The Liebster Award #2

I was tagged by the fabulous Darque Dreamer Reads for the Liebster Award, and as the questions are always different I thought I’d give it another bash! (Check out my first go here.)

The rules also appear to have changed since June when I did this award, back then there was no list of eleven random facts about me, so at least I won’t be duplicating any of those! Let’s do this…

Liebster award 2 Lyndsey's Book Blog

The Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Give 11 random facts about you.

3. Answer the 11 questions they gave you.

4. Nominate 11 blogs.

5. Give them 11 questions to answer.

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Eleven Facts About Me…

  1. I am now the proud fur-mum of two pointers! We adopted Woody a couple of months ago from the GSP Rescue charity, he’s 7 and was originally used as a gun dog in France. He and Bailey (2) are best friends now and keep each other company while we’re out 🙂
  2. I don’t have a middle name, and I’ve always felt like I was missing out. I used to pretend it was Ann when I was a kid – original I know! Probably because my nan’s middle name is Ann…
  3. My dad chose the name Lyndsey, after Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac. He added the extra Y because he thought it would look girlier (Lindsey Buckingham is a bloke). Thanks Dad. Apparently they couldn’t think of anything that went with Lyndsey, hence the lack of middle name.
  4. I’m currently preparing for NaNoWriMo next month, I’m diving back into a project I started in July for Camp Nano before giving up and focusing on Pitch Wars. I’ve just decided to add a secondary timeline and POV character, with absolutely no experience or knowledge of how to do this. Wish me luck! Any tips or links to helpful blogs would be greatly appreciated!
  5. I love the countryside and pretty much hate the city. I can see the benefits of living centrally, for work, shopping, public transport etc. but I just can’t imagine living there long term. I need wide open spaces, greenery and to be able to see the stars at night. I’ve lived in a lot of different places, and I’ve always preferred living in rural areas to urban ones.
  6. I like crafting in my spare time, I find it really therapeutic. I’ve tried loads of different things, Scrabble art, paper cutting, candle making, soap making etc. I always like to have a project on the go, so since I started writing it’s been that, but I still love to try my hand at different crafts.
  7. My favourite colour is turquoise and…
  8. …my favourite animals are dolphins.
  9. I love red lipstick. I wear MAC Ruby Woo at the moment, but I’ve gotten into those matte lip paint things so I might try a red one of those as mine is a nude/taupe colour.
  10. The best holiday I’ve ever been on was for my mum’s wedding in 2014. It was a cruise in the Caribbean, me and my husband flew out a week early so we had some time to ourselves, and then my mum and stepdad stayed a week later so they did too. Both parts were absolutely wonderful, spending time alone together in such a gorgeous setting and then getting to celebrate my mum’s wedding on a beautiful beach in St Thomas. It was heaven.
  11. I’m a fan of bucket lists, I had one for my twenties that I’m currently in the process of achieving the last goal, and right on time as I turned 29 in August! My list for my thirties consists of ten things to learn/do and places to visit. Things like scuba diving and skiing, and places like Hawaii and Vegas. Funnily enough, writing a book was never on my list, I suppose I didn’t think I’d really ever do it so putting a time limit on it (even a whole decade) would have felt like setting myself up for failure. So there you go, not only have I achieved all my ten goals for my twenties, I’ve also written a novel! Go me.pink divider

    Eleven Answers…

    Have you read a book with a perfect ending?

    The only book I can think of with a perfect ending that stayed with me is Harry Potter. I remember feeling really satisfied and content with how J. K. Rowling wrapped up the series and gave us a little glimpse into the future. All was well.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone JK Rowling Lyndsey's Book Blog

  1. Does your favourite movie have a perfect ending?

    I don’t really have a favourite movie, but the ones I love where I can remember the ending are the really ambiguous ones that leave you with questions, like Inception and Shutter Island.

    Why did you start your blog?

    I wanted somewhere I could share my writing journey with fellow writers, maybe build a readership of people who’d like to buy my books when they’re released, and hopefully make some friends. It’s also a nice sort of journal of how far I’ve come in the writing/publishing journey.

    Do you have a follower goal in mind?

    I honestly didn’t expect to gain a single follower, so definitely not. I’d love more, but I’m so happy with the number I have (around 320) and I’m grateful to anyone who finds my rambling interesting enough to read!

