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Liebster Award

Sara Letourneau nominated me for the Libster Award and I can’t tell you how excited I am about it! Receiving an award, especially from a fellow blogger, is always such a fulfilling feeling, so Sara, thanks so much for this beautiful award!

Of course, it comes with questions.  You can read Sara’s answers here. She’s quite an interesting gal, isn’t she?


Here are the rules for this version of the Liebster Award:

  1. Once you are nominated, make a post that thanks the person who nominated you and links back to their article.
  2. Include the Liebster Award sticker in your post.
  3. Nominate 7 to 10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.
  4. Answer the 10 questions asked to you by the person who nominated you.
  5. Make 10 questions of your own for your nominees.
  6. Lastly, copy these rules in the post.
  7. All of the nominees are free to accept or reject the nomination.

Sara’s Questions

1. Pick one of your favorite writers. What do you admire most about their work?

Well, if you go back a few months on my blog, you’ll find that I dedicated the entire month of March to my favourite writer: Sherman Alexie. You can read why I like him in the opening post.

It’s quite strange, because I know I’ll never write like him. He writes stories completely different from mine. He has a very different feeling for storytelling and style. He’s probably the first among my favourite authors I won’t try to imitate (all my favourite authors before him were tutors for me, in the sense that I learned to write by imitating them).

But even if I won’t imitate Sherman Alexie, there’s a lot that inspires me in his stories. The sense of wonder. The way the spirit world and the human world merge naturally one into the other. The way our inner self becomes entwined with our life in his stories. The quest for one’s true self in spite of all the negotiations we have to do with life. The poetic way his words act. And his sentences. The sound of his prose and poetry.

Fine, I’ll stop.

2. Do you have any weaknesses or guilty pleasures when it comes to food? If so, what?

Spicy dark chocolate.

There have been people who asked me how can I ever eat chocolate which so dark it nearly taste bitter and with chilly pepper in it. Well, I wonder how they can not!

3. What was the most daring or adventurous thing you did as a child?

I know this will sound stupid, but it was starting to write.
I was roughly 10 when I wrote my first story and after that one, I’ve never stopped. I distinctly remember that my father was shocked. One day, he sat me on his legs, my notebook with my story in his hands, and asked me, “Why do you write?”
I knew back then exactly the same thing I know now: I don’t know it.
So I hesitated.
The story was about talking animals, so my father asked me, “Is it because you like animals?”
And I said “Yes,” not because that’s was true, but because I saw my father needed an answer.
It’s so strange that I remember that moment so vividly.

4. If you could visit any city, country, or landmark in the world that you’ve haven’t been to yet, where would you go?

What? What you mean I can only choose ONE destination????????
Well, then. Assuming I won’t be stopping at it, the first place I’d like to go is Iceland.
Maybe because I’m a Mediterranean woman, I’ve always been fascinated with the Northern countries. I love their history and cultures, especially their legends. And Iceland is simply such a beautiful place, so magical. So different.
Only thing, I was told they’re going to kill me with their prices…

5. What is your favorite type of setting? In other words, do you prefer beaches, lakes, mountains, cities, forests, etc.?

I love the sea, it scares me. There’s such power in it. You can really feel the power of nature when you’re near it.

I remember once, I was in one of those touristy beaches here in Italy, but it was in the law season. It was night. I and a friend of mine went out for a walk and we stopped by the water.

I looked out into the sea. The sky was overcast, there were no lights. No stars. No moon. No electric lights. No lights from houses. It was a pitch black expanse and waves formed into that darkness and lapped towards me standing on the sand.

I felt such a sense of being tiny and vulnerable that I had to turn toward the town and see the lights of houses and treets. It was such a strong feeling. It scared me… but somehow I felt as if I had been touched by a power that I could barely understand and that was… I don’t know, it was a very strange feeling, a feeling like being part of something a lot bigger that I don’t understand but it’s still part of me.

But, ok.. I don’t want to become too philosophical (grin!)

6. What literary trope are you most tired of reading about?

The fighting virago.

This trope seems to be very popular now. Everybody talks about writing and filming ‘strong female characters’ and then you realised that by ‘strong’ they mean women who act like men.

