I am beyond honored to receive several nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award!!

Thank you, D.L. Finn, Sally Cronin, Ron Yates and Gwen Plano for the nominations!

That gives me 44 questions to answer and I’m not going to attempt to do that, so I am going to answer three questions from each blogger, focusing on the ones that are most relevant.

Gwen Plano asks:

  1. What motivates you to write? Honestly, the biggest motivation for me to write is a new inspiration for a story. If I am in the middle of one story and get a big idea for another, it takes all my patience to simply jot a few notes and keep going with what I am working on. There is nothing like the adrenaline rush I get when a new story idea arrives!
  2. Do you eavesdrop on your characters, or craft them to fit the story? This question has more than one answer. When I was writing my first four books, true stories, the characters were already created. My job was just to relate the story. But, having written several stories since then, that are pure fiction, I have to say that I definitely eavesdrop on them. In fact, I have conversations with them and have interviewed some to get answers to situations. One that comes to mind was for a book that I have written and have waiting in the wings. I couldn’t decide on my main character’s name, so I interviewed his mother (of course all of this took place in my head.) But, the result was the character’s name, Jag, and the story about why she gave him the name. She loved Mick Jagger. 🙂
  3. How do you structure your time to make room for writing? I chose this question to answer because it is such a huge ongoing issue for me. Besides still working outside the home part-time, I also write for a music magazine that involves interviewing artists as well as reviewing new music. I try to give as much time as I can every day to supporting the wonderful authors at the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and RWISA. I have five grandchildren and make a strong effort to attend their events and spend time with them often. I also love to read and do so almost daily. I blog regularly and support other bloggers. I try to visit my various social media platforms daily. So, you can see I have a full schedule. I haven’t yet figured out how to juggle it all so that there is time for writing. Often, it gets shoved to the back burner, but I’m constantly working on improving my time management. I’m open to any and all suggestions!

Sally Cronin asks:

4. What is the most daring thing you have done? For those who have read “The Convict and the Rose,” you probably know the answer to this question. Back in the seventies, I went to Dallas with a guy who rode a Harley and was trying to get into The Banditos motorcycle club. While we were at the Dallas house, another motorcycle club threatened a war and I was put at a window with a loaded gun and told to shoot anyone that came into view. There is no way in hell I could have ever pulled that trigger. In fact, I’d never even held a gun before and I was scared out of my wits. Thankfully, it all ended without incident and the party continued. When I look back on it, there is absolutely NO doubt that I had a guardian Angel!

5. Name one item that is still on your bucket list. I have such a strong desire to visit Ireland and Scotland. It is the land of my ancestors and I am drawn there by a strong connection. When I watched Outlander, the desire grew even stronger. Someday before I leave this life, I will make that journey and I can’t wait!

Isle of Skye – Scotland

6. What is your favorite movie of all time? While I’m not a big movie buff, I do enjoy a good show that moves me in some way. I have to say “A Star Is Born” is that for me. I have seen both the one from the seventies with Kristofferson and Streisand and the newest with Lady GaGa and Bradley Cooper multiple times and will watch them again and again!

D.L. Finn Asks:

7. How long have you been blogging? I created my blog site in May 2014. However, until the last three years, it was hit and miss blogging. I got serious about it and have now made 671 posts and my following has slowly built. I believe the keys to a successful blog are consistency and content.

8. Do Blogs encourage you to purchase books? Oh yes! Most definitely! I love reading others’ reviews and that influences my decision to purchase.

9. What do you write about in your blogs and why? The answer to that question is as varied as my blogs. 🙂 I love supporting other authors and Indie music artists. So, you will find anything that relates to words in any form on my blog. In the past, I’ve posted story series on my blog. I’ve posted CD reviews on my blog as well as book reviews. Most recently, I had the inspiration to create a #TarotTuesday on my blog. The idea was taken from Taco Tuesdays where across the nation you can find Tacos for 99 cents on Tuesdays. I draw a Tarot card and tell its meaning every Tuesday. I have really enjoyed this. Not only is it a great way to learn more about Tarot, but to offer uplifting and encouraging messages.

