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Meet Sally Cronin from Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Interview with Sally Cronin from “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life”

By: | June 29, 2018 | Tags: , | 66 comments

Meet Sally Cronin from Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Thanks very much Esme for your kind invitation to be a guest here with you.

All about your BLOG:
Tell us about your lovely BLOG.

  1. What is the name of your blog and how did you decide on your blog name?
    My blog is titled Smorgasbord Invitation. I was looking for a name that implied variety and referred to food and health. Smorgasbord, being the very delicious Scandinavian buffet, and one I had enjoyed several times, seemed appropriate. I also wanted to invite people in as readers, and guest posters, which is how it all came together.
  2. What prompted you to start on this blogging journey?
    We had recently returned from the UK to our home in Madrid after a break from writing for a few years. I knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to leap straight into a full-length novel. So I decided to write about my work which was in nutrition, and found that by writing post length articles, it soon got back into swing of things. Also I missed the one to one contact that I had enjoyed with my job, and the friends I made living back in my hometown for a few years. I wanted to reach out and connect with like-minded people online, to build new relationships. I had also neglected the marketing of my existing books and a blog was a good place to pick that up again.
  3. To date, what blogging achievement/s are you most proud of?
    I was very honoured to be nominated for Best Overall Blog this year for the annual Bloggers Bash in the UK. There are several blogging friends that I have made online, also nominated and it is wonderful that our readers have felt we merited an award.  Also I am very pleased to be coming up for my fifth year of blogging, and to have met such interesting people in the process. I am also proud of my Café and Bookstore that I began in 2016, which promotes authors, mainly Indie authors several times a week. As an Indie author myself, the blog is a perfect platform to do that.
  4. How would you describe your own blogging style?
    I blog every day and sometimes several posts. They cover a number of topics and I also have contributors who share their areas of expertise. My aim was to create a blog magazine that people could pop into and browse through, reading the posts that were of most interest to them. I don’t follow the conventional rules that are often offered, which usually suggest only one post per day maximum, of a certain length, without any colour text for example. I would like a wide spectrum of readers as possible which means a wide variety of topics to choose from on any given day.  I have wide ranging interests and that is reflected in the posts that I write and share.
  5. What excites you most about blogging?
    Definitely, the people that I have met from all walks of life, from many different countries. I have lived abroad and travelled extensively, and I miss that multi-cultural element of my life. Whilst one does not meet face to face, there is no reason why you cannot form friendships and collaborations that benefit each other, and also provide interesting content for visitors to the blog. William Price King is an American Jazz singer, songwriter and composer who has written the music column for four years now. And Carol Taylor, who also writes a monthly post for your blog, lives in Thailand and has contributed fabulous recipes and food articles for the last year.  Paul Andruss, an amazing talent is Writer in Residence and also is responsible for the Gardening Column which is a hit. We would never have met if it was not for blogging.
  6. What platform do you use and why?
    I use the free WordPress platform for my blog as I find it the most flexible and versatile of the ones currently offered. I find some other platforms very reader unfriendly when it comes to sharing posts, and sometimes even commenting. I realise that part of that is down to the blogger to manage the settings, but WordPress does allow more options. Also whilst there might be some editing issues, I prefer the straight forward approach on this platform.
  7. What genre/topic/theme do you blog about? Do you ever deviate from that theme?
    There is no fixed genre or theme… there are regulars such as health, author promotions, food,  short stories, poetry, music, gardening, literature and humour. In the series Posts from Your Archives, many different topics were covered from architecture, adventures, travel, writing and short stories. If someone wishes to write about something they are passionate about, they are more than welcome. I respect bloggers who focus on one aspect in particular and I don’t believe there is a right or wrong approach. That is what makes blogging such a diverse and interesting form of writing.
  8. How often do you blog per week or month?
    On average I blog four posts a day, with two or three a day at the weekends. And I also reblog other posts that I feel my readers would enjoy. Because of this I have a warning at the front of my about me page. Don’t sign up for email notifications! Instead I have a weekly round up on a Sunday of all the posts, and usually people will pop into that and pick the posts they want to read. I did tell you that I do not follow the rules!!
  9. Do you have any wisdom or tip/s regarding blogging to share with us?
    As you now know, I am not big into rules!! However, everyone has their own reasons for blogging and I have shared some of mine. It is down to the individual to blog in their own way.I would suggest that it is a good idea to remember that there are two main aspects involved. One is the outward action of writing a post and you do need to remember who you are writing it for. Put yourself in a reader’s shoes, and before hitting post, read through and check that it is something you would want to read yourself, and is it really representative of your writing skill.The second aspect is the inward action of responding to comments, making readers want to come back for more because they have bought into you, not just your post.  Very often I read a great post but have no idea what the blogger’s name is, where they are from, what their interests are. It is very difficult to interact with the blog name when commenting.  If someone wishes to be incognito, then make up a name!  At least give people a little background even if it is just where you are from, what your interests are, the books you like, movies etc. You don’t have to give personal details. People buy People first…And a couple of other points I would like to mention. The first is to make it easy for people to share. Most blogging platforms, including WordPress, have share buttons that appear at the bottom or top of a post. Even if you do not have accounts on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, your readers probably will and if the button is there, they can share across their social media networks and bring you more traffic.

