I am invincible!

Fantasy writer's fireworks

Okay, maybe not invincible, but I won a shiny thing. Twice!

The exceptionally classy J.J. Azar and the lovely Louise Brady have nominated me for the Liebster Award, and you know what that means?

At least two people like my blog! (Does a happy dance.)

Also, you get to hear me answer 2 x 11 questions.

Liebster Award

Thank you so much for the nominations, JJ and Louise!

Now I’m required the answer the questions JJ and Louise asked me, nominate 11 people to receive the award, and ask them 11 questions. Let’s do this!

I’ll start with Louise’s questions.

1. Fanfiction: Do you approve or disapprove of it? If you write it, should you keep it separate from your original author writing or shout about it?

Eek! I feel like you’re asking me to have an opinion, and opinions are scary things that occasionally have poisonous spines.

I don’t write fanfiction because I prefer to invent my own worlds, but I don’t think it’s a shameful thing to do for your own entertainment. Unlike tennis or golf.

2. Do you have any pets? If yes, what are they, and how do they help/hinder your writing? If no, what would be your ideal pet?

I have four chickens who occasionally give me something to blog about, and even more occasionally lay eggs.

In all fairness, two of them lay quite often, I just don’t know where.

He’s not a pet, but I also have a cat, His Royal Fluffiness.

He hinders my writing from two positions. First, when he’s sitting on my lap he gets annoyed when I reach over his head to type, and he bites me.

Second, when he’s feeling playful he hides behind my laptop screen and reaches around it to scratch me when I type.

If I got to pick another pet I’d get a dragon.

3. What was the first story that inspired you to write? Why should we read/watch it?

All books, always. But when I was ten I fell in love with the Belgariad, and that helped a lot. You should read it because it will improve your life immeasurably.

4. If you could have or achieve any one thing this year, what would it be? (Writing or otherwise!)

This is a hard question. It seems like a waste to wish for (is this a wish?) something I can achieve for myself through hard work.

But I don’t see a genie, so I’ll say I want to get my novel to the point where I’m ready to start querying.

5. Do you have a day job in addition to writing, or is writing your day job?

My day job is sitting at a computer and thinking about things. It’s more fun than it sounds. I like running around inside my head, and once a day I get to talk to flesh people over coffee.

6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Bonus points for pretty pictures 🙂

To my laptop, obviously. I’ve got writing to do.

7. Do you write every day, ad hoc, or have a different schedule?

I write nearly every day unless I get home really drunk and the only thing I need to do is editing. (Drafting can happen drunk.) Though some days the only writing I get done is a blog post.

8. What do you find most challenging about writing? Why?

I find characterisation a challenge. Plot is kind of logical and mathematical, which I’m good at, but character is all about human nature and I really don’t get humans. They’re so mysterious.

I think I’m getting better at characterisation, though. My critique partner said some really nice things about the characterisation in my last draft, and she almost certainly wasn’t just trying to make me feel better after telling me my plot didn’t make sense.

Thanks for the great questions, Louise. (What do you mean that wasn’t 11? You have no proof.)

Okay, now for JJ’s questions.

1. During which moment of your life do you wish your enemies could see you?

I have no enemies. I am universally adored. (Ducks.)

Twin ducks
Twin ducks
2. If you could have dinner with one person who has died, from history or otherwise, who would it be?

Alexander the Great because I think he was a bit of a hottie.

3. Tell us about a time you ratted on somebody/something.

Okay, but I do feel bad about this. At university, I had an acquaintance who plagiarised a major assignment for a course I was taking as well. When the rest of the class was stressing and working like mad to get these assignments done, he was bragging about how he’d already finished, and we should do what he’d done and copy ours off the web.

We warned him not to cheat, but he did anyway, and a friend and I told the professor.

Does that make me a terrible person?

4. Can you speak another language?

Only when I’m drunk.

5. Do you have any superstitions?

No, but I don’t like to think about bad things in case I accidentally make them happen. Plus every time you think about something bad a fairy gets caught in a spider web.

6. Renaissance or Baroque? (we wanted to be snobs)

I’m a simple soul, and I don’t understand the question.

7. Clear mornings or thunderstorms?


I love clear frosty mornings when the grass is crunchy and white, and thunderstorms are a lot of fun. Though they make me wonder if I’m about to die.

