Sunday Update: Writing Contests and Favourite Book Bloggers

Hello gentle reader,

I apologise for my absence online this week, but I want to thank all of you who sent me kind messages/emails/tweets throughout the past six days. It was a difficult time and it meant a lot to open my inbox to so many messages of support.

I’m back today, but without a Sunday Giveaway, I’m afraid: Amazon UK is being extremely annoying when it comes to gifting ebooks to other countries, so I’ve had to adjourn these giveaways for now. I’m hoping to find a solution by next weekend. Stay tuned and thanks to everyone who entered the past two giveaways!

If you’re a writer with a polished manuscript, here are a few contests you might be interested in:

#PitchMAS in July (7-8th July)

Xmas in July Pitch Contest (9th July)

Like A Virgin Pitch Contest (12th July)

Finally while I was offline, I received the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award! Thank you Camilla!

wonderful-readership-award

The idea here is to nominate readers I appreciate, so here are a few of my favourite book bloggers…

The Flutterby Room

Once Upon A Time

The Book Addict’s Guide

Mundie Moms

Chapter By Chapter

Sash and Em

Ensconced in YA

That’s it from me today, feel free to leave me a comment below to let me know about your week!

Versatile Blogger Award!

Hello gentle reader,

in the past couple of weeks, I have been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award no less than four times. Thus I felt compelled to post about it.

versatile-blogger

The rules for The Versatile Blogger Award are as follows:

1.Thank and link to the person who gave you the award.
2.Tell seven facts about yourself.
3.Pass it on to seven other bloggers.
4.Link to specific posts on their blogs so they’ll be notified by pingback.

So thank you to the lovely people who have passed this award on to me: Rhiann Wynn-Nolet, ReGi McClain, Patrick O’Scheen and Elaine Jeremiah.

Seven things about me… at this stage, there’s not much I can say about myself you don’t already know, and the rest… is a secret.

As a result, I’m directly passing this award on to awesome people you should know about and follow:

Raewyn Hewitt : fellow Fantasy writer, interesting blogger and wonderful person.

Jessica Montgomery : my lovely CP, currently in the query trenches.

Jani Grey, Serena LawlessBridget Shepherd : they’ve all accepted to be my first beta-readers for Lily In The Shadows. They’re awesome.

Lauren Garafalo : leader of ROW80 Twitter sprints and best Cheerleader For Writers in the world. I wouldn’t have written Lily In The Shadows in 5 months if it weren’t for her.

Rachel O’Laughlin : her Epic Fantasy Coldness of Marek is coming out in August! Are you excited? I am!

That’s it for the Versatile Blogger Award. I hope you’re having a good Holiday Monday if you’re in the US or the UK. If you’re reading this from another country, I hope you’re having a great day too!

The Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

Hello gentle reader,

three days ago the ever-awesome Karen Rought passed the Lovely Blog Award on to me! Thank you so much Karen! I am now supposed to: thank the person who gave it to me, list 7 things about myself and pass it along to 7 others. I have already shared 7 random things about myself on this blog when I received the Very Inspiring Blog Award. So today I thought I would do something a little bit different. Instead of talking about myself per se, I’m going to talk about 7 reasons why I cannot wait for the UK release of the movie Les Miserables tomorrow.

Les Miserables

1- I read Les Miserables for the first time when I was 10. It was an abridged version for children and I remember loving it, although at the time I had no idea why it was such a compelling story.

2- I finally read the full version of Les Miserables when I was 15 and it blew me away. I still know some quotes by heart. It was epic and moving, historical and timeless, incredibly well written and yet easy to read. It is one of the first books that made me want to be a writer.

3- My teenage years were also the time when I fell in love with musicals. And I read every single book by Victor Hugo (and yes, he wrote many, including poetry, political essays and plays). If you have a question about this French author’s work, I’m the one to ask 😉

4- By the time I was 20, I had also watched every possible movie rendition of Les Miserables. And let me tell you, some of them are bad. And weird.

4- Ten years ago I found out there was a musical based on Les Miserables (I know, a bit late to this party…). Two of my favourite things in the world! I saw it, and loved it.

5- Ten years ago, I also watched Gladiator for the first time and thought Russell Crowe was an awesome actor. I know he is way older than me, but I still have an odd crush on him.

6- But you may know if you read this blog that my biggest love when it comes to actors is Eddie Redmayne. Just watch The Pillars of the Eearth: I dare you not to love him.

7- January 2013: a movie based on the musical Les Miserables is released. Russell Crowe and Eddie Redmayne star in it.

Now you understand why I CAN’T WAIT FOR TOMORROW?

Now on to my list of 7 lovely bloogers:

Raewyn Hewitt

Amanda Fanger

Sydney Aaliyah

Ayesha Schroeder

The Feather and the Rose

Kate Michael

Rhiann Wynn-Nolet

Go and visit their blogs, they are all worth a read!

The Very Inspiring Blog Award

Hello gentle reader,

my blog was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blog Award by the lovely Ayesha Schroeder ! Thank you Ayesha for thinking of me, I really appreciate it.

Accepting this award means I have to share with you 7 things about myself. So here goes:

1 – I started this blog back in March 2012 because I had read that a would-be-published writer like me should have a presence online. Then I discovered that I love blogging! 9 months later, this little blog has more than 250 followers and it has had more than 12,000 page views. Thank YOU for that.

2 – Fantasy is my favourite genre as a reader and a writer. I love a book that makes me forget where and who I am, and takes me to imaginary lands.

3 – I live in England, in the countryside south of London. I have a day job that keeps me very busy, but it won’t keep me from writing. Ever.

