Thank you all so much for such an interesting range of questions, some really made me think! I hope you find my answers interesting and learn a little more about me.
So let’s begin!
What are your favourite things to do when you’re not blogging?
Well obviously reading and watching TV are pretty high on my list of favourite things to do. Talking about TV, the shows I am loving are Arrow, the Flash, Scorpion, The Last Ship and the Librarians. Though all of these have finished their current series, I believe they are all coming back for another series which I am excited for and gives me something to look forward to in Autumn. I also enjoy typical teenage girly things like going out with my friends, shopping and to the cinema.
Why did you start blogging? What inspired you to start blogging?
About a year and a month ago, I started to get really into blog blogs and booktube and was amazed by this fantastic new world I had discovered. A world I wanted so badly to be a part of. So one night, when I was babysitting and the kids had to bed and I was sat channel surfing at around 11 at night, I decided to just go for. I created a blog that evening after much umming and ahhhing about a name and ideas. My first post was posted the next day, on the 29th of June 2014.
What is the best book to movie/TV show adaptation?
My favourite book to movie adaptions are the Harry Potter series. Not only do the movies stay true to the books, but I absolutely adore most of the cast. There will never be any other Hermione than Emma Watson in my mind and Maggie Smith was the perfect McGonagall.
What kind of music do you like?
I’m not particularly picky. I generally listen to whatever is on the radio, but I do also like older music too.
What’s the best thing you’ve learnt from blogging?
I think I’ve learnt a lot about myself but also a lot about others. I’ve learnt that I am much braver than I thought and much more capable than I could ever have believed. I’ve also learnt that other people can be so kind and welcoming even via a computer screen to those they don’t know. And I don’t know about you, but to me, those lessons are far more important than anything I’ve learnt about books or writing.
What is your favourite subject at school?
My all time favourite subject at school has to be French. I am a huge fan of languages, currently I am learning French, Spanish, and Russian. I feel like this is at least an unusual answer becuase most bookworms reply English, which I if I’m being honest often find quite boring.
What’s your favourite thing about blogging?
It sounds cheesy, but definitely the people. Everyone I’ve met and talked to through my blog has been lovely. Whether they are authors I’m fangirling over, book blogging buddies or well established, extremely cool popular bloggers that I finally plucked up the courage to talk to. Everyone is awesome and totally deserve my virtual hugs.
Have you got any crazy or memorable blogging stories to share?
Unfortunately not. Sorry, I’m not particularly interesting. I’d be curious hear anyone else’s stories if they have any though!
Describe blogging in three foods.
Chocolate – perfect after a long, exhausting day
Popcorn – once you’ve started, you just can’t stop.
Pizza – everyone loves it and it’s totally addictive
What would you suggest to new bloggers on how to get started?
Start by embracing yourself and what you want to write about. Blogging is all about meeting new people and making new friends, however you need to start for yourself. I would definitely use WordPress, as I have found it’s great, though admittedly I have never used any other platform.
What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?
I am genuinely not sure. There have certainly been a few I haven’t liked, but I don’t think I could pick a worst book. Generally I’m quite lucky and seem to often end up picking books I enjoy.
Do you think you follow too many or too few blogs?
Definitely too few. I know people who only want to follow a select group of bloggers who’s every post they will read and adore, but I feel differently about it. I already follow tonnes of blogs, and I don’t love or even read every post on every blog, but I get a wide range of interesting things to read about and I hopefully spread the bloggy love a little further.
What’s your favourite colour?
Blue. 100% Not even a particular shade of blue. My room is painted pale blue and turquoise but I also own loads of navy tops and hoodies.
What’s your favourite food?
Pasta and pizza. If I could move to Italy tomorrow I would and then whilst there my body weight would double, but I’d be an extremely happy human.
How do you manage your time between blogging, reading, reviewing, social media and juggling it with real life?
I have adapted to need less sleep is the simple answer. The slightly more complex answer is that I write lists obsessively and try to carefully plan everything. I must confess it’s tough, however in my mind, it’s totally work it.
