A Boxing Day treat! My final interview with a book blogger…

Happy Christmas all! Are you having a relaxing Boxing Day or are you hitting the shops?

Whatever you are doing this afternoon, I hope you enjoy the final interview in my series with independent book bloggers. Today I’m talking to a lovely blogger from Northern Ireland… Do you know who she might be?

1) Hi Bronagh! Welcome:)  Please tell me more about yourself. What are your three favourite things?

Hello, my name is Bronagh, I live in Northern Ireland and I enjoy books, tea and new adventures.

2) Where can we find your blog and how long have you been reviewing? 

My book news, interviews and reviews site Handwritten Girl started during the hot summer of 2011 and has been growing ever since. Not only does the website include book reviews, it also features author interviews providing tips and advice for aspiring writers, which I hope readers of the website find useful and encouraging.

3) Nice one! Why did you start blogging?

I started reviewing for a number of reasons. As a reader I was constantly telling people about a great new book that I read or people were asking me for a recommendations so the website became a shortcut for this and appealed to a wider community.

4) What’s the best and worst thing about being a book reviewer?

The best thing is of course getting to read so many wonderful books and the worst is not always having the time to read them!

5) What’s your favourite book of all time and why?

I have never really had a favourite character of all time, but having just finished and loved Mhairi McFarlane’s new book ‘Here’s Looking At You’ I must admit I did love the female lead in the story. Her name was Anna and had quite a dark and witty sense of humour and a kind aura about her, she was the type of girl that you would like to have as a friend.

6) How do you feel about books being made into films. Do you think this is a good thing?

I used to be quite cynical about books being adapted for film as it’s hard to compress a whole book into a two hours or less. But, I’ve now come to the conclusion that for people who aren’t readers, if they see the film and enjoy it, then maybe they will seek out the book and experience the story in its original form. After all every film starts with a script, which isn’t to far removed from the format of the typical book.

7) How do you handle it when you have read a book you don’t like? Will you still review it? 

If I read a book and I don’t enjoy it and just like books I that I do enjoy, I still review it. As a writer myself, I appreciate the time and effort that an author has gone to write a book— just because the book isn’t for me, doesn’t mean that others won’t enjoy it, so it is worth pointing out the elements which do work, as well as do not, in those stories.

8) Do you read books quickly, or slowly?

The speed which I read is based purely on how much I like the story. If I think the story is brilliant and I can’t wait to see how it will end, I could easily devour it in a day. Well, as long as I don’t have any other distractions. Usually I read a book in two days.

9) Do you prefer a genre? If so, why?

I enjoy comedy, romance and you cant beat thrillers. Give me anything with a good narrative, regardless of the genre though, I will give it a go!

Thanks Bronagh!

You can connect with Bronagh on Twitter – @handwritten

 

Celebrating book bloggers part three: Kevin Loh

1) Hi Kevin! Welcome to my blog. Can you tell me more about yourself? What are your three favourite things?

Salutations! I am Kevin, 19, from Malaysia! A country where I am at a crossroads. I can freely choose between UK and US editions of books. Hurrah! My top three favourite things? Gosh, this is hard. I’ll go with chocolate, books and hoodies!

2) Nice! Where can we find your blog and how long have you been reviewing? 

I started I Heart.. Chick Lit in May 2012. So I guess I’ve been blogging for a year and a half? As of October 2013, I’ve reached my 100,000th pageview (not to gloat, but I am immensely proud and absolutely chuffed!).

3) So you should be, well done! Why did you start blogging?

Hmm. Blogging. I started blogging because I read, quite a lot. OK, I read a lot. I love reading. I figured if I could pen down my thoughts on a blog, I’d share book recommendations with the ‘blogosphere’. And blogging has been an amazing experience. I get to befriend authors, publishers, fellow bloggers and readers who are just like me! All in all, I wish I could read and review books for the rest of my life. Guess I should start investing in gold?

4) What’s the best and worst thing about being a book reviewer?

Well, the best thing about being a reviewer? *looks up at ceiling and thinks* I guess it’s the camaraderie you built with “bookish nerds” – that’s a good thing! And of course, the perks of the job: being sent books for review. It’s such a privilege to be sent books for review because the publishers trust you with honest reviews. I think I love what I do because I am able to be the bridge between authors and readers. I feel that by reviewing books, I can let people know about books that are worth reading.

Everything has a dark side, yes I know. The worst thing about blogging is.. reviewing a book you didn’t really enjoy. Hand on heart, I hate being rude to an author, but I find it the hardest to write a review on books I didn’t particularly enjoy. Other than that, I really encourage readers to give blogging a go. You might love it!

5) What’s your favourite book of all time and why?

Oh my, this is harder than deciding whether I want M&M’s or Snickers for a snack. If I have to pick ONE (I have more than 20!), then it would be The Secret Dreamworld of A Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, my first chick lit book which sparked my passionate love affair with chick lit. I loved the book – I even bought two copies, both UK and US editions. I adored the plot and Sophie Kinsella’s writing style is as comforting and addictive as hot chocolate on a cold night (bad analogy, sorry..).

6) What do your family and friends think about your passion for books? Are they supportive?

Well, when I started blogging, none of my family and friends knew about it. Then when I started getting more and more books in the post they were amazed, and very supportive. I guess my parents are secretly pleased that I am not wandering around at 1AM with my friends in town, instead I’ll be reading in bed. Meep.

7) What is it about books that you love so much?

Books will always have a special place in my heart. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than reading. Oh, and lusting over gorgeous covers. When I read, I’m transported to a different places. A place where all my worries are forgotten and I am free to live vicariously through the characters. Books grant me the ability to dream and aspire and even inspire.

8) How do you feel about books being made into films. Do you think this is a good thing?

I don’t have any strong feelings against books made into films. I wouldn’t mind watching the film adaptation of books I’ve enjoyed. If you hate the film adaptation, stick to the book.

9) Do you prefer to read print books or ebooks and why?

Hands down, print books. I believe you can never get the same experience from reading an actual book when you read from an e-reader. I’m sorry to e-reader owners, but I’m sticking to print books. Here’s the reason why: you can NEVER take a delicious whiff of the book in between chapters. I do that ALL the time and I don’t plan to stop. And, it’s bad for your eyes to face the screen for too long, right? Print books, healthy and more real. Keep it real, lovelies!

10) Do you prefer a particular genre? If so, why?

Definitely chick lit. Hands down. The BEST genre there is. Chick lit is such a wide, versatile genre and the themes are often varied. You have the funny girl-about-town books, the weepy romantic comedies, and the darker side of chick lit, which is often more emotional. Let’s face it, there isn’t one genre which is as diverse as chick lit.