Blog Tour Award!


I’m a bit staggered to have been nominated for this award, and I owe Izzy huge thanks for even thinking of me. She’s done some really good pieces of writing on her blog, Izzy-grabs-life, which are well worth checking out. Her blog title says a lot about her personality and the way she writes. Izzy is lively and full of fun – and really grabs life by the horns, or some such place!

This is a little different to the other awards I’ve responded to, and involves answering  questions about writing – which is great for me!

So these are the rules:

  • Compose a one-time post on a specific Monday (date given from your nomination – I was given March 30)
  • Give them the rules and a specific Monday to post by.  On this occasion, next Monday will be Easter Monday, April 6 2015. So I’m going to say that my nominees can either post on that date, or leave it until the following week, which will be Monday April 13.
  • Pass the tour on up to four other bloggers.
  • Answer four questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.

Here are the four questions and my answers . . .


Q.1 What are you working on at the moment?

Right now, I’m working on the third book of my Sons of Kings trilogy. Book One was published as an ebook on Amazon in April. 2014 and Book Two in December 2014. That doesn’t mean I write really quickly. I know there are authors out there who can write, edit and publish a book in a few months, but I’m not one of them. Many authors I’ve read about take a year for a 340-50 page book, which both of mine are. But by the time I’d got Book One onto Amazon, I’d already written half of Book Two.

All in all, what I’m saying is that Book Three is unlikely to be finished before the end of this year.  Still, I know I’m going to have to put a spurt on … which, sadly for me, means that I’ll soon have to cut down on a lot of the posts I do on my blog.

Q.2. How does your work differ from others in your genre?

Every writer’s work is unique to them. We all have our own writing styles, our own ‘author’s voice’. So in those things, I know I’m unlike anyone else. As for my books … Well, there are many Viking books around today, some straight forward historical fiction, some historical romance, others historical fantasy, and so on. I classify mine as historical adventure, and know that Book One in particular, fits that description well.

Although other authors have written about King Alfred, their interpretation of his character is completely different to mine, particularly since, in my first book, Alfred is a young child. Most other ‘Alfred’ books start with him as a man and already a king. The main action in Book One comes from my equally important protagonist, Eadwulf of Mercia. His adventure takes up a good deal of the book, with frequent glimpses over to events transpiring in Wessex (Alfred’s kingdom). The two stories continue, and intertwine, throughout the three books. Eadwulf is fictional, so no one else will have him in their books!

Q.3. Why do you write or create what you do?

I write historical fiction because I love both history and a good adventure, so that’s where my writing heads to. I fell in love with the story of Alfred’s great fight against the marauding Danes many years ago, but only since retiring from teaching (and bringing up our six children) have I had time to actually write about it. I’m particularly character driven in my writing. I love to delve into my characters’ heads and ponder how they would react in certain situations – notably those I plonk them in. If you know your characters well, their actions/reactions often just follow on through.

Q.4. How does your writing/creative process work?

To start with there’s always a lot of research to do for historical novels. I did loads before I started Book One, but at least the background to the period and events stretches throughout the trilogy. Each book demands exta, too. Then I spend a long time just letting the story play out in my head – different scenes, different characters I’ll need to introduce in the new book. Ideas get thrown out and new ones step in. Unfortunately, I often get ideas for other books as well, which I just have to shelve for now. I’ve got at least two more books I’m itching to start. But, right now, I have to be strict with myself and focus on Alfred and Eadwulf.

Once I’ve worked out a rough plan of the plot I type out a synopsis, and leave it so that I can add extra bits of information as I work on the actual writing.

My writing day always starts with a walk. This is the time during which I plan out the scene I want to write when I get back. I have nice quiet lanes and fields to walk across, so my thoughts rarely get interrupted. I write my chapters a scene at a time, and won’t move on to the next scene until I’m satisfied it’s exactly how I want it. I never just keep on writing, regardless of mistakes, until I’ve finished the book, as many writers do. This is  simply the way I work, and I realise it may not be the preferred way of others.

Once the first draft is done, I edit it myself a few times. I tend to print out a lot of it, because it’s so easy to miss errors on a computer screen. (Well, it is for me, anyway!) Finally, the book goes to the professional editor I use. Of course, this does cost money, and for anyone who can’t, or doesn’t want to pay for editing and proofreading, there are plenty of people happy to be beta readers. And WordPress is an excellent platform for aspiring writers, especially the many flash fiction challenges. If writing a book is still only an ambition for you, and you worry your writing just might not be good enough yet, the challenges are great. The feedback can be really useful and the word limit is excellent practice in being succinct.

