Welcome to the new series of the Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You…and to show you how it will look when you participate.. I am going first.
As writers we tend to share aspects of our work in interviews, such as our blog posts, books and characters, and that is very important. However, sometimes we don’t get to share some of the other aspects of our personalities.
I was looking at some of the blogging award posts and decided that for this new series, I might ask some of the questions than you will usually find attached to them.
There are over 50 questions to choose from about life, love, humour, travel, ambitions and embarrassing moments!
You can select any five questions and the only proviso is that the answer is 100 words or longer.
It is an opportunity to show us your writing skills, sense of humour, best life moments and the worst, and things you might wish for. Since this is also an opportunity to promote your creative work, I will of course top and tail with an intro, your bio, examples of your blog, books, artwork, photography and your social media links. For most of you that have featured here before, I have those details on file or can find them. If you are new to the blog, I may have to come back to you for more information.
- All you have to do is pick Five questions, answer them with a minimum of 100 words ( use as many as you need) remembering that this is your showcase especially as a writer – you want people to head over and follow your blog and buy your books.
- Send the five questions and your answers to me in a word document or in an email to email@example.com.
- Please feel free to add an illustration (two or three is fine) Please do not embed in the document but attach to the email.
- If you are new to the blog, then please send your main website or blog link and I will check that out for the information that I need.
It is a first come, first serve basis so you need to get your entry in as quickly as possible (after due thought and consideration of course!).
The post will be promoted across my social media and will be my pinned tweet for the following week.
A couple of things that I would ask from you to help promote the post as far and wide as possible.
- To reblog or share across your own social media.
- To respond to each comment individually (it does encourage people to visit your blog and buy your books or other work for sale.
- To pop in from time to time over the following week to check on later comments.
Here are the questions for you to choose 5 from the 52. After the questions and to give you an idea of how the post will look, I have answered my 5 questions.
- Describe one most embarrassing moment of your life.
- Which is the most valuable thing you have lost and did you ever find it?
- Tell us about your craziest experience.
- Do you have a phobia and do you remember how it started?
- If you were to become invisible for a day what is the one thing you would do?
- If you were granted three wishes what would they be?
- What was the funniest moment of your life?
- Describe your worst online experience?
- Tell us about your partner’s likes and dislikes.
- How would you describe your fashion sense?
- What are the five things that you would always find in your handbag or briefcase?
- What is the one ambition that you still have not achieved?
- What is the one item that you paid a lot of money for but have never used or regretted buying?
- Describe the strangest dream you’ve ever had.
- Which famous person would you like to be marooned with on a desert island with?
- Have you got a secret talent nobody knows about?
- What do you consider to be the best dish that you prepare – and have you the recipe?
- If you could get rid of one household chore, what would it be?
- What is your favourite childhood song and why (do you have a Youtube link for it)?
- What is your favourite holiday and why?
- If you could be any action hero, who would it be?
- What is your favourite TV show and why?
- What is your least favourite thing about family parties?
- What is something you look forward to when you retire?
- What was the one thing you could never learn how to do no matter how hard you tried?
- Do you prefer the big city or country life?
- Where is your favourite holiday destination and why?
- What was the worse holiday you ever had and why?
- What are your favourite or weird pizza toppings?
- If you could choose a different career, what would it be and why?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
- If animals could talk, which one would you have a conversation with?
- Knowing now, what you didn’t know then, what would you have done differently?
- Are you a morning person or a night person?
- What is your favourite ice cream flavour or combined flavours?
- If you were given a million dollars what would you do with it?
- What is your favourite sport and have you won medals or an award for it?
- Have you ever played a musical instrument or sang in public?
- Do you prefer the beach or the mountains and why?
- What does it take to make you angry?
- Do you prefer cats, dogs, or neither?
- What is your favourite music genre and why?
- Did you have a nickname as a child and if so, what was it?
- If you only had two minutes to get out of your house, what would you grab?
- What is your favourite vegetable and how do you like it prepared?
- What do you like to put on your toast?
- What season is your favourite and why?
- What is your favourite month and why?
- Of all the books that you have read, what is your favourite and why?
- How many different languages can you speak and what are they?
- Do you have any tattoos and if so, where?
- What is one thing (moral or practical) your grandparent taught you how to do that you still do today?
Here is an example of how your interview will look like and you can promote your books, artwork, photography, or aspects of your blog.
The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You with Sally Cronin
About Sally Cronin
I have lived a fairly nomadic existence living in eight countries including the Sri Lanka, South Africa and USA before settling back here in Ireland. My work, and a desire to see some of the most beautiful parts of the world in the last forty years, has taken me to many more incredible destinations around Europe and Canada, and across the oceans to New Zealand and Hawaii. All those experiences and the people that I have met, provide a rich source of inspiration for my stories.
I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another ten books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one.
My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more. The same applies to my blog, Smorgasbord Invitation, where I get to write everyday and communicate with people around the world who share my interests. What a reason to get up every morning and come to work.
As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.
Find out more about Sally’s books at the end of the post…now for some interesting snippets!!
If you were to become invisible for a day what is the one thing you would do?
The options vary from comical to downright nefarious. Clearly this is wide open to larceny on a grand scale, but being the law abiding citizen that I am!!! I think that I would like to follow one of the world leaders for the day, and find out what is real and what is fake news. I can think of a few candidates… Donald Trump, Kim Yung-un, Theresa May, Vladimir Putin.. you get the idea. Plus with some of them there would be the fun of driving the security team crazy. Going in and out of metal detectors and setting them off every few minutes. It might be tough not to play a couple of pranks on the target… in fact downright impossible.
