And thank you to Michelle from Tales of Yesterday for being super lovely as well as being the final ever participant! Tales of Yesterday is one of my favourite new blogs and I love Chelley's passion and enthusiasm for both books and blogging. I'm sure you're already following her blog and on Twitter, but if you are not here are those links again:
Firstly, can you tell me something about yourself and your blog?
Hi, I’m Chelle and I run a book blog - www.Talesofyesterday.co.uk. I read lots of books and review them on my blog and also love to feature guest posts, Q&A’s amongst others things from authors as well as other bloggers. I always feature anything I enjoy or find fun or want to know the answers to!
I am helpdesk / resource planner team leader for a service company by day and an avid book reader / book blogger / serial tweeter / twitter addict by night and on weekends!
I’m also a co-mod for the awesome book forum BookishPeeps.com and organiser of #DrinkYAMidlands and #PicnicYAMidlands where everyone is welcome to meet up for bookish chat and fun! I also host a nostalgic #PointHorrorBookClub on the 13th of every month where we read and discuss a Point Horror book which were all the rage and loved by myself in the 90’s – do you remember them?
I am often known to be a little bit clumsy and possibly a little loopy! I am always laughing at something or another and have a bit of a chuckle laugh (one of my managers calls me chuckles).
I live with my husband, Kevin, who I have known since I was 4 and I have a 10 Year Old son, Corey, who is as much of a book lover as me! I also have 3 cats, Skittles, Patch and Louis who enjoy clawing at my curtains and 3 rabbits, Smudge, Caramel and Clover who pinch all my vegetables!
I am a book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher horror film loving csi geek! I’m often seen on twitter embarrassing myself and tweeting about books a lot using @chelleytoy.
How did you begin being a book blogger? What is it about books that makes you excited to talk about books on your blog?
I have always loved books ever since I was a little girl when my mom used to take me to the library a lot (I talked about this for a Love Libraries Feature here but be warned it features pictures of younger Michelle!). I have carried on with that love for books ever since, but I hit a stumbling block in my love for books when I lost my sight suddenly in 2013. I wrote a guest post about it previously here, but upon keeping the sight in one eye I gradually got back into reading and discovered the wonderful world of YA and it reignited my love and passion for books.
Starting a book blog seemed to be a natural step for me and something I wish I had done years ago! I LOVE talking about books and sharing my thoughts and experience of a book with people and sharing my thoughts through reviews on my blog. Books in general excite me. I love getting lost within the pages of a book. Feeling what the characters are feeling or experiencing and going on a journey with them. I also love being asked for recommendations especially by children and then being told how much they love the book…this makes me so happy. I also love sharing books with my son and having reading time with him every night.
So yeah basically – Chelley loves books!
What would you like to have known about book blogging before you got started that you didn't know beforehand?
I would love to have known how wonderful and awesome the community is! I have made some lovely friends through blogging and it genuinely brings a tear to my eye to think about it. When I think back to a time in my life where I felt quite lonely and scared (I had my family of course) if I had known that book blogging would introduce me to genuine wonderful people I would have done it sooner. I love the community so much.
When you're not reading or blogging, what do you do with yourself?
Oh wow! Working! Lol. I work Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and live about an hours motorway drive away from my job (I am the only driver in my family) so when I get home it is normally time to spend with my family, watching lots of Netflix’s, reading, blogging and I try to fit some writing in occasionally too.
I am often known to spend too much time talking to people on twitter too!
What type of things do you champion on your blog? What would you like your blog to be known for?
I do read a lot of YA books and a lot by British Authors as I like to champion #UKYA and celebrate our home grown talent. I have been taking part in the British Books Challenge 2015 and am thoroughly enjoying it. I also feel passionate about #WeNeedDiverseBooks so I like to champion this and get the word out there and read more diverse reads where I can. I feel it is important for our children to grow up with access to diverse reads so the more we spread the word the better.
I think I would like my blog to be known as a place to get to know authors a little better or to discover a new book recommendation via my reviews. A fun place where people can enjoy themselves.
What has been the best experience of being a book blogger so far?
The best experience of being a book blogger so far is getting to know new supportive people who love books and the community just as much as me.
I have also loved the chances I have had to meet authors or have authors appear on my blog and learn more about their lives, writing, books and the publishing industry. I always feel truly honoured when an author agrees to appear on my blog.
On a personal note the most over whelming experience has been winning a UKYABA award in March for Champion Newcomer 2015 which in turn has given me the honour of speaking on a book blogging workshop / panel at YALC which is mind blowingly amazing and scary all rolled into one big ball of fun!
What is your biggest struggle as a book blogger?
My biggest struggle as a book blogger is time! I need Hermione's Time Turner! I want to spend ALL my time with my family and friends, read ALL the books, put more time into my blog and write that book that’s inside me, but time is restricted sometimes.
You can do it, what is your absolute favourite book?
Okay my favourite ever book is Watership Down! I adore this book! A childhood favourite. It is followed closely by a number of other books though.
What books or authors or series would you like more people to be aware of?
Ohhhhh this is a tough one! I just want people to read ALL the books! ☺
Have you discovered any books or authors through blogging that you might not have otherwise found?
Yes! I’m always discovering new authors and books all the time especially through Bookish Brits videos, #UKYAChat and via Jim over at @YAYeahYeah amongst others. For me twitter provides me with so many book recs that my TBR list grows to a staggering amount!
Name your top 5 UK book bloggers!
Just 5??!! I don’t think I can through fear of missing off a blogger I adore!
*offers Cloverness a cake and bats eyelashes to let me off the question*
If you could meet your favourite author, who would it be?
I feel I have been very lucky to meet a lot of my favourite amazing authors already, but for me this would be John Green or James Patterson…..two authors I adore who I would be honoured to get a chance to meet in real life!
What would you like to see more or less of in the books you read?
I would like to see more friendships rather than love interests and more #LGBT that are just there rather than being the focus on the book if that makes any sense. I would also like to see more disabled characters in books.
And finally, who is your ultimate book crush?
At the time of writing this I am reading a book called Black Iris (recommended to me by Jim over at @YAYeahYeah) and I have a serious SERIOUS crush on a character called Armin….he makes really bad (I say good) 80’S song reference jokes and I LOVE him (well so far…unless things turn in the book…now I’m worried).
Ultimate book crush?! I’m not sure I have one?
*minds goes blank* I can’t think at all….however if you follow me on twitter I like a man with a beard and old!