Well, that’s my bit done. Now for the last part …


Now for my four nominees:

I.  Joycelin Leahy at tribalmysticstories

2. Rachel at Creatopath

3. Emily Livingstone at Unmapped Country Within Us

4. Francesca Smith at A Smith’s World

31 thoughts on “Blog Tour Award!

  1. Congratulations! Very interesting…thank you for expanding on each question. I enjoy finding out some of the background of a person’s plan of action. Everyone has their own way of getting their goal accomplished.

  2. Congratulations sweetie! ❤ After reading this post, I got to understand more how a writer lives their writing life. I highly appreciated how hard you've been working on your books. I'm sure when it is the time to release your third book, it is definitely one of the happiest moments in your life. All the best to you Millie 😉

    1. For me, Khloe, the hardest part is fitting everything I like to do into my week. Like most people, I still have a house to run, the usual chores and shopping, and so on. I also like to walk and swim a lot. Then there’s my blog, which takes up quite a lot of my time. I have to squeeze writing my book in wherever I can at the moment. I could never have managed to write before I retired, or when the children were still at home. Still, on a cheerful note, I have managed two books and am determined to get the third written now! Thank you for your kind wishes, Khloe. 🙂

      1. You’re welcome as always dear ❤ You have a hectic schedule to fit into writing and congratulations you did very on the last two books. I'm sure the third one will be amazing 😉 Keep it up Millie! 🙂

  3. can’t put Book One down – eight chapters in and it just gets better… poor Eadwulf, wretched Aslanga, wise Sigehelm, unfortunate Cynric, lovely Aethelswith, naughty Halfdan…brilliant characters, I even like the way you portray Ragnar. not to inflate your head but I have to admit the book is very well crafted, beautiful written. vivid. informative. sad. funny. the pace is good. never a dull moment. fine descriptions. the language is just what I enjoy reading… really loving it Millie… I know I’m not done yet and have book two to read after but what a start. i just had to mention. i encourage everyone to read your work. it’s exceptional…

    1. What can I say to this, Heath? I’m truly honoured that you’re enjoying my book! I love developing my characters, so your comments about them are the best thing you could have said to me. I feel both flattered and delighted by your comments and hope the rest of the book doesn’t disappoint. 🙂

  4. This was so interesting Millie. I didn’t realize your historical fiction novels were about Vikings. That is wonderful you are already on your third book! Congratulations!

  5. Milliethom, pleased to see you’ve been nominated for a blog award! Although a bit sad to hear you may be cutting back on flash fiction writing; do enjoy them, always inspiring. Good news on Book 3 of the trilogy. I’m well into Book 1, Shadow of the Raven, Sons of Kings. The story is compelling, writing strong. I have already purchased book 2, Pit of Vipers.

    1. Thank you for the congrats. Jack! As for my book … I’m really pleased you like it and find the story OK. And thank you so much for buying Book 2! As you know, it’s a wonderful feeling to be told someone likes what you’ve written. It’s always a worry that they won’t. When all’s said and done, we’re all different and like different writing styles and so on. Big thanks for the lovely comment. 🙂

  6. I love how you specified how your historical adventure, concerning King Alfred as a young child and your own Eadwulf of Mercia, differs from other stories in the genre. Maybe one day I’ll get my hands on a signed copy of all three. 😎 I enjoyed your description of your writing process. How very relaxing and humbling it must be to start the day off with a quiet (or quiet enough) walk. I also loved how you touched on your appreciation for beta readers and the flash fiction challenges. ❤ Thanks for sharing more of yourself with us!

    1. I’m the one who should be thanking you for nominating me! I was very grateful for that. I really enjoyed answering the questions for this one, too. They just focused on writing, which is good for people like us. I enjoyed reading your answers very much. 🙂

      1. I hope you know we’re going to play tennis with our gratitude. 😀 Actually, we’re doing it right now (lol). And don’t get me started on the compliments you gave me. Trying to make me shed a tear. *sniffle, sniffle*

  7. Congratulations on your award. You are a good example of someone who has a goal in life. I am very inspired by your way of telling how you work on your book. It is wonderful to know that your third book is already on the way.

      1. Yes thank you I see it it in another perspective now. I first thought it is a waste of time.I enjoy it so much to think about and plan the small pieces of writing that I won’t give it up. It takes my mind away from my own daily hardships and pain

      2. I’m so sorry to hear that you suffer so much. I really hope your writing does help you cope with things, I think being on WP will help stop too many feelings of loneliness, if that is a problem.

      3. It is wonderful to do the writing and also having people reading it and I have made some dear friends here.

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