What do you consider to be the best dish that you prepare – and have you the recipe?
My father let me help him prepare his special sauce for spaghetti when I was about 11 years old. It would be served with grated cheddar cheese and a dollop of tomato ketchup and was our Saturday favourite. I cooked it myself for the first time at 14, to impress a boyfriend. and it has been my go to recipe for getting to a man’s heart through his stomach ever since. Including my husband 50 years later!
The recipe is very easy. A pound of lean steak mince cooked off with a tablespoon of olive oil, a crushed clove of garlic, some salt and pepper to taste, and a teaspoon of pimiento dulce. Sweat off two thinly sliced onions, one sliced red pepper and 200gm of sliced mushrooms in a large knob of butter. Place all the ingredients into a casserole dish and stir in a can of chopped tomatoes, a dissolved beef stock cube or jelly, and a tablespoon of tomato concentrate. I also add in a dessertspoon of pesto these days. Mix well and put the lid on before cooking in the oven for 45 minutes at 180. Serve over buttered spaghetti and sprinkle liberally with grated mature cheddar.
Do you prefer the big city or country life?
I have experienced both, including living and working in London for nine years. I would have to say that I prefer living in the country with access to a reasonably sized town or city. I love the quiet, except for the occasional church bell and passing traffic. I really appreciate the fresh air, and relish the whiff of sea air where we live now. We really noticed the difference when spending four days in London last year. I came home feeling smutty (not the dirty mind sort, but coal smut!). When I took my makeup of, it came away with a dark and dusty layer which cannot be good for you, especially when inhaled. I love people, and in my career have been surrounded by them, but now I don’t enjoy big crowds, and the pushing and shoving that goes on, especially on public transport. I love that I have facilities within 5 miles such as supermarkets, cinema, restaurants and hospital, but as long as I can drive, I prefer to be away from them.
Plus, I love having wildlife in the garden and the birds are so entertaining, even the crows who pinch the seed.
If you could choose a different career, what would it be and why?
When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a singer and actress. I had been brought up on the 1950s and 60s musicals and wanted to star in South Pacific, Sound of Music and West Side Story. I knew all the lyrics, and would sing for an audience at the drop of a hat (willing or unwilling didn’t bother me). However, I was persuaded by my parents that I should do my secretarial training first, so that I had something to fall back on. I actually had a starring role as the floozy who tempted the matador away from Carmen in ‘Passion Flower’ adapted from the opera for the amateur stage with fabulous music by Georges Bizet. However, there was not sufficient funds for me to do a drama course in London, and I went out to work with the attention of earning enough to audition in a couple of years. Life got in the way. Things have worked out very well, and I have had the chance to perform on radio and television, and through my writing. But, if I am honest, I would have loved to have taken that road to where I am today.
If animals could talk, which one would you have a conversation with?
There is no doubt in my mind that animals can communicate, perhaps not in our language but in their own way. However, if I could talk to any animal it would be with Koko the gorilla, and I am quite prepared to learn sign language to be able to do that. I love the video of Koko and Robin Williams in discussion, but here is a video that shows the breadth of understanding and free thinking of this gentle giant. Being able to sit down with her and talk like this would be a dream come true. It would certainly be a huge privilege.
Books by Sally Cronin
About What’s in a Name Volume Two
Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters.
Kenneth watches the love of his life dance on New Year’s Eve while Lily plants very special flowers every spring for her father. Martha helps out a work colleague as Norman steps back out into the world to make a difference. Owen brings light into a house and Patrick risks his life in the skies over Britain and holds back from telling a beautiful redhead that he loves her.
Meet Queenie and Rosemary who have both lost their husbands and must face a very different future. One that will take courage and the use of new technology.
Sonia is an entitled princess whose father has reached the end of his tether and Theresa has to deal with a bully in the checkout. Usher is an arrogant narcissist with a docile wife and is used to getting his own way and Vanessa worries about the future of her relationship with her teenage son.
Walter is a loner and is happy with just his dog for company, Xenia is the long awaited first baby of a young couple. Yves is a dashing romeo who has the tables turned on him unexpectedly and Zoe… Well she can see into the future.
In one way or another all these characters will be remembered by those whose lives they have touched.
The most recent review for the collection
I read the first volume of What’s in a Name and was eager to give the second a try. Volume 2 is a collection of short stories that picks up when the first ended, covering names starting with K through Z (Kenneth through Zoe). Cronin includes a bonus short story for a collection coming out later in 2018.
This is a quick read that I breezed through in a few hours, sitting outside in the spring sunshine. Many of the stories have older characters, covering a range of topics from heartwarming reunions, grief and loss, recovered dignity, and romantic love beyond the grave. There’s also a bit of happily ever after and match-making, as well as some swindling, and a taste of well-deserved murder! The variety is highly entertaining and kept me engaged throughout.
Cronin is a master storyteller and I recommend this collection (both volumes) to readers of all ages.
You can read the reviews and buy What’s in Name- Volume Two: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0748MLZ1W/
Other books by Sally Cronin
You can read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6
Read other reviews and follow Sally on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin
Connect to Sally on her blog and social media.
So what do you think? Can you find five questions to answer? I would love to hear from you and previous participants are always welcome. You can never have too much of a good thing! firstname.lastname@example.org