    The second is to make it easy to comment.  You can moderate comments on WordPress. The first, and then they can comment when they wish… or all comments which just causes a slight delay in the comments being viewed. However, like me, many people are reluctant to fill in forms which include email addresses, and certainly are not keen on chasing road signs over several panels of Captcha. By definition if you are blogging you are inviting interaction and expecting readers to jump through too many hoops might well deter them coming back again. You can limit your exposure by moderating.

  10. Do you participate in linkup parties? How do you feel about it?
    No, I don’t to be honest. So much going on already on the blog and on social media, but I will throw a summer or Christmas party which is a good excuse for a knees up and to drop some links in the comment.

All about YOU:
Tell us something about you, the real YOU.

  1. What do you like to do other than blogging?
    I love cooking, music and movies. We have done a lot of traveling but these days we are happy exploring our local area of long coastline and great pubs to eat lunch. Both of us love books and reading is one of my greatest pleasures alongside writing.  We enjoy entertaining and meeting up with family and friends who all live reasonably close by.
  2. Where do you reside?
    We live just up from a coastal holiday town in County Wexford in Ireland. We have been back for two years and the countryside and the people are terrific. We had been away for 17 years and whilst we had forgotten how much rain there was… we also had forgotten how very beautiful the countryside is.
  3. Are you an indoor or outdoor person?
    I used to be more of an outdoor person when the sun shone 300 days a year. I have to admit that being back in Ireland where it rains for 300 days a year (or so it seems) I have become more of an indoor person. This extends to a treadmill but it does look out over the garden!
  4. Do you still work, and if so, what is your trade/profession?
    Actually, I consider my blog and social media my job. It is certainly full time, and is an important part of my own book marketing and the promotions that I do for other authors. Which might be free, but helps build an effective platform for all of us. I spent 25 years in the hospitality, retail and telecommunications industry and the skills that I acquired over that time are just as viable in this context as they were before. I have also spent the last 20 years working in nutrition and whilst I might not work with clients now, I do like to share my knowledge and experience on the blog. My motto is to waste nothing and that includes past training and experience.  I see no reason why I cannot work at this until I pop my clogs… hopefully not for another 30 odd years or so.
  5. Do you wish to be 20-something or the age you are now and why?
    No thanks… been there, done that and got the t-shirt. I love knowing what I know now, and whilst there are still many things to look forward to… there is also a lifetime of highs and lows, adventures, people, countries, love and loss to look back on. As a writer that is gold dust and that is who I am today and very happily so.  And if I take my glasses off and look in the mirror I can almost imagine I am 20 something again anyhow.
  6. What makes your day a good and happy one?
    Getting up and switching on the computer and enjoying a cup of tea that my husband always makes a good day for me. Reading comments and tweets that have come in overnight and boosting the post that went out at midnight. Then popping out for coffee or lunch along the coast and watching a movie in the evening with a glass of wine. A really good day contains a lot of laughter, some good debate and very luckily having my best friend working away at his desk behind me.
  7. Describe yourself in 3 words.
    Committed, Funny and Bossy
  8. Share with us 3 interesting facts about yourself.
     – I love to sing and wanted to be an actress, preferably in musicals from an early age.
    – I love sports cars and have only got rid of my last one two years ago when we left Madrid. A red Alfa Romeo…. Wish they didn’t make them so low to the ground!
    – I can swear in four languages.
  9. Do you have any other tidbits to share with us about yourself?
    Thank you very much for allowing me to chat with your readers today Esme and I look forward to answering any questions that they might have for me.