How do you go about networking with other bloggers?
I must confess this is something I still find difficult, but I just try and be nice. I find that’s always a good place to start, that and saying yes. So far, I have tried to chat with loads of different book bloggers in order to make new friends. I have particularly enjoyed participating in events like Armchair BEA and Twitter chats.
What’s your favourite book of 2015?
I am so lucky to have read a whole host of amazing books so far in 2015, so I’m not sure I can single out just one. However I have loved Rites of Passage, Paladin, The Heartbreakers and The DUFF.
What book are you excited to read that comes out later in 2015?
This is the regard in which I am a terrible book blogger, I never know what books are coming out, unless they’re a sequel or a highly anticipated book from an author I love. Everyone else seems to be super organised and have top ten list of books coming out soon and I’m just sat here clueless. How disappointing am I?
What’s your favorite book you’ve ever read?
Now that’s a mean question. How dare you try and make me pick a favourite! That’s like asking a parent to pick their favourite child. I can’t do it! Though despite that, Harry Potter will always have a special place in my heart.
If there was a book based on your life, what would it be called?
Hmmm, that’s a seriously tricky one. I’d like it to be something witty or sarcastic, but I’d probably be unable to think of somethings so clever, so I’d get a professional to do it.
If the book based on your life was turned into a movie, who would play you?
I would like Emma Watson to play me, becuase I absolutely adore her. Obviously she’s older than me, but let’s be honest, most teenagers in films are played by twenty somethings. Emma is not only drop dead gorgeous, but intelligent, passionate and a wonderful actress. So clearly far too good for me, but we’re living in the world of my imagination here where I’m getting a film about me.
Have you ever met any authors?
Yes, I’ve met Cassandra Clare. Only briefly while she signed my book, but I fangirled so much! I’m hoping to greatly expand this list by the end of the summer as I am off to YALC, where fingers crossed, I will meet loads of great authors.
Just a little warning before I start, I fear I may be terribly gushy, emotional and cliché. Now let the finishing commence!
I can’t believe it’s been a year since I first started this blog. It seems like only yesterday but I’m so proud of how far I’ve come.
First of all, I would like to thank every single person who has ever read, liked or commented on one of my posts, I really wouldn’t be there without you. I am so grateful to each and everyone one of you, your support has been invaluable this past year.
My stats (roughly) for this past year are:
180 WordPress followers
19 Bloglovin’ followers
258 Twitter followers
51 Goodreads friends
4061 total views
537 total likes
1678 total visitors
389 total comments
For some people, these stats are not anything to shout about, but to me these are more than I ever could have hoped for.
Looking back at myself, I can’t believe how well I’ve done. I thought it would be a bit of fun, but my resilience and commitment has even surprised me. I feel like I’ve had such an awesome journey and I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.
Thank you all once again. Please have a virtual hug and slice of cake!
It’s almost here! Only 3 days until the Blog Olympics and the official schedule has now been released! We’re started to get really excited now and I hope you are too!
It’s here! Finally! Sorry about the delay, it took longer than expected yesterday and my computer crashed halfway through doing it the first time today…yay! Anyway, it’s here now, and this is what it looks like…
Pretty busy, huh?
Just a couple of quick notes: ‘giveaway’ I think in all contexts here means you literally just have to click a button or two to enter – a ‘competition’, however, you have to do a little extra; to be revealed on the day! All straight giveaways will be open for a week, and competitions for two.
All Twittery stuff will be happening from our official account, @BlogOlympics, and all blog stuff (excluding discussions) on both blogs. The discussions will be taking place on the blogs specified on the schedule.
In terms of Twitter chats, see the schedule for each chat’s hashtag. I’ll be hosting the book soundtrack and genre stereotypes chats…
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As part of my first Blogiversary celebrations on the 29th June, I am doing a Q&A, so now is your opportunity to ask any questions you want. They can be about books, blogging or anyone thing else you’re interested in.
Comment your questions as I would love to have as many questions as possible to answer as part of this exciting celebration.
