Straight talk from the sisters about blood, sweat and ink
Weekend Coffee Share – Blogger Award Q&A
If we were having coffee, we’d tell you winning a blog award – the Liebster Award – made our week. It’s a fun award and came to us from a blogger we adore. Big shout-out to Sara Letourneau for nominating us. If you don’t read her author blog, or one of the many blogs she contributes to (like DIY MFA), make plans to correct this oversight ASAP.
The rules of this award are simple: thank the nominating person (Thanks, Sara!), answer their wonderful questions, and pass some questions on to other deserving bloggers.
So grab a coffee and some biscotti and get ready to learn all about us!
Here we go:
1. Why do you blog?
R: Heather and I were in a critique group together for about a year and a half before we decided to give blogging together a shot. It was mostly my idea, and I did a tad of arm twisting. I didn’t relish the idea of running a blog alone; I didn’t feel confident enough to jump off the blogging cliff without a friend holding my hand. Now we both love it. There’s nothing better than the wonderful friends we’ve made in the blogging community.
H: Yep! Robin definitely twisted my arm, but I’m so glad she did for the reasons she mentioned above. Plus, I like the way blogging about writing forces me to keep learning and evaluating my craft.
2. What was the last good book you read? Why did you enjoy it?
R: Heather and I both read mostly YA books (since that’s what we write) and our tastes are similar. I just read Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson. It wasn’t so much that I enjoyed the story (it’s very dark and unsettling) but it had power! I felt emotionally drained after finishing it, as if I had lived the experiences with the characters. That is good writing!
H: I just finished UNWHOLLY, the second book in the Unwind series by Neal Shusterman, and I loved it! A lot is going on in both of these novels (many characters and many plotlines), but Shusterman manages to weave them all together in ways that are exciting, surprising, and thought-provoking. I wholeheartedly recommend these books!
3. In your opinion, are film adaptations of novels as good as the original? Not as good? Or better? Why?
R: I think any time you pull apart a huge novel and try to tease out the 90 – 120 minute highlights version, things tend to go wrong! It seldom comes close to a well-loved book for me. But as long as the essence of the characters stays true, I’m willing to overlook a lot. The Hunger Games films have been darn good. Great casting, (with a few unnamed exceptions) striking sets, and can I just say, fabulous costumes.
H: A question close to my heart! As a screenwriter now writing a novel, I’m learning firsthand the differences between the two mediums. Some novels are easy to adapt to film, while others are not. My favourite adaptation of all time is HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. I read the book first, and it’s a cute, fun and adventurous read, and though there is action, a lot of the hero’s journey is internal. Internal journeys do not translate easily to film. But the screenwriters who adapted the first Dragon film did it perfectly – they kept the novel’s heart and characters and setting, but rewrote the story to create a more filmic, action-orientated plot. And it was brilliant! If they’d tried to write a faithful adaptation of the novel, it would not have worked as well.
4. What is the kindest or most compassionate thing someone has done for you?
R: My husband is my rock. When we started dating my parents were getting a divorce. He ended up helping my whole family through what was one of the worst times in our lives. He did everything from moving furniture, to helping my mom figure out her finances. By the time it was over I knew he was a total keeper.
H: This is a tough question, but I’d have to go with something my grandmother acknowledged was happening in my life during my teen years. I won’t get into the whole story, but it meant the world to me and kept me sane.
5. Do you use bookmarks while reading? What are you currently using for a bookmark(s)?
R: I mostly use an e-reader, but I have a few bookmarks my kids made that I love. One of my favorites is a bookworm. It has plastic eyes and loads of gooey green paint. It’s a total mom magnet!
H: Uh, I generally just use the slip of paper from the library with the due date on it. 😉
6. What is your favorite book cover design of all time? Why? Share a picture / image of it, if it’s possible.
R: I’m a sucker for illustrated covers. I think they’re more interesting than most photo covers. One that stands out for me is the old green cover of The Hobbit. There is something iconic about it.