Last but not least:

  1. Please share with us your social media links, in order for our readers to follow you!

Amazon US
Amazon UK

I know you want to do the 20 + 1 Interview Questions I look forward hearing from you! 

  1. Thank you for the very informative interview, Esme. I apologize for the very very (ad mult.) revisit. Michael

  2. Lovely interview, Sally and Esme. I really like seeing Sally featured here. She does so much for everyone else that she deserves a spot in the headlight. I was happy to read the second part of the interview as well, to learn a bit more about the “real” person behind Smorgasbord. All that blogging (4 times a day!!!) and what it involves must take up full days, Busy bee! Do you ever miss being in Spain?

    Your statement about not liking waste totally resonates with me, Sally. Whether it is resources, food, or like you mention, skills and knowledge, what’s the use if it’s not used… 🙂

    • What a wonderful and great comment Liesbet. Thanks for sharing here with us. Not sure if I already asked you, but would you like to do the Interview as well???

      • One day, Esme, I would love to do the interview. But, this summer, I don’t see that happen. I’ll get in touch with you when timing is better. Thanks for asking!

        By the way, I forgot to mention earlier that you and Sally look like you could be sisters!

        • Liesbet – no problem regarding the Interview. Just drop me an email when you have time.
          Strangely enough, somebody else also commented on the fact that we do look alike – my sister from another mother 🙂

  3. First I want to thank Esmesalon for featuring Sally. She doesn’t get enough attention and recognition for what she does for us novice indie writers. Some of the things Sally revealed here wasn’t surprising if you have followed her post on writing home during the 70’s. I”m not surprised that she loves roadsters, it fits 😎. I enjoyed Sally’s response of describing herself in three words, “Committed, Funny and Bossy” I would agree with committed and funny, but bossy — perhaps we should ask her hubby 😉All, in all, a great post to a person well deserving of the recognition. HUGS

    • Hi Chuck, Thank you so much for popping in and leaving such a wonderful note. We can all just thank Sally as she’s an inspiration to all of us. Wish we could do more to promote all these awesome bloggers

    • Thank you Chuck. for your kind comment… and I have certainly had some wonderful attention this week. As to the bossy issue, I did ask my husband and he asked what he should say!! Only kidding… he lets me get away with murder… hugs XXX

  4. It’s always lovely to learn a little more about Sally. Thanks for featuring her. Hugs to you both.

  5. I’ve been following Sally’s blog for a long time and it´s great to learn more about her. She’s always a great guest, generous to a fault, and her blog is a must. Thanks, Esme!

    • Hi Olga, Thank you so much for popping over and your comment. Now, I would like to ask if you would be interested to also be a Guest and do an Interview. What do you think?

    • Thank you Olga… I will be running out of secrets soon.. hugs xx

  6. So thrilled to see Sally getting the spotlight today here Esme. Sal you rock!!!!!!!!! <3 <3

  7. It was great to see Sally interviewed here, Esme. She’s so good at promoting others, it’s lovely when we get to learn a little about her. A sports car diver! I didn’t know that. 🙂 And well done of creating her vision of a blog magazine. Honestly, I don’t know how she does it, but she does it beautifully. Have a great weekend, ladies. 🙂

  8. Another wonderful interview with Sally – one of the most amazing bloggers on the planet.

    • Hi Mary, Thanks for popping in and I fully agree with your comment 🌟🌟

    • Thank you Mary that is a lovely thing to say… and Esme thank you too.. hugs xxx

  9. Really interesting and Inspiring interview x

    • Hi there, thanks for popping in and visiting. Looking forward to publish your interview soon

    • Thank you that is very kind Fancy… enjoy your weekend.. Sally

  10. I love this – thank you ladies! These posts are such a great way to get to know your blogging friends even better! You are both such a great inspiration and support to us bloggers!

