A big thank you to Kate for joining in with my #AskMeAnything feature 🙂
1 – What’s the biggest buzz you get from blogging?
Ooooh, I don’t know. Reading amazing books counts, right?! Seeing myself quoted in books is awesome!!! I get a little ripple of joy reading a book pre-publication too, especially if you know it ‘s going to go stellar!!! Then there are those moments when an author whose work you’ve read and admired acknowledges your review of their book, that’s always cool. I find it really odd that thanks to social media, we are all connected even though we may never meet. I’m a huge Chris Carter fan, and last year I emailed him on the offchance that he may see it, and I ended up having a q&a with him on my blog which was huge for me! And this year I actually flew to London for an Orenda Books book launch. Not only did I get to meet Karen Sullivan (publisher) and Victoria Goldman from Off The Shelf Books and some other fab bookish folk, but I got to meet Ragnar Jónasson, which was a pinch-me moment because I just love his Dark Iceland series. Next year, I’m also a character in a book (A Room Full of Killers by Michael Wood), it doesn’t get much better than that!
2 – What Irish writers do you think we should read who perhaps aren’t widely known outside Ireland?
Herein lies a problem for me, because as such, I don’t tend to read Irish fiction. I read a huge amount of crime fiction and I tend to lean towards USA or UK-based books if I’m honest. However, I read and loved Liz Nugent’s Lying in Wait this year. I also have Carmel Harrington, Sinead Crowley, Cecelia Ahern and Benjamin Black on my TBR, and I’ve heard great things about them, so I’m sure I will get to them eventually and report back!
3 – If you were stranded on a desert island what three books would you want with you?
This one is a tough question! I don’t re-read books so it’s not like I can say I want to take my comfort reads with me! So, I guess I’ll have to go with Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, Killing Floor by Lee Child and Snowblind by Ragnar Jónasson. Magic, machismo and murder should keep me busy reading!!
4 – How much did your own parents influence your love of reading and what techniques do you use to encourage your own children to read avidly?
My parents aren’t really readers, so in that sense books weren’t foisted on me when I was young. I developed a love of stories when I was small though, and my parents used to make them up for me. I must have shown enough of an interest because books were a natural progression. Books have always been a constant companion for me, so it was only natural to hope that passes on to my kids! We read books every day, and my son reads to his little sister too now which is lovely. I have bookshelves full of books, and I think they see that and want some for themselves. My youngest just turned two, and of course, she got books for her birthday. Lately I’ve been reading The Gruffalo maybe 20 times a day, so I can pretty much say the entire thing without looking at it, as it’s the clear favourite in the house!
5 – One thing you can’t live without (apart from books)?
Apart from my air, family and friends etc? I’d possibly have to go with my phone! Especially since I started blogging, because all of the apps I need and use are on it. And I’m addicted to Candy Crush! Or my kindle!? It’s not technically a book right?!
6 – Has the movie ever been better than the book?
I don’t know if I’m honest! Even now, aside from the Harry Potter movies, I’m struggling to think of a book I’ve read that I’ve enjoyed as a movie!
7 – What make-up do you use?
Hahahaha! On the RARE occasion that I get a chance to put on make up, it’s usually something cheap and cheerful. My brows seem to be what I’m asked about most, and all I use is a Collection Eyebrow Pallette from Boots that’s maybe €4! I use Urban Decay Naked 3 Pallette for shadow, L’Oreal Blockbuster Liquid Eyeliner and 17 Falsifeye mascara in black! See a trend there? It’s usually only ever eye make up!!!
8 – If you could read a book which contained three of your all time favourite book characters, which three would you choose?
I would have to choose Ari Thor from Ragnar Jónasson’s The Dark Iceland series, most definitely Jack Reacher from Lee Child’s books and maybe Severus Snape from HP. (My favourite series are pretty evident in this post aren’t they?!)
9 – Be honest Kate, how many books do you really own v’s how many pairs of shoes?
Ok… be honest… I have maybe 10 pairs of heels and a couple of pairs of boots and runners. I used to LOOOOOOOOVE my shoes, but then I had back problems so I wasn’t able to wear them for months!
