I've been nominated for two blogging awards -- The Liebster Award, and The Mystery Blogger Award.
As what I need to do for them both is very similar, I'm going to cheat and combine everything into one. Oh, and I'm afraid I'm going to be a bit Scrooge-like and not nominate anyone myself. This is because when I've asked bloggers to participate in events like this before, not many are willing to take part. Their reticence does surprise me, because the aim of these activities is to promote and gain publicity for their blogs. But, ce la vie!
If this disqualifies me from being considered for the awards, then so be it. But I'll still enter into the spirit of them both by giving the facts asked about me, and answering the questions.
Let's do a little bit of housekeeping first: twitter.com/Seetheuniverse_ nominated me for the Mystery Blogger Award, and here's her excellent blog: www.seetheuniverse.co.uk/ The award was created by Okoto Enigma ( www.okotoenigmasblog.com/ ) who wanted to give some well-deserved recognition to bloggers for creating amazing content.
And I was nominated for the Liebster Award by twitter.com/ShadowsDay. Here's their blog: thesunwillsetforyou.blogspot.co.uk/.
1. I'm a full-time writer, encompassing PR, a magazine column, and four published novels
2. I watched the very first episode of Doctor Who in 1963...and haven't missed an episode since
3. Having suffered a severe mental health crisis in 1997, I was sectioned for 28 days under the UK Mental Health Act
4. I normally go barefoot, only wearing shoes when it's absolutely necessary
5. I have an extremely charismatic budgie called Alfie, who features regularly on my Twitter account
6. My acclaimed 7,300 word horror/fantasy novella, The Twitter Bully, was written after trolls turned on me for supporting victims of online abuse
7. I'm married to Sue, and we have two grown-up children, Christopher and Charlotte
8. I was named on the 2016 list of "Inspirational Mental Health Advocates that are changing the world"
9. My wife and I are cruise addicts. We have two lined up for next year, and have already booked one for 2019
10. From the age of 20 to 30 I worked as a radio broadcaster...newsreader, current affairs presenter, and 'phone-in show host.
1. Since when did you start blogging / What made you decide to take up blogging?
My website came with a built-in blog. It was something I'd never done before, so decided to give it a go, initially to promote my books. My first post was in May 2015, and tells of the somewhat drastic research I did for that novella I mentioned earlier, The Twitter Bully. Here it is:
2. What do you feel about blogging?
It's a perfect platform for any writer to express their opinion, or promote themselves and their products. My original intention was to use mine simply to promote my books. But then I saw how I could lend my name as an author to promoting good causes, charities, and supporting other writers. So my blog now covers any subject, and is open to anyone who would like to write a guest post.
3. Who would you like to work with in the future?
Anyone and everyone ( twitter.com/ShadowsDay asked if I'd be willing to work specifically with them as well. Of course).
4. Are there any tips you can give to new bloggers?
Content is crucial. Don't simply write something for the sake of it. Make it entertaining or informative...preferably both.
5.Will you still continue blogging years from now / What are your plans 10 years from now?
I'd like to think I'll still be writing and blogging, but I will be almost 72 in 10 years time. I don't have any plans to retire, because I love what I do so much.
6. Who or what is your inspiration in writing?
I mentioned earlier that I've never missed an episode of the world's longest-running science fiction series, Doctor Who. Not only are the stories charged with emotions, heartbreak, action and adventure - the very essence of a good yarn - but it was the original series back in 1963 that inspired me to start writing when I was seven. I became enraptured by the storylines which could take place at any time in Earth';s history and future, and anywhere in the universe and beyond. I started creating my own worlds and my own characters, writing my stories in little blue notebooks until my parents bought me a portable typewriter for my ninth birthday.
And those make-believe worlds became invaluable after my Dad died when I was 11. I retreated more and more into those places where I was in control of my characters' fate - knowing that whatever happened to them during the story, I'd always make sure they were okay in the end. My worlds were certainly better than the real one at that time.
7. If someone offered you a large sum of money to give up your blog, would you do it?
Yes, I would. But on one condition; that someone takes it over and keeps it going for guest bloggers. I'd like to think that it could continue to support charities, good causes and other writers, without me.
8. If you could have any celebrity round for tea, who would it be and why?
It would be my Twitter friend Talia Dean twitter.com/taliadean
( www.taliadean.com/ )
Talia is a great singer who was a contestant on X Factor this year. But as well as loving her voice, I admire her for her determination to help children and children's charities.
9. You are stranded on a desert island, with only enough phone battery to make a single phone call...who do you call or help and why?
John Tracy, of International Rescue, on the Thunderbird 5 satellite. It would be a great thrill to ride in whichever Thunderbird they sent to rescue me, 1, 2 or 4. I'm loving the rebooted CGI TV series of Thunderbirds Are Go, but I still remember the original puppet series back in the 1960s. It was an essential part of my childhood.
10. You have won the lottery! What is the first thing you do with your winnings?
A large donation to the Dorothy Goodman School
twitter.com/DGSAcademy ( www.dorothygoodman.co.uk/ ), which, incidentally, Talia Dean is also interested in. And I'd restart West Leicestershire Mind. The picture of me with one of their organisers, above, was taken shortly before the Government's austerity cuts forced it to close two years ago. I was working with them at the time, on a major awareness raising event.