8. Hamburger or hotdog?

I can’t answer this question because I don’t know if you mean an American hotdog or a hotdog hotdog (a deep fried battered sausage).

I like deep fried stuff.

9. War. What is it good for?

Exciting fantasy novels and giving the dragons something to do.

See, I answered all 11 questions. I really did!

Okay, now for my nominations. Since I’m having trouble with counting today there may not be 11 of them, but the quality will make up for the lack of numbers.

I nominate:

  • Gregory Josephs, who writes on a wide range of topics that I would summarise as “entertaining life stuff worth reading”; Update: Gregory’s fantastic answers are here. Tell me you wouldn’t want to live on his planet;
  • R.A. Killam, who writes incredibly insightful and honest posts about writing topics; Update: Rob’s responses are here. I would not want to be a bad guy on his world; and
  • David T. Shank, who writes thoughtful posts that will improve your life; Update: David’s hilarious responses are here. I agree, bacon and alcohol are indeed high priorities.

Here are my questions for these fine folk.

Suppose you crash landed your spaceship on an uninhabited Earth-like planet with fifty of your crew.

  1. On your new planet, you have to build a civilisation from scratch. What would your role in the new civilisation be?
  2. In the first week, what would your priorities for the new civilisation be?
  3. If you were made leader, what are the first three laws you would put in place to govern the society?
  4. What animals would you domesticate to help your society?
  5. What would the worst punishment in your society be? What crime would a person have to commit to earn it?
  6. After a while your society becomes so successful that migrants want to join it. What criteria would you use to decide whom to accept?

That’s not 11 questions, but they’re hard so I’ll stop there.

Even if I didn’t nominate you, I’d love to hear your answers to my questions in the comments. Whoever comes up with the best answers wins a crash landing on their very own planet.**

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** Conditions apply.

Author: A.S. Akkalon

By day, A.S. Akkalon works in an office where the computers outnumber the suits of armour more than two-to-one. By night, she puts dreams of medieval castles, swords, and dragons onto paper.

17 thoughts on “I am invincible!”

  1. BELGARIAD FTW. I loved Belgarath and Polgara so so SO much. For me, I think I’d actually have to put it down to Tolkien. My dad read The Hobbit and LOTR to us when we were kids. And the rest, as they say, is history. 🙂

    1. Yes!! Anyone who loves Belgarath and Polgara can be my new best friend. 🙂 (Though I might have a lot of new best friends because they are awesome.) And Tolkien, naturally, is excellent.

  2. This was a riot, as always. It’s funny that there is another sort of hotdog that isn’t an American hotdog because that is the only hotdog with credibility. Great stuff, A.S. Congrats again!

  3. Man, these really are some hard questions! I’m gonna have to think about them. It’s not a bad problem to have, to be honest.

    By the way, I genuinely laughed out loud at your response to the “Renaissance or Baroque” question.

  4. I did not know that battered, deep fried sausage was a thing. This is dangerous information. Your ducks made me laugh, I tried to explain the joke to my husband, and he smiled politely at me. .

    1. Battered, deep fried sausage is definitely a thing, and a wonderful thing it is. Sometimes it even comes on a stick. 🙂

      Haha, I’m glad you liked the ducks.

  5. I prefer the Baroque period. I admire their attitude of noninterference. They had a policy of not updating or restoring artwork from other periods. They used to say, “If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it.”




    *even the crickets go home*


    *dead silence*


  6. I loved reading your answers 🙂 I’m going to add Belgariad to my reading list!

    Your crash landed spaceship scenario sounds a lot like my adventures playing Ark: Survival Evolved!

    In such a situation, my role would be the builder, and I would build castles. Our priorities would be food and shelter. If I were leader, it would be law that a dragon be brought to me each month for my collection. Whoever gets me one first can set the other two laws. We would domesticate dinosaurs, and the worst punishment would be to be eaten alive by a T-Rex. Murderers only (and those who insult dragons!)
    Migrants who bring acceptable offerings would be allowed entry. Management reserves the right to decide exactly what is acceptable.

  7. I loved your answer to the second #6. That would have been my answer too. Great questions and answers overall. I love it when fantasy authors do these. The creativity is out there. 😀

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