Sunday, 13 February 2011

Cannibal Cookoff, Strange Emails, and Questions Answered (Part Two)

Before I announce today's two competition winners and answer the final 18 questions, I have couple of items that might interest you. Whilst taking part in Lily Child's Friday Prediction, I noticed a comment that referred to's first short story competition - the Cannibal Cookoff. Intrigued by the unusual title I visited the site to find out more. The Cannibal Cookoff is a horror short story competition and entries must be submitted by the 22nd February. Judging and voting will take place on a special forum. Are you brave enough to enter?

The second item is that I received an email from someone called 'Paul' offering to buy my blog. Being suspicious of 'Paul's' motives, I didn't click on the link given and added the email to my blocked senders list. Has anyone else received an email like this? Did you click on the link to find out more or ignore it like I did?

200 Followers Q and A Competition (Part Two)

Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment on Friday's post - I will be replying to all the comments individually as soon as time allows. Today's winners are:

Congratulations to both of you - Amazon vouchers will be with you soon. Now it's time for more questions and answers:

Elaine AM Smith asked something which pestered her on day one with her blog, 'Which is more important to you and why - flexibility or expandability?'

This was a tough question to answer, but I think flexibility is more important than expandability. I want to be able to adapt my blog whenever change arises but, at the same time, ensure my blog fits around me, not the other way around. As some of my long-term followers will know, I have struggled with finding a balance between writing and blogging.

Rachel Morgan asked, 'I'm assuming you made the mock covers on the side bar for your WIPs? Why did you pick the picture of the hand for DREAMING OF SLEEP? Like, is it symbolic for something in the story?'

I did make both mock covers. Finding an image for The Devil's Song was quite easy, but Dreaming of Sleep took a long time. Even now, I'm not totally happy with the image I chose. However, the hand is symbolic of the clustrophia and entrapment the main character feels - he is smothered by the interconnectivity of the 41st Century and is, you might say, trying to push his way out. Unfortunately, I don't feel the image captures the central theme of dreaming well enough, and I'm still looking for the perfect image.

Nicole Zoltack asked, 'What was your favorite movie as a child?'

My first response to this question was Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but there was one film my best friend and I watched over and over during my teenage years - Girl's Just Want to Have Fun, staring a young Sarah Jessica Parker. We loved the main character's journey from good girl to rebellious teen to amazing dancer. We wanted to be her. Great memories.

Margo Berendson asked, 'What's your favorite book and why isn't it Lord of the Rings? Just kidding. Why is it your favorite book?'

Currently, my favourite book is Lost in the Well of Plots by Jasper Fforde. It is the third in a series of books by Fforde featuring the protagonist Thursday Next. The books feature an alternate course of history, in which the Crimean War never ended and literature is the drug of choice. Thursday Next is a Spec Ops officer charged with ensuring important works of literature are not stolen, destroyed or altered. I'm not going to say anymore than that, as I'd be heading down the spoiler route. All I can say is if you haven't read Jasper Fforde, you must. You will not be disappointed. But make sure you start with the first Thursday Next book, The Eyre Affair.

Donea Lee asked, 'What's the best little-known spot to visit in England?'

Bystock Pools, which is on the outskirts of my hometown Exmouth. It is a nature reserve, featuring a small lake, trees and an area of mooreland that is home to several Dartmoor ponies during the summer months. A wooden path runs around the lake, which allows you to watch plant and insect life. Dragonflies are the biggest attraction. What is perfect about this spot is that it is little-known and thus mostly undisturbed.

Christina Lee asked, 'If you could only bring three books to a deserted island, what would they be?'

Only three? The Stand by Stephen King, Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde and a dictionary/thesaurus.

LTM asked, 'So what will you do to celebrate?'

I was going to hold a big Hollywood-styled party and invite William Shatner, but I realised I didn't have any red carpet. So, I raised a glass of non-alcoholic bubbly to all my followers.

Theresa Milstein asked, 'Which genre do you prefer to write, science fiction or horror?'

Science Fiction, though paradoxically I've written more horror. I think it is because I'm in awe of all the amazing sci-fi writers both past and present, and this makes me nervous of my own efforts.

Lisa Potts asked, 'What's the one song you sing in the shower/car that would cause you to die of embarrassment if anyone ever heard you singing it?'

I laughed when I read this question because don't we all have one of these songs? My answer would be D:Ream, who had a it in 1994 with Things Can Only Get Better. I was working through a lot of personal issues in '94 and it was the only song that seemed to express how I was feeling. When I hear it now, I can't help but sing along.

Kulsuma asked, 'Have you done research for your WIPs, what does it consist of and do you like researching?'

I've done next to no research for The Devil's Song, other than using Google and my own memories - the location is based on a holiday cottage my partner and I stayed in three years ago, right down to the sound of the crows and the Old Mill house. For Dreaming of Sleep I have done extensive research into lucid dreaming and electrical brain patterns, though I intend to seek professional advice when my first draft is written, to check for errors.

Do I like researching? Not really. As I said in my Friday post, I'm not a plotter and research feels like plotting.

Anne asked, 'Star Trek or Star Wars?'

Star Wars?! I spit my last breathe at thee. In space there is no competition . . .only Star Trek!

Myne Whitman asked, 'So what's the back story to the William Shatner comment?'

I love William Shatner. Not the 'I'm in love with' kind, rather I admire his film and TV roles, his books, and all the other quirky things he does - like selling his kidney stone on eBay. No, I didn't buy it. Plus, it is quite a long running admiration - I think I was about nine when I first started watching Star Trek, and I'm 39 this year.

