Mooching around the blogosphere I have noticed that one of the most popular post types seems to be the Blogger Q & A. Now, I’m not well known enough yet to be invited to take part in one of these things, and I am actually much too shy to ask to be invited when one asks, so I thought why not do one of my own. Me interviewing myself.
So I messaged myself.
I waited. No answer.
I messaged again. Then I remembered that I probably wouldn’t answer quickly as I’d be too busy procrastinating over whether the request was genuine or some scam or other.
So I checked out my blog, thought it looked ok – well, it looked daft if I’m honest, but that’s ok because I do like a bit of daft – and I replied.
I got back to myself surprisingly fast with the following questions, or more of a rambling chit chat, which I now present to you.
Enjoy and maybe you’ll learn something about The Beardy Book Blogger 🙂
TBBB: Hi there and a very warm welcome to The Beardy Book Blogger. Welcome Beardy.
TBBB: Thank you very much for having me. Please, call me Martin or Mart.
TBBB: Cool, welcome Martin or Mart.
TBBB: No, just Martin or Mart. *sigh* I knew this would be a bad idea…
TBBB: Er, I can read that you know!
TBBB: Um, of course. Sorry, let’s get on with the questions shall we?
TBBB: Sorry, yes, let’s do that. Sooo, Mart: What are you currently reading?
TBBB: At this precise moment in time nothing because I am answering these questions, (*Sigh*) but before this, and no doubt after this too, I am currently reading Jo Perry’s Dead Is Good, the 3rd book in her magnificent Charles and Rose investigates series.
TBBB: Wow, amaze beans, that’s exactly what I’m reading too.
TBBB: Really? Amaze beans. Hey, look, I say ‘amaze beans’ too.
Together: Amaze beans.
TBBB: Yes, yes, that’s quite enough of that. So, what’s it about? – for the benefit of the viewers.
TBBB: Well, Charles Stone wakes up dead one day. He’s been murdered and finds himself in the afterlife accompanied by another dead soul, a dog he names Rose. Together they investigate his demise, but also that of Rose. That’s in Dead Is Better. In this one they are investigating the death of Hope, the sister of Charlie’s one true love, Grace. I won’t say more as it’ll spoil my review when I get around to writing it 😉 Anyway, safe to say they are stunning books.
TBBB: I concur. Hurrah. Ok, what made you decide to take up blogging?
TBBB: I was starting to post short reviews to Goodreads and sharing them on Twitter. People seemed to enjoy them and started asking if I was going to start a blog. I said, pish, no no-one would want to read that, but it did get me thinking as I was actually toying with the idea of doing it anyway. I have to admit that I thought that the world really didn’t need another book blog; there are trillions out there, but then I thought that I really needed something to do with all my spare time, so I tinkered with it and before I knew it I had a blog, pressed the “Publish” button, and the rest is geography.
TBBB: You mean History?
TBBB: Yes, that too.
TBBB: So how do you find blogging so far?
TBBB: Honestly, I’m really enjoying it. I seem to get a fair bit of positive feedback, at least so far, and that is very encouraging. I write mostly what comes into my head (tell me about it), and quite often I read it back later and cringe, but no one seems to be bothered so far so I’ll keep on going.
TBBB: So, what was the first book you can remember reading? Which book hooked you and caught you into the huge net of reading addiction?
TBBB: Bloody hell, you know me, I can’t remember going to sleep last night let alone the first chuffing book I read. Hmmm, I do remember reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula as a young teenager. I couldn’t tell you how old I was though – 13ish?
TBBB: Sounds about right. Blimey, that was a bit of a heavy start? Didn’t you grow up on a diet of comics as a kid? Bit of a leap from Whizzer and Chips to Dracula, isn’t it?
TBBB: Yes, I did. You’re good at this 😉 Every Saturday the newspaper would thump through the letterbox sending vibrations throughout the house under the weight of all the comics held within. A young, excited, yet-to-be-bearded-Martin would scuttle down the stairs, scoop up the comics and scuttle back to bed to devour them. These were the UK IPC comics: Whizzer and Chips; Jackpot; Cor!; Whoopee; Scream!, et al – with DC Thompson’s Beano and Dandy and Nutty thrown in too (TBBB/TBBB: Ahhh, happy days 🙂 ). But I had always loved horror; watching late night Hammer films, reading Fangoria and collecting horror trading cards, the name of which I can never remember (I remember it was around 1979-81 though as I was still at Primary School), so the leap from comics to Stoker wasn’t that big really.