So, get asking!
This is a new blog I am part of that will talk about feminism, racism and other important issues. I can’t wait to get started and think it’s going to be an amazing journey with 10 amazing bloggers.
Hello everyone! So yesterday was the start of The Feministas, a blog that will talk about feminism, racial issues and other controversial issues “plaguing” the world today. There are 11 bloggers behind The Feministas and they are:
We are all more or less young, but, contrary to popular belief, we have opinions too and want to change the world with them! We hope you take our thoughts to heart and enjoy the ride 🙂
Follow us on Twitter @TheFeministas and join in the discussion using #feministasblog! We can’t wait to hear from you 🙂
During this week, the rest of my English class and I received a lecture from our teacher about how a third of our class had written something inappropriate for our creative writing assignment. Basically we had to take a film title and write a new piece of writing based on that. Now, I bet you’re curious as to what this inappropriate content is. When Miss summarised it, she mentioned drug and alcohol abuse, swearing, excessive violence, bullying and suicide. Some of these I can understand her concern, nearing in mind we are still in secondary school. Excessive violence seems unnecessary, particularly in an exam piece, however some of the others I don’t quite get why she feels they are inappropriate.
We live in a world where many teenagers our age will have had first hand experience or know someone who has had experience with drugs, alcohol, violence, suicide and swearing, so how is it inappropriate to express that in our writing? Now I can understand the teacher being concerned about people’s wellbeing and wanting to know if they need any help with any problems outside of school, but to restrict their writing…
Writing is a way for people to express themselves so how can teachers limit what people choose to write about. Obviously when writing in school, you have to follow the task, but since this task meant you could write practically anything, students shouldn’t feel limited. If these issues aren’t okay to talk about frankly and openly at school in our writing, then when can we explore and talk about this ideas. Unfortunately we do live in a world where drugs, alcohol and violence are problems, young people face so why are they inappropriate for young people to write about?
However looking at it from the other side, I can understand why teachers say that some things shouldn’t be written about in a school writing piece which is going to be marked by examiners. Since this is an exam piece, it should really be rated PG or 12, despite the fact we can all legally watch 15 rated films.
What do you think?
Is there anything you think is inappropriate to write about in school?
One girl. One camp for delinquents. One hell of a summer.
Falice Winters has always been the goody-two shoes. Her twin Arabelle . . . not so much. So what happens when their dad plans to ship Arabelle off to a camp to clean up her act? Well, naturally, Arabelle would find a way out.
Her solution? Falice! It was a simple plan: Falice would pretend to be Arabelle and go to the delinquent camp while Arabelle got to have the time of her life with her boyfriend in London.
Falice thought her summer was going to consist of sitting on the couch reading novels all day or hanging out with her friends. Never did it cross her mind that she would be pretending to be her sister in a camp of delinquents. But now she’s stuck at a camp all summer where being rude is the new “in.”
And everything turns for the worse when someone figures out her secret.
Will Falice survive the summer? Or will everyone learn that she’s faking delinquency?
Welcome! Today I would like to introduce you to Ashley Winters, the Wattpad author who wrote Faking Delinquency(blurb above). Here’s a quick author biography written by her.
Ashley is a seventeen-year-old girl who enjoys spending more time in the fictional world than out. If fangirling were a profession, she would surely be rich. She currently resides in Maine with her mother, sister, and their three cats, where she writes and reads to her heart’s content.
What are some of your favourite books on Wattpad?
There are so many books that I absolutely adore on this site, but some of my current top favorites would have to be Lakehouse by coexistence, Screenwalks by beautyatwork, Their Paid Girl by ella_enchanted, A Beautiful Torment by AuRevoirSimone, The Possibility of Chance Encounters by SamMadison, and Thread by ImogenaryThings.
What are some of your favourite books off Wattpad?
I have been obsessed with The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare since seventh grade, along with The Darkest Powers by Cassandra Clare. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is now one of my top three favorites as well!
How long have you been writing/ on Wattpad?