H: I don’t have a favourite cover, though I prefer graphic covers over people photos on covers. I am so over the girl’s-face-on-a-book trend. It makes all the YA books look the same! In fact, I bought the more expensive hardcover version of IF I STAY just to avoid the paperback version which has a girl’s face on it.
7. Have you ever read about a real place on Earth in a book (fiction or non-fiction) and wanted to visit it afterwards? If so, which place?
R: Yes, too many places to name them all. I’ll go with Alaska. It made for a perfect adventure vacation, and it’s one I will never forget.
H: Do imaginary places count? Because I wanted to go to Hogwarts!
R: Can I change my answer? I want Hogwarts!
8. What is your favorite season? Why?
R: I would say Fall. The days are cool, but not cold. There is still enough daylight for all the outdoor things I like to do, hike and camp. Plus there are apples and nuts to harvest, perfect for my baking. I tend to bake a lot in the cooler months. Yum! Also, Fall is a hopeful and happy season; the holidays are coming and the kids are so excited.
H: Summer. All my best hand-me-down clothes are for the summer season. Sadly, with two measly months of summer in Canada, I rarely get a chance to wear them. Plus, I hate being cold. The only good thing about winter is bragging rights (I survived biking in minus 30 degrees Celsius!) and the fact that it makes you really appreciate summer.
9. 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?
R: I would call it more oddball than hidden, but I’m a low visibility (black water) SQUBA diver, and I have worked on archeological teams looking for shipwrecks.
H: Robin’s talent is awesome! Um, there’s not much about me that I haven’t shared on this blog, unless we want to dig into my childhood on the farm. Then I would confess that I am a darn good cowgirl. I had a pony who used to spook at any loud noise (so, like, every time we went for a ride) and jump very suddenly sideways, throwing me out of the saddle, but I always landed on my feet. Always. I guess you could say that’s a hidden talent that. Until now, only my mom knew. 😉
10. Are you picky about the writing utensils you use? Do you prefer pens or pencils? Any specific brand or style?
R: I like pens, in particular the ones with ultra fine tips and gel ink. My two favorite pens are a Mont Blanc my late mother-in-law gave me, and one covered in Egyptian hieroglyphs and pictures.
H: Pens over pencils, but no specific type. Whatever still has ink in it will do.
11. What is one thing you’re grateful for today?
R: A break in the heat wave. It might sound insignificant to some, but after several days in the 110 range, I’m a mess. Stepping outside everyday was like living in a hot yoga session that never ends!
H: My health. It’s been a rough month mentally and work-wise, but no matter what else is going on, at least I’m healthy.
Now for our questions:
1. If you could instantaneously master one writing skill, what would you choose and why?
2. What author’s style do you admire the most?
3. Have you ever revealed too much about yourself or family in your book or blog, or is every topic fair game?
4. What is the most memorable writing comment you’ve ever gotten? It can be the best, or worst; you decide.
5. When is your muse most active? Are you a night owl, or a member of the 5am club?
6. Have you ever given a book a 1 star review? If so, why? No book titles, please. : )
7. What is the next big thing you want to write about?
8. Do you have any writing rituals? If not, name one thing that always makes you excited to write?
9. What is the single most important quality in a novel, what must an author do to win you over?
10. If you could magically fix one problem with your current WIP, what would you fix?
11. If your blog, or a book suddenly made you rich and famous, what would you do with your success?
Finding a blog without a Liebster Award is no easy trick. Today, we are just throwing open the nomination. Pick one of these questions and tell us a little bit about yourself in the comments. After all, the best part of awards is finding out fun facts about other bloggers.
Thanks for having coffee with us!
If We Were Having Coffee is a blog hop inspired and run by the lovely and talented Diana at Part Time Monster. Please drop by her place for coffee. You can also see what other bloggers are up to by checking out the hashtag #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.