With less than a week to Bloggers Bash in  London I thought this was a perfect time to introduce myself a little bit more through this Writer Q & A tag. Many thanks to Marje at K Y R O S M A G I C A for nominating me. She has a lovely varied blog and it’s always a delight to read her posts. Do pop over and have a look for yourselves.  Now to the Q & A Tag:

  1. If you met a sexy vampire what would you do? Hook up, get the garlic and crosses out or run a mile?

nosefratuBlimey, what a corker of a first question! Can vampires be sexy? The only time they’ve crossed my path is seeing Count Orlak in the 1920s film Nosferatu – definitely not sexy, just creepy so guess I’d…ruuuuunnnn!

2. What’s your favourite genre of book and why?

sisterGlancing at my bookshelves I must admit to a predominance of what is called ‘romantic fiction’. However in that case I feel the likes of Jojo Moyes and Jodi Picoult bring that genre up a notch. Overall I read a lot of literary fiction, also some fantasy, YA books as well as humour books for light entertainment. Recently Nick Spalding’s books have been perfect for a good laugh wrapped around an easy going story.  Books I will not touch are horror – reading Cujo as a teenager was bad enough!

3. Who is/are your favourite author (s) , poet (s)? What is it about them that inspires you?

This is an impossible question! I like so many authors for various reasons…

4. If you had to control a classroom of year 6 kids would you bail, or enjoy the challenge? Would you be (a.)  too undisciplined to do so, you’d just join in the general mayhem, (b.) enjoy bossy them around, or (c.) pray in a corner for the bell to sound.

teacherI can be a bit  bossy, so would probably be (b.)  but with fun, laughter and silliness thrown in. I spent time helping in my son’s classroom from time to time and luckily never had to supervise more than ten at a time.

5. What made you become a writer/blogger? Do your family support you or do they think you’re crazy, bored,  attention seeking, or all of these? Tell us a bit about your current WIP and/or books…

blog2Like so many I started the blog as I’d read you need a ‘platform’ as a writer. Very quickly and to my joy I discovered it was so much more – the interaction with other bloggers is wonderful and the epitome of blogging.

Luckily my family are cheering me along all the way…although it’s my son who now reminds me of the no-devices-at-the-table rule! Abashed I will switch off and place it out reach. Blogging is strangely addictive.

Earlier this year I was overjoyed to have completed my first/second draft of my first novel. Island Girl is about a girl, Anna, growing up on an island off the coast of Sweden. Initially this is a paradise for her but as she matures the very island she loves, threatens to become her prison.

6. What is the most awful job and/or experience you’ve ever done/had?

I just realised that I have been very fortunate and actually enjoyed most of the jobs I’ve had. The toughest was a summer job spent baby-sitting for a couple’s two young children. I loved the job itself but it became increasingly stressful and tricky as the extremely naughty five-year-old boy was allowed to boss and hurt his three-year-old sister with impunity. Whenever I tried to put a stop to it I was reprimanded! My heart went out to the poor girl and I do wonder what the future held for her.

7. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Does this spill out onto other parts of your life? Are you generally organised/disorganised?

virgoI’m not sure if it’s to do with being a Virgo but I am known for being very organised in my life. Around the home, planning trips, dealing with finances and always at work. Beware anyone who dared touch or alter my working system.

first-draftWith this in mind it was a surprise to myself that although my novel was sketched in my mind I started writing without a written plan. Early on though I realised this was not the best way to go – my timeline was all over the place, I kept forgetting names, events and so quickly I developed a quasi plotter/panster method using Scrivener which worked well for me! I do use their cork boards and don’t know if I could have finished without them!

8. Do you believe in Ghosts? Fate? Love at First Sight? Fairies? Psychic happenings?Numerology, Mermaids, The Loch Ness Monster, Demons…etc…

bullarI definitely believe in elements beyond our very limited realm and have had many experiences of ‘something’. In one of the houses I grew up, the lovely smell of home-baking would fill the dining room -although no one was even in the kitchen. Also a warm draft of air would pleasantly waft across my legs. Talking to older neighbours we learnt that the original house’s kitchen and oven were exactly in the place these incidents took place. Spooky but a gentle genial ghost I felt…