I’ve been writing on Wattpad for over three years now, I think? I made an account in March of 2011, but I didn’t start actually using the site until a couple months later.
Why do you like Wattpad?
Well, not only is the support for my writing absolutely amazing, but I love how I’ve been able to connect with so many other people on this site. I’ve made so many great friends, and without this site I would never have had the chance to do that. Also, there are so many great writers on this site with stories that make me feel so many things.
How do you get ideas for your stories?
I get ideas from basically anything and everything. My thoughts traveling to “what if” territory, dreams, tvs/books/movies, songs, people and things around me, etc.
Which scene from your books did you enjoy writing the most?
I actually love writing the really emotional scenes. You know, where a character is bawling and they’re feeling like all hope is lost and things have really gone to crap. Death scenes are also fun to write (I mean this in the least-morbid way possible). I don’t know why, really. I enjoy writing the humor parts, too, but I don’t know, I’m always really looking forward to the teary scenes.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I feel like there are better people to go for advice, but I’ll give it my best shot.
– Do not fall in love with your first draft. Someone told me this a long time ago, and this advice has truly helped me when writing. There are always going to be things that need fixing in your first draft, big or small. Looking at your first draft like it can do no wrong is not the mindset to have.
– Do not let criticism cripple you. Try using it to your advantage. Look at what they’re saying and try to see what aspects you can use to improve your story. I myself and working to take this advice. A long time ago, one criticizing comment would render me a ball of “I suck so much” goo. Now, while that feeling still tends to be there, I try to push past it and read past what I might think be hurtful. Not all criticisms to your story are going to be helpful, but there are some things that people point out that can really help you with your second draft.
– Your characters are not meant to just be cardboard cutouts. Make them 3D! Give them personalities, quirks, habits, interests, wants, needs, etc.
– For aspiring authors on Wattpad: your read, fan, vote, whatever-the-heck-else count does NOT define your potential as an author in the future! I know everyone’s heard this about a million times, but it’s true! There are some really well-written undiscovered gems, and there are some horribly written popular stories. It works the other way around as well.
– Write for yourself, and write what you enjoy.
– Don’t give up on your story or yourself just because you hit a roadblock. It’s okay to trash an idea if it’s just not working out, but if you can work yourself out of this problem your facing, do it! Or at least try. If I gave up every time I struggled, I wouldn’t have a single completed draft.
– World building is important. Whether it’s a teen fic novel or a sci-fi/fantasy. All of your characters live in a world, with places, people, and rules.
What is your favourite thing about writing?
I can’t really pinpoint my favorite thing. I love basically everything about it–creating characters, worlds, plots, etc. And then I love putting the ideas onto paper and having the world I thought in my head come to life. It’s just all so fun and it makes me so dang giddy!
How has your writing developed/ how do you think Wattpad has helped you improve as a writer?
Oh gosh, my writing has developed in so many ways. I’ve learned to add more details in my writing, to actually punctuate correctly, and to create characters with more than one side of them. I’ve also learned to take more time in structuring the worlds around my characters instead of just winging it. Wattpad has helped me a great deal with that process. Wattpaders help point out things that could be changed and how I could improve, even if they don’t really mean to. Also, the support of friends I’ve made on here has helped me grow, too!
Have you had any criticism/unkindness and if so how did you deal with that?
Yes, I have. To be honest, I tend to have a hard time with criticism and unkind words. There are only a couple occasions when I actually felt completely okay after someone criticizing my work, and that’s because they were so nice about it, it didn’t sting at all. When someone criticizes my work, I tend to start doubting myself, my ability, and I read the comment a ridiculous among of time. And then the feeling passes, and I reread the comment again, this time trying to see what advice I want to take from it. As for unkind words in general, I usually rant about it to my friends but just overall ignore the person who said them
One of your books has been published, how did that work/happen?
I went through a self-publishing company called kidpub. I purchased a certain publishing package, which included having the novel printed and edited, and I had the opportunity to let them make the cover for me completely (though my mom and I went out and took pictures ourselves).
Would you recommend Wattpad?
