It was a splendid surprise this morning to check the comments on my last post - not actually expecting to find any, since it ran to all of a meagre two sentences - and discover my fellow fantasy writer Katherine Roberts has presented me with a blogging award!
It seems Liebster is a German word meaning "dearest", and the award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers (and Steel Thistles isn't there yet!). So many thanks to Katherine, whose own blog 'Reclusive Muse', besides being the only one on the internet run by a unicorn, is full of fascinating insights into fantasy fiction, e-publishing, and interviews with other writers - click on her 'Muse Mondays'.
According to Katherine, or possibly the unicorn, these are the things you should do if you receive the award:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you .
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog (tick).
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favourite bloggers.
And this is the best part, because it gives me the chance to tell you about five utterly terrific blogs and urge you to flock to them. In no particular order...
First on the list is Susan Price's 'A Nennius Blog'. Nennius - as the Dark Age scholars amongst us will know - was a ninth century monk who wrote a 'History of Britain' full of wonderful scraps of legend, myth as well as bits of genuine history: as he says himself, 'I have made a little heap of all I've found'. At 'A Nennius Blog' you will find a similar fascinating miscellany of ghost stories, book recommendations and tales about writing, from Susan Price, one of Britain's best fantasy writers - as well as 'Blot', a cartoon cat and writer's muse of devilish insight and cunning.
Second is my other home 'The History Girls' - a daily blog for anyone who loves historical fiction, whether for adults or children, whether straight or with a fantasy twist.
Third is 'John Barleycorn Must Die' where you can follow the birth and gradual growth of a graphic novel - along with round-the-table interviews with artists such as Alan Lee and David Wyatt, plus discussions about magic, the Tarot, and the creative process. I'm amazed there aren't already 200 followers, but go and visit!
Fourth is Beneath the Bracken, an artist's blog: a blend of beautiful photographs and thoughtful, introspective commentary with themes of change, growth, and poetry.
Fifth is 'Fantastic Reads' - a blog about children's reading and literature with well-written and thoughtful recommendations. I should warn you that the current post includes a favourable mention of my own 'Troll' books, but that's honestly not why I'm putting it here.
So thanks again to Katherine and her unicorn - and I do hope you'll enjoy these links.