|Posted by Liv Thomas on March 30, 2015 at 5:15 AM|
My fellow Choc-Lit author, Liz Harris, tagged me for 'My Lovely Blog Hop', to talk about things that contributed to making me 'me'.
You can find Liz's own blog here: http://www.lizharrisauthor.com/?p=2634
My memories are many and varied, and mostly insignificant - except for my dad dropping dead of a heart-attack when I was fourteen and alone in the house with him. Luckily, we had wonderful neighbours, but it was traumatic. Another traumatic memory involved a car journey to Berwick when we were involved in an accident at Scots Corner. A car hit us from behind, and no-one was injured, but I do wonder if that's what caused my fear of travel. I constantly worry about journeys, whether road, rail, sea or air. Happier memories involve my gran's lovely feather bed and my tenth birthday party, when I went to school and invited everyone in the class on top of those already invited - and without telling my mum. Apparently, my mum and my gran watched in horror from the kitchen window as an endless stream of children emerged from my dad's - obviously Tardis-like - van.
My favourite Blyton books were the Adventure series, and the first I read was The Circus of Adventure, so I had the joy of catching up with all the previous ones. When I wasn't reading, I was writing. Usually adventure stories in the Enid Blyton mould. I called one The Lake of Adventure. Basically, I was a plagiarist, but I was very young! Other books that stick in my mind from those wonderful days, were those featuring The Bobbsey Twins, Just William, and Worzel Gummidge. I read and re-read Heidi, Little Women, and What Katy Did/Did Next. I had a volume of Grimm's fairy-tales that I never tired of, and (worryingly perhaps) I was never disturbed by them. As an older child I met Bilbo Baggins and didn't know it at the time but it was he who was instrumental in the creation of Beneath an Irish Sky (or to be fair, maybe it was J R R Tolkien). I 'met' my co-writer, Val Olteanu, on a Lord of the Rings message-board. She was my inspiration to actually knuckle down, and believe. I didn't only read books. Every Friday night, I would get a bundle of comics - Bunty being the one I remember most. Maybe that should come under memories? As an adult, I found Dean Koontz, Ken Follett, Maeve Binchy, Patricia Scanlan, Lesley Pearse - to name just a few. Books are like the universe and just as frustrating - there are so many out there that I may never get to discover.
Many of my childhood memories involve the library. I can still remember the layout of the children's section as clearly as though I was there yesterday. I rarely took out Enid Blyton books....I already had most of them. More recently, and just prior to the internet taking over the world, I would spend hours in the reference library, searching for answers for a really difficult postal quiz (Quizmail). One year, a friend and I nearly won the title - we had full marks every month for eleven months, and then on the twelfth month, failed to research one question fully. We fell at the last hurdle and watched the title go to someone who didn't get blase.
What's Your Passion
Apart from my family - reading, writing, quizzes, the tv series Once Upon a Time, and Ireland. I love animals and have a soft spot for tigers, giraffes and orangutans. Oh, and pandas. And gorillas and elephants and...well, shall we say I love animals full stop.
I don't think I've every been especially scholarly. I like to learn but at my own pace, and the things I'm interested in. I did toy with both German and Spanish at nightschool, but came to the conclusion that to learn properly, I'd need to spend more than one evening a week in an educational environment. So to coin an old cliche, I now learn at the school of life. I do enjoy learning through research, because if it's for a novel, then it's sure to be a subject I have an interest in.
Like reading, writing is an escape but it has that added extra of giving you the ability to create as well, events, places, people. It's the closest I'll ever come - ever want to come I should stress - to being a megalomaniac, with the power to give or take life, to control people's actions. It also enables me to meet the perfect man...not necessarily one without flaws, as if there was such a thing as the perfect man, I think that might automatically render him imperfect! Writing is a challenge. I find it hard to move on from characters I've grown to love, so then I have to create more characters to love, but they have to be different. Sometimes it seems impossible and I feel myself straying into the psyche of one of my past, much loved, characters. Breaking away is like ending a long-term relationship and can be just as traumatic, but so satisfying when you get it right.
If anyone would like to comment, please do so on Goodreads because this website is really not being helpful! Once again there's what they describe as 'a glitch'. Not for the first time!
Am handing the baton over to two of my writer friends, Mandy James http://mandykjameswrites.blogspot.co.uk/ ; Mandy will publish hers on 3rd April.
and Jo Walter http://thewriteromantics.com/ ; Jo's contribution will be published on 22nd April.