Anything else you would like to add?
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who reads my stuff and supports me, no matter how sporadic my updates can be. It honestly means a lot!
Thank so much to you for kindly agreeing to be featured on my blog!
I have always liked stories that started with Once Upon a Time, so I think that’s what I’ll do when I tell this one. Once upon a time, a few weeks back An Overthinking Teenager posted something on Twitter about possibly hosting a Blog Olympics. I immediately jumped on that bandwagon and started suggesting loads of ideas, some of which I’m sure she’ll say were completely useless, but regardless it became clear we were both really interesting in hosting something like this so I very cheekily asked if I could co-host with her and to my great joy she said yes! It has all sort of spiralled from there and I can now barely contain my excitement whenever anyone brings it up in conversation
Now I’m sure you’ll all be thinking, okay nice story but what on earth actually is a Blog Olympics? This is a very good (and commonly asked) question that I will now answer for you.
It’s a new idea we came up with that will include giveaways, competitions, blog discussions, and Twitter chats We’ve already secured some awesome prizes for you guys (seriously, we are both super jealous and have talked about pinching some prizes for ourselves on numerous occasions). Some of the prizes available to win are Rainbow Rowell and Fangirl goodies, many books from Sally Green, a book from Cathy Cassidy, a signed copy of Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry, a signed hardback copy of Paladin and loads more awesome things – why don’t you go and stalk our Twitter accounts (links below) and try and figure out the rest of the wonderful people donating prizes?
Blog Olympics 2015 is set to run from Wednesday 1st July – Tuesday 7th July – we would really love for you to join, so go and sign up here.
The Olympics will be a chance to win cool prizes, meet new bloggers and hopefully have a ton of fun, so please do consider joining – the more the merrier! Also, if you’re interested in donating anything as a prize (literally anything postable…within reason…), have any questions or have any ideas/special requests for events, either stick a comment onto this post, tweet or Direct Message us @blogolympics, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear your thoughts! You can also follow/get in contact with each of us individually on Twitter – I’m @opinionful, and An Overthinking Teenager is @booksteaonesie . If you want to, you can also go and chat to her on Instagram at @booksteaonesie. You can also join in the general conversation on Twitter with #blogolympics, tag any WordPress posts with ‘Blog Olympics’ and feel free to reblog this post to get the message out there!
Do comment and let me know you’ve signed up, and go and check out a similar intro post on KJ’s blog.
Now, who’s excited?!?
This post was inspired by a post I read on Cait’s blog Paper Fury, so before you read this I would definitely recommend you check her post out here.
Have you read it? Good. Now we can get on to what I have to say.
After reading Cait’s post on Gender swaps, and spending an unnecessarily long time in the shower (because let’s be honest 99% of inspiration occurs there) I thought I’d write my own post on gender swaps. Obviously it cannot hope to ever be as intelligent or witty as Cait’s post, but let’s give it a go, shall we?
I think gender swaps are great. It puts an original spin on a a story that has already been told in a thousand different ways. I would love to read gender bent stories, but unfortunately the key word in that sentence is would. Admittedly I don’t read the most diverse range of books, but I have yet to read a gender bent novel. I know, disappointing!
In the hope of solving this problem, I had a look online to see what stories exist and here are a few I found which looked good and are now going on my never ending TBR pile. I must confess, instinctively I would be more drawn novels where a traditional male character is female, but that’s because, let’s be honest, most classics feature male protagonists doing the cool stuff, however I would be interested in reading gender bent novels the other way round too.
Will Scarlet is good at two things: stealing from the rich and keeping secrets – skills that are in high demand in Robin Hood’s band of thieves, who protect the people of Nottingham from the evil sheriff. Scarlet’s biggest secret of all is one only Robin and his men know…that she is posing as a thief; that the slip of a boy who is fast with sharp knives is really a girl.
The terrible events in her past that led Scarlet to hide her real identity are in danger of being exposed when the thief taker Lord Gisbourne arrives in town to rid Nottingham of the Hood and his men once and for all. As Gisbourne closes in a put innocent lives at risk, Scarlet must decide how much the people of Nottingham mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles have the rare power to unsettle her. There is real honor among these thieves and so much more – making this a fight worth dying for.
