Liebster Award

Marina Martindale tagged me with the Liebster Award for blogs with fewer than 200 followers. As usual, this blog award comes with a set of rules, which I’m happy to follow since it gives me the chance to tell you a little more about myself.

The rules of the award are as follows: I’m supposed to give 11 facts about myself. I’m supposed to answer 11 questions supplied by the person who tagged me. I’m supposed to recommend 11 blogs I like.

11 Facts About Me

  1. I have a degree in physics.
  2. I took a paranormal psychology class in college.
  3. I investigated a ghost sighting for my final project in the paranormal psychology course.
  4. I am co-discoverer of two variable stars.
  5. I am vice president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association.
  6. I edit Tales of the Talisman Magazine.
  7. I have two older brothers.
  8. I was an extra in an episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
  9. I was born in Barstow, California.
  10. Pat Garrett—the man who shot Billy the Kid—is buried a quarter mile behind my back door.
  11. I once played Clyde Tombaugh—the man who discovered Pluto—in a series of television commercials.

Questions Marina Martindale asked

1. Do you prefer reading ebooks or printed books?

As long as I’m reading on a good ereader such as a Nook or Kindle, I think ebooks and printed books are about equal.

2. Where do you like to buy your books?

I buy most of my paper books at science fiction conventions or from eBay these days. The reason for eBay is because the vendors take PayPal, which I prefer over credit cards for online purchases. Because I own a Kindle, I buy most of my ebooks from

3. What is your favorite genre?

I love to read all the speculative genres—science fiction, fantasy and horror. I also love historical fiction. Of course, vampire fiction allows you to combine all of those genres—which is one reason I love it so.

4. Do you think children should be encouraged to read?

Absolutely! I think the love of reading is essential to any success in life. In fact, I think adults should be encouraged to read more, too!

5. Have you ever been disappointed by the film version of your favorite book?

Who hasn’t been disappointed at one time or another? It’s rare when you can cast actors who match everyone’s conception of characters from a book. Also, movies just don’t have the scope of novels. It’s all too likely a favorite scene won’t make it into the movie.

That said, there are some film versions of books that have been surprisingly good. A couple of interest to vampire fans include Interview with the Vampire which I think captured the essence of Anne Rice’s novel very well. Another was the adaptation of John Steakley’s Vampire$, which I actually enjoyed more than the novel. (The move is John Carpenter’s Vampires).

6. Do you think books should have warning labels for sex or violence?

I actually think parental advisory labels for books would be a good idea. I’m not sure I’d call them “warning” labels per se, since one person’s “adult content” is another person’s Saturday night TV viewing. Still, it would be nice to alert parents that they might want to, at least, preview a particular book before they give it to a kid to read.

7. Are you an author or have you ever thought about becoming an author?

I have sold seven novels and over sixty short stories. I think that qualifies me as an author.

8. Do you have pastimes other than reading?

I like to cook, hike, and ride my bicycle. I’ve also been a homebrewer, but it’s been awhile since I’ve had time to indulge that particular hobby.

9. Is your spouse or significant other an avid reader?

Absolutely. In fact, she’s arguably a more avid reader than I am, and that’s saying a lot!

10. Did you come from a family where reading was encouraged?

My parents did encourage me to read, but I never saw them read much themselves, so their words didn’t have a lot of impact on me. On the other hand, my older brother was an avid reader. His love of books probably did more to hook me on reading than the direct encouragement of my parents.

11. What is your all time favorite book?

That’s a tough one because I like so many different books for different reasons. That said, if I had to single out one book, it would be The Magic Journey by John Nichols. I enjoyed its look into New Mexico’s recent past. It was a good, engaging story of a journey through life. It was the book that taught me to pull from my own life and experiences when I sit down to write.

11 Blogs Worth Visiting

Some of these may have more than 200 followers, some less, but all of them are sites worth checking out!


6 thoughts on “Liebster Award

  1. TOO COOL!!! You were a real life Ghostbuster for your final project! I don’t think they will let me do that in MBA school… darn it! That sounds like it would be fun. Another note, I love my Kindle only because it’s like carrying a library of my favorite books in my purse or pocket! As usual, your post ROCKS! Sincerely, Emily

    • Thank you, Emily! In fact, the Paranormal Psychology class was a pretty remarkable thing to take while getting a degree in Physics! But then, the class’s two teachers were both pretty remarkable. I agree, I love being able to carry around a whole library of beloved books on a small device like a Kindle. Take care and looking forward to reading more posts and excerpts from you as well!

  2. nrlymrtl says:

    You named my 2 favorite vampire movies – John Carpenter’s Vampires totally kicked a$$.

    I am curious where you did your final ghost hunt for your paranormal class?

    Have you read Mary Roach’s book Spook? It’s a wonderful nonfiction on all the different ways humans try to contact, measure, or regard the dead.

    • Absolutely agree about John Carpenter’s Vampires. Great film.

      As for the ghost hunt — the hunt itself was conducted at the University of Southern California. It was a ghost seen by students and we reported on the incident, conducting interviews and doing a full field investigation. The class was taught by Steve Shore and Bob Cormack at New Mexico Tech.

      I haven’t read Mary Roach’s book. I’ll definitely have to put that on my “to read” list!

  3. darkcargo says:

    Thanks for mentioning us dorks at Darkcargo. It’s been wonderful having your guests posts there.

    Tales of the Talisman is a fun magazine, fab to still be able to get a paper mag in the mail!

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