TBBB: Was it any good?
TBBB: You know, I think it was. I can’t really remember now, but I read it in one go. I remember it wasn’t what I was expecting. Nothing like the Christopher Lee films or as action packed or gory as I would’ve liked, but then I was only a kid at the time, and rarely read book books, so didn’t really know what to expect. But some things stuck, such as Jonathan Harker seeing the Count climbing down the castle walls; the three women in the bedroom; the seduction of Mina; and the overall atmosphere throughout the book. I shall have to read it again as I still have that copy somewhere.
TBBB: Wasn’t it Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Half’ that started your love of reading non comic books though?
TBBB: Blimey, it’s like you are inside my head! How’d you know that?
TBBB: *shakes head*
TBBB: Oh, yeah, right. Yes it was. I bought it at Athena on a whim. Possibly I was on a bike, but they wouldn’t have allowed that into the shop, so I was probably just on my feet…what is a whim anyway? I…
TBBB: Just get on with the sodding answer!
TBBB: Alrigghhhht, keep your beard on. So, I bought it, loved it, and started reading every King book that I could find.
TBBB: On the spot – favourite King book?
TBBB: Arrghh, um, ooh, umm, The Stand. No, yes, no, yes…but I also loved Christine and Under The Dome was excellent. Pet Sematary…Salem’s Lot…you get the idea. Then there is the recent Bill Hodges trilogy – those were ace too. I’ve never read the Dark Tower books.
TBBB: Great choi…
TBBB: OOOHHH…IT! How could I forget IT? And…
TBBB: Yes alright, thank you. We need to move on.
TBBB: Who else?
TBBB: Ah, Sir Terry Pratchett of course.
*silent moment for the memory of Sir Terry*
TBBB: I fell in love with the Discworld after reading The Colour Of Magic. I came in just after Wyrd Sisters was published, so I had the joy of experiencing the Discworld grow and mature. I cried the day he died. It still makes me so sad to think of it. I loved his non-discworld books too: the Gnomes (or Bromeliad) Trilogy; the Johnny Maxwell series; and ‘Nation‘, a YA book really, is one of my very favourites of his or of any book.
TBBB: You met him a few times didn’t you?
TBBB: Yes, at signings. He was always so patient and welcoming. He always signed everything too, despite some people bringing in dozens of books for him to sign. Later he had a stamp made, lol.
TBBB: Don’t ‘lol’!
TBBB: Soz, lol. Sorry. Around the same time there was also Christopher Fowler, author best known at the moment for his wonderful Bryant and May detective mysteries (though he has written over 40 books and short stories in the last 30 or so years), but I came in with his debut Roofworld – still one of my favourite books.
TBBB: Ok, let’s move on. Some ‘Quick Fire Questions’.
TBBB: Go for it……
TBBB: Beer or Wine?
TBBB: Red wine more and more these days. I don’t fart as much after.
TBBB: Jesus, well you certainly don’t need to fart any more than you already do!
TBBB: er, yes, thank you. Rude.
TBBB: Coffee or Tea?
TBBB: Either (Choose!). Urgh, coffee.
TBBB: Boxers or Briefs?
TBBB: No, tea…
TBBB: Too late, moved on. Boxers or Briefs?
TBBB: Pfft, ok. Whichever comes to hand, or should that be ‘bottom’, haha? (No!). Ok, Boxers.
TBBB: King or Koontz?
TBBB: Never read any Koontz, so, er, ooh, er, King?
TBBB: Tit. Ok, Biscuit or Cake?
TBBB: You’re cruel. Biscuit as I’m keeping clear of cakes these days, but it would be cake otherwise.
TBBB: Blonde or Brunette?
TBBB: Cheeky question….brunette. But it’s what’s underneath that cou…
TBBB: Yeah, yeah, shut up! (ok). Going out or Staying In?
TBBB: Staying in. I’m not the most social of people.
TBBB: No, you can be a right miserable sod at times, huh?
