I’ve been nominated for the Leibster award by Christine Dillon – an all-rounder of an author with titles in non-fiction translated beyond her native English and fiction titles in the works.
The Leibster Award
This is how the Leibster Award works: 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
So, first of all …
Thanks to Christine (head over to her blog and subscribe).
Now, some random facts about myself:
- I am a sports nut, with a favourite team in just about every sporting competition around the world.
- I used to be a goal umpire in the Australian Football League. (Like this guy, waving the flags in a public sporting event in front of 40,000 people.) Weird I know, but at least I got to be a part of a national sporting competition.
- I’ve spoken at events in four of the seven continents. No invite as yet from Antarctica.
- I’m a serial caterer and just can’t stop myself cooking. I enjoy nothing more than cooking and catering for 75-100 people.
- I’m a songwriter who plays bass guitar. I studied journalism in University and majored in music.
- The most memorable places I’ve visited in my travels are RCA Studios in Nashville (where Elvis recorded his early hits), the ruins of Ephesus in Turkey, the cherry groves of Kyoto in Japan and The Black Castle in Prague, Czech Republic.
- I love growing my own food. There’s something special about heading out to your own garden to prepare a meal.
- I’ve been to Singapore 28 times, when I was lecturing for the University of South Australia.
My 11 questions to answer:
- Who were your favourite authors as a child? Why?
Robert Ludlum by a long way. I loved his ability to plot a storyline that was captivating until the very end. I actually met Mr Ludlum on a book signing in far-flung Adelaide when I was a teenager. I still remember shaking his hand, and his advice on how to write a novel fuels how I write my own novels some thirty years later.
2. Is there a country you have always wanted to visit, and if so, where?
Canada or France. I did five years of French in high school.
3. What is your favorite kind of weather?
This is Australia, so the answer is going to have some kind of heat in it. Summer is great when we basically spend three months living on the beach, but I’m going to say spring, when winter is winding down and the fresh smells of nature rise up from the earth and filter into everything.
4. Why do you blog?
Because I’m always writing, and it was an obvious way to engage with people as I build up a platform of people who know about my writing.
Plus, I enjoy it.
5. What started you writing?
My mother always used to say that it was different for her when I was a child and the house went quiet. For most kids, that quietness meant they were inside the washing machine or on the roof or had disappeared down the street. For the six-year-old me, it meant I was at the dinner table with pencil and paper. I think what started me writing was I was drawn to it. I’ve been writing ever since – as a journalist, PR guy, corporate communicator, online writer and writing workshop trainer.
Now, what started me fiction writing? I felt a real call to change gear and write the story ideas I’ve been collecting for the past decade. I was always going to write fiction one day, when I had enough time on my hands or money in the bank. Then God reminded me He’d given me the ideas and the ability and I should trust Him for the rest. Since then, I’ve started my road to publishing with a finalist manuscript in last year’s ACFW Genesis Awards and a semi-finalist (so far) in this year’s Awards.
6. What are the challenges of being an author/writer?
Being in Australia, connections with the marketplace I’m trying to break into. When I was in Nashville, it was so good to pitch people face-to-face and to meet other writers and readers.
The usual challenge for writers is handling rejection, but I’ve had 25 years of that through being a corporate writer. Another challenge which is an issue is time, and finding enough of it to balance everything.
7. How do you keep yourself motivated?
I’ve always been deadline-driven in my career, so that’s an automatic motivator. It’s also motivating to talk to other writers and prayer is huge as well.
8. If you could choose a place to write where would it be?
Some cafe in the middle of New York, the old library in Oxford University or at a table on the clifftops of the Great Australian Bight. Here.
9. What difference does it make being a Christian and an author?
I feel the creativity flows from a Master Creator, so being in touch with Him makes all the difference.
10. What’s your work in progress?
There are two. I can’t talk about one because it’s submitted in several Awards and, you know, these then becomes novels-that-shall-not-be-named. But the one that isn’t is Walkabout.
Here’s the elevator pitch: Four American friends visit central Australia on a holiday of a lifetime – a spiritual ‘walkabout’ with Aboriginal guides in the middle of Australia. But the spiritual journey is not what it seems, and in the desert they face their own demons, both real and imagined. And one of them will be left in the deserts of Australia forever.
My ideal reader for is someone who:
- Reads Christian fiction but is looking for a story placed in a more modern context and a Christian take on modern issues
- Reads Christian fiction and is looking for something new that isn’t a forensic mystery, historical romance or an Amish will-they-won’t-they
- Reads contemporary fiction and is intrigued by a very different story concept
- Is looking for a book whose style is written more like The Babylon Bee, The Office or The Daily Show than Left Behind
- Still holds their faith but is no longer in church
So, my blog nominees:
- Jebraun Clifford – an award-winning author from New Zealand, and a great fun person with so much going on!
- Iola Goulton – also an award-winning author of contemporary Christian romance with a Kiwi twist, and an exceptional editor to boot.
- Tisha Martin – fiction editor, writer and writing coach and a key collaborator in my Global Critique Group!