Lynda Young asked, 'If you don't have a pic of William Shatner that you kiss every night before bed, whose pic DO you have?'

I was going to say Professor Brian Cox but the Long Suffering One might object. Beside my bed I have a picture of the LSO and I taken around 15 years ago, in the early days of our relationship.

Janet Johnson asked, 'Where is your dream vacation spot?'

The New Forest, which is about a two-hour drive for us. It is beautiful part of the South and is near to the sea and several major towns. I'd love to live there one day, as literature is much more represented than in Devon - there are regular workshops and lots of writers groups. It would be like living in heaven for me.

DL Hammons asked, 'My question is...when was the first time someone other than family made a fuss over your writing?'

I would have to say my best friend, Rachel. She has always been interested in my writing and never fails to encourage and motivate me.

Lisa Blandford asked, 'How do you celebrate when you complete a first draft?'

I don't - at least not with my short stories. At the end of NaNoWriMo last year, when I completed 50,000 words, I treated myself to a winners t-shirt. However, I will definitely be celebrating when I have finished the first draft of my novel. Any suggestions as to how I should celebrate?

Steven Chapman asked, 'You’re stuck in Shatnerquake and can only save one version of Shatner, which version would you save?'

Steven, you never fail to make me laugh. I would have to save Mr. Shatner himself - the one who starts the novel in a grump and then falls in love with himself at the end. The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many . . .

So there you have it; the answers and questions have ended. I hope you enjoyed reading them and have been inspired to do something similar yourself, because I'd love to get to know all of you better.


  1. YAY!!!! What a way to top off the weekend! Thank you! And I'm like you, I love these question and answer posts...finding out more about everyone. I did one several months ago, but it might be time to give it another go! :)

    Thank you again!

  2. The New Forest. Bystock Pools. They sound lovely!!!

  3. All I can say is, Shatner needs to start sending YOU fan mail. :o)

  4. What a fun "Looksee at Ellie" this has been!

    By the by: Check your email. Good news appeared in my mailbox yesterday!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!
    Luv-hugs and smoochies,

    P. S. Enjoy!–> CLICK! <Sweets for the sweets!

  5. You have a great blog and I enjoy read it as you know, my dear friend.

    May I ask? Why would anyone what to buy your blog, when they can start one of their own for free?

  6. Star Wars, I spit at thee!! LOL!!! Love that - LOL!!!!! But of course there is no contest when pitted against the ever so fabulous Star Trek!!!!

    Oooh I love that little known place in England!!!! Sounds ever so secretive!

    Yay to the winners!! Yay!! And to end a fab Sunday, one. more.time:


    Take care

  7. I love these questions and answers. Celebrate your first with your favorite sinful treat and go from there. Your comments about William Shatner made me smile. Captain Kirk was my hero when I was a kid.

  8. Your answers have been so fun! I have a nice, little collection of Jasper Fforde books too. Love them!

  9. I have really enjoyed these Q&As Ellie! yes,the New Forest and Bystock Pools are heavenly - we are in a special part of the world.

    I am off to check out Jasper Fforde....

    I have a soft spot for Mr Shatner as I grew up with the original Star Trek; the tetchiness, the staccato patoise, yes even the touppee.

    As for the mystery Paul - I think he's a swamp zombie who can't spell and wants to buy a bog.

  10. Congratulations to DL and Nicole!
    And Star Trek? Good girl!!!

  11. Hi Ellie. More interesting answers; I haven't read the Jasper Fforde, so thanks for the recommendation.

    Now, I know someone who does a good trade in used blogs. He says he can get you a good price...

  12. ELli, those are great answers and really individual. It's good to be so close to readers.

    I don' have one song that embarrasses me. It's all my songs.
    Nahno ∗ McLein

  13. Hooray! Thanks for the toast, and yay, Captain Kirk!!! He's invited to my party, too~ ;p xoxo


  14. Thanks for helping spread the word about our contest!

  15. DL Hammons - I'm thrilled it made a nice ending to your weekend and yes, you should do another Q & A!

    I need to check - is it alright to send you an eVoucher direct from Amazon to your email address?

    The Words Crafter - they really are!

    Maria Zannini - LOL. If I received anything him, I think I'd faint.

    SparkleFarkle - bless. You are the best! I'm so pleased Luna has finally arrived after her looooonnnng journey.

    Jarmara Falconer - thank you for your lovely comments; they mean a lot to me. Yes. Why would anyone want to BUY a blog? There has to be a catch in it, somewhere.

    Old Kitty - thank you! Oh, go on then . . . Khaaannnnn!!!

    Melissa Bradley - thank you!

    Janel - they really are great books!

  16. Margo Benson - LOL. I loved your comment about Paul the swamp zombie! Hilarious!

    Alex J. Cavanaugh - there can be only one . . .hang on. Isn't that Highlander? Let me try again . . .The needs of the Trekkies outweigh the needs of the one.

    Tony Benson - really? If you can get £1 million, I may consider selling. LOL.

    Nahno McLein - thank you!

    LTM - LOL. He must be a popular man! Thanks for dropping by my blog and asking me a question.

    IndieHorror - your welcome. It looks an awesome contest!

    The Mysathenia Kid - thank you!

  17. Thanks so much for answering my question! Hope you find the perfect image for your cover :-)


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