I’m delighted to have over here today, author/blogger and great supporter of other artists, the talented Sally Cronin. Sally always amazes me because she reads many blogs, shares many on her own blog, hosts various series and promotions, and writes her own posts in various categories such as: short stories, health and nutrition, and more. And Sally still manages to get her book writing done. So today Sally is here to share some of her knowledge and tell us about her latest book, What’s in a Name? About Sally: My name is Sally Georgina Cronin but you will find that I have had a number of variations online and for my books including Georgina Cronin and Sally Cronin. After working in a number of industries for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to pursue a completely different career, one that I had always been fascinated with. I began studying Nutrition and the human body twenty years ago and I opened my first diet advisory centre in Ireland in 1998. Over the last 18 years I have practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as written columns, articles and radio programmes on health and nutrition. I published my first book with a Canadian self-publisher in the late 90s and since then have republished that book and released eight others as part of our own self-publishing company. Apart from health I also enjoy writing fiction in the form of novels and short stories. Get this Book on Amazon! Blurb: There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet. There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow. Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives. Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret? Welcome Sal. I’m so happy to have you over today and share more of yourself and your writing with us all. So let’s dive in! Can you share with us where your story ideas came from for this book? I was fascinated with the origins of my name when I was young, and I asked my mother why she had called me Sally Georgina. Apparently she just liked the name Sally, but Georgina was after her mother. My grandmother was a very petite woman with small hands and feet and very ladylike. As I grew, and grew to nearly six feet tall, with very large feet and hands I felt increasingly embarrassed by my middle name. However, as soon as I read Enid Blyton’s Famous Five with my namesake known as George, I immediately felt much better. Since then I have enjoyed a fascination with the origins of people’s names and this book is the outcome. Is there any ‘nonfiction’ in some of the stories in this book about people you actually know, or perhaps about yourself? I have used locations that I have either visited or lived in for a period of time. There are also some elements of my own experiences in those places since it is sometimes more authentic to bend the truth rather than create a new one. Once again, you’ve published many of these stories on your blog as you wrote them, just as you did with The R’s of Life. Can you share you strategy with us for wanting to publish these stories on your blog first, and the benefits you found by doing so? I find that it is very valuable to share the stories as early as possible for a couple of reasons. Beta readers are important to iron out elements of a story however long it might be. Faced with the task of writing 52 stories with each letter featuring a female and a male with the same letter of the alphabet, I thought that I should find out early on if the concept was going to be interesting for readers. There are a number of themes associated with the stories and it was also useful to see which themes seemed to be the most popular. Whilst you are looking at 75 to 100 people reading the post, about half might like or comment. Those stories which did not elicit the average response obviously needed some tweaking. You’ve led such a creative and colorful life. Have you ever considered writing a memoir about some of the adventures you’ve experienced? I think that my life has been wonderful but as everyone does, I have had my share of ups and downs regarding relationships and events. However, I feel that integrating those elements into the fictional stories instead gives me an opportunity to revisit them and change the ending to perhaps a more preferred outcome. I have used visualisation techniques in the past for myself and for my clients and using my own experiences in fiction but adapting them is actually quite therapeutic. For those who don’t yet know you, you write not only short fictional stories, but you have a fantastic series on health on your blog, among many other series. What inspired you to educate yourself on the functions of the human body? And where did all the knowledge come from? In my early forties, I was told that making 45 was touch and go if I did not get my weight and health issues under control. I had followed many diets touted by others, but apart from basic biology at school, I had very little knowledge of how the body worked and how to provide it with what it needed to be healthy. That was in 1995. I spent the next two years reading books on the body and its structure and organs, and also every nutritional handbook I could get my hands on. During this time, I took what I had learned, adapted and applied it. The one thing that struck me was that most of the information available was written by academics for academics. As I lost weight and regained my health I kept a journal in ‘plain English’ so that I could explain how the body worked and what it needed clearly; in what I hoped was an interesting and entertaining manner. My first book was followed by a monthly magazine on health covering a number of topics, which ended up being my third health book. I am inspired to continue this on the blog to spread the message of how we can take back responsibility for our body and health as far and wide as possible. Your blog is titled ‘The Smorgasbord Invitation’, aptly titled for the variety of articles readers can expect to find on your blog from health to laughter to various series including, but not limited to musical featured artists, and your Blogger Daily where you share some of your favorite picks of other’s posts of the day. Besides all of this, you generously offer other writers to have their work promoted on your blog and your Virtual Book Café. I know what it takes to prepare just one blog post and I commend you for keeping up with it all besides writing books. Would you like to share anything about how readers can go about taking advantage of your generous offer, and note anything you may request in return for promoting the works of others? The current promotions that are available on Smorgasbord are in this link. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-free-author-and-blogger-promotion-2017/ My blogging and my books would be the poorer if it were not for the supportive community we all belong to. I know how tough it was to promote a book before social media and blogging and if I can help another writer to get some exposure then I am only too delighted. Of course, when it comes to my own books I am very grateful for an opportunity to promote it. Your kindness today is a prime example of that. However, one of the key elements that I really do ask for is that authors and bloggers participate in their own promotions on Smorgasbord. There have been occasions when an author has asked me to promote their work but then does not share on their own social media or respond to any comments. This cuts down the effectiveness of the promotion considerably. It also discourages the readers of the promotion to share or comment the next time that author is featured. None of us can write a book, upload to Amazon or any other site and expect readers who buy our books to flock immediately to the page and spend money. People buy people first and they will respond much more positively to an author who communicates well than they will to silence. Now, getting back to the book, What’s in a Name, please give us a little introduction to the book and share an excerpt with us. There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet. An excerpt from the story of Clive. The boy stirred in his cot and waved his chubby fist in the air. The mid-afternoon sun was barred from his room by the rattan blinds at the window. The slowly moving blades of the fan above his cot sent a welcome and cooling breeze across his hot skin. The rest of the house was quiet, except for the gentle snoring of his amah as she dozed fitfully on the pallet on the other side of the room. The boy was called Clive and was the fourth child and first son of a naval officer and his wife who were stationed here in Trincomalee. He was three years old and his curly blonde hair now lay slick against his scalp as he recovered from the fever. It had been a worrying few days with the doctor calling in every few hours to check on his condition. The household, including his three older sisters and his parents, were exhausted having had little sleep for the last few nights. Measles in this climate could be very dangerous for a child Clive’s age and he had been restricted to his cot in the darkened room to prevent the risk of blindness. Thankfully his fever had now broken, and the family having enjoyed their Sunday curry lunch, had retired to their bedrooms to sleep the afternoon away beneath their ceiling fans. Clive had been woken every hour or so to sip his favourite fruit juice and water from his beaker and the doctor was now happy he was past his crisis. But, the child was now hungry and the lingering smell of the chicken curry that the family had consumed at lunchtime drifted into the room. Relieved that her charge was out of danger but extremely tired, his devoted amah had failed to latch the side of Clive’s cot securely. … Continue reading Who Has a New Book? – Guest author Sally Cronin – What’s in a Name?
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