Women who blog: Caroline Smailes
Keris Stainton continues our Women Who Blog series with a woman living the bloggers dream.
A month after finishing her novel, In Search of Adam, Caroline Smailes was discovered by a publisher through her blog. (The posts about the first contact from the publisher and then the offer of the deal are two of the happiest and most exciting posts I've ever read.)
Her blog makes me very happy and also, frequently, gives me a quivery lip. In Search of Adam was published by The Friday Project last week!
Is blogging addictive (and, if so, should it come with a health warning)?
Yes blogging is addictive. I no longer watch Hollyoaks as a result of blogging! I don’t feel that it should come with a health warning. Blogging can assist weight loss and often leads to exciting adventures.
What's with all the funny fonts, eh?
I prefer to call them fancy fonts. They are supposed to be a representation of how I would voice the words. I think that blogging is a conversation and that the posts are spoken words, so the fancy fonts are where I would place stress. It’s also a development from the fonts used in my novel In Search of Adam
You seemed to get a lot of readers in a very short time. How did that happen?
I don’t really know. The first 3 weeks of blogging ended with a publishing contract, so everything happened in a short time. I visited blogs and left comments, so I guess that people visited my blog out of curiosity. Some people returned and my blogroll developed as a result.
Your commenters are very supportive. Do you feel like you've made real friends via your blog?
The people who comment on my blog have been incredibly supportive. It often overwhelms me. People who don’t blog will find the cyber-friendship concept difficult to understand, but I do feel that I have made real friendships via my blog. I exchange emails, gchat and have now even met some of the commenters. Blogging connects people to a community and I am lucky to exist within a supportive one.
You are very open on your blog. What do you family and friends feel about you putting so much of yourself out there?
My family and friends are incredibly supportive of everything that I do. They understand that I need to be true to myself. I am very open, but that openness is an expression of me. I often cringe at what I post about, but I decided to blog the whole journey from unpublished to published. I tend not to talk about my immediate family, so there are huge aspects of my daily life that are never discussed.
How do you think your 'blogging persona' differs from the 'real you' (if at all?)
My blogging persona is perhaps a shield between me and the real world. In real life I find it very difficult to talk to strangers and to form friendships. My blogging persona has chance to meet people online and to build a relationship based on words. I swear a lot more in real life and I am very tactile. Both of those aspects of the ‘real me’ can not be expressed online, but I may work on finding a new range of fancy fonts to fulfil that need.
What has been your best and worst blogging experience?
The best blogging experience. That has to be being made e-luv’s person of the week and Clare Christian from the Friday Project finding my blog as a result. Clare read my blog and then my website and novel extracts. Being offered a publishing contract as a result of being a blogger is breath taking.
My worst blogging experience. I have had three bloggers write negative posts about my blog and my fancy fonts. Perhaps people don’t realise how hurtful they can be. Perhaps people do and they use their blogs to wound and gain power. Recently I was described as being ‘typographically over-inventive.’ Unfortunately, I take words to heart.
You've blogged about your love for SingStar. What's your favourite song to, um, sing?
That’s an easy one. Papa Don’t Preach. I am a fabulous Madonna. The worry is that my 4 year old daughter now knows all the words and may sing it at her end of term playschool concert!
Who are your blogging heroines?
I don’t think that I have any. But that’s a really rubbish reply, so I’ll say my publisher who blogs as Girl Friday. She is rather lovely and Young Publisher of the Year.
So. John Barrowman or Simon Cowell?
How long do we have left? You see, I am still finding the decision difficult. I love Simon, but John knows The Doctor and is very good at running. I think that I may have to have both. Is that allowed?