I am delighted to welcome Gracie to my blog today. I’m a little starstruck as I adore Gracie’s blog and feel like her Twitter is just one constant stream of awesome. If you aren’t already familiar with her stellar blog, make sure you check it out with the links at the end of the post!
When did you start blogging and what made you want to join the bookish blogging community?
I started blogging when I was 16 and bored between lessons at college – bored/frustrated because I had no way to get my feelings out and I needed just that, an outlet.
I discovered the bookish blogging community I think when I’d started uni, and a lot of my Creative Writing course mates were writing reviews of books, films, theatre, TV shows, food, beauty, EVERYTHING. I never thought of doing it myself, as I was too anxious about being rubbish. I just felt my word, my reviews, wouldn’t and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
So when I properly started book blogging, it wasn’t an official review thing. It was what each book I mentioned meant to me and why I read them.
I bloody LOVE the bookish blogging community. It’s become a gorgeous home for me online.
What do you do when you’re not blogging? How do you juggle life with blogging?
I have said before how I will go days, weeks, without any inspiration for blog posts. Then suddenly, one or two nights a month, I go nuts and start 5 drafts. I also make notes on my phone constantly when I am without my laptop (which is hardly ever) to remind me what I want to write about.
When I’m not blogging, I am working as a bookseller or working on my own novel. Or drinking coffee. Or whisky.
You’ve recently started work as a bookseller (congratulations, by the way). What are your favourite parts of the job so far?
(Thank you, yay omg yay!) I find every day has a highlight, every day that one customer comes in and inspires me or just makes my heart melt. The little kids who are determined to get reading over the summer holidays and catch up on all the YA series; the older ladies who desperately need their fix of romance tales; the blokes who excitedly bring graphic novels to the till.
I love writing teeny reviews of my favourite books and slotting them in beneath where I stand them in pride of place on the shelves. I love running up and down the stairs searching for that one title that one customer can’t recall. I love ordering books in for customers and giving them the parcels when they arrive. I love geeking out over authors and stories with my colleagues.
Have you always been an avid reader or was there a time in your life when you discovered the joy of it? What was the first book you fell in love with?
100% always. My parents love telling people this. They loved it at the time, too, when I was a funny little kid who sat in the corner at parties with her head in a book or would read when we all went on a family day out.
You’re also a writer, what projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on my first novel, and my lesson plans for the couple of seminars I’ll be teaching at Winchester University soon!
What books have left their mark on you as a reader and a writer?
Lisa Heathfield is my latest author obsession. Both her books left me rattled, in a good way.
I also recently read Emma Gannon’s ‘Ctrl Alt Delete: How I Grew Up Online’, and that was the most perfect non-fic; I could relate to it so much but it also blew my mind!
I read ‘One Day’ 3 years ago and it reminded me how badly I want to write my own novels.
How has blogging changed your reading life?
It’s opened so many doors! I now receive proof copies from various publishers, and the recommendations are endless from my fellow bloggers. I am never without a potential new read!
Quick fire book quiz:Favourite book so far this year:
‘Milk & Honey’, by Rupi Kaur. Or ‘Songs About A Girl’, by Chris Russell.
Most anticipated release for the second half of 2016:
OH GOSH SO MANY. Possibly the new one from Rachel Cohr & David Levithan (’12 Days of Dash & Lily’). Or (cheating here) my lovely friend Katherine Webber’s ‘Wing Jones’, coming out early next year!
Caitlin Moran. Jandy Nelson. Louise O’Neill. Holly Bourne. Lauren James. Alice Oseman. Lisa Heathfield. Audrey Niffenegger. (I keep cheating but I CANNOT PICK ONE!)
Your top five must-read books:
Ughh ugh ughh this question is too tough! These are not all my absolute favourites, just the ones I feel everyone should read.
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER…
1. Harry Potter (the whole series!), by JK Rowling.
2. The Time Traveller’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger.
3. Reasons to Stay Alive, by Matt Haig.
4. The Sky Is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson.
5. Every Day, by David Levithan.