Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Liebster Blog Award! A bit of comic relief

I have been nominated three times in rapid succession for the Liebster Blog Award, an award for new bloggers ("new" meaning you have fewer than 200 followers).  While there doesn't appear to be an actual award associated with the Liebster Blog Award, each step required to participate "goes to eleven" in the spirit of Spinal Tap - so I'll play along on that basis alone.  Here are the steps involved:

1. Tell 11 things about yourself.
2. Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
3. Post 11 questions for those who will be nominated by you.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
5. Get in contact with those 11 bloggers in order to inform them that you nominated them.

Here goes:

11 things you probably didn't know about me:

1. I am English, Irish, Scottish, Dutch, French, German and two tribes of Native American.
2. I have six siblings, seven nieces/nephews and three great nieces.
3. I come from a background of special forces Marines, and have always regretted never serving in the military myself.
4. I am married to a Palestinian Christian who owns a Zagat-acclaimed Italian restaurant.
5. I have three step-kids, a step-granddaughter and three big, slobbery dogs.
6. I played lead guitar in a metal/hardcore band for fifteen years and have lost more than 60 decibels of hearing accordingly.  My band, Six Foot Deathtrap, released an album entitled Vindication.
7. I have ridden a camel, a racehorse, a zebra-painted donkey and a bull.  I WON a mechanical bull-riding competition.
8. I have traveled to at least 16 states and 13 countries on three continents, but I have never lived outside of California (not counting a summer abroad in Spain).
9. I speak English and Spanish fluently, basic Italian, am learning Arabic, and have forgotten my Romanian.
10. These days, I read more true history and historical fiction than thrillers (!)
11. I started writing on a dare.

Since I was nominated by three different bloggers, I'll answer a few questions from each of them to add up to the required 11.  Here goes:

Questions from The Kooky Bookworm:

1. Who taught you to love books?
My mom.  She read with me for as long as I can remember, and she taught me the importance of education.  She also convinced me I could do anything I wanted.  I took her advice literally.  Hence, the whacky resume above.
2. What was the best childhood book you read as a kid?
Hands down: The Paper Bag Princess.  A must read for any little girl!
3. Where do you like to read?
On the couch, covered in sleeping dogs, by the fireplace, when it's raining outside.
4. Do you prefer e-books or print books?
Print books.  For sure.  There's still just something about them.

Questions from Not Just a One Night Stand:

5. What is your favorite genre of books?
Thriller/mystery and historical fiction.  Historical thrillers rock my world.
6. What book are you looking forward to the release of?
I cannot tell a lie.  Mine.  The Vesuvius Isotope.
7. What made you want to start a blog?
I started my first blog because I was traveling to Egypt alone and wanted a) vicarious company, and b) an outside line to the US Embassy, just in case.  After that, I sort of got addicted.
8. How often have you had a dream about a book you were reading?  Tell us about it.
All the time.  I happen to be a frequent, vivid dreamer and I remember every detail.  Since I work in modern biotech and love to read historical fiction, I often end up in these weird mixed worlds where something that happened to me that day in the lab at work ends up in the same dream with something I read from the 16th century.  For some reason it always makes perfect sense until I wake up and think, WTF?

Questions from A Barmy Bookworm Sitting on the Shelf:

9. What do you get from your blogging?
I LOVE the results I've gotten since I re-tooled Murder Lab into a true thriller community.  Not only have I increased my own contacts and helped connect others, but it has also given me a wealth of ideas for things to blog about, things which I really think can benefit readers (as opposed to, "me...me...my blog...me!  Enough about me!  What do you think of me?")  Whereas I used to struggle to think of topics for posts, I now have an extensive back-log waiting to be posted.  The blog is now inspiring me to work harder at my writing.  I hope it's doing the same for others.
10. Do you stop reading books you don't like?  Or keep going regardless to the end?
This annoys me about me.  I give a movie about ten minutes and if I don't like it, I turn it off.  But I read the book through to the bitter end no matter how angry I get at myself for doing so.  What a waste of time I'll never get back.
11. Do you get rid of books you've read?  Pass them on to others? Or fill up your home with them till there's no more room for you?
Haha.  My entire, massive family (see above) passes books around.  One person reads it and then ships it to someone else, until everyone has read it.  Except for me.  I suck.  All roads lead to Kris.  I love books.  I love having books.  I love finding another corner of another wall in another room to create another bookshelf.  So, every book read by anyone in my entire family ends up on my bookshelves and then retires there.  I'm not just a curator of knowledge.  I'm a pirate.  Tally-ho!

11 questions for those who will be nominated by me:

1. What do you do for a living?  Do you love it or hate it?
2. If your answer to number 1 was anything outside of the book or writing business: would you quit your day job to be a writer, blogger or otherwise indulge your creative side?
3. What's the craziest thing you have ever done in the name of book research?
4. What real experiences have found their ways into your fiction?
5. What are your writing goals for the rest of 2013?
6. Are you on track to meet them?  If not, what's holding you back?
7. Since this is a blog award, let's talk about your blog: what do you like most about your blog?
8. What would you like to change about your blog and what's holding you back from changing it?
9. Please list three of your favorite blogs with a one-sentence description of each.
10. Describe a blog or website you would love to find, but haven't found.
11. Tell your blog readers what your next post will be about.

And last but not least, the 11 bloggers I will be nominating for this award.  I selected these 11 not only because they have the required fewer-than-200 followers, but also because I like these blogs a lot and think they need and deserve more followers.  So please, check them out!

1. Novel Travelist
2. San Diego Writing Women
3. Write-on Mystery
4. Oak Tree Press Blog
5. Musings of a Paleolinguist
6. Kindle Mystery Blog
7. The Write Time
8. Cover to Cover
9. Novellarella
10. Story Weaver Journal
11. Ancient World Mysteries


  1. Awesome answers! And you won a mechanical bull riding competition? Jeez louise! I didn't even know those actually existed! Cool stuff

  2. Wow, very cool. You are a metalhead, I dig it. Flashing the horns at you!

    Rock on sister!

  3. Haha, Rob. Did you Google the band? LOL I don't know if there's anything out there anymore, but we used to be cool when I was young and God was a child...

    And yep, Kacii, they do exist! YEEEEE HAAAAAW!!

  4. Loved discovering all about you this morning, Kris. WOW! You make my life seem soooo boring.