Everyone loves a good scandal.
Naomi Rye usually dreads spending the summer with her socialite mother in East Hampton. This year is no different. She sticks out like a sore thumb among the teenagers who have been summering (a verb only the very rich use) together for years. But Naomi finds herself captivated by her mysterious next-door neighbor, Jacinta. Jacinta has her own reason for drawing close to Naomi-to meet the beautiful and untouchable Delilah Fairweather. But Jacinta’s carefully constructed world is hiding something huge, a secret that could undo everything. And Naomi must decide how far she is willing to be pulled into this web of lies and deception before she is unable to escape.
Based on a beloved classic and steeped in Sara Benincasa’s darkly comic voice, Great has all the drama, glitz, and romance with a terrific modern (and scandalous) twist to enthrall readers.
Tossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite—break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Olivia might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Olivia and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv…
So those were a few I found, but there still isn’t a great range of gender bent novels out there. So here are the top three general bends I think should happen:
- Peter Pan – Everyone knows and loves the story of Peter Pan and it’s even been made into a Disney classic. But how would the story change if it was a girl who never wanted to grow up taking a normal boy back to his magical home? This is certainly an intriguing idea and this gender bend would massively impact the entire story.
- Alice in Wonderland – There have been hundreds of Alice in Wonderland retellings including ones with zombies and whatnot, but I have yet to see our Alice be an Alex. I mean, can’t you imagine a little blonde boy in sky blue shorts and a white shirt, instead of our girl with bunches and a blue pinafore.
- Robin Hood – I know this is sort of similar to the novel ‘Scarlet’ that I just mentioned, but I thought of this idea before I did my research so I thought I’d include it anyway. Now, this story is just begging to be retold with a female Robin Hood, because Robin is a unisex name. If that isn’t asking for it, then I don’t know what is.
On the note of gender swaps, whilst I was googling this topic I found a really interesting article about Maureen Johnson’s campaign to end gendered book covers. The article outlines her key ideas and also has some ideas of what book covers would look like if they were written by an author of the opposite sex. If I were you I would totally check it out here.
So, what do you think? Are you a fan of gender swaps? Will you be adding any of these books to your TBR? What retelling would like to see gender bent?
I feel like both my favourite and least favourite book to movie adaptions are very cliché and easy to guess, but I’ll tell you them anyone. My favourite book to movie adaptions are the Harry Potter series. Not only do the movies stay true to the books, but I absolutely adore most of the cast. There will never be any other Hermione than Emma Watson in my mind and Maggie Smith was the perfect McGonagall. Now turning to my least favourite, it has to be, hands down, the two Percy Jackson movies. I really don’t understand after the train wreck that the first movie was. The movie didn’t at all follow the book and I’m not sure if it even qualifies as a book to movie adaption it was so different. I mean, come on!
Now looking towards the future, at books I would like to see as movies. This is quite tricky when I actually start to think about because I wouldn’t want any of my favourite books to be ruined by having a movie adaption.
So here are three books I would like to see as a movie:
1. Starcrossed By Josephine Angelini
This is a novel I haven’t really talked about, or read in absolutely ages. I feel like this novel has the right mix of romance and paranormal (technically mythology but close enough…) that it would do quite well in cinemas. It is a movie I think would be challenging to ruin as it is a fast paced entertaining novel that I can imagine would be easy to script.
2. Touch of Power By Maria V. Snyder
I am always wary when thinking about fantasy book to movie adaptions, but this is a world I would love to see on there big screen. I also think making it into a film, would get this books some much deserved attention, as it is one of my favourite fantasy novels.
3. Finding Sky
This book series just make me feel warm and fuzzy inside and will always have a special place in my heart. I have forced this book on quite a few friends and they have all had the same reaction as me. Therefore I think this would be a really great feel good girly movie to watch at a sleepover with your BFF