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Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award

Last month I was nominated for the same blogger award by two old friends from the AtoZ Challenge, Andrew Wilson and J Lenni Dorner

I’m so excited! It’s been such a long time since last I was nominated for one of these awards, but it’s always a pleasure to be nominated by a fellow blogger.

Which is what happened to Andrew and Lenni, too, of course. Guys, I’m so honoured that you thought about me for this award. You totally deserved your nomination. I know fully well what fantastic bloggers you are. 

As a result of the nomination, I’ll answer a few questions Andrew and Lenni asked me. Since a couple of Lenni’s questions focus on American social life and I’m not able to answer them properly, I’ll answer both sets of questions here. 

Thanks again, guys!

Here we go!

Rules for the Award

  1. Thank the person who has nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
  2. Answer their questions.
  3. Nominate up to 9 other bloggers and ask them 5 new questions.
  4. Notify the nominees through their blog by visiting and commenting on their blog.
  5. List the rules and display the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award” logo.
Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award

Andrew’s questions

1. Have you ever met anyone online (blogs, dating sites – whatever) and then taken it from the virtual to the “Real” World and what happened?

Yes, a couple of times. Both were fellow writers I met on the Criticque Circle, an online workshop for writers. I met Nienke only once in Dublin. It was such a cool coincidence. I was visiting a friend in Dublin, and she was there for a conference the exact same day. We discovered it by chance while chatting, and we immediately decided to meet.

It was a great day spent visiting places and bookshops! LOL!

I met Melinda on the same platform. At the time, I was drafting my Ghost Trilogy, in which two protagonists are Native Americans. Melinda mentioned in her bio that she belongs to the Iroquois Confederacy, so I contacted her for assistance. The first couple of years, we chatted on the phone very often, and after that, we met in person a few times. In 2013, I visited her in Boston, and the following year she visited me in Verona. Then, I met her again in Dublin and again in Venice just before Covid appeared. 

Yes, as you can see, online friendships sometimes do translate into in-person friendships. 

2. If you could meet anyone – Historical or Present Day – who would it be and why?

This is not an easy one. I admire so many historical people, especially people who fought for their people in one way or another. When a person behaves admirably and gives a fine example, I believe this enriches everyone, not just the people they are specifically acting for. So, for example, I have great respect for people like Tecumseh, a Shawnee leader; Martin Luther King jr (don’t think he needs presentations); Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, two Italian magistrates (and childhood friends) who fought against the Mafia and were killed by them; Marie Curie, who not only was a dedicated scientist but also put her knowledge to the service of the wounded during WWI. 

But these are only a few. Fortunately, history has no shortage of admirable people. 

3. Who would you want as a Creative Writing Coach?

Well, there are a few writers from whom I actually learned a lot when I started writing: Marion Zimmer Bradley, (I know about the bad stories that surfaced after her death, but I can’t deny that I learned a lot about writing from her back in the 1990s), David Gemmell, probably the one who most influenced my style, and Stephen King, there’s a reason why I love suspenseful and dark writing. 

But today, I’d probably choose Neil Gaiman because I love his way to write fantasy as if magic were just a fact of life.

4. What is the Blog Post of which you were most proud but which got less of a response than you hoped – (please link to the post)?

I’m really happy with how Xenos (belonging to the 2017 AtoZ Challenge 1940s Film Noir) turned out. It expresses a lot of what I think is the essence of storytelling, whether realistic or speculative. But it has always received very little love.

5. Do you agree with the idea that we make a choice as to how we are going to die at quite an early age and do you think that choice influences whether that death will come to pass oh, and if you have made such a choice – care to share?

LOL! No, I don’t believe it. I wish we could choose how and when to die peacefully, like the Númenóreans from Tolkien’s stories. But, alas, that’s not possible. 

Lenni’s questions

1. ?? How seriously are you taking the pandemic? On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 means you have done nothing and don’t even really believe in it, 10 means you’ve masked, vaccinated, and reached out to your political leaders and such to ask them to help you and your people.

I’d say nine. I haven’t reached out to our politicians, but then, I have to say almost all of the Italian politicians are quite sensitive to the problem. 

I did vaccinate as soon as the window for my age opened. I consider it a civic duty. 

2. What are your thoughts, opinions, and feelings in regard to the Kindle Vella?

I’m not on Amazon as an author, and I cancelled my account as a customer last spring. I don’t like anything about Amazon. 

