(a) List 11 random facts about me.
(b) Answer 11 questions Taylor has set me.
(c) Come up with 11 questions to ask other authors.
(d) Nominate and tag 11 other authors for this award
11 Random Facts
1. I have never ice skated in my life.
2. I’m a quarter Irish but I’ve never visited Ireland.
3. I am 5ft 7inches which used to be considered tall. People seem to have sprouted up over the past few years though and it isn’t particularly tall at all now which is very annoying. I liked being a tall person.
4. I hate olives. I have really tried to like them because they seem so sophisticated and European but they make me want to gag.
5. I never have a starter in restaurants because I’m always scared I won’t be able to fit a dessert in if I do.
6. I worked for a summer in a casino as a waitress. The uniform was hideous, a gold halter top and black shorts and, because I was only temporary, I had to wear the name badge of someone who had recently left. I spent three months being called Tracy. I think the customers thought I was deaf because it would take me so long to realise that they were talking to me. Or maybe they just thought I was dim and didn’t know my own name.
7. I was a vegetarian for ten years but then I went on holiday to Greece, where all of the vegetarian options contained meat. I ate it to be polite and after that it seemed pointless to revert back.
8. When I was twelve I inadvertently killed the family goldfish. Actually this is more of a confession than a fact because I have never before admitted it and my family still believes the poor thing died of natural causes. In my defence I have been tortured by my actions for the past thirty eight years and I am ready to accept any fitting punishment. Maybe karma will intervene and, when the time comes for me to meet my maker, I will be eaten by a large fish. Or even worse a shoal of little fish, banding together in order to exact revenge for the slaying of their fallen ancestor.
9. I have a driving phobia. I passed my driving test when I was in my twenties but have never driven successfully since. It’s public transport all the way for me.
10. I also have a fear of anything that resembles a rodent from guinea pigs to rats. I’m not keen on birds either and come to think of it rabbits freak me out a bit as well.
11. I’m not a lover of the countryside. In fact being out of sight of cafes or shops is enough to bring on a panic attack. I have been known to partake in a country walk but only with the promise of tea and cakes at the other end. Walking for no reason holds no appeal at all.
The eleven questions that Taylor set me
1.What made you become a writer? Lifelong dream or just a whim?
It was a bit of both really, in that I have always loved writing but I didn’t have any ambitions to publish anything. I just wrote for my own enjoyment but then eBooks came along and opened up publishing for everybody and I suppose I thought – why not? As a reader, I think it’s great that there has never been more diversity in what’s available to us and, as a writer, it’s presented opportunities that I never dreamed of. I know some people think that the market has been flooded but surely choice is a good thing and, if readers don’t want to try new, independent writers, then they still have the choice to abstain.
2. What is your book or manuscript about?
I have written seven books so far, four of which are part of the Georgie Connelly series. Georgie is a documentary film maker who finds herself investigating crimes usually as a result of her job. The stories all feature a regular cast of characters and are basically light hearted crime thrillers. The other books are standalones and include one thriller (Dare To Lose) and two contemporary romances (Don’t Look Back and Family Ties).
3. Putting aside what you do for a living, if you could be something else, what would that something be?
My friend and I have a lottery win fantasy, where we would buy our own cafe. If we had a big win of millions, we would buy swanky, city centre premises and it would be a very cultural cafe with book launches, poetry readings and art exhibitions. If it was a small win, of say fifty thousand, we would have to downsize – maybe get one of those caravans that sell sandwiches
and snacks. My friend is a fantastic cook, especially with baking and I think I would be really good chatting to customers and cleaning the tables. In fact, just last week, I had an amazing idea although in fairness my friend thought it was rubbish. Anyway, it was that if, instead of selling ice-cream (which let’s face it nobody wants), ice-cream vans sold pieces of cake they would make a fortune. How many times do you want a piece of cake but can’t be bothered to go to the local shop to get any? Plus if you bought a whole cake you would no doubt eat the lot and so my idea would also combat obesity. I think I’m onto a winner with it despite my friend’s misgivings!
4. If you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be?
I’d quite like to be David Cameron so that I could reverse all the cuts to public spending he’s made. I would also disband parliament and sack all the politicians which would put billions more into the public purse. I suppose technically that would make me a dictator but it wouldn’t matter because I’d be a nice dictator. I would nationalise banks, the public transport system, the post office and all public utility services and invest in them and run them properly. I think I would get rid of the national deficit within a week by not paying people ridiculously high wages and big fat greedy bonuses. Also I wouldn’t waste money on schemes that serve no purpose at all other than to line the pockets of some politician or other. I would make education free for all by scrapping tuition fees. Taxes would have to go up but I would give people a return on their money by making society better. Sadly history suggests that before I could salvage the country and bring better times, there would be a coup and I’d end up locked in the Tower.