9. What is the worst haircut/clothes/hats you’ve ever had/worn? Photos please, or describe in vivid detail…

chick.jogMy worst hat incident occurred after I won the best made Christmas hat competition whilst at primary school. I learnt a valuable lesson that Easter – never set the bar too high at the start!  My concept was brilliant – I glowed with expectation. My hat, at first just a cardboard frame, would become the Easter chick of all Easter hats. I painted – yellow. I glued on feathers like a demon. The more I glued, the worst it looked. By then it was too late and taking it in to school (in a carrier bag!) the teacher encouraged me to place the hat on my head. I wish I could have put the bag over my head instead! The whole class, including the teacher burst into laughter. I doubt I’ve offered so much hilarity to anyone since. As tears ran down my friends cheeks I put the offending hat back into the bag. But no, it had to go on the display table…

10. Please finish this sentence with more than three extra words: Life is one foot in and one foot out, you ….

often trip up. The key is to get up, stumble along and hopefully soon enough you’ll be navigating this life safety, with joy, excitement and contentment.



62 thoughts on “THE WRITER Q & A TAG

  1. Incredibly interesting post. Everything you wrote about, invoked a pleasant picture in my mind ! Hearing about ‘Island Girl’ has made me curios. And reading about your memorable hat just made me grin 🙂

    1. Oh no, not the hat!! I still cringe every time I’m reminded about it! So glad you’re interested by ‘Island Girl’…always tricky to describe a book in just a couple of sentences. So glad you enjoyed the post, Prabhat!😃

      1. Haha! Yes in two lines you made me curious enough! Because while I often think of solitude being pleasant, I also get dreaded by extremity of it, hence the theme attracted me! 🙂 I really enjoyed reading! You are most welcome! 🙂

  2. I came back to write some of the same interests you have are mine. One particular area is romantic fiction. Although it doesn’t start out a romance, I wish to recommend a historical fiction book by Tara Conklin called, “The House Girl.” It has a young slave girl who is raised to help the mistress taken from the slave quarters to live in the house, along with a modern young female attorney who wants to find justice about a painting which is given credit for the mistress painting it. The attorney is also pursuing a class action suit as part of the Reparation Act. The two stories are so unique but intersect in a wonderful way. Annika, you have such a great blog here, I will go read whet you wrote about “Doll God.” I grew up one state away from Luanne. I just bought her book, by donating to her no kill shelter, which is such a great “cause.” Take care and thanks for liking my flower and house pictures and posts. 🙂

    1. Robin, wow, thank you for your great comment! I feel humbled and so glad you enjoy my blog – I do so love yours too. Thank you also for the book recommendation – from just this short description you have me hooked and I’m off to buy! A natural reviewer!

    1. Oh no, definitely no pictures!! I mentioned this hat to my mother the other day and oddly enough she has no recollection of it whatsoever. Was it that hideous?!! Or have I blown this incident out of all proportion…but then I remember the class reaction…

  3. Hi Annika…. I love this questions and answers challenge… The answer concerning the sexy vampires made me laugh…Also, I like what you said as reply to question seven… I guess writing can have an effect of splitting, at least to a certain extent… Sending love and best wishes. Aquileana 😉

    1. What I’ve found is that writing becomes its own force and each project develops its own methods and parameters. Your posts are so detailed and informative I imagine a huge amount of planning for those? As to vampires I feel I’ve just missed the boat totally on these! Rather sad and funny I had to revert to an old 1920s movie! (Not that I’m THAT old!!) Many thanks for your great comment. 😀

  4. Sorry to be so late reading this post Annika. And of course, I’m reading it post-bash. Will comment on your next post in light of this. But just to say I so enjoyed reading all your wonderful answers here. You have a wonderfully colourful and entertaining way of writing that I just love. I honestly can’t wait to read Island Girl. I can’t help feeling sad about that little girl having her brother bully her like that…like you, I wonder what happened as she grew up? And your Easter hat…oh, how mortifying. I would run from a vampire like that too…although if he looked like Eric Nordman in True Blood I would think otherwise for sure lol! Great quotes, especially the one at the end 🙂 xx

    1. Sherri, thank you for your lovely reply. I’m now going to check out who this Eric Nordman is! I really must get more up to date with my vampires! Thank you too for being an eager reader for my book…knowing that is such an inspiration and warms my heart. The Easter Hat was beyond mortifying…counselling wouldn’t have gone amiss afterwards!! 😀 Up there with turning up as a ballerina for Halloween (this in the days before Halloween was just fancy dress which is what my mother believed!). Hope you’re having a relaxing weekend. xx

