The ultimate book tag

Hi, everyone! Today I thought I’d take a break from character profiles to do the Ultimate Book Tag! Thanks so much to Holly of Nutfreenerd for tagging me! You should all go and check her blog out! So, without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Nope :-) It’s one of many skills I have!

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

George R R Martin. I love his A Song of Ice and Fire series, and you can see elements of this series in his earlier works.

3. Harry Potter series or the Twilight Saga? Give three points to defend your answer.

Confession time: Never read Twilight so it has to be Harry Potter, but here’s three reasons anyway.
1) Introduced me to fanfiction
2) Snape (OK, I have a bit of a crush on Alan Rickman!)
3) It’s the book series that connects my Dad and me – it started off him reading them to me (until book 3 when it got too scary – dementors), and then after that I read them by myself. We also both went to the cinema to watch the films together.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what’s in it? (besides books)

Nope :-(

5. Do you smell your books?

No – I don’t see the point.

6. Books with or without little illustrations?


7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later that it wasn’t quality writing?

Lucy Daniels – Animal Ark series.

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

Not that I can think of!

9. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

Immortal Bird: The Nightingale in Romantic Poetry, selected and introduced by Duncan Wu. ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ by Keats is one of my favourite poems, and this reading doesn’t hurt either:

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

Another poetry book! This time it’s The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, ed. by David V Erdman. I did a whole unit on Blake at University and he was also my dissertation topic.

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

I’m trying to write!

12. When did you get into reading?

As soon as I learned to read, practically. My parents had always read me bedtime stories, so when I finally learned to read on my own I quickly developed an insatiable appetite for words and all things bookish. I regret nothing!

13. What is your favourite classic book?

Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen. I always feel sorry for Colonel Brandon!

14. In school was your best subject Language Arts/English?


15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated… what would you do?

Depends. I might give it another try if I didn’t hate it that much, but otherwise I would probably donate it.

16. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games?

Just read Harry Potter!

17. What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while blogging?

I get distracted by my celebrity crushes!

18. What is your favourite word?

Dessert – I’m diabetic so don’t have that many!

19. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

Most definitely a nerd.

20. Vampires or fairies? Why?

Vampires – they can be sexy!

21. Shapeshifters or angels? Why?

Angels, because they’re nice.

22. Spirits or werewolves? Why?

Spirits, because they’re not going to hunt me down every full moon.

23. Zombies or vampires?

Vampires – much rather have my blood sucked out rather than eating organs!

24. Love triangle or forbidden love?

Forbidden love.

25. Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Definitely the latter, as that’s what I hope to write! I agree with Holly that romance books, no matter how well written, can get a bit boring after a while. I’d much rather read about crazy adventures with a few relationships added to the mix.

This tag was so fun! And guess what? I TAG YOU! That’s right, I tag everyone to do this tag!

Books, books and more books! Recommendations also gratefully received!

Below is a list of books I’ve read, currently reading and want to read for inspiration for my series of novels. If you can recommend any more that may help me with the research/inspiration/writing stages, they’d be gratefully received! The genres I’m aiming for are murder mystery/detective fiction.

(this list includes my favourite authors, as I can see that they will be an important influence even though some of the books do not belong in the genre I am going to be writing in)
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley
The Mysterious Affair at Styles, by Agatha Christie
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Killing’s at Badger’s Drift, by Caroline Graham
Oak and Dagger, by Dorothy St James
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series, by Douglas Adams
A Great Deliverance, by Elizabeth George
A Song of Ice and Fire Series, by George R R Martin
Fevre Dream, also by George R R Martin
The Harry Potter Series, by J K Rowling
Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, both by Jane Austen
Terminal Justice, by Lyle Howard
The Lucifer Box Series, by Mark Gatiss
The Butcher of Smithfield, by Susanna Gregory.

Great Speeches on Gay Rights, by James Daley
Criminology – A Complete Introduction: Teach Yourself, by Peter Joyce
How to Write a Murder Mystery – Seven Steps to Success, by Jeffrey Marks
The Busy Writer’s Tips on Writing Mystery and Crime, by Marg McAlister
Writing the Cozy Mystery, by Nancy J Cohen.

Currently reading:
The Swimming Pool Library, by Alan Hollinghurst.

To read:

The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder, by Charles Graeber
Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
Deja Dead, by Kathy Reichs
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galgraith
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
Broken Harbour, by Tana French
The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco

Forensic Science: A Very Short Introduction, by Jim Fraser
The Criminal Mind: A Writer’s Guide to Forensic Psychology, and Forensic Science of CSI, both by Katherine Ramsland
What is Forensic Science? How Hair, Blood, Bullets and Psychology are used in Crime Scene Investigation: Forensics for Writers and Beginners, by Lacey Jackson-Matsushima
The Mammoth Book of Women Who Kill, by Richard Glyn Jones
FORENSICS 101 : A Friendly Primer for Writers, by Robert Jones
The Mammoth Book of CSI and The Mammoth Book of Unsolved Crimes, both by Roger Wilkes
Clues to Christie: The Definitive Guide to Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot and all of Agatha Christie’s Mysteries, by unknown author.

Mark Welham

Age 53, born 10/9/1960, Libra
English, Caucasian Male
Height: 6’2
Weighs 86.2kg with a BMI of 24
No health issues
Brave and moral, but can be impulsive and foolish
Brisk walk
No distinctive accent
Brown hair and eyes

Intelligence – Average IQ of 89
Temperament – ISFJ – Protector
Happiest when his impulses turn out to be correct
Attitudes: Very open-minded
Habits: Celebrates TV dinner day

Family: Joshua Mounsey, Georgina Mounsey, Penny Rosser, Charles Rosser, Martin Rosser and Sarah Rosser
Friends: Tim Clery, Helena Ventham and John Mercury
Colleagues: Joshua Mounsey
Birthplace: Grayshott, Hampshire
Childhood: Was told he was worthless and won’t get anywhere in life by his father and teachers
Education Leeds University MA Criminal Justice and Criminology and has an SIA
Hobbies: Enjoys fundraising for local charities
Lifestyle: Middle-class
Marital status: Single at start but gets engaged and in a civil partnership by the end of the series
No religion
Profession: Security Guard
Wealth: £12,000 per year
Politics: Liberal Democrat

Wants: To have a sense of belonging in the world
Hopes: To be included in a large extended family
Fears: Going back to self-harming
Memories: Being told that he is worthless and won’t achieve anything by his father and teachers
Resentments: Being an only child
Dreams: Of achieving something in his life
Humour: Alternative, Parody

Says “Trust me”
Eats Steak and strawberries
Wears Burton and Next
Buys: Asda
Works at Court
Plays Rugby
Drinks Champagne and Milk
Watches: Bargain Hunt, The Chase, American Psycho and Saving Private Ryan
Listens to Girls Aloud, S Club and Petula Clark
Reads Jean Rhys and Stephen King

Character inspiration

Based on the character profiles I’ve posted so far, do you think they are too heavily based on the celebrities behind them or are they different enough to be unrecognisable? I know I’ve said in the posts who the inspiration is, but if I hadn’t would you have known it was that particular celebrity?

What’s your reading personality? Take a quiz!

Originally posted on Fiction 4 Writers and Readers:

Dog reading

We’ve all got them, those reading beliefs and behaviors that shape what kind of books we choose and how we tackle them. Are you the kind that reads everything from magazines to the back of the cereal box? Do you plod through a book with a slow start or chuck it aside? Do you go for the splashy romance or the  literary masterpiece?

Take this quickie quiz and post about your results! Giving away a triple prize this month!

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