Friday, August 7, 2015

Liebster Award Challenge 2015 PART I

The fabulous Sara Letourneau and the equally fabulous Paein and Ms4Tune nominated me for the Liebster Award Challenge! I decided to answer all the questions in two consecutive posts. I'll include my nominations and questions in the second part. Thanks so much for nominating me!

If you want to see Sara's questions and answers, click here. For Paein and Ms4Tunes, here. What's a Liebster? There is a really good write up here. Basically, you give other bloggers shout outs (and post ideas!), and it's a fun challenge, win-win, right? Here are the rules for this particular Liebster Award Challenge:
  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
  3. Nominate 11 blogs that you think are deserving of the award.
  4. Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
  5. Give them 11 questions to answer.

Since Sara tagged me first, I'll start with hers :) Sara gave us (her nominees) these 11 questions (and it should be really fun reading other people's answers, which I fully intend to do).

LIEBSTER QUESTIONS and ANSWERS PART I:

  1. Why do you blog?

I love to write, and I love to geek out about books. Unfortunately, I rarely meet people who have read the same books! The online community, on the other hand, has read just about everything. Blogging also forces me to write, and to consider my “audience.” Since I am a novelist, this is good practice, and it tells me a lot about myself and the people who read/comment. Even if no one reads a post, it’s still valuable practice.

  1. What was the last good book you read? Why did you enjoy it?

The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson! Beautiful prose, fascinating magic system, epic story, good characters, and a heist: basically the recipe for a Rebekah favorite. Bonus: a strong, flawed and unique female lead, and an equally flawed, strong and fun male lead, who had an Obi-Wan and Luke relationship, as opposed to a romantic one. Kelsier and Vin stole my heart (among other things - they are thieves).

  1. In your opinion, are film adaptations of novels as good as the original? Not as good? Or better? Why?

SO MUCH WORSE. With some very notable exceptions, such as The Princess Bride, movies always seem to sap what I loved from a story, while adding nonsense. And I go see them, almost every time, which makes it like some sort of loop. I feel like miniseries and TV shows have done much better, as they have the time to develop characters properly. How much I love/hate a movie is also directly dependent on how much I love/hated a book. I am going to set myself up for tomato-ing here by declaring that I liked the movie of Inkheart better than the book. But that is an incredibly rare exception.

  1. What is the kindest or most compassionate thing someone has done for you?

Hard question, Sara! I know a lot of wonderful, giving people. The one that first popped out to me may seem silly: I was probably about twelve, awkward, prickly, introverted, and really standoffish, but there was a Sunday School teacher/retired Public school teacher, Mrs. Grush, who battered down my don't-mess-with-me exterior with exceptional patience and kindness. She believed in me 100%, and encouraged me to keep writing and drawing and reading, and she became my friend. She was one of my only friends at the time, and she really helped me believe in myself/my gifts.

  1. Do you use bookmarks while reading? What are you currently using for a bookmark(s)?

Yes. I read 5+ books at a time and I like to know where I am (so I don’t waste time looking). Currently, I am using 2 actual bookmarks, 3 receipts, and 4 random pieces of paper.

  1. What is your favorite book cover design of all time? Why? Share a picture/image of it, if it’s possible.

These questions are hard, in a good way. I am basically reliving my past 26 years trying to make sure my answers are accurate (and forgive me if I cheat a little). My favorite illustrated book of all time is the Book of Kells. Though I've never been to Dublin, the images and illustrations from this have influenced me artistically for over a decade. Seeing the real thing is on my bucket list. My favorite classic book covers is this 1978 special edition of The Lord of the Rings. This is one of my favorite/most influential novels, and I think this cover captures some of what I love about it. From the Tree of Gondor and the stars, to the wings and the ring, it is beautiful, mysterious, and it looks like the epic saga LOTR is.
Copyright Harper Collins 1978
Polish. Copyright 2016, Modernista
Also Polish. Copyright Egmont, 2013
My favorite contemporary covers are the alternate international covers for The Lunar Chronicles. While the U. S. editions are pretty enough, the international ones are gorgeous! For example:
Russian. Copyright ACT, 2015

  1. Have you ever read about a real place on Earth in a book (fiction or nonfiction) and wanted to visit it afterwards? If so, which place?

All. The. Time. Basically, if I read a book set in a real place, I want to go there. I am the walking definition of Fernweh. This has been a constant of my life. I first started checking out library books on everywhere as a kid (6 years old, mind you), in lieu of being able to go there.

  1. What is your favorite season? Why?

Finally, an easy question. Autumn/Fall is obviously the best season. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.
I could write a book about how much I love fall, but I’ll try to restrain myself. From that smoky, crunchy leaf smell, to the crisp air, profusion of apples, and the vivid, fiery colors of leaves, fall could last all year and I wouldn’t be sorry. Bonfires, Halloween costumes, LEAF PILES, death to allergies, harvest, Thanksgiving, PIE, world on fire. Seriously, Michigan autumn looks like fairyland. And then there is that bittersweet melancholy, or nostalgia to it, you know? Spring is young, summer is prime, winter is death or sleep (or just peaceful), but fall is age, wisdom, wistfulness for youth without the finality of winter.
You really had to ask me, didn't you . . .

  1. Do you have a “hidden talent”? By that, I mean a talent that you haven’t had a chance to share with others online or in your blog yet. What is that talent?

Weeeell, I’m sort of a “Jack of all trades, master of none,” type. I pick up hobbies like dogs pick up fleas. I get proficient, and then, I get distracted. I wish I could say I was one of those awesome people who have a black belt in ninjitsu, or can do the crow yoga pose, but that would be embellishing the truth (a lot). Sooo, well, I can produce complete meals from almost-empty fridges and pantries. If you can eat it, I can probably make it edible. Is that a talent, or more of a survival skill?

  1. Are you picky about the writing utensils you use? Do you prefer pens or pencils? Any specific brand or style?

Not really. When desperate, I have written whole chapters with crayons or runny markers. In a perfect world, I would have endless supplies of gel pens in all the colors of the wind. Gel pens are my favorite.

  1. What is one thing you’re grateful for today?

My family. I have a lot of siblings, and parents who love me. I have a precious little niece with super-chubby cheeks, and I know both sets of grandparents. I have lots of cousins and aunts and uncles, and I like them too. So even if I lost my job, or the world ended, or my computer crashes for the twentieth time in thirty days, I have all of those beautiful people in my life right now and they all need to know that I am grateful for them.

Thanks again Sara! Stay tuned for Attack of the Liebster, Part II, coming soon. I'll include all of the lovely people I tagged, and play master of questions, as well.

Thanks for reading!