    What advice would you give to your beginner blog self?

    Interact with other similar blogs, chat in the comments and take part in blog hops and memes!

    Where is the best place you have visited?

    I’ve been lucky enough to visit so many amazing places. Rome is absolutely stunning, so much history and beauty in one city. Italy on the whole is amazing, Pompeii was fascinating and Venice is obviously gorgeous. If I could only visit one country ever again for the rest of my life it would be Italy. For the food and wine alone!

    Who is the most inspirational person in your life?

    My mum. Is that really lame? She’s the person I look up to most, our paths and ambitions are completely different, but I see how hard she’s worked to get to where she is and I’m really proud of her, and hope I’m just as successful in my own way one day.

    What is your favourite book or movie genre?

    My favourite book genre is fantasy, but I’ve got really eclectic taste in movies. I love sci-fi/fantasy, but I also like suspenseful thrillers and crime, superhero movies, slushy chick flicks and comedies. I’ll watch almost anything if it’s a good story. I’m trying to branch out a bit more with my reading as I know I’m probably missing out by being so selective!

    If you could write yourself in to a book or movie, which one would you be a character in?

    Harry Potter, every day of the week.

     

    Do you like going to concerts?

    I do, I love concerts, I go with my Dad mainly and my younger brother too. I used to always be at small indie gigs, or seeing whoever was playing the Student Union that week. Nowadays I go to some sit down City Hall concerts as well as grungy dive bar gigs.

    What is one food you absolutely hate?

    Artichoke *gags*.

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    Nominations

    I’ve been away for a while so I’m a little (OK, a lot) out of the loop right now, that’s why I’m not going to nominate eleven bloggers, I’m just going to leave this one as an open invitation. I’ll give my eleven questions so anyone who fancies having a go at this award can answer those and just tag me in your post so I can come and see it!

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    Eleven Questions…

    1. Name a blogger you admire and whose blog you love.
    2. If you had to blog about something else, what would your new blog subject be?
    3. Do your family and IRL friends know about your blog, and do they read it?
    4. What was your favourite book as a child?
    5. How do you feel about book to movie/TV adaptations?
    6. What’s your dream job?
    7. Where’s the last place you went on vacation?
    8. What are you hoping for this Christmas?
    9. How did you meet your best friend?
    10. If you could have any superpower what would it be?
    11. What would your superhero name be?

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And there you have it! I can’t wait to read your answers and get to know you all a little better, don’t forget to tag me in your posts 🙂

 

Lyndsey

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Beautiful People – Author edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Beautiful People, hosted by the fabulous Sky at Further up and further in and Cait at Paper Fury! Beautiful People is a monthly link up for writers that helps us get into our character’s heads by answering ten different questions about them each month. This month’s questions are a little different, though. In July, we’re zooming in on the author with ten questions about our writing process.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Beautiful People linkup for writers

How do you decide which project to work on?

So far I’ve written one novel and started another, and I keep my plot bunnies saved in OneNote for when I’m finished with the project I’m currently working on. I actually combined a few ideas from my notes to create the second MS, so I guess it was a case of choosing which plot bunny felt the most intriguing and trying to flesh it out by interweaving other ideas. Luckily, several of my plot bunnies could be combined, which made my choice so much easier!

My first novel is fantasy, and the second is a sort of contemporary with elements of magical realism/fantasy. I want to try a few different genres until I really find my niche. I might try horror next!

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How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

As I’ve only written one novel so far, I’ll say about nine months, because that’s how long it’s taken me, but to be honest it isn’t finished yet. I’m submitting it to Pitch Wars in the hopes a mentor will work with me to edit and revise my MS until it’s near perfect, and that will take until November. Even then, an agent or publisher might require more edits. So a long time. But I’m hoping that with each project I’ll get faster and faster at drafting and revising.

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Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

I make a cup of tea, make sure I’m comfortable and have everything I need at arm’s length so I won’t have to get up for a while, and I’m one of the odd people who need background noise so I put something on Netflix. If I’m struggling with a scene or plot point I like to take the dog for a walk and think about it while I get some exercise and appreciate nature. Maybe that’s strange, I need silence to think about my story, and noise to create it.

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What time of day do you write best?

