This means a lot to me, and I appreciate it. Folks, do go check out Gail’s great blog.
This award comes with a few requests. One is that I share with you how my blog got started. I wouldn’t have thought of keeping a blog, but I’d just had my debut novel published, and I wasn’t exactly what you would call a household word. A few sources I trust had suggested that a blog might be a good way to get my name ‘out there,’ so off I went.
I knew from the very first post that I didn’t want my blog to be a self-promotion blog. Most readers don’t care for blogs that do nothing but urge them to purchase the author’s books. That wasn’t (still isn’t!) my style. So I decided to focus on crime fiction as a genre. That way, I reasoned, I could post about things that would hopefully be of interest to both readers and writers of crime fiction. And (I am nothing if not honest!) it would let me mention my own writing when it was relevant.
Blogging has been a tremendous experience for me. For one thing, it’s put me in contact with some truly fine people. Whether I’ve met you in person or not, please know that you’ve made a real difference for me, and I am grateful for you and to you. And I’ve certainly learned a lot – about new books and authors, about new ways of thinking about the genre, and about a lot of other things, too. You’ve all taught me, and because of you, I’ve read many excellent books I wouldn’t otherwise have read. I’ve also fed kangaroos and wombats, been to the top of the tallest human-made structure in the Southern Hemisphere, had a personally-guided tour of Madrid’s beautiful Parque del Retiro, and been ‘sentenced to Dartmoor.’ And that’s just the start. How lucky can a girl get? And all because of my blog. See why I’m so grateful to you all?
I don’t know what the future holds for my blog. As Sonchai Jitpleecheep says in John Burdett’s Bangkok 8,
‘…the future is impenetrable, says the Buddha…’
But I do know that I richly enjoy being a blogger.
This award also asks that I offer a few pieces of advice to new and aspiring bloggers. I feel a bit awkward about that, because there are so many other bloggers who’ve been around longer than I have, and whose blogs are world-class. But since I’ve been asked, here are a few ideas.
Think about what you want to say – what you want your blog to be about – and make that your focus. Don’t be shy about it; if you didn’t have anything to share on the topic, you wouldn’t be interested in it. So know that you have something to say.
Keep in mind that you can learn a lot from the people who comment on your blog. I know I certainly have! So pay attention to what those people have to say. Read the comments and respond to them. Not only does that improve the quality of your blog, but it’s a real sign of respect for others. And you’ll learn.
Understand that you’re going to make mistakes. We all do. I know I do. You’ll see typos you didn’t notice before you posted. You’ll forget a word. You may use a wrong name, or accidentally post something before it’s ready. Nobody expects you to be perfect, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
Have fun! Blogging is supposed to enjoyable, so soak up the enjoyment.
Now, I’m also supposed to mention fifteen other bloggers, and send the award on to them. The trouble is, though, that there are too many excellent blogs out there for me to confine myself to just fifteen. I enjoy each of your blogs, and learn from each one. So know that I’ve awarded this blog trophy to you all, and grab the award if you want to do that. You all deserve it!
Thank you again, Gail!
*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Jim Dale and Tom Springdale’s Georgy Girl.