What in the World is the Leibster Award?

Woohoo! I’ve been nominated for the Leibster award by David Rawlings, an award-winning author from Australia and an all-around great guy. He was a finalist in the 2016 Genesis Award for his contemporary novel, The God of Reality TV, and he’s done it again this year as a semi-finalist in the short novel category for another story.

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I first ‘met’ David on an international fiction writer page on Facebook. Then we had an opportunity to catch up in real life when we both attended the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference held in Nashville in August 2016.

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David writes contemporary, inspirational stories that dig deeper into issues like church, reality TV, atheism, consumerism, social media and relationships. He’s witty and wry with a slightly irreverent sense of humour that kept our table at the awards banquet in stitches.

The Leibster Award

 So what is the Leibster Award? Well, it’s given by bloggers to fellow bloggers and aimed to encourage writers. The rules for the Liebster Award are as follows:

  • Thank the person who has nominated you for the award and link to their blog
  • Write some random facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you
  • Nominate up to 11 people for the award (comment on their blog to let them know)
  • Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions

So, first of all…

Thanks David! I really appreciate the shout-out 🙂 Check out his website and don’t forget to sign up for his newsletter (which comes with a brilliant short story!)

Next, a few random facts about me:

  • I’m left-handed. It was great moving to New Zealand where even right-handed people hold a fork in their left hands–hello! No more awkward bumping into everyone.
  • I didn’t let my kids watch Harry Potter until three years ago. Yes, I was one of those parents. But I’ve taken approximately a gazillion a few chill-pills, and I’m now fairly relaxed about things like that.
  • I love skeleton keys and have one tattooed on the top of my right foot.
  • I’ve run three marathons and bore three children. Not sure which event is more taxing on your endurance. At least with a marathon you can stop at any time.
  • I struggled to keep houseplants alive until I discovered succulents. Win!
  • I don’t like bicycles, roller blades, skate boards, or scooters. I did, however, LOVE my Big Wheel. Why don’t they make them for grown-ups?!?IMG_4072

 

  • I took a gold ring and an elvish cloak with me when I visited Hobbiton. Everyone on the tour bus laughed and laughed at me. But guess who wanted to borrow my props for their photos when we got there? All the haters!!! That’s right, suckas! Don’t be ashamed of the inner geek! (And yes, of course I shared!)

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11 Questions about me:

1. Who were your favourite authors as a child? Why?

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder. I relished the stark simplicity of the Little House books. Plus all the food in Farmer Boy. Apple pie for breakfast? Yes, please.
  • L.M Montgomery. When I was young, I wandered in the woods and told myself stories. I thought I was a freak. But Anne with an E showed me it was okay to live in a dream world every now again. And the Emily books about a girl who only wanted to write? I can identify with that!
  • C.S. Lewis. A magic wardrobe. A White Witch. Fauns and dryads and naiads and talking creatures. Sign me up! My aunt and uncle had an old Victorian house in Seattle with endless cupboards and closets (and skeleton keys!), and I spent hours combing through the house hoping to fall into Narnia.
  • Madeleine L’Engle. I love her. Can’t wait to hang out in eternity with her!!! She wrote about fantastic adventures featuring characters who had to draw on their internal qualities–bravery, compassion, generosity, and the undeniable belief in good–to defeat their enemies. Also, her Meet the Austin series was pivotal for me as a young adult. I grew up with Vicki and keenly felt all the emotions she did, asked the same questions, wept and laughed with her, and wondered with her above all: does what we do and who we are really matter? I gotta stop. I’m getting all verklempt just thinking about it.

2. Is there a country you have always wanted to visit, and if so, where?

Narnia, duh!! Weren’t you paying attention?

Seriously though, I’d love to go to England, Scotland, Ireland. I’ve been to London for a four day whirlwind tour and don’t remember much except it was–you know–amazing.

3. What is your favorite kind of weather?

Oooh. Tough one. I grew up in Seattle, and when I moved to California at sixteen, I really missed the rain. Now I’m in New Zealand, and I really miss the sun. I mean, it’s sunny here (sometimes), but there’s also a very good reason why the hills are so green.

4. Why do you blog?

I love connecting with other bloggers, love reading about other people’s journeys. Plus blogging is a pretty safe way to say to the world: hi! I’m here!

5. What started you writing?

I can’t remember ever not writing. But I took a break from it when my kids were born (and don’t regret one moment!) Then, about three years ago, a story literally dropped into my head. It was effortless to write. Of course, it’s grammatically terrible, it head-hops all over the place, and is a whopping 110,000 words. But. It started me on a rediscovery of how passionate I am about writing stories.

6. What are the challenges of being an author/writer?

For me, it’s that I get so single-focused, I don’t want to do anything else. Which is why I chose dream.write.repeat as my tagline. Of course, life still has to happen. My husband took over all the laundry a few years ago–bless him–but I’m still waiting for the cleaning fairy and the cooking fairy and the chauffeur fairy to show up. What’s taking so long? I put in my application ages ago…

7. How do you keep yourself motivated?

I happen to live a kilometre away from an amazing forest with a plethora of trails. Anytime I need motivation, I weave a flower wreath for my hair like Anne Shirley and wander through the trees. Kidding about the wreath. Kind of.

8. If you could choose a place to write where would it be?

My dining room table is pretty cool. I’ve tried writing in coffee shops, but I like to people-watch too much.

Ummm…how about a castle overlooking the Irish coast with a fireplace (and central heating), a huge library, an obscene number of dogs and cats and gryphons to give the place atmosphere, a barista on-site, and someone –preferably someone six-four-and-a-half with curly hair who’s extremely easy on the eyes and does laundry 😉 –to bring me breakfast and smooch me.

9. What difference does it make being a Christian and an author?

I’m inspired by authors like C.J. Redwine, Kiera Cass, Mary Weber, and R.J. Anderson who are published for the general market but write stories that are undeniably ‘Christian’ in flavour even though the content isn’t remotely ‘religious. To me, that’s what being a Christian and an author is all about.

10. What’s your work in progress?

I’ve entered a contest and can’t really say (is that mysterious enough, lol?!?) It’s about a sixteen-year-old girl. And there are some baddies. And she has to figure out the meaning of life. That’s about it.

11. Who is your ideal audience?

Someone who doesn’t want to read ‘safe’ Christian fiction but nevertheless wants a story with hope and redemption. Someone who acknowledges there’s more out there than we can see with our physical eyes and wants to explore the ‘thin places’ between heaven and earth. Someone who wants to be reassured that what they do and who they are matters.

Well, that’s it for me. Next up…

My Liebster Award nominees:

You women are tasked with answering the same eleven questions I did. And don’t forget to visit theglobalaussie.com to add a Liebster Award image to your blog!


Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity,
stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won ACFW’s 2015 First Impressions contest and their 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.


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