Sunday, 6 April 2014

Liebster Blog Award

Author Katie L. Carroll nominated me, and several other fellow authors, for a Liebster Blog Award. I must confess I had never heard of it before but it sounds like a really great idea.

 The Liebster Blog Award translates to “the beloved” or “the dearest.” The award is given as a way to celebrate smaller blogs. (Only blogs with under 200 followers can be awarded.) Before you accept the award, there are a certain set of tasks you must complete. The first is to reveal 11 facts about you, answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you, and then create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer on their own blog.

So here are my 11 facts:

1.  Napoleon stopped over in my village near Lyon on his way back from his exile on Elba during what is known as 'The 100 days'. I always wanted to go inside never dared ask.
Château de Saint-Genis-Laval
2. My first dog was a horrible, smelly stray. I was six years old and named him 'Peanut Bottle of Rum' (Cacahuète Bouteille de Rhum in French). I don't remember why. I never liked peanuts and I had of course never drunk a drop of rum!
3. We were three girls (still are) in my family. I wanted an older brother so badly I made one up and kept the pretence for over two years in my primary school. I had named him Stanislas (which was my Polish grandfather's name).
4. In fact, I was always one for making up stories and inventing people. My best friend Nathalie and I invented an imaginary friend, Josephine, and were so convincing people still ask about her to this day.
5. I must have a touch of OCD because I can't stand it when things aren't straight or symmetrical. My students at school are very good about it and always make sure desks and chairs are straight before I even need to say anything!
6. I've had the same vivid, recurring dream about a haunted chateau and its inhabitants since I was a little girl. There is this dark room I am not to go in. After all these years of dreaming about the place, I still haven't plucked up the courage to open the door. It looks something like this...

7. I stammer when I'm tired, which is pretty much all the time these days.
8. I used to have a fantastic photographic memory and got through four years of law school by memorising pages and pages of legal documents, dates, numbers and facts and regurgitating them the day of the exam. I always felt like a fraud because of it. 
9. I could happily live on goat cheese, crusty bread, cake...and black coffee.

10. I went to my first Romantic Novelist Association conference last July. During the train journey to Sheffield, I chatted to a very interesting guy and for the first time ever I introduced myself as a writer. It felt incredible.
11. I love the process of finding my characters' name. En vrac, the heroins of my next four novels will be called Celeste, Venetia, Gisèle and Prudence.

And now, here are the questions Katie asked me to answer.

1. What do you like best about your personality?
I'm not sure there is anything to like, really. I'm a perfectionist, and very hard working!
2. What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
A French saying: Qui ne tente rien n'a rien. (Who dares not, gets nothing...would that be right?)
3. What does it take for a book to stay with you long after reading it?
The characters must be true, feel real and create strong emotions inside me.
4. If you could tell an author that you admire one thing, what would it be?
That their book made me laugh, and cry, and dream, and I wanted to magically sneak into it! 
5. Who is the one person who always makes you happy? (I have to change this to 'persons')
My three children - two boys and a girl. They are infuriating, fun, adorable, thoughtful and a bit loopy!
6. What was the best birthday you ever had?
Every single birthday is lovely and special.
7. What drives you to share your thoughts about books on social media?
I like writing about the books I enjoyed reading, and I love exchanging ideas and tips with fellow authors.
8. What is the best thing an author ever said to you?
To write and rewrite, and then rewrite again. 
9. What do you consider the ideal length for a book in terms of the number of pages?
I'm not sure there is an ideal length. It all depends on the story and the characters. Some take longer to develop, I suppose.
10. What fictional character do you most resemble?
Marie-Ange, from my debut historical romance ANGEL HEART.
11. If you could give the person who reads this an uplifting message, what would it be?
There is joy and love and wonder everywhere around you. Just open your eyes and your heart.

The time has come to nominate another blogger for the Liebster Blog Award. If you would like to take part, please leave a comment! I will reply and tell you what to do to enter.
It was the talented Katie L. Carroll who nominated me. You can find her and her great books at 


  1. Great facts and answers, Marie! Seems you were destined to be a writer.

  2. Thank you Katie! I hope I don't come across as a mad woman...