5. What are five things you really like about yourself?
This is tricky, it’s funny how it’s always much easier to think of things you don’t like, but here goes.
i) I’m a kind person. At least I hope I am - I try to be.
ii) I’ve got a good memory, which means I’m great on quiz teams. My specialist subjects are mindless celebrity nonsense, films, books, capital cities and flags.
iii) I’m very punctual. I hate being late and would much rather be really early.
iv) I have excellent manners.
v) I always try my best. I can be lazy and disorganised but once I commit to something I always give it 100% because I think that’s important.
6. What are five things you really don’t like about yourself?
i) I don’t like that I’m much vainer than I thought I was. I didn’t think that aging would bother me that much, after all it’s better than the alternative, but I don’t like it at all. Everything started to go wrong once I turned fifty earlier in the year, and I don’t think being an old biddy is going to be as much fun as I anticipated. This was brought home to me when I was invited recently to be part of a pilot scheme which offers women over fifty a health MOT. It basically involved a doctor checking my height, weight, blood pressure, measuring my waist and me telling a pack of lies about what I eat and drink. The official outcome was that I have a 2% chance of having a heart attack in the next ten years, which did nothing for my nervous system until a friend pointed out that I have a 98% chance of not having one. What upset me the most, however, was that as the doctor got to grips with measuring my waist, I heard the surprise in her voice when she exclaimed, “At least you still have a waist which is a good start.” Now call me naive, but I never imagined for one moment that I wouldn’t have a waist. I mean a waist as opposed to what? Anyway, I understood perfectly the subtext of what she was saying; my waist is obviously on borrowed time. Now I have something else to worry about, something to add to the list, along with saggy boobs, fat arms and bags under the eyes. Whoever said that getting old is not for sissies knew exactly what they were talking about!
ii) I’m impatient and intolerant of people, which is not a good way to be. I’m quite an independent person and don’t work well as part of a team. People get on my nerves, even when I like them, and I can be snappy and grumpy. I do try to be more even tempered but I’m not very successful at it.
iii) I’m impulsive and tend to act without thinking, which often lands me in hot water. I had always thought that age would bring common sense and wisdom but it doesn’t seem to be the case.
iv) I have no will power and always succumb to the lure of chocolate, alcohol and other things that do me no good at all. I need to take more responsibility for my health but I’m weak willed.
v) I’m much more cynical than I want to be but I suppose that comes with age.
7. Do you have another work in progress and if so will you share the title and a short synopsis?
I’m still at the thinking about it stages at the moment. All I know is that it will be a standalone novel about a woman called Maggie. I always like to create the central character first and I have had a few attempts but I don’t like the versions of her that I’ve come up with so far. If I don’t love my characters, I can’t write about them.
8. What is your best trait ... and your worst?
My best trait is that I’m kind and my worst trait probably that I’m a grumpy old so and so.
9. What is your happiest memory?
I have so many happy memories; it’s hard to pinpoint one. I think my twenties, when I first became a teacher, were pretty great. I was living in Brighton and my sister was living in London and so we used to alternate weekends in both places. Looking back, it was all a bit hedonistic but it was the 80s and we were young and didn’t have a care in the world.
10. What’s your greatest achievement in your life so far?
I think that I’m a good daughter, sister and friend.
11. If you could send a message to the world (guaranteed to be heard) what would it be?
If you don’t care about other people then why should they care about you?
My eleven questions for my own tag team
1. If you were to be banished to a desert island with only one book, one piece of music and a luxury item, what would they be?
2. If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
3. Have you ever had a crush on a literary character?
4. Which is your favourite season and why?
5. What’s your most treasured possession?
6. Who has been the most influential person in your life?
7. Which film or TV programme would you urge people to watch?
8. What’s your pet hate?
9. If you had a time machine for a day, where would you go?
10. As a reader, what’s your favourite genre and is this reflected in your own writing?
11. Try and pitch your book to readers in five sentences.
Here’s the link to Taylor Fulk’s Liebster Blog and I will keep you posted with the links of anybody who agrees to take up the challenge. Watch this space!
Here's the link for Dakota Douglas who rose to my challenge