I really hate it. I don’t see why a female character can’t be strong by just being a women doing what women do. I don’t think I need to be a woman going around kicking men’s ass to be considered a strong woman. I don’t think I need to be in charge and give shit to anyone (especially men) to prove my worth. And I don’t like when stories suggest that’s what ‘strong female characters’ are supposed to do.

Come on, grow up, people are more complex than that.

7. On the flipside, what is one thing you’d like to see more of in published novels?

There was a moment, some ten years ago, when fantasy was taking a truly interesting path. Stories were more political, in the sense that people in those stories acted on political, economical, anthropological, cultural, even historical inputs. I thought then that fantasy was finally coming of age. It was ready to speak about reality in a way it had never done before and with the same language.

Then Stephanie Meyer came around and this kind of stories disappeared to make space to an avalanche of teenage vampires with a lot of love problems. Don’t get me wrong, Stephanie, I don’t hate you. I don’t love you either, though. And I know the economic crises had a role in the changing market too, and probably you were just at the right time at the right place and things would have changed anyway. I’d still like that fantasy would pick up where it left off back then.

8. What birthday or holiday gift do you cherish most?

It’s a holiday present I did to myself. I bough it on my second stay in Ireland, the first time I went back there to work. It was always said that if you found a penny it would bring you luck. It was 2001 then, the euro had just entered our life and pennies were disappearing. I bought this key-ring with an Irish penny in it, with that strange picklock-like bird on it. I’m still using it.

9. If you could invent one thing (technology, household appliance, computer program or app, etc.) that currently doesn’t exist, what would it be?

A washing machine that washes, dries, irons and folds cloths. And maybe put them away too.

10. What’s your favorite kind of weather? Do you prefer rainy days over sun, snow over heat, etc.?

I like stormy days, I don’t know why.

But I also like days like today, when the sun is bright and polish and the light is beautiful.


So, there you have it.

Now let me think. This is always the hardest part, nominating someone. I’d like to nominate everyone, but since this is an award I think it’s fair to choose. People I’m not choosing, I’ll make up for it as soon as the occasion presents itself, it’s a promise.

Ali Isaac @ Ali Isaac Storyteller

Celine JeanJean @ Down the Rabbit Hole

Sue Coletta @ Crime Fiction Writer Sue Coletta

Alex Hurst @ Alex Hurst – A fantasy author in Kyoto

Sara Snider @ Sara C. Snider

The Chinese Quest team @ The Chinese Quest

Lupachi @ A Smile and a Gun

CW Hawes @ CW Hawes Blog

Jack Tyler @ Beyond the Rails Blog

Anabel @ Ababel’s Travel Blog

And now for my questions

  1. If you’re a writer, what do you like most about writing (if you are not, what do you imagine is the best thing about being a writer?)
  2. If you’re a writer, what do you like least about writing? (if you are not, what do you imagine is the worst thing about being a writer?)
  3. If you could write part time, but you needed another job to make your ends meet, what would be an ideal job? (If you’re not a writer, what do you think would be a good job for a part-time writer?)
  4. Blogging is nearly as good as writing stories. Do you agree?
  5. What do you like the most about the place where you live?
  6. What do you like the least about the place where you live?
  7. Where else would you like to live?
  8. Your book is extremely successful and you earn a lot of money. (If you’re not a writer, you can still win or otherwise earn a lot of money) What do you do with it?
  9. If you were a fantasy creature, what would you be?
  10. What is one thing you would try to fit in to your daily routine to improve your quality of life?


Hey, guys, the question are non-exclusive. Even if you’re not nominated, feel free to answer them on your blog or in the comments.


  • Mee Magnum
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 02:14

    Congratulations on winning the award!

    Yikes!! I just noticed you nominated The Chinese Quest!!

    When my eyes are more wide open I will look at the questions you posed and do my best to answer them.

    • Post Author
      Posted September 9, 2015 at 06:04

      Hey Mee, thans for stopping by. And I can’t wait to read your aswers. It was a pleasure nominating you 🙂

  • Anabel
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 13:07

    So much to like! I’m with you on most of it, but especially dark chocolate, the sea, Iceland, the “strong woman” and the magic washing machine – oh, that it could exist. Thanks so much for the nomination but I’ll have to pass this time – I have another award /challenge from at least a month ago that I haven’t done yet. Too busy with the holiday blogging! I’m very pleased, though, that you enjoy my blog enough to nominate me. (I can tell you the answer to 10 straight off – more exercise is definitely needed! Going on all these walks doesn’t seem to prevent the pounds piling on.)