TBBB: Harsh, but guilty.
TBBB: Work or Play?
TBBB: Play. Work is just in the way. Roll on retirement, lol (sorry – ‘un-lol’).
TBBB: Books or Netflix?
TBBB: These days – books. I rarely watch TV anymore, except for some favourites like Bottom or Brooklyn 99, The IT Crowd, etc. I’m even going to give up my Odeon Unlimited card soon; I never go anymore.
TBBB: Boo hoo, these are Quick fire questions, we don’t need your life story!
TBBB: Ok, grouchy beard, sheesh. Continue…
TBBB: Laurel or Hardy?
TBBB: What kind of question is that? Next one!
TBBB: Ok, Chaplin or L&H?
TBBB: Laurel and Hardy always. (Harold Lloyd also gets a nod here 🙂 )
TBBB: Favourite bird?
TBBB: Random, ok, the Red Kite. There are several where I live and I never tire of seeing them.
TBBB: Cats or Dogs.
TBBB: Star Trek or Star Wars?
TBBB: Star Wars all the way. Nothing against ST at all, but SW runs through me. I can still vividly recall queuing with my mum and dad for hours to get into the cinema and the feeling it instilled, and continues to instil, in me.
TBBB: Sith or Jedi?
TBBB: haha, Sith *makes Darth Vader breathing noises*
TBBB: Shush now!
TBBB: Ok, that’s the end of the QF round. Let’s wrap things up a bit. What are you up to next?
TBBB: I was going to use the toilet then think about some lunch.
TBBB: Not literally you arse. I mean what’s next for the Beardy Book Blogger? I despair, seriously.
TBBB: I knew you’d say that. I have a few Blog Tours coming up that I’m pretty excited about.
TBBB: Ooh, yes, what’s occurring there then? Do you enjoy the blog touring lark?
TBBB: I do actually. I told myself in no uncertain terms that when I started my blog I would not do any blog tours. I didn’t want it to become too serious too soon. But then I was invited, yes invited (ooh, get you, big head), onto the one for Stephanie Marland(*sigh*)’s ‘My Little Eye‘. Apparently, Stephanie mentioned me to her publicist and I was away.
TBBB: Oooh, she *quotey fingers* mentioned you *un-quotey fingers* did she? It doesn’t mean you’re engaged you know? Get a grip!
TBBB: Shut up!
TBBB: You shut up!
TBBB: Ok, ok, shall we move on? Good. So then I found myself on a few others and I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s a great idea to promote great books and great authors, which is why I started my blog in the first place really; to shout about books and authors I love. So far I haven’t had to read any duffers. That would be awkward.
TBBB: On that note – would you post bad reviews on your blog? It seems to be a contentious issue with some bloggers and blog readers.
TBBB: Honestly, no I wouldn’t.
TBBB: I started reviewing books because I wanted other people to share in the love I had for those particular books at the time. I wanted to play my part in getting those books noticed and therefore their authors, especially those from the smaller, independent publishers. Blogging for me is all about the book love. It’s not about me really, though this interview is, but I’m not really one to draw attention to myself in real life. If I don’t like a book I’ll just put it aside. I don’t need to write a review detailing why I didn’t like it. Just because I didn’t doesn’t mean that others won’t.
TBBB: But surely the same applies for the reverse, too? Why should you push your views onto anyone, good or bad? Just because you loved a book and rave about it doesn’t mean that others may feel the same?
TBBB: Trust you to be bloody awkward. I guess, but much more will come of a positive review than a negative one. There is enough negativity out there already. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to post negative reviews; people can post what they like on their own blogs, etc, that’s fine with me, but it isn’t for me and what I want to do. If people don’t like my recommendations then that’s cool. At least they’ll have tried the book in the first place, maybe they’ll pass it on to someone who will enjoy it, whereas with a negative review they may not have….have. erm…
TBBB: So, I think we shall leave it there. Thank you very much for taking part in the very first ‘In Conversation with…’. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you. I mean me. I mean you/me. Who am I? What am I doing here?
TBBB: It’s ok, I’m here. Or are you here? Who is here? Who are we? I’m going to lie down and have a good look at myself.
Farewell for now from whoever I am 🙂
Peace and Book Love, TBBB. X