  5. First of all, thank you for liking my posts. I was sorry I fell behind and missed your loss post. I am saddened to hear of your father in law. I am glad you have so much to carty your heart (husband, memories and roses. . . )
    It will be exciting, Annika, to have your first book completed. Island Girl will be an excellent book to introduce to so many! ❤
    My Grandpa's parents fell in love (in Sweden) and came to America to live in Rockport, Massachusetts where it was rocky yet no fjords! 🙂
    Take care and sending you hugs.

    1. Robin, no apology needed at all! I’m just the same, particularly at the moment – but saw your posts about the church, its doors and celtic cross and just loved them. Yes, family and friends carry us through these difficult times. Thank you so much for you warm comments about Island Girl!!!😀 Are your grandparents Swedish?! Have you ever been to Sweden yourself? Long way I know. Lovely to learn a bit about them. Many thanks for your lovely comment and hugs back to you. xx

      1. My Grandfather was Swedish, but he met my Grandmother in NYC. She was born in Germany. He was attending the NY Technical school and became an engineer. They met on a street corner while he was passing out pamphlets about socialism, sharing wealth, medical care and helping others, he felt would make our country in an idealistic way. My Grandma stood and listened to his “speech” and then, stood there and listened a second time. She said she fell in love right there on the street corner. He asked if she had a question and she bravely said, “Yes, will you go have a cup of coffee with me?”<3
        I wrote their love story, my great grandparents love story, my parents and aunt and uncle's love stories on my blog. Isn't it funny when you find out such unique family personal information!?
        Annika, my Mom has been to Euroebut I have only been to Spain, Portugal and Mexico as a Spanish Club high school student. My heritage on my Dad's side of the family is Scotch and English. So, only one quarter Swedish. . . xo

        1. This is such a beautiful tale – what an amazing story and woman. To fall in love on a street corner and then have the courage to ask him out for a cup of coffee. I imagine this was the start of a wonderful life…

  6. Thanks for joiningin with the tag Annika. Nice answers especially loved how you completed the last sentence. Sorry to hear about your reason for not coming to the bash. I was wondering about that…

    1. I must admit that last sentence was the toughest and I had to go for a walk and think about it. Great questions and I thoroughly enjoyed this tag!

      Marje, I was so looking forward to seeing you and everyone at the Bash – hard to miss it but sad difficult time at the moment as your understand. Lots to sort and emotionally quiet. Hopefully next year.

  7. Pingback: LOSS – Annika Perry's Writing Blog

  8. Great questions and answers, Annika! What great insight into you! I’m a kindred spirit when it comes to #7. I only started outlining when I started participating in NaNoWriMo, and I learned the value of it. Scrivener came much later 😉 Enjoy the Bash–wish I could be a fly on the wall–it’d be loads of fun 😀

    1. Thank you, Julie and phew, glad to meet a fellow writer who started out with no planning at all. 😀 I understand for NaNoWriMo you have to plan as there is no let up at all. Well done for taking part in that – a marathon I thought about and shied away from! Cheers to ‘kindred spirist’ and your bossy muse!

    1. Thank you Rod. I must admit I hadn’t heard of the term ‘pantser’ until I started blogging. I had to look up the proper definition = “flies by the seat of their pants,” meaning they don’t plan out anything, or plan very little.

    1. JC, I was thinking just the same as I started to answer the questions – how did she think of all these? No. 10 was unusual but I loved that it gave me a chance to pause and think…also many questions prompted some wonderful memories. Still thrown by the vampire question though!

  9. Annika, what a neat and fun interview! I enjoyed reading it. I am a substitute teacher so I can relate to both joining the mayhem and praying in the corner…I’m outnumbered, ha ha. I would run from the vampires also. My sister scarred me for life when she took me to a horrible vampire movie when I was about 9 years old. I loved your ghost story, too 🙂

    1. Lana, part of the ghost story actually made it into one of my short stories – it is very atmospheric and reading things like this gives me goosebumps! As far as vampires goes I feel I must have been blind to their popularity over the last few (decades??) years! I am so impressed with all teachers – having helped in my son’s classroom I was absolutely shattered after a day as well as very hoarse! Well done for doing such an important vital job – a good teacher can affect someone’s whole life – absolutely critical.