3. In the United States, voting rights are changing. Do you feel that it should be more difficult to vote in elections and that there shouldn’t be as many eligible Americans permitted to vote? Or do you feel that it should be easier to vote in elections and every person of sound mind living in the United States and territories should be permitted to vote and have their vote count equally? 

Well, I don’t know anything about American election legislation (I’m Italian), but I do think that giving the most people living in a nation the opportunity to vote is better than restricting that right. 

It may not be the perfect situation, but I think it ‘preferable’. 

4. “Jeopardy!’ was hosted by Alex Trebek, who has passed away. Who do you hope the new host will be, or do you think they should just continue with celebrity guests?

I have no clue what this is about, so I can’t answer. 

5. If you had 200 billion dollars, what are some things you might do with your money, and would one of them be sending yourself into space? ?

Well, sending myself into space would certainly be the last thing I’d think about!

If I had that kind of money, I’d like to be useful, I’d like to help people – which I’m trying to do anyway with my tiny possibilities. 

It’s difficult to choose because there are so many emergencies that deserve help, but I think I’d like to do something for the environment (especially the sea and the Amazon); I’d like to support a humanitarian organisation (maybe Emergency… which I could still do, now I think about it!), I have indeed been a UNICEF supporter for many years; the cancer research (I do support the main Italian foundation, AIRC, always have since my mum passed away); and also I’d like to help preserve historic sites.

So many good causes to support with that kind of money. 

But then, you know, I think we can still do something anyway. Some people tell me they don’t donate because 10 or 12 euros won’t make any difference for such big causes. I strongly disagree. If every one of us donated 10 euros (or dollars, or whatever) to their chosen cause, these organisations would have a lot more resources to spend. 

It really doesn’t cost much to be useful.

And now, here are my nominees!

Joy @ The Joyous Living

raesquiggles @ The Quiet Writer

Iain @ Iain Kelly

Andi @ Mia – Dog on Adventures

Grace @ StorytellerGirl

Jack @ Jack’s Hideout

And here are my questions:

  1. What quality makes an author ‘one of your favourite authors’?
  2. What do you prefer, escapist reading or thoughtful reading? Why?
  3. Fantasy stories may give us a far sharper vision of our times and society than any mimetic fiction can. Do you agree?
  4. Why do you blog? What is blogging giving to you?
  5. Writing is a solitary activity. Do you think it’s true?

Now it’s up to you, guys!

Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award is a non-official Award to the bloggers as a reward of wonderful work on their blogs.


  • Margot Kinberg
    Posted August 20, 2021 at 13:15

    Congratulations! This is fantastic, and well-deserved. I love your responses to the questions, too.

    • Post Author
      Posted August 21, 2021 at 10:51

      Thanks Marot 🙂
      It was so unexpected. But a great pleasure.

  • J Lenni Dorner
    Posted August 23, 2021 at 06:29

    Thanks for playing along! I thought Jeopardy was translated into 30 countries around the globe. Maybe that’s not accurate, or maybe Italy isn’t one. (Or maybe you’re into quiz shows. Or maybe it’s more of an American thing.) ‍♂️

    What quality makes an author ‘one of your favourite authors’? — If the book is really good, and one other thing I’ve read from them (book, blog, interesting social media, etc) is also really good, that usually does it for me.

    What do you prefer, escapist reading or thoughtful reading? Why? Depends on my mood.

    Fantasy stories may give us a far sharper vision of our times and society than any mimetic fiction can. Do you agree? Yeah, because it requires the reader to “find” the similarities, instead of opening an argument saying “this is exactly what this is.” It requires thought. Thinking is good. More people should try it.

    Why do you blog? What is blogging giving to you? I blog for the blogging community and to strengthen my author brand. Most “how to blog” books indicate that I do it very poorly. ‍♂️

    Writing is a solitary activity. Do you think it’s true? Ultimately, yes. Even if you’re writing in a cafe. The characters and stuff are in YOUR head, and YOU have to move them to the page, to give them life. Others might help, but in the end, it’s your journey.

    • Post Author
      Posted August 27, 2021 at 13:06

      I really like your ‘active’ view of fantasy 🙂

  • J Lenni Dorner
    Posted August 23, 2021 at 06:32

    It’s changing my emojis. Whatever.

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