    • Post Author
      Posted September 9, 2015 at 06:08

      Anabel, I do enjoy your blog a lot.
      Uhm… so you can’t accept it, eh? I’ll make sure to send a challenge yur way in the middle of the winder. You won’t escape my questioning for long!!!!! 😉

  • Sara L.
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 14:26

    Yay! I’m glad to see you’ve accepted the award, Sarah. 🙂 Here are some of my comments as I was reading your answers:

    #1: I don’t think I’ve heard of Sherman Alexie before. What genre / stories did he write?

    #2: I’ve had dark chocolate with chili powder / pieces before. I haven’t had it since then, but I remember being surprised with how much I liked it.

    #4: I’d also love to go to Iceland someday. Some of the landscapes in my WIP are inspired by actual places there (places I’ve only seen in wildlife / nature photographs, of course…).

    #5: I’m also an ocean person. I love the smell of the salt air, the color of the water, hearing the waves… It’s very soothing and spiritually cleansing.

    #6: Uh oh. My protagonist kind of falls into that category… :S Though she doesn’t act as though she’s not beholden to anyone. Since she’s part of a group of diplomats, she has a boss to answer to and responsibilities she needs to follow through on. If anything, the WIP shows that she can be a good team player, and that she sees herself more as a sidekick / colleague (even though she ends up being the one to save the day).

    #7: Have you read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin? I think it would be a good fit for what you talked about in your first paragraph.

    #9: Yes!! Someone needs to invent that! *lol*

    • Post Author
      Posted September 9, 2015 at 09:33

      Sara, I was delighted you thought of me for the award, thanks so much again 🙂

      Sherman Alexie is a Native American author (Spokane/Coeur D’Alene) and he mostly writes about Indian life in today’s world. I love his stories 🙂

      Well, I think any trope can be done in a good or a bad way. As long as your characters look like people, I’m not likely to have issues with them 😉

      Never heard of Jemisin. I’ll have to check that author out. Thanks for mentioning it.

  • Barbara In Caneyhead
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 01:13

    Congrats on your award! Loved your answers. I adore dark chocolate! I have yet to try it spiced. I don’t know about in books, but in real life, a strong woman is one who can pick up and carry on with two little girls after her husband walks out even though she has never been trained to work. I believe I am also, a strong woman.

    Love a good stormy day, myself! As long as I don’t have to drive in it and no tornadoes develop.

    • Post Author
      Posted September 9, 2015 at 09:37

      I absolutely agree with you, Barbara. There are so many ways to be a strong person. What bugs me the most about that trope is that it normally leaves out being a woman, just like you said. If a character is a mother, or a wife, or a devote life compannion, and she fights to keep that life safe, most of times that’s not really considered to be a strong female character. And that’s just crazy, in my opinion.

  • Sara C. Snider
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 05:56

    What a great post, and I loved your answers. Have you had 90% dark chocolate? That’s some pretty bitter stuff, it’s almost savory haha.

    Totally agree with you about the Strong Woman trope. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: strength comes in many varieties, not all of which are the ass-kicking kind.

    And then the ocean.. and Iceland! Visiting Iceland is pretty high up on my list. So much beauty to see in the world, hopefully I’ll get to see a fraction of it.

    Congrats on the award, and thank you so much for nominating me! 🙂 I’ve accepted a Liebster before, so I’ll give some thought whether to accept it again. It’s mostly the blog nomination part that gives me pause.

  • Post Author
    Posted September 9, 2015 at 09:40

    Thanks for stopping by, Sara.
    90% chocolate? That’s my favourite. Some people told me that’s not even chocolate, so bitter it is. I strongly disagree 😉

  • Alex Hurst
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 15:16

    Great answer on #6! You may be interested in Jim C. Hines’s article on “Strong Women” and why they are problematic:

    Thank you also for the nomination, that is very sweet of you! ^_^

    • Post Author
      Posted September 16, 2015 at 18:41

      Thanks for the link, alix. I will certainly check it out 🙂

      Can’t wait to se your answers!

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