Hey all! Today we’re answering some Q&A questions that I collected up from my twitter account, so you guys can get to know the blogger behind this site a little better. Let’s jump straight in.
Were you really into books as a kid, or did you get into reading later in life?
Oh I was into books as a kid big-time. I was kind of a nightmare to my parents. On the one hand, quiet and introverted child that stays out of trouble. On the other hand, my parents couldn’t afford to keep me in books. Like, we used the library constantly (12 books out at a time when they let me) and I was still reading my mum’s magazines, the back of cereal packets, instruction leaflets. Anything I could get my hands on. My siblings are around 8 years older than me, and I used to read their school books so by the time I got to school myself, my ‘reading age’ was twice my actual age. And yeah, that’s probably why I’m a ridiculous speed reader.
What are some books that were better on the second read-through?
Rec time! We all know I’m going to say Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, alright, so let’s get those out of the way. Those books are wild and confusing the first time and illuminating the second time. I love them to pieces. I liked The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht a lot on my read through, I loved the book the first time but the second time I think I got a lot more nuance of the world around Johann and Florian instead of just screeching over how much I love Johann. I’d also say This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, a book which I adore but can be metaphor heavy. The language is beautiful but after reading it with the Queer Book Crew, it was pretty clear to me that a second reading gave a much deeper understanding.
Top 3 books of 2020 (so far)?
Oh fuck you. This is really hard. Okay. I’m NOT going to say Harrow the Ninth again, because that’s low hanging fruit, we all know that’s my favourite book ever. So instead I’m going to tell you all to read The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke, a book about a lesbian witch and outcast who discovers that the popular girls at school aren’t quite what they seem. The Scapegracers has intoxicating descriptions, feral girls and the strongest found family vibes ever. You should also read The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis, a dark sci-fi about three POV characters and how their lives intersect in different ways, a woman whose voice was stolen when she ‘joined’ the sisters, a man who lost his partner and now may have to kill them, and said partner, who has secrets to spill in hidden recordings. And read The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson about Immanuelle Moore whose very existence is blasphemy and her dedication to following Holy Protocol. Until an accident lures her into the woods where the witches once lived, where their spirits still live, and she discovers secrets about her family as a curse threatens to ravage Bethel.
What new books are you most looking forward to in 2021?
I’ve got quite a few on my list, but here’s three off the top of my head:
- Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells, the next Murderbot novel. This should be no surprise, as I’m a Murderbot fanatic.
- These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy, which is coming out on my BIRTHDAY and if I don’t get a review copy I will SUE.
- For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten which doesn’t have a cover yet but does have my undivided attention.
Are there any books you wish you could go back and read for the first time?
It’s Gideon the Ninth. I’d read Gideon and Harrow again, tbh, so I’m not going to linger on this question. I feel like everyone is sick of me talking about my lesbian skeleton babies.
Do you enjoy books that are more character-driven or plot heavy?
Character driven for sure. If a character is interesting and their perspective is fun to read, I could quite happily sit and read about a character going about an ordinary boring day. If the characters aren’t strong enough to carry it, a book could have the most interesting plot in the world and I just won’t be able to make myself care. I’ve always been a sucker for a character study and personal development, and that definitely shines through my book tastes.
Some of your insta-buy authors/tropes?
- Dark main characters
- Body horror/disgusting books
- Make ’em hate each other, then make ’em soulmates
- Tamsyn Muir
- Jennifer Giesbrecht
- Hannah Abigail Clarke
- Karen McManus
- Sarah Gailey
- Christina Henry
What’s a book that influenced you a lot as a child/teen, and how?
So, elephant in the room, Harry Potter did save my life as a depressed little arsehole teenager. But I don’t really want to talk about HP, so going to pick something else. I read a bunch as a kid, then stopped when school + anxiety + depression kicked my arse. Then I picked up Uprooted by Naomi Novik and it drop-kicked me into a book hangover so bad that instead of ignoring books I read loads, desperately chasing the high. And that got me back into reading in a big way, which slowly built into me joining the book community last year. So I guess that one means a lot to me because it brought me back into reading for fun.
If you could interview anyone, living or dead, famous or not famous, who would it be and why?
I’ve got some questions for the maniac that designed our house, that’s for sure (but that’s probably a twitter thread kind of story). As for an interview, hm. I’d love, love, love to have a sit down with Tamsyn Muir, but I’m not sure I could come up with coherent interview questions. I think I just very desperately want an insight into her head. I think my answer would maybe be Nikita Gill. I love her poetry, especially Great Goddesses, and after hearing her read at the Cheltenham Literature Festival last year, I’d love to ask her about her influences and her personal favourite mythologies, as well as future projects and passion projects.
What book and/or author made you want to start reviewing books?
The first book I reviewed was Alice by Christina Henry, which was actually a book I borrowed off a friend. After that I tentatively wrote a few more reviews and got hooked. That review is still up on goodreads (Alice by Christina Henry review) even though I daren’t read it – I’ve definitely improved on reviewing since then. The first review copy I read was Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson, a book I adored and I’ve been a Netgalley addict ever since. That review is here, and actually pre-dates my blog so I copied it across (Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson review).
What made you join the book community online?
I kind of fell into it by accident. I’ve used Goodreads religiously for years, even though it’s complete garbage, but I wasn’t big on social media. A friend of mine was a twitter addict and cajoled me into joining twitter (which I now use more than she does sigh) and I stumbled across book twitter. And then I couldn’t leave!
What’s your least favourite book trope?
Okay, LOOK. I know that sometimes miscommunication is necessary in a story and if there’s reasons WHY they can’t communicate effectively then go ahead. But when the only thing stopping characters from resolving something is because they’re keeping secrets, and those reasons aren’t effectively communicated? Put the whole book in the bin, I swear to god. I also hate the second-act break up, but not nearly as much as fucking miscommunication.
What are things you’d like to see more of in the blogger sphere?
I think I’d like to see more community stuff. Supporting each other and especially new bloggers. Not to say that doesn’t happen, there’s so many amazing bloggers out there supporting each other, but until you find them it’s quite intimidating. I’ve only truly started to love this community and my own content after creating the Queer Book Crew and meeting incredible bloggers who make me want to do more interesting stuff. Specific shout outs to Alu at tome-reader.com and Mouse at andeewilliams.com for helping me out with a lot of different things and putting up with me hurling graphics and ideas at them in the early hours of the morning.
Do you agree with me on any of these? Think I’m drastically wrong about any others? Let me know in the comments, and if you have any other questions, drop them and I might answer!