I am such a night owl, I don’t even function early in the morning, and if I’ve had a bad night’s sleep forget it. I love long and quiet weekends to just sit at the laptop for hours on end (with breaks to walk the dog and eat, of course), but generally I don’t get into a groove until late afternoon, early evening, and then I can keep going until the early hours.

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Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?

I honestly couldn’t say! I’d love to be compared to a famous author, it would be the greatest compliment, but I’m not sure who I think my writing is similar to.

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Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?

I’ve always written, whether short stories or poems as a kid, blogs and essays as an adult. Novels have always been one of my favourite things in the world, but I never imagined I could write one until about a year ago. I started to get an idea for a story, and the more I thought about it (while walking the dog, doing the dishes, waiting to fall asleep) the more I knew I needed to write it. I realised I can Google absolutely anything when I need an answer to a question or a tutorial for fixing something, so surely there must be blogs and articles about how to write a novel. I was right, the internet is full of amazing bloggers and writers sharing the craft. So I started to read everything I could, using it to outline and plot my novel, and eventually I stumbled upon the writing community on Twitter, discovered NaNoWriMo, and all the other online competitions for writers.

In a nutshell, I started writing because I got an idea for a story that nagged me every waking minute and wouldn’t go away, and I keep writing because I’ve fallen in love with the craft and found my tribe.

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What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?

It would have to be something about myself, my Uni application personal statement or a job application, because I’m absolutely horrible at selling myself, I’m so shy and anxious. Writing fictional stories is easy in comparison to writing something true and honest about myself.

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Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?

I’d absolutely love to write a multi book series, but it’s so daunting. The way authors like J.K. Rowling and Sarah J. Maas weave hints and foreshadowing through early books about what will happen much later into the series, it’s an art form and I’m nowhere near skilled enough to plan that far ahead and execute it well at the moment. One day, hopefully! At the moment, I’m thinking one book at a time, as debut authors almost never get multi book series deals, so my MS The Fair Queen is ‘a standalone with series potential’ and I’ve got a few ideas for the sequel(s) up my sleeve.

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What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?

I only started writing this time last year, so my goals weren’t really conscious or set in stone, but I wanted to complete my first novel, revise it, and start querying by the end of 2017. I’m entering Pitch Wars next week (submission window opens in 3 days!!!) so I’m a good way to achieving my goals, as if I get in I’ll get to work with a mentor for two months and then pitch agents in November. If I don’t get in, I’ll work on my MS for a couple more months anyway and start querying before Christmas.

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Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!

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If you’re just starting out as a writer or looking for blogs to help you improve your craft, check out some of my favourite writer/bloggers and their amazing words of wisdom:

If it weren’t for these three awesome ladies I wouldn’t be anywhere near ready to enter Pitch Wars and I’d probably have given up writing after 10k words.

I’m hoping to have more time to post once my Pitch Wars submission has gone, but if I get in I might be a bit AWOL for most of September and October too (plus I’m going to Asia for ten days in September! So excited :-D)

Lyndsey

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Fight like a YA girl tag

I was tagged by the fabulous Eva @ Brilliantly Bookish to do the Fight Like a YA Girl tag, which was created by Krysti @ Wine and YA. If you don’t already follow both of these awesome ladies, go check out their blogs now!

Fight like a tag

THE RULES

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator Krysti at YA and Wine
  • Match at least one YA girl with each of the themes below.
  • Tag as many people as you like!

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Warrior girls

The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins

Katniss from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

If Katniss Everdeen isn’t a warrior, I don’t know who is. Volunteering to replace her younger sister in the Hunger Games, fighting twenty two other teens to the death to be crowned co-victor alongside Peeta. Her survival skills, as well as her abilities with a bow and arrow, are second to none. She’s compassionate and kind, as well as brave and clever, and that to me is the hallmark of a real warrior.

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Girls who fight with their mind

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone J. K. Rowling

Hermione from Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

There is one girl in particular who comes to mind when I think of girls who fight with their mind, and that is of course Hermione Granger. If it hadn’t been for her, Harry and Ron would have been killed in book one. Her book smarts and willingness to do the research always saved the day (especially in book two!). Rather than being a love interest, or a damsel in distress type character, Hermione brought so much to the trio and the story wouldn’t have been the same without her.

