Bring Out All the Love You Hide*

BloggingI am really excited and honoured that Gail Johnson at Center of His Wheel has awarded Confessions of a Mystery Novelist… this lovely Blogger Recognition Award!






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.


Filed under John Burdett

44 responses to “Bring Out All the Love You Hide*

  1. Congratulations, Margot! That’s great advice to new (and old) bloggers that you’ve so generously handed out! Wishing you many more years of inspiring blogging. 🙂

  2. Your blog is consistently one of my favourites, Margot – I always learn so much from you (and the readers who comment)… so you must be doing something right!

  3. I think you’ve given the best advice in listen and respond to those who comment on your blog – I’ve looked at some of the books I’ve read in a different light having read comments given on my reviews and those ‘ah’ moments are just so good. As you know I love your blog Margot you do know so much about crime fiction and this award is richly deserved.

    • Thanks very much, Cleo 🙂 – I couldn’t agree more about those ‘Ah!’ moments. I’ve learned more from people’s comments on my blog (and others, too) than I could have imagined. It’s one of the best parts of blogging, really.

  4. Lovely post Margot and some wise words. You’ve taught me a lot through your blog too, thank you 🙂

  5. Great post as always Margot, and I apprecIate your very kind mention.

  6. Congratulations, Margot. Yours is one of the best blogs I’ve ever found, consistently excellent. The way you keep up the standard is an example to the rest of us.

    • Thank you, Martin. That means a lot to me, especially coming from someone whose writing and blog I admire as I do yours. I’m glad you like what you find here.

  7. Kathy D.

    And we are all so glad you started this blog. It’s educational and it’s fun. The community of commenters is also a big bonus which we can learn from and enjoy every day. It’s always a joy to come to the blog, read the post and the comments — and my TBR lists grows with each reading.

    • Thank you, Kathy. I couldn’t possibly agree more about the people like yourself who comment here. It’s one of the best parts about blogging, from my perspective.

  8. A well deserved award – congratulations! I’ve certainly learned a lot from your blog – not just about crime fiction, though your knowledge of that is encyclopaedic, but from the way you respond to comments and interact on other people’s blogs. You are an inspiration, Margot… 😀

  9. A well deserved award Margot – I am really grateful to have made your acquaintance and consider you a friend 🙂

  10. Col

    Great post, good advice and glad you’re getting awarded!

  11. Margot: I was interested to see how you started blogging. I appreciate your inventiveness as a blogger and you incredible stamina. Most of all I love the playful ventures into crime fiction characters. You have gotten me to imagine and then to write in comments more than I ever expected about some of my favourite sleuths.

    • Thanks, Bill. I really like doing those imaginary flights of fancy, too, and I’m very glad you enjoy them. Your responses to them are always pitch-perfect and creative, too. I really love reading them.

  12. Janet Fearnley

    Well deserved award for your terrific blog Margot. Your blog is informative, knowledgeable, interesting and a jolly good read. I enjoy it immensely and look forward to the next one…

  13. Margot, congratulations on the richly-deserved award. I like the distinctive flavour of your writing and your thematic posts, which have enhanced my own knowledge of crime fiction, not to mention your energy and consistency that is a real inspiration to bloggers like me.

  14. Well-deserved Margot, and your comments were very interesting. I’d like to mention your never-failing kindness and generosity to other bloggers, your interest and encouragement which I know makes a difference to a lot of bloggers.

    • That’s awfully kind of you, Moira *Blush.* It’s especially meaningful coming from someone like yourself, whose blog is always so interesting, informative and fun. Little wonder it’s one of my must-stops.

  15. Everyone who knows you know you rock! Your blog is always fun and informative, but even more than that you are so welcoming. We all feel like your pal and we just sit down at your kitchen table for a cuppa and a good yack.

    • Aw, I’d love that, Jan! Thank you! I like to think the blogging community is just that, and that we can all drop in on each other. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could really all sit down and just chat?

  16. You’re the most consistent and thoughtful blogger I know! And your memory for crime fiction is extraordinary! A well-deserved award.

  17. Brava! I applaud you and wish you many more years of superb blogging. Thanks for all you do for the crime fiction blogging community. I remain your devoted fan . . . Tim (R.T.) at Crime Classics.

  18. Margot… We are all lucky that you share all your knowledge of crime fiction with us, and introduce us to new authors and books. I especially liked your answers on accepting mistakes and having fun when blogging.

  19. Congrats Margot – well deserved!

  20. You are so deserving, Margot. I love your modesty and your intellect and style. There is not one blog post of yours that I have read that hasn’t taught me something about writing or about life. Keep up the great work. Your format is one we fans count on!

  21. Hi Margot, Congratulations on your much-deserved award! And thanks for the wisdom on the mysteries of blogging, especially the part about reading comments and responding to them. For me the comments are the favorite part of my blog posts.
    In any case I find blogging sometimes fun, sometimes work, and sometimes frustrating, but will continue doing so, because it is (for the most part) fun and is a great complement to my ‘real’ writing as it, at least in theory, keeps the writing skills sharp.

    • Thanks for the very kind words, Bryan. And I couldn’t agree more about the value of blogging as writing discipline. It is for me, too. It helps me focus my writing and keeps me writing every day. I’d like to think it helps with my other writing, too.

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