4 – After talking about it for months, I have finally started querying my YA High Fantasy novel The Last Queen at the beginning of November. The process is a bit scary, but I do want to try and see if I can get published the traditional way…

5 – I have met a few authors during the last couple of years, and all of them gave me incredible insight into the writing and publishing process. Among them were Philip Pullman, Rachel Caine, and Celia Rees.

6 – I’m in love with Jared Leto. There, I’ve bared my soul to you.

7 – This Saturday, be ready for the official launch of a new blog called There And Draft Again. Alongside 5 writerly friends, I will blog about Fantasy and giving away Fantasy books. If you want, you can already follow the blog here.

Now I have to nominate the blogs who deserve this award:

Raewyn Hewitt writes about fantasy and lives in New Zealand. She is AWESOME and you should all be following her.

Jessica Montgomery and Aimee L. Salter have helped me SO MUCH with The Last Queen, I will owe them for life if this novel ever gets published. You should check out their blogs full of advice for writers.

Yesenia Vargas, Juliana Haygert, Sydney Aaliyah, Amanda Fanger, Rachel Horwitz, KL Schwengel, Mara Valderran, Craig Schmidt, Karen Rought all have great writerly blogs and they have been incredibly supportive of my writing endeavours these past few months. Pay them a visit!

Finally Summer Heacock has a writerly blog that is highly inspiring and hilarious, so I needed to mention her here as well.

That’s it for my Very Inspiring Blog Award, thanks for reading and see you this weekend!

ROW80 Check-In 6 & Sunshine Award

Hello gentle reader,

So I had a crazy week, and for the first time since the beginning of this round, I didn’t meet my ROW80 goal, which is to: Write or edit every day. You also won’t find an inspiring story along with this post, simply because I didn’t have the time to find one.

Here is my week in numbers:

Number of hours spent editing/writing this week: 4

Number of hours spent at my day job: 54

Number of work-related dinner parties I attended: 2

Number of pest control interventions because of a wasp invasion in my kitchen: 1

Number of YA authors interviewed on my blog: 1 (you can read the interview here)

Number of writing contests I entered: 1

Number of awards my blog received: 1

Rhiann Wynn-Nolet was kind enough to pass on to me the Sunshine Award. This award is for “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”. Although I am very flattered to receive this award, I am not going to answer the questions that go with it simply because they are all about my favourite food, my favourite colour and my favourite flower, and I don’t see how this can be interesting for you, gentle reader. I am also supposed to nominate 10 bloggers for this award, so I’ll just say: if you’re reading this and you’re doing ROW80, consider yourself (and your blog) nominated.

Hope you all have a great week! Here is the Linky to support each other.

Liebster Blog Award!

Hello gentle reader,

Last week my blog was nominated twice (!) for the Liebster Award! Thanks to Craig Schmidt & Mara Valderran for passing the award on to me. This award is about spotlighting new blogs (with fewer than 200 followers) and answering 11 questions. Since I was nominated twice, I had to choose from a set of 22 questions.

So this award arrived just on time since my blog has almost reached 200 followers (more on this coming soon!). Here are the questions I have decided to answer:

What is your motto?

Don’t give up your dream.

Tell us three things about a favourite character you’ve created.

In my WIP The Last Queen, the main character Elian is shy, dutiful and self-conscious. Yet, somehow, he becomes a hero. Don’t ask him how, he wouldn’t know.

Which author influences you most as a writer, and in what way?

Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors, because he tells fantasy stories that are accessible to any reader, at almost any age.

When you get writer’s block, doing this helps.

When I get the feeling that what I’m writing doesn’t work, I stop writing and I read instead. Sometimes it takes just one book, sometimes it takes six, but eventually it makes me want to write again.

What is something you regret?

I have been writing for 15 years, and it took me a very long time to listen to people who told me “why don’t you try to get published?” I wish I had listened to them earlier.

What was the first thing you remember writing?

The first novel I wrote AND finished was a story called The Chronicles of a Girl on a Swing in Paris. Well, the title pretty much says it all 😉

What goal are you most focused on right now?

Finishing edits to The Last Queen and querying it.

Who was your favourite actor or actress when you were growing up?

Kevin Costner. I still really like him. If one of his movies comes on TV, I’ll always each it.

What is your favourite television show that was cancelled before its time/too soon?

I’m assuming everyone already said Firefly… So I’ll say Blood Ties (2007): vampires and an awesome heroine. No idea why it got cancelled, it was excellent. I also was a bit disappointed that The Gates (2010) didn’t really get a chance to find its audience.

What is on your bucket list (things you want to do before you die)?

Read ALL THE BOOKS (almost). Visit the US West Coast, New Zealand, Italy and Greece.

If you were to write a “Thank you” note to someone you’ve never actually met, who would that be and why?

I would write it to Fantasy author Gregory Maguire (The Wicked Years series). His books were a huge inspiration because they were like nothing I had read before and it showed me that I could write weird stories too, as long as they were good.

Now I have to tag other new bloggers so they’ll answer those witty questions…  Here is my list:

Yesenia Vargas

Em Loves to read, Wants to write

Lauren Garafalo

SJ Maylee

2012 Blogger Awards!

Hello gentle reader,

so I have entered the Blogger Award competition hosted by Krystal @ Live To Read . There are 16 competitors in the Best Blog Layout category and my blog is one of them. So if you would be so kind as to vote for my blog HERE I’d be eternally grateful.

What’s in it for you, you ask? Well, the winner will get 8 books published in 2012, and if I win, I’m planning on giving them away to YOU, lovely readers!

So if you wish to support this blog, click on the link below:

Thank you, thank you 🙂