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Girls who fight with their heart

City of Bones Cassandra Clare

Clary from The Mortal Instruments by Cassie Clare

I can’t think of a YA heroine with more heart than Clary Fray. She’s got so much love to give, whether it’s her mother, her father-figure Luke, her best friend Simon, her new Shadowhunter friends (who are more like family), or Jace. While the series contains a lot of conflict and fighting, it almost always comes down to love and kindness winning the day. Clary’s answer is always to be more understanding, more generous and less judgemental when it comes to resolving conflict.

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Girls who are trained fighters

Nevernight Jay Kristoff Lyndsey's Book Blog

Mia from Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

It was actually quite difficult to think of any female characters who are trained fighters, it usually seems to be that the boys are trained fighters and the girls are naturally-talented, special snowflakes, if they can fight at all. Mia Corvere from Nevernight was the only girl that I could think of from my recent reading, and boy is she a good example. The training she undergoes in the Red Church couldn’t be more intense and dangerous, she literally loses limbs and almost dies several times, but she manages to get through it and comes out as an incredibly skilled fighter.

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Strong girls of colour

Six of Crows Leigh Bardugo

Inej from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Inej is one of the strongest women in all of literature, let alone WoC, after everything she has been through and the hope and love she’s still capable of. Growing up as an acrobat before her family were slaughtered and she was thrown into a brothel and forced into prostitution, and then being rescued by Kaz and employed as his spy for the Dregs. How she manages to keep her dream alive of owning a boat and sailing anywhere she wants with her own crew is beyond me. She’s a warrior queen.

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Girls who fight to survive

Divergent Veronica Roth

Tris from Divergent by Veronica Roth

Being divergent, Tris is in danger if she’s ever found out, so she seems to be fighting for survival from the very beginning. Gradually, it becomes more about doing what’s right and overthrowing the corrupt rulers, exposing the truth etc. but mainly it’s about her own survival.

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Girls who are weapons masters

And I Darken Kiersten White

Lada from And I Darken by Kiersten White

Lada is probably the most accomplished female soldier I’ve read about, she’s certainly the strongest willed and bravest of YA heroines I’ve come across. She practically forces the soldiers to train her and eventually takes charge of the army, successfully earning the men’s respect and loyalty. And this series is set in the 15th century, making it all the more impressive. I know it’s a Vlad the Impaler reimagining, but I’m really hoping the sequel will broach the whole Dracula aspect of Vlad’s legend!

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Girls with kick-butt magical powers

Throne of Glass Sarah J. Maas

Aelin from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I couldn’t do a list about feisty and strong YA heroines without including Aelin Ashryver-Galathynius, now could I? Her fire powers are so epic that there is no bottom to her well of power and she is at risk of getting lost if she delves too deep. Just look at what happened towards the end of Empire of Storms! She’s a goddess, wink wink.

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Strong girls in contemporary novels

The Hate U Give Angie Thomas

Starr from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I’m cheating a bit here because I haven’t actually read this yet, but I’m doing a buddy read starting next week and it’s sitting on my shelf staring at me. From the reviews and tweets I’ve read, Starr sounds like a phenomenal heroine, and I’m really looking forward to getting to know her next month!

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Seriously fierce girls

A Court of Wings and Ruin Sarah J Maas Lyndsey's Book Blog

Nesta from A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Of course I had to include this incredible, kickass woman in this list. I really didn’t like Nesta in book one, she started to soften slightly in book two, but in book three she became a truly strong and selfless woman and one of my favourite characters in the ACOTAR series. I wish she’d had more chance to build relationships (you know the one I mean!) but her character arc was perfect, she really grew and changed over the course of the three books, and that will have to do (for now…).

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Most anticipated book with a strong leading lady

Godsgrave Jay Kristoff Now I Rise Kiersten White

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff & Now I Rise by Kiersten White

Cheating again! I can’t decide which of these books I’m looking forward to more. Now I Rise was released last week, and Godsgrave comes out in September, but who knows when I’ll actually get round to reading them both! #TBRproblems

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And there you have it! OK, I tag Breeny @ Breeny’s Books and Lia @ Lost in a Story. If anyone else fancies giving this tag a try have at it, and don’t forget to tag me so I can read your posts!

I’m taking part in Camp Nano this month, so I won’t be posting quite as much as usual, but normal scheduling will resume in August (which is my birthday month!).

 

Lyndsey

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