Siobhan Hanlin [facetsofthefabulous]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I first read Matilda by Roald Dahl, and loved it so much that I tried my very best to move things with my mind thereafter. Alas, telekinetic ability has eluded me! But a love or reading a writing remained. I started writing in primary school, to impress my P7 teacher Mr Forsyth. I'd say my first readers were my parents and teachers.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genre to read is horror, I'll worship at the throne of Stephen King given the chance! My own fiction writing is slightly dark but never takes its self too seriously.
If you would like to try my writing out follow the link below!
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
It is actually very quick for me. If an idea comes it must be written or it will vanish like smoke in the wind.
Normally before sitting down to write I'll have had breakfast, several strong coffees an gone for a walk and then I'm good to go!
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Photos inspire me to write, other reading is more for my own pleasure.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Believable characters, and they MUST have flaws to be such. Flowing dialogue between characters. Rich imagery.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
Either,I just don't like switching between first person and third person.
What well known writers do you admire most?
The wonderful, the glorius, the awe-inspiring Stephen King! His use of language is what I aspire to. I also really enjoy Karen Russel for her use of imagery. Also Anne Rice, James Hogg, Iain Banks, Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens...
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
As already mentioned for a character to be believable they need to have flaws in addition to their positive qualities, just like you or I. When I create a character it is often after seeing a photo that I have become obsessed with and a phrase that has been stuck in my head. I then think of how to marry the two together and a personality develops from there.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Alas, no. I'm quite good at one-liners. Or being a smart a***, whichever is more beliveable!
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
A reader who has been bored with their current literary choices and I inspire them to read again.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
I need to write, but as a form of personal therapy, it is not for me. I think internal conflicts are a creative force but I think it is necessary to keep somethings private.
Does reader feed-back help you?
YES! Always, it prevents you from becoming self-indulgent/
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
I haven't as yet, it is on my to-do list for 2010.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
No, I redraft, redraft by myself again and again. I also use read-back software program so I can listen to my writing, and if something does not sound right, it gets chucked.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I think I may have found it but I expect it to change as a grow older and experience more of life.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
With regards to fiction writing, I find goals and schedules incredibly stifling for my creativity. My articles for my magazine however I am very disciplined with strict rule of at least 4 articles a week.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
I need to have on music, constantly in the background. I need to be near a window so I can day dream (thats where the ideas come from!) and I can not ever write at a desk. I write on the sofa, the floor, my bed,the park. I'm anti-desk as it reminds me of school and being so bored I could weep.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I use speech recognition software and a virtual printer that reads what I've written/spoken back to me and I catch my mistakes that way.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
ezine but not much more than that.
What has been your experience with publishers?
None as yet!
What are you working on now?
I'm working on a screen play for a (hopefully) intelligent romantic-comedy that wouldn't make a man curse about going to see with his girl friend. Perhaps not calling it a romantic-comedy to start with would help...hmmmm.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Keep them in a beautiful box and look back at them from time to time. I threw out all my scribbles from back when and I keep regretting it.
What is your blog address? What subjects do you deal with?
I blog at www.facetsofthefabulous.blogspot.com and I deal with a variety of subjects, from relationship advice,life, fashion, make-up product reviews.
What was it that made you create your blog? On what date did you start it?
I had just finished reading a well known magazine that I used to adore, but I was so enraged by the dissapointing content that I had to take a stand against it, and not buying the magazine ever again wasn't enough and then my blog was born on september 20th.
What blogging system have you adopted and why?
At the moment I'm with Blogger, which has been a great place to start and to learn.
How many visits a day do you get? What type of comments do you receive?
I recieve about 50 per day of hopefully satisfied readers, and very occasionally nice comments. I'm in the process of coding my own website so that my visitors have something exquiste to look at.
How has 'having a blog' contributed to your life?
It's great! I have an outlet for my creativity (I can't draw or paint or knit etc etc) and its great to read other bloggers work. There is SO much talent out there, its fantastic!
Have you created relationships with other bloggers or readers of your blog?
As yet no, but maybe with time who knows?
How often do you post? Does regular posting of your blog require a lot of effort on your part?
I try to post daily. I wouldn't say that it requires a lot of effort, it does however require organisation, which I am getting better at.
Does blogging bring in income for you? Can one make a living from posting?
I've not made a income from blogging yet, I think you can make a living from blogging but it requires tenacity and the abilty to hustle.
How do you promote your blog?
I'm still learning, I really want my blog to grow organically and maybe reach fewer readers who really LOVE what they've read than thousands who just think 'meh' and click over.
How would you define your readers? Have you got a faithful audience?
I'd say my readers are intelligent, curious and discerning women who like to stand out from the crowd. I've got a wee faithful audience whom I love to pieces.
Are there any blogs you follow daily or regularly?
and I know she's no longer anonymous but I really, truly enjoyed www.belledejour.blogspot.com, the girl has a gift for dialogue in my humble opinion.
Have you ever received gifts for blogging about your opinion of products or services? What do you think of bloggers who do that?
I've not recieved anything yet for blogging (although I'd be lying if i said I wouldn't mind gifts!) I think if a blogger states honestly that such and such company approached them about such and such product to review it, if YOU feel you can trust the blogger then its all fine and dandy. I think maybe a lack of transparency or honesty is more harmful.
How do you see your blog evolving in the future?
I will be moving my blog to a more beautiful, more fabulous site for my lovely readers and I would simply LOVE to reach more readers and provide worthwhile content.
What advice would you give to someone who wishes to begin a blog?
Go for it! But if you are in it too make a quick buck, realise that its is HIGHLY unlikely. Start a blog for yourself and your writing.
In moments of tension, what techniques work in calming the mind?
Go and make yourself a cup of tea and watch something nonsensical on tv for a hal-hour. Obviously this technique only works for a minor crisis.
A simple pleasure that for you is quite big or important.
New book, mug of tea, favorite album on and not having to go anywhere. BLISS.
How do you respond to telemarketing calls?
I hang up, immediatley.
Of what are you an addict?
Coffee, tea, and chocolate raisins.
What toy gave you the best moments of your childhood?
A red and maroon tricycle that my granny bought me for my 5th birthday. It was indestructible!
A word or expression that you detest.
'Bang on trend'. I despise that phrase.