      1. I was going to say that that ghost story is so cool that you had to use it somewhere! I don’t have one myself, but my significant other has several. I think some people are more open to that (now I sound like a TV show, lol). Vampires, right? I think many of just couldn’t see that coming. I ask myself many times, why couldn’t I have been the one to dream of sparkling vampires. Teaching is tough for sure but then there is summer to recuperate 😀

  10. Oh, Annika. I just loved this post. Learning more about you has been delightful. We do have a lot in common–besides writing and Swedish heritage. Your wit and humor are contagious and I’m so glad we’ve become friends. Looking forward to reading Island Girl and will be delighted to help with the launch when you’re ready. Meanwhile, have a Blast at the Bloggers’ Bash and enjoy the magical moments as they appear day to day. Thanks for sharing… 🙂

    1. Bette, your beautiful reply has me in gentle tears. Your friendship here means so much to me…you have always supported me and give me that all important nudge to bring my novel to the final stages. Thank you ever so much for your offer to help with the launch – I will definitely take you up on that when I’m ready. Warmest wishes & hugs 😃

  11. delphini510

    Annika, your post is both entertaining and warming. I also love all your
    photos to go with each question. Brilliant.
    The quote I have copied for my ‘quote file’. So true and inspiring.

    1. Mirja, I’m chuffed to bits – some of my words have made it into a ‘quote file’.☺️ Does this mean I’m deep-thinking?! I wonder what else you have in your that file? So glad you liked that and the post – I wanted to bring pictures into it to bring it more to life; I find a visual prompt with these kind of tags enhances the overall post. Warmest wishes to you. xx

  12. Anonymous

    I had to laugh at some of these – great answers Annika, particularly to number 10. And from my limited knowledge I have learnt not to babysit other people’s children – its OK until something goes wrong and then you have problems! Stick to your own – it’s so much easier (possibly!).


    1. Mike, definitely much easier looking after my own son! Pure joy and wonder – although he doesn’t need so much looking after now as making sure the fridge is well stocked and uniform clean! Great to bring laughter into your day; it’s only rereading it now I realised that it was actually quite funny!

  13. Loved your answers, Annika. I agreed with many–vampires, favorite author, and the babysitting job. Boy that’s the last time I would have helped that family out. Tough Love seems a bit too mild for their attitude.

    1. Jacqui, that was the last time I worked for the family – in truth my mother made me leave earlier than intended as there were also other issues that concerned her. During my time there I lost count of the number of objects the girl had thrown at her, the number of bruises…blimey, thinking back this was really bad. So glad you enjoyed the answers…I started to list my favourite authors but then realised there were just too too many!

  14. It’s always fun to learn more about the people we share our blogging worlds with, Annika. I laughed when I read about you son reminding you about the no devices at the table rule. I think most of us who have slipped into the blogging world struggle with not letting it dominate our lives. –Curt

    1. Curt, how true about the blogging world and its domination. In the beginning my email alerts on my iPad drove the family mad until I realised I could turn off the notifications. Phew, that was a relief! My son is a very grounded, sensitive and sensible young man – often looking after me I feel! (How lucky am I!!)

  15. So fun to read this, Annika. I think of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt when I think of vampires – much more appealing than Count Orlak! 🙂 I wish I could go to the Bash, but way too far away, even though when I’m sitting at my laptop it feels like it’s right around the corner. Have a wonderful time – It sounds like it’s going to be loads of fun!

    1. Diana, blogging is like that, everyone feels so close and then I have to kick myself back to reality and realise you’re all the way across the Atlantic and across all of America. Alas…Hmm…I fear my knowledge of vampires is seriously lacking and dated – although I know the two actors I had no idea of any vampire films with them. Must investigate further!

    1. Jill, thank you so much for this wonderful comment. I love that I could make you laugh – so often people think I’m really serious and I’m not! 😀 I too know we’d get on brilliantly; not a dry eye between us.

  16. Annika, it was getting to know you better. This was fun. Wishing you the best at the Blogger’s Bash and a big win. Inviting you to stop by the Salon today if you get a chance.

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