter!
4. Why do you blog?
Again I never intended to blog. After writing a book about oral Bible storytelling, I needed a website so that people could hear the stories. I decided to add inspirational stories of people using storytelling around the world and so a blog was born. That blog allows people to discover an exciting tool and to be trained in storytelling.
This second website came about because of writing a novel and needing a place that was separate to Bible storytelling. I blog because it gives me a chance to share things I’m passionate about to my readers.
5. What started you writing?
For the non-fiction it was more that people kept asking me questions and in the end it became easier to write it down.
For the fiction it came as I was praying and it felt like several ideas downloaded into my head. I told God if it truly was him then he’d have to keep pushing me and give me the ability. Many of the individual story elements come from testimonies I’ve heard.
6. What are the challenges of being an author/writer?
It is often challenging to cope with people’s perceptions of me. People treat me either as someone special OR they think I’m proud or a show off because I write. I find it hard to be misunderstood in either of these ways. For of course, I’m no more special than before I started writing.
Time is usually a challenge for part-time writers. My spare time is now often spent writing or thinking about writing. I struggle to switch off and rest.
I don’t like selling my own books. I’d prefer none of them to even have my name on them but at the same time I am passionate about their message. I’m happier promoting others books and appreciate them when they promote mine (by reviews and sales).
7. How do you keep yourself motivated?
- Praying for strength and ability to keep going.
- Belonging to some Facebook groups for other authors. I’ve especially appreciated the Australasian Christian Writers community and have learned a lot from them.
- Reading books about how to improve my writing.
8. If you could choose a place to write where would it be?
I always envied John Stott his country writing place. I’d love somewhere like that. No disturbances, plenty of good scenery, trees and hills and maybe a stream as well. I’d like to be sitting at an open window looking out at the view.
I was loaned a place on a hill in New Zealand looking out on an inlet. I loved watching the tide rush in and out every day.
9. What difference does it make being a Christian and an author?
For a start it makes me motivated to have a message to share that impacts eternity. The whole process is different because through prayer God provides the ideas, ability and strength to write. He’s there every step of the way answering prayer when I ask for help and linking me to the right people and resources. I wouldn’t keep going without him.
10. What’s your work in progress?
‘Grace in Strange Disguise’ – What if your father had always preached that people who trusted Jesus were blessed? What if you believed him because it was true of your life?
Esther was 28 before a challenge came that wouldn’t go away no matter what she did. Who would she believe? Her father or the stranger that questions her understanding of God’s word?
One challenge. Two contradictory views. Conflict or harmony?
This is now first of a trilogy with the first one due for release in November.
11. Who is your ideal audience?
People who like fiction that is not just a ‘nice’ read but one that impacts their life as it challenges and inspires them.
My blog nominees are all writers and most I’ve either ‘met’ through Australasian Christian Writers or American Christian Fiction Writers:
- Cecily Paterson – writes non-fiction and fiction for brave hearted girls (teens). Excellent writer and editor. I’ve also interviewed her.
- Nathan D. Maki – writes historical and Biblical fiction. I’ve seen one of his works in progress and was impressed.
- Kristen Young – writes non-fiction and working on speculative fiction (just semi-finalled in Genesis competition). Have also interviewed her.
- Angie Garrett – I am reading her work in progress and am impressed.
- Carolyn Miller – has just had her first regency romance published and others on the way. Hearing good things about it. I enjoyed meeting Carolyn last year.
- Julane Fisher – am reading her work in progress – middle grade fiction (for young teens) – I loved it.
- David Rawlings – has had two different manuscripts in semi-finals and finals of Genesis competition. Another Australian Christian Writer.
- Jo-Anne Bethelsen – another Australian writer. Non-fiction and fiction author whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing.
- Simon Camilleri – has just written his first children’s book, “When Santa Heard the Gospel.” Highly recommended. Release date – July ready for Christmas for carol services …I interviewed him here.
- Wendy Marshall – is a missionary in Japan and is a long-term blogger. She writes and edits devotionals and magazine articles.