The Very Inspiring Blogger Award


I’m beginning to catch up after a hectic month attempting to address all the comments on “Storms Compass” that I got back from my brave beta readers. I tried to address all the points, even if some didn’t feel right – until I gave them proper consideration and explored them fully. Today I passed this first Book in the Gossamer Flames saga to my editor friend Sue Barnard.

Now it’s time to address the nomination that I received a few weeks ago for Very Inspiring Blogger Award, from talented Italian friend, Sarah Zama.

Sarah is a wonderful jeweller and a budding writer so I recommend visiting her blog, The Old Shelter, which has a fascinating collection of articles, stories and links. I liked her jewellery so much that I bought a steampunk pendant for my wife.

Steampunk Heart from JazzFeathers

Steampunk Heart from JazzFeathers

Anyway, on to today’s task. In order to accept the award, I have to do a few things:

Display the award on your blog.

Link back to the person who nominated you.

State 7 things about yourself.

Nominate 15 bloggers, link to them, and notify them about their nominations.

7 Things about me

Having been interviewed a few times, these are the more obscure facts.

1. Although I sound English, was born in England and most of the time went to school in England, I am actually a quarter Chilean. My mother was born in Chile to a Chilean mother and an English father. Although my grandmother lived near us and spoke Spanish with my mother, I didn’t learn the language from them. But I had an ear for it, so with the right encouragement I learnt enough to survive.

2. The only time that I didn’t go to school in England, was when I was in Canada. For two years I did my GCSE A levels at Bransons, a school in the Laurentians, north of Montreal. Think I spent as much time skiing as I did studying. Suspect that my French – learnt at school in England – didn’t improve as Quebecois felt like a different language; in fact it evolved from Breton French.  I also spent a further year living in Toronto, the city that I vowed never to visit. Never make rash statements. I was intending to train as a journalist, but the Canadian system didn’t recognise my A levels. So I spent a year doing a General Studies course that was a step back in some respects. But it turned me green and into a vegetarian.

3. While in Canada, I went on a white-water expedition. The Beaver River trip took a few weeks and entailed the first navigation of this river from The Yukon to British Columbia – by white skins. Don’t ask how many times I tipped the rubber raft over.

4. I may live in Wales now, with a view of the mountains and the sea, but I have no Welsh blood – just second cousins that grew up here. I can claim a touch of Celtic blood though, as some of my ancestors were from Scotland, and proudly wore the Grant tartan. But I speak more words of Welsh than Gaelic.


5. [Thanks to Sara for this one] “I was a Tolkien fan way before the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy came out.”

In fact, “Lord of the Rings” is the book that influenced me most as a writer, and I re-read it when I can. It has always headed my list of favourite books and has always inspired me whether I need to escape into another world or in my writing. Is that the same thing? And I have been able to see my vision of Middle Earth on screen plus been there in a gaming world. I also have the hardback set that I read in my late teens back in the late 1970’s. Strange fact is that it was not the first Tolkien piece of writing that I devoured – that was his lecture paper “”Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics”, followed by “Tree and Leaf”, which contains the essay ‘On Fairy Stories’, which Sara Zama says, “any writer should read…Tolkien says it takes a lot more than dragons and magic to make a fantasy story. Magic has to be part of that world, it has to be woven in its very fabric to the point you can’t imagine that world without that kind of magic. And that world with that magic has to have the intimate consistency of reality.”

6. I hate roller-coasters to the point that I once bit my ex-wife on the shoulder because I was terrified on some runaway train at Disneyland. No that wasn’t why she left me for a better man. I also tried to throw myself out of a rickety big wheel that had nothing holding us in – except a useless bar. Is there a murder mystery there? Funfair Fiasco?

7. I worked for a few years in the TV/film industry, losing a lot of money trying to make a movie in Malta. During that time, I worked with a few amazing people ranging from Doctor Who actors like Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, to musicians like Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and my best friend Steve Hackett (Genesis).

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

And now comes the hardest part, choosing the fifteen blogs to nominate. Apologies if you have been nominated, don’t accept nominations, got missed out, or even wonder if I actually know anybody.

Next port of call/task on the To Do list is a new page on this site, called ‘Snowdon Shadows’ and those book reviews that have never got written. Oh and there’s A to Z, IWSG, and so much more.

12 thoughts on “The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

  1. Roland, I enjoyed reading your sever ‘reveals’ a lot! And hey, I’m humbled that you actually quoted me twice. Now I’m all blushing….

    Now you’ll excuse me, but I have to visit all you nominees 🙂


  2. Thank you so much, Roland, for this unexpected accolade. It was fascinating to read about you above. What an interesting life you’ve had. I will certainly be doing a tearful acceptance speech on my blog soon – and Nancy Jardine also kindly nominated me. So I have a double reason to blog soon. I also look forward very much to visiting the other recipients of this distinguished award.


  3. Grats on the award. I think your TV history is pretty cool. And I love steampunk stuff!

    Thanks for nominating me. 🙂 I don’t think I can think up anymore interesting details about myself. I struggled just to come up with last week’s post. But if I do come up with something, I’ll be sure to continue it on.


  4. Thank you for the nomination, Roland – that was very kind of you. Having already had it, I shall offer it up to any of your lovely writers who would like it. I am still laughing about the fact you bit your ex wife on the roller coaster. I hate them too… but never resorted to cannibalism!


    • Human flesh is never as good as portrayed – even on a rollercoaster. Sure that I will get some writers willing to get nominated. Glad you got the recognition from another quarter. :_)


  5. You’re an international man of mystery, Roland! Tolkien inspired me at a young age, and I’ve been reading The Hobbit with my 8th graders every year for the past 10. Obviously, I hated the movie.


    • Cross between Austin Powers and The Scarlet Pimpernel – perhaps. Do you want to take the spare ‘nomination’ spot, Milo? Then we can keep the Tolkien theme going. I have to say that I loved the LOTR films, as they echoed what I read. But adaptions are never the same as the book I find.


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