Saturday, September 17, 2011

Kirsty from The Overflowing Library (Awesome Women)

Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing one of my favourite book bloggers, Kirsty from The Overflowing Library. Kirsty writes wonderful reviews of YA books as well as having a fun feature, Bookcase Showcase. If you don't already read Kirsty's site, you really should!

Can you tell me a little something about yourself?

I'm Kirsty, the blogger behind The Overflowing Library. I live in Norfolk with my husband and two insane cats. By day I am a History Teacher teaching at a local high school (which I mostly love apart from the odd bad day). The kids generally think I am a bit insane as I have a random collection of things dotted about my room (including dismembered limbs and plague rats) and I get very excited about old stuff.

On my blog, which very few people I know in real life know about, I review YA titles. I'm not all that fussy about genre, but I do love historical fiction and dystopian novels.

Did you have a role model growing up?

Not as such. I clashed with my mum a lot when I was younger (probably because I was, and still am if I'd admit it, a bit of a Daddy's girl) but she did teach me a good set a values when it came to work ethic and sense with money. My parents never had a lot of cash when we were growing up so they both worked really hard for everything we had. My mum used to work seven days a week and at times doing two different jobs to ensure she had a enough money for the things we needed and she would prioritise what she bought as we would never use a credit card to buy something she couldn't afford. She now feels guilty because she worked so much but because she worked around us, doing evening shifts and weekends we never really noticed or felt like we missed out. Seeing this as a child meant that from the age of 13, I have always had some kind of job to earn my own money and even now, I would never use a loan or credit card to buy something I couldn't later afford.

Who do you look up to now?

Career wise I work with an awesome teacher, another Kirsty actually, who is a few steps ahead of me career wise and someone I work closely with on a day to day basis. She is an awesome teacher and has a fantastic work ethic. I certainly go to her for advice and inspire to be more like her in my work. This is quite an odd post for me to do. I have spent years priding myself in spending very little time in female company and often made great efforts growing up to be one of the lads. It's only in the past few years since I've started working in a school where 75% of the workforce is female and started blogging that I've spent any real time with other women.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I never really had a good idea of what I wanted to be. At one point I wanted to be a sailor girl (no I don't really know what one of that is either). When I was small I had the notion I would be an author, mainly because I loved reading from a young age. I quickly learnt the ability to read does not mean you can write as well! I ended up studying history by mistake. I hated it when I was in the younger years of high school but in Year 9 I had an awesome History Teacher who inspired me so much I carried on studying it right up to degree level. She is this brilliantly crazy little Scots lady who no one is school would dare cross. Her enthusiasm for her subject is second to none. Teaching is another thing I fell into as I wanted to do something with my degree and I didn't want to work in a museum and teaching was the only thing I could come up with.

Tell me something about the women in your life who have been an influence on you?

Only now as I'm typing this have I realised they all are quite similiar in that they all are women who have a fantastic work ethic. I've never been influenced by really girly women. I'm not one for following high fashion or worrying about clothes size I am in.

Who is your favourite fictional character? And why?

It probably has to be Sally Lockhart. Why? She is an unmarried mother living in Victorian England who, despite being a scandal in polite society, stands on her own two feet alongside all the boys. She is also a crackshot with a pistol!!! I also have a soft spot for Hermione Granger, I love that she makes it cool to be clever.

What were you like as a teenager and how did you cope with all the changes that occurred?

The years I spent as a teenger at high school were miserable. I was clever so I was picked on for wanting to do well. It meant I really drew in on myself. It didn't help that I wasn't allowed out to roam the streets with the other girls in my year late at night drinking (although I am eternally grateful for this now) which meant I got excluded further. The few female friends I did have weren't good ones to me and often treated me horribly and I let them. I didn't really deal well with everything that went on and it meant I went through a really tomboy stage spending all of my free time at home in the company of adults or with the kids who lived near me who were all a lot younger than me.

It wasn't until I left school and started sixth form college with other people who were clever that I came out of my shell and started to have a lot more of a social life and a good circle of friends who were my age whom I spend a lot of time with. It was about this time I met my husband who, as well as being my lovely husband, is also my best friend. One of his best traits is that he brings out the best in me. He makes me more confident in what I do as he has always believed in me and generally makes me a calmer happier person (cheesy slushy stuff over).

If you had any advice for yourself as a teenager, what would you say?

In ten years time none of the stuff you are dealing with will matter. Oh and that nasty girl in your year who makes your life hell? She gets really really fat, marries a man twice her age who spends the majority of his time going in and out of prison! (sorry that was a little bitchy - I guess I'm still a little bit bitter)

Of the issues and concerns that women are faced with today, what's the area you most like reading about?

I'm not sure I really read books like that on the whole. I did like Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series which dealt with issues about self image.

Thank you Kirsty for such a wonderful interview and I love all the photos you shared with us! Brilliant.

If you'd like to know more about Kirsty, do visit The Overflowing Library. And if you'd like to know more about my Awesome Women feature or would like to take part yourself, all the information can be found here.


  1. A sailor girl! The images floating through my mind now. If only I could share them. Lovely post Kirsty.

  2. Thank you so much Kirsty for taking part in this with me :) I absolutely adore all of your photos as well :)

  3. What a brilliant interview. I love the way your history teacher inspired you so much!


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