Ron Yates Asks:

10. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer or blogger? I’ve written all my life, but I never imagined myself as an author. That was my sister’s dream, not mine. My dreams always went in the direction of music. But, after my husband passed away I felt a huge nudge to get our story told. However, it took a while before the realization hit me that I would have to tell it. I seriously thought someone else would. So, when reality set in, there was nothing for me to do but educate myself on the craft of storytelling and get to work. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

11. What do you think makes a good story? A good story must be well-written, as error-free as possible and have compelling characters that drive the plot. I read all genres and the same holds true for all. I love unforgettable characters. And while I may eventually forget some part of the plot, I never forget a character that comes alive and takes me along on the journey.

12. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why? I realize my answer to this question is going to sound a bit strange, but it is sincere. The one person I would want to have dinner with is my deceased husband. I have so much to tell him and show him. He has grandchildren he never got to meet and I would enjoy showing him pictures. I’d love to hand him a copy of the books I wrote about us, along with the poetry and art book that was his. And I would ask him a million questions about the afterlife! Then, I would write one helluva blog to tell you all about it!

Rick and Jan Sikes

That’s it. I thank each one who nominated me for this beautiful award! I apologize for not answering all the questions, but I am huge advocate for short easy-to-read blogs.

Please take the time to visit the four bloggers who nominated me at their sites and follow them, if you don’t already!

D.L. Finn

Sally Cronin

Gwen Plano

Ron Yates

I know that here is where I am supposed to post the rules and nominate 11 more bloggers, but quite honestly, I think all the bloggers who follow my blog have been nominated already. So, I will leave it at that. Thanks so much for taking time to read my Q&A!


  1. Jan, you always spread Sunshine through your posts and comments – and are a most deserved mutli-nominated blogger for this award! Congratulations! 🎉😀 A great idea pick the questions to answer and yikes, I’m reeling from your most terrifying moment! It sounds like something out of the movies. Talking of which, I loved the original ‘A Star is Born’ but hadn’t wanted to ruin that in case the new one wasn’t good. You’ve given me confidence to watch that one now! Lovely to get to you know even more hear, eavesdropping as you reply to these excellent questions. Your last answer was not odd at all, makes perfect sense to me and your love for your family shines out at all times and no wonder you would want Rick to meet you all again. Bless! With much love & hugs xx ❤️


  2. What a great way to cover all those awards! Congrats. I can relate to the trouble structuring time, Jan. It’s really hard! On top of writing, there’s family, friends, marketing, and all those tasks of living in reality, like showering! Ha ha. You seem to manage it well. I’m impressed. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Diana. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I most certainly wouldn’t say I am managing everything on my plate well. I’m constantly juggling and hoping the plate doesn’t fall and shatter. 🙂 Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jan, you handled your 44 questions beautifully. I got tears in my eyes when you responded that you would have dinner with your husband and share about your family and life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations, Jan, on your multiple nominations. Well deserved for sure! I really enjoyed reading your responses. Oh my… Rick, is smiling with pride and joy for you and all that you’ve accomplished and the beautiful life you’ve created honouring his memory. Big (((hugs))) across the miles, my friend. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Natalie. I am truly honored to have received the nominations. I’m happy you enjoyed reading my responses and I can feel Rick smiling. I know he is proud of me. I appreciate you stopping by and return the hugs!!


  5. I enjoyed your answers to these questions, Jan. Scotland is a great place to visit, full of history, romance and beauty. We were there in August last year. This year we are going to Glastonbury and Bath. Your story about the gun is scary, although I would have preferred to have a gun at someone else’s head than a gun at my head when we had our home invasion.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely a good thing to do. When the English version of I’m Free was published, my publisher set the blog up due to a social media campaign. Otherwise I would have still refused to be on social media… 6 years later😂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, John! I wanted to answer all the questions but that would have created a mammoth blog that no one would read. Maybe I’ll throw in a few questions now and then to get them all covered. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great answers, Jan. I remember that scene in the Convict and the Rose. You definitely had a guardian angel looking out for you that day. Yikes!

    Your answer to the last question, about having dinner with Rick, made me misty-eyed. And what a beautiful photo of the two of you. Congratulations on your blogger award.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mae. Yes, I for sure have always had a Guardian Angel and I’ve kept her pretty busy at times. 🙂 I can only imagine all the things I would have to tell Rick and to show him. I would talk non-stop! That is until it was his turn to tell me all about the afterlife. You are such an awesome supporter! Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

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