I'm Kath, I'm 21 and I've just graduated from University and currently going through a slight existential crisis that I think (hope!) all new graduates go through at some point. I like writing on rainy days and looking at pictures of cats on instagram. I've dreamed of getting a book published since I knew what books were and hope to move to London in the next couple of months to be in the centre of the UK book industry.
How did you initially get into blogging?
If I'm being perfectly frank about it, I was quite jealous of the amount of fun Ria was having with her blog and wanted a piece of the action. Being the good friend that she is, she kept identifying things that I could blog about and was slowly influencing me to starting one. I started Sensitivity And Flair at the start of my third year at University and consequently was not able to give it the love and attention it deserved for a large part of the year. Now I'm cultivating my blog into what I want it to be, giving it some very overdue attention and enjoying every moment of it.
As our newest member of the team what are you most looking forward to about blogging for BB?
I love the community aspect that has come along with BB, which you don't see with many other book blogs. The selection of bloggers who post, along with their diverse love of different genres and authors has created a really special atmosphere that I've certainly noticed as a reader and occasional reviewer. I'm looking forward to seeing how I slot into this community that has developed and what I can bring to it.
Which reviews have you enjoyed reading before joining the team?
I really enjoyed reading Anjali's review of The Knife of Never Letting Go back in February. The book is written in a style that can be a bit confusing so it was great to have someone explain what it was going to be like before I got round to reading the book. Apart from that, I adored Ria's The Name of The Star review for many reasons including the fact that I convinced her to read it, so it was great to see what she thought.
You've written two guests posts for us already about 'An Evening with...' events with authors, which event did you enjoy more Neil Gaiman's or Maureen Johnson's? And why?
Maureen Johnson's event, without a doubt. Neil Gaiman's event was wonderful, definitely. It was amazing to see and to meet one of the most recognised writers of modern times but just for the style and pacing of the evening alone, it has to be Maureen. At Neil Gaiman there were a few hundred people, at Maureen there was about 30 of us. This allowed us to actually get into conversations with her and have a bit of fun with her in a very relaxed setting. Somebody had a dance off with her, and then she gave us anecdotes of her puppy's adventures.
If you could swap lives for the day with any fictional character who would it be and why?
I imagine that this is the answer that a lot of girls from my generation would give but it would just have to be Hermione Granger. I don't think that feeling of being eleven and not getting a Hogwarts letter will ever go away so I would choose Hermione to experience the magical world J.K. Rowling created. Preferably one of the days Voldemort wasn't around causing mayhem though.
Finally, which books are top of your TBR list right now?
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I've wanted to read this series for absolutely ages and have just never got round to it. I managed to get the first three books in the series in a very good deal so I must settle down and get started on them sometime soon. I also want to read The Luminaries to see what all the fuss is about, and of course the just-released Allegiant.
My name is Anjali (pronounced Un-ja-lee, emphasis on the 'un'), and I'm a New Zealander who is currently living in England. I have way too many hobbies, and a slight obsession to Harry Potter, all of which you can find either on my original blog From L&P to English Tea, or on my new blog which I started just recently, This Splendid Shambles.
How did you initially get into blogging and what was it about joining team BB that appealed to you?
My first blog was back in 2008, and it was just about day to day things and whatever was going on in my life. I posted maybe once a month, and it was a total non-event. But then in 2010 I got back into it with a new blog name, a new purpose, I guess. My family were up and moving to England without me (I stayed behind to finish my degree), so I started blogging about moving in to my friend's house and the adventures we had, and then, as time went on a little, actually moving country. Hence, 'From L&P to English Tea' (L&P is a NZ drink). The rest, they say, is history. I've always been a huge reader, and I started writing reviews on my blog. Erin (co-creator of BB) approached me and wondered if I'd like to guest post on BB, which I started doing quite regularly. A little later, I became a regular reviewer, and I have loved being a part of a great team of people who love books as much as I do. I think that's one of the most appealing parts - knowing that you and your new found friends share the same interests.
Which of your published reviews are you most proud of? & any favourite group posts?
I don't think I have reviews that I'm proud of, though maybe that's because I've never thought about it. But I did enjoy writing the review from Daughter of Smoke and Bone, so I think it reads quite well. I love participating in the group posts - it's so much fun both to write, and to see what other people think about the same topic. My favourite group posts to write for have been Wish You Were Where?!, Laugh Out Loud Literature, and Favourite Couples in Fiction.
As an avid traveller are there any books you can remember taking with you to read that were particularly memorable?
My most recent travel adventure was up to Scotland, and we drove from the top of South West England all the way up. I took a pile of books with me, as well as my kindle, but on the entire way up (mostly because I couldn't put it down) I read A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness. On the way down from that trip, I read The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green, in it's entirety. Now every time I see these books, I think of that holiday. Then there are little adventures, like to London just last week, where, on the coach there and back, I read The Dead-Tossed Waves, by Carrie Ryan. I have a feeling I'm going to think of that uncomfortable journey whenever I see that book now.
Sticking with the travel theme - are there any book-related destinations that you would love to visit but haven't had the chance yet?
Does Hogwarts count? Narnia? Neverland? No? Okay. I've been lucky enough to go to a lot of literary places that would have been on my list (Platform 9 3/4 at Kingscross Station, from Harry Potter; Amsterdam, from The Fault in Our Stars; Oxford, from A Discovery of Witches; Baker Street, from Sherlock Holmes books; Bath, from Persuasion; Chicago (though not the dystopian version, duh), from Divergent ...the list goes on), but I really enjoy going to places where the authors have been inspired, or have actually taken a seat and wrote something. I've been to a few places, like Beatrix Potter's house in the Lake District in England, and seen the pub in Oxford (The Eagle and Child) where C.S Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien sat and chatted. Things like that; nothing specific at the moment though.
If you could invite 5 fictional characters to a dinner party who would you choose and why?
Luna Lovegood - Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling. She's my favourite Harry Potter minor character, and I just think she is so weird, but so wonderful and if it weren't for the fact that she's super quiet, I would say we're quite alike. Also, she'd probably bring radishes to a dinner party, and that could be potentially handy.
Charles Carter, from Carter Beats the Devil, by Glen David Gold. Carter is a magician, and every dinner party needs some form of entertainment. Maybe he'd even bring his pet lion with him! He might even be able to conjure up some dessert, because chances are I'll burn whatever it is I had planned on making.
Daisy Buchanan, from The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Not because I like her, but because I'd like to knock some sense into her. Doesn't she realise that everything Gatsby has done, he's done for her?! The conversation may go something a long the lines of "Seriously, woman! What's wrong with you? Yes, please pass the salt."
Gandalf, from The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien. Wise words and overall genius are needed in at least one guest at a dinner party, and not only that but he can blow some mean smoke rings! No one else can create ships and sail them throw rings made of smoke like Gandalf can, and besides, I'll need someone to tell 'put that out right now! No smoking in the house!'
The Hatter, from Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Caroll. Why? He's mad! And he makes hats. Supposedly. Also, he's super bad at telling jokes ('Why is a raven like a writing desk?'), but would be fun to have around none the less. We could all have matching mad hats by the end of the evening. Side note, if he actually were Johnny Depp, then that would be an added bonus.
Finally, which books are top of your TBR list right now?
Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
Fuse, by Julianna Baggot
Days of Blood and Starlight, by Laini Taylor
The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
A big thank you to both Anjali & Kath for taking part in this post.
Over the next couple of weeks we'll be getting to know more about the rest of the team, so don't forget to check back for more interviews!