The story was riveting. The first paragraph had my eyes quickly scanning down to find the start of the next sentence. The last thing I expected was to read a post about tense, heated moments in the middle of a battlefield on a blog that was titled Beautiful Life with Cancer.
Since that first exposure to Caroline Hendry I’ve been seeking-out her posts ever since. I was so pleased she agreed to meet me for a virtual cup of coffee and an interview– now, as a reader I find that her blog posts mean even more. Thank you for joining us; grab a cup and fill it up. Read on for the interview details and you’ll see what I mean.
So Caroline, what motivated you to start your blog?
Bursting, itching, twitching, let it out! I have to write! My mind is always thinking and always spinning a story. Always. I wrote and tossed. Wrote and tossed. Three and a half years ago, my husband got his hands on some of my very old high school writings, “This is good. This is something you should do. You should try to publish.” It was the craziest, most amazing thing that I had ever heard in my whole life! Me? Publish! It would be the most absolutely amazing dream come true!
Following, I spent the next three years writing my first novel. I rubbed my hands together and a little smirk spread across my face. Deep breath in and out. It was good. I knew my little creation was good. Ummmm. What now? I began to send out queries. Lots of queries. Agent after agent, I got the same answer, “I like it. I really like it, but it doesn’t really matter. You have no platform.” Then someone told me he was starting up a publishing company and he would like to publish my book but he would like to start me out on a blog to see how people like me.
I was completely ignorant of the blogging world, but hey, if he could do that, I could do that. So, here I am, a little over two months later. I’ve written and it’s been read. Wow! How did it take me this long to discover the blogsphere! I set out with an impossible goal of 1,000 followers in one month. At the end of my first month, I was celebrating 2,500 followers. I might be a little late in life, but I feel like I am now discovering a huge part of Caroline. I am a writer.
What one thing do you feel has contributed the most towards growing your follower base?
One? Ehhh. I’m not very good at following the rules. Here’s two: First, name. Beautiful Life with Cancer. It’s an oxymoron. Beautiful with a horrible disease? Cancer makes life beautiful? Cancer has touched so many lives and it is “that thing.” That thing that everyone is horrified of. Beautiful and Cancer in the same name? How can that be? And click, let’s check that out. Oh, she’s serious.
Secondly, community. Check out the writers around you. I’m a reader. I get sucked in to everything that you all have to say. I click. I read. I follow. I comment. Hmmmm….who is this girl that liked my post? And they click on my blog.
What have you learned about blogging since starting Beautiful Life with Cancer?
Everything that I know about blogging. I knew nothing. What I know now is, hold your thumb and pointer finger up and close the distance between them. It’s really little. Check out my blog and it has: words. That’s it. Oh, I think I have a handful of pictures. I have tried to figure out the whole theme thing and the whole widget thing. Ahhh! Scary! I am not a techie! At all!
I hope to make all that more interesting, but it hasn’t happened yet. So, what I have learned? People! I love people! But sorry, you all can be scary in person. I like writing. I like this writing communication. I am oh so much better with written words than spoken words!
Name one of your favorite blogs and why it’s a favorite if you would.
Ahhh! I’m not good with listing favorites! Favorite color? I like gray and blue clothes, but I like yellow just by itself. Yellow is a happy color. Favorite food? I am a health nut. Veggies. Lots of veggies, but a variety. But, oh, late at night. Dark chocolate. I mean, the no sugar stuff. Favorite song? What mood am I in? I am a variety person.
Favorite blog? It’s like saying favorite person. Ok, my husband and daughter, but they don’t blog or I would have to say their blog. Of course, I like Brews and Views. I love coffee. I like anything to do with coffee. I love to click on mommy blogs. They are happy and free and I relate. But I like cancer blogs. They are real and meaningful and unfortunately, I can relate. And I like blogs with pictures of animals, they take half a second and they make me smile. Yeah, I like blogs.
We would be remiss if we didn’t ask you this last question! How do you take your coffee?
Yes, please. And about 5 times a day. Or six. Or seven. Black. About a year and a half ago, I quit sugar, processed sugar, so I woke up the next morning and realized (after years of cream and sugar in my coffee) it was either black or no coffee. And black it was. Actually, I started drinking cream only, no sugar, but a couple of weeks later, I am drinking black and never looked back.
Black, really hot, I like to sit and hold it and be giddy with anticipation of what I am about to drink. My name is Caroline and I am a coffeeaholic.
My thanks again to Caroline for giving of her time and her knowledge in being a part of this interview! We congratulate Caroline on all her early blogging success! If you haven’t done so already, check out Beautiful Life with Cancer. You’ll be glad that you did.
Until next time, thanks for stopping by. Grab a refill (they’re free 😉 ) and stick around to check out our other recent posts if you’d like, and don’t forget to stop by again soon for the next in our Interviewing Series. Make it a great day!