    • Dear Claire – Thanks for your visit and kind words. May I ask if you would be interested to also participate in an interview? Please do let me know as I would love to have you here.

      • You are very welcome Esme! Yes I would love to take part! I have devoted this week’s Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs to BUYB and have shared your link! Claire x

        • Hi Clare Do you have my email address? If not, visit my About Page and go to the Contact page and drop me an email then we can chat further. Looking forward hearing from you. Esmé

    • Thank you Claire and glad you enjoyed.. Esme has some great interview questions.

  11. I had the pleasure of meeting Sally at the Bloggers Bash last year! Loved the interview! I am amazed at how often she blogs. Even if they are guest posts, that’s a lot of balls in the air. Well done!

    • Sally is an awesome blogger and love her and her blog.

    • Thank you Susie and cannot believe how fast this year has gone.. Glad you enjoyed and thanks Esme for your comment too.

  12. Nice to meet you, Sally, what a great name and tagline for a Blog! I’ll definitely need to pop on over and do some reading!

    • Hi Jennifer – Sorry but your comment was caught in the Spam, but I just released it. Not sure why this happens to some comments. Thank you for visiting and reading Sally’s Interview. Would you like to share your story here with us in an Interview or Guest Post?

    • Thank you Jennifer and good to meet you too… glad you like the name. Sally

  13. A delightful interview, Sally and Esme! I feel much the same as you do, Sally. Meeting people (like YOU) through blogging has enriched my life. I dearly appreciate your humor and heart. Now, you just have to explain “popping a clog.”

    • Thanks for visiting and your comments Jennie! You’re a superstar as Sally

    • Thank you Jennie… and popping your clogs is a polite way to say you have passed on… hopefully not for a very long time for any of us..😆😆

      • Yes, trust nobody will need to go that route soon!!

  14. Excellent interview, Esme, and Sally. I too love sport cars and like them close to the ground so all I have to do is crawl in and out.

    • John, thanks for saying Hi to Sally here on the blog, and I am with you ♥ sport cars.

    • I can just picture you John and perhaps being given a little boost by Lucy and Bailey… I would love another one so might invest in a hoist and tackle..hugs xx

  15. A great interview with a great lady. I thought I had commented B4 but obviously not I find it hard to keep up with everything sometimes…

  16. Another great interview, Sally. I have always loved the name of your blog but I don’t think I ever mentioned it to you. So glad I found you back when you were still living in Spain.

    • Dear Darlene – Thanks for popping in and visiting Sally here on the blog.

    • Thank you Darlene.. cannot believe we have been back in Ireland over two years. This last four weeks I have certainly had no cause to miss the weather… but the temptation to dig a pool in the backyard is tempered with the fact that there is still 250 days of rain a year here!! hugs xxx

  17. I must say this first Sally – there is a striking resemblance! You and Esme look so much similar! 🙂
    You are a wonderful guest too Sally. Your interviews reveal a new aspect of your personality each time. Thanks for some valuable tips.

    • Hi Balroop, Thanks for popping in. Now that you mention the resemblance, I noticed it, never actually looked at it that way. 🙂 Balroop would you like to participate in an interview??

    • I agree Balroop.. uncanny and a great compliment thank you.. glad you enjoyed the interview… hugs ♥

  18. Many thanks Esme for great questions and for having me over today… a lovely opportunity.. hugs xx♥

    • Dearest Sally – I thank you from the depth of my ♥ for participating> You are an inspiration to us all,

  19. A terrific interview Sally and Esme. You are both an inspiration 🌼

    • Thank you for popping over Bridig – we have a blogging guru and legend here and I am so thrilled to have Sally today as our Guest.

    • Thank you Brigid that is very kind.. hugs x

  20. Thank you so much for this. I will email you and may I ask that you update my contact info please as some links changed. Thanks so much.

  21. All done Esmex

  22. Thanks for the update Sally, much appreciated

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