At last count, my TBR alone was 850, and I probably own about half of that again, so I guess its safe bet to say that I have over 1000 books between physical TBR, kindle, books I’m keeping and all of my signed first editions or books I’m quoted in!
10 – How do you do anything with your fab nails so perfect all the time?
I get loads done funnily enough, they’re gel nails so they’re really sturdy! I get them refilled every few weeks and change them up a bit, I’ve had them for ages now so I’m well used to them. I also like how fun the claws look in book photos!
11 – What’s your favourite ‘hardly heard of’ book?
I don’t know to be honest. I tend to read a lot of commercial crime fiction, but if I had to pick one I think I would go with The Lobster Boy and The Fat Lady’s Daughter by Charles Kriel. It was published by Fahrenheit Press last year. It’s one of the most unique books I’ve read, and I still think about it. I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for something different.
12 – Who is your favourite literary villain?
Villains are a funny ilk. I think that some of the best villains in books are those you’re not expecting. This is most prevalent in psychological thrillers, especially with the domestic noir of late. I mean, how well do we really know those closest to us? The best villains are the ones you’re not expecting so I can’t in good conscience choose one for fear of spoiling a book!
13 – What’s your favourite book that involves spies?
Espionage thrillers aren’t really a genre that I’ve read much of to be honest so I can’t really pick one. I’m sure there’s probably one somewhere that I’ve read, but for the life of me I can’t think of one at the moment!
14 – I am a like my book lover just like you. I recently decided to start blogging, giving reviews about books I’ve read. I review mostly someone old books that I read in the past, I have not ventured into upcoming and new publications yet. Do you have any recommendations or suggestions for me on this journey?
If I had to pick, I would suggest Ragdoll by Daniel Cole, Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb, Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski and Pendulum by Adam Hamdy.
15 – Shoes or handbags?
Handbags!!! I have tons of them, more than shoes!!! I love them, but they have to be able to fit a large hardback and/or kindle into them. That’s what I look for in a handbag, will it fit my book?!
16 – What’s on the menu for Christmas dinner?
At the time of writing, I have absolutely no idea! For the first time in nearly 9 years, we’re going to spend Christmas Day in my mother in law’s house. I don’t know what she’s cooking, but I’m sure it will be delicious as she is a great cook. Dessert is more my thing though, so here’s hoping there’s meringues and fresh fruit!!
17 – Will you be making any new year resolutions? If so, what will they be and are you good at sticking to them?
I am rubbish at resolutions to be fair, so I don’t tend to make any! I’m not a planner, so resolutions and me do not go well together.
18 – Which book are you most looking forward to reading in 2017?
I know there are a ton of great books coming out in 2017. As I type this, I have 14 books on a shelf for next year waiting to be read, I just need to find the time. I am eager to read Michael Wood’s A Room Full of Killers though. It’s the next instalment in the DCI Matilda Darke series, and I am a character in the book!!! Needless to say, I want to know if I live or die!!!
19 – I know you’ve been in a bit of a reading slump recently, but your read list is amazing! How many books exactly have you read so far this year and how many are you aiming for next year?
As I type this, I have read 158 books so far this year. My Goodreads reading challenge was 75 books, so it’s safe to say I passed that! Reading slumps are awful, and I’m still not back at full capacity with this one. I’m reading but nothing is quite hitting the mark for me for the past few weeks, so here’s hoping that goes away soon!
Next year I am going to set it to 52 books. One book a week. The pressure I put on myself at times was too much this year, and I do not plan on making the same mistake in 2017.
20 – Do you bake your own Christmas Cake?
Erm, no. Do I eat Christmas Cake? No. I don’t get it. I’ve never been a fan of fruit cake, and though I’ve tried it, I just don’t like it. We don’t do traditional Christmas food in our house really, none of us like it so it doesn’t happen!
Thanks so much for letting me take part in this Kerry. It was fun trying to answer these questions! xx
It has been my pleasure, Kate. xx
A big thank you to all who sent questions for Kate 🙂
**If you’re an author and/or book blogger and you’d like to take part in my #AskMeAnything feature, please feel free to get in touch**