Today, I have the absolute pleasure of having Beth from Thoughts from the Hearthfire on the blog. Beth is one of my favourite bloggers. She writes such thoughtful and interesting reviews and posts on her blog and I always look forward to reading them. If you do not already follow Beth's blog, you really ought to do so now...
I'm a teacher (English) and writer (mostly educational stuff), so my blog features some posts about those sides of me as well as bookish posts. As is obvious from my career choices, I've always been a reader!
How did you begin being a book blogger?
When I started my blog, I saw a reading and reviewing challenge (it was the Bookette's British Books Challenge) and decided to join in. Once I'd posted a few reviews, I started connecting with other bloggers and finding some of the lovely PRs.
When you're not reading or blogging, what do you do with yourself?
We have two lovely daughters (9 and 14) and two lively dogs (a Patterdale terrier and a lurcher) - so plenty there to keep me busy! Teaching, marking and writing also demand a fair chunk of time. I do most of my reading on the bus to work, if you're wondering how I fit it all in!
Ooh, tricky question! I suppose it could be Antonia Michaelis's The Storyteller. I'd read some negative reviews on Goodreads, and felt I wanted to defend the book, as I felt quite strongly that the violence which people were criticising was justified - and far from glorified - in the context.
What has been the best experience of being a book blogger so far?
Hosting guest posts from lovely authors, definitely! It amazes me that an author who has written and published a book that I've enjoyed will send me their words to feature on my little blog.
You can do it, what is your absolute favourite book?
Oh Clover, you are a dreadful person, you know. I think I'd have to go for Angela Carter's The Magic Toyshop, as I've re-read it several times (there aren't many books I re-read) and it means a lot to me as a book that really opened my eyes to feminism as a sixth former.
If you could be best friends with any fictional character, who would you choose?
Another toughie! I'm going to go for Ema from Harlan Coben's YA series (Shelter and Seconds Away). She's so cool - funny, confident and non-conformist - and exactly the sort of girl I hung around with when I was a teen.
Name your top 5 UK book bloggers!
Viv from Serendipity Reviews - She reviews a nice range of books and often introduces me to good Middle Grade as well as YA
Kirsty from The Overflowing Library - I always find her reviews well-written and they often give me something to think about
Emma from BookAngel Booktopia - Again, her blog is great for kids' as well as teens' books
Sister Spooky from Sister Spooky: Book Fangirl - Queen of the geeky read, I often find she draws my attention to something I might not have considered otherwise (surely this is *the* key purpose of book blogs?)
Nikki-Ann from Notes of Life - I rely on her for good contemporary crime
PS Had this not been a feature for your blog, I would have put you in this list, but I assume everyone reading this knows how great Fluttering Butterflies is!
If you could meet your favourite author, who would you like to meet?
Neil Gaiman, definitely. He's such a renaissance man, I believe he's actually a character himself and several different people write his books. The Gaiman you see in public is an actor, obviously, so I'd like to quiz him and catch him out :)
What would you like to see more of or less of in YA?
Hmm, another difficult question. I'd like fewer love triangles please - especially with the bad-but-alluring versus the good-for-me-but-dull. I'd also like to see more crime written for the YA market, although that is starting to come through now. Chris Ould's Street Duty series is a great example.
And finally, who is your ultimate book crush?
Probably Seth MacGregor in Gillian Philip's 'Rebel Angels' series *hangs head in shame*
Thank you so much for these brilliant answers, Beth! I've not read the Rebel Angels series but I'm sure there should be no shame in crushing on Seth! Especially if that cover is anything to go by... Also, I love crime YA! and Neil Gaiman!
What do you think? Do you fancy the pants of Seth MacGregor? Would you love to meet Neil Gaiman? Would you like to see more crime stories for teen readers? Let Beth and I know in comments!