Tilbury Talks To… Simon Leonard

Today I welcome Simon Leonard to the blog. Thanks for taking part Simon, would you let everyone know a little about you?

My name is Simon and I have a little book blog called Black Books Blog.  I am married with two young children and work in Payroll.  I am an avid reader and can get through up to 7 books a week for my blog, plus I also listen to audio books on my commute and to try and drown out all of my work colleagues during lunch.



What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
I had read a book and at the end of it the author had put something along the lines of if you enjoy reading then go to Facebook and join TBC on FB (The Book Club on Facebook) so I did this and found a whole world of readers and bloggers I never knew existed.  From there I looked at some blogs and thought this was something I could do, so set up my blog as an experiment and have never looked back.

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
The best things are being given lots of books to read by new authors to me and through this finding new favourite authors all the time, plus being able to chat to like-minded people and making new friends along the way.

The worst part is all the negativity surrounding bloggers, including people who say how can a review be honest if you are given the book for free.  It is possible to be honest as I choose which books I read, and if I don’t like a book I just don’t review it on my blog.  I don’t want anything negative on my blog as it is a happy place, and this includes reviews.

How soon after finishing reading a book do you write a review?
Generally I work on very tight deadlines for books I am on tours for so review them straight away, or at least within a day or two, as I usually forget what it was about and how I felt whilst reading it after this time.

If you’ve not met any other book bloggers in ‘real life’ yet, who would you like to meet and why?
There are a couple I would like to have a big party with.  The group of bloggers who always do the tours for Joffe books are a great bunch on line, led by the amazing Jill Burkinshaw, so would have them round for a knees up.

Have you met any of your favourite authors? Did the experience meet your expectations?
Yes I met Steve Moore a couple of months ago who I have been a fan of since his first Hiram Kane book came out last year.  He was in the area so I met him down one of my local pubs and he is just as nice a person in real life as he is online.

If you could meet any author, alive or dead, and ask them one question, who would it be, and what would you ask them?
This is a tough question as there are so many living authors I would love to meet as well as some dead ones.  I think I would have to go for deceased author as there is still a chance I could meet the living ones.  Anne McCaffrey would probably be the person I would like to meet as I have been a massive fan of her Pern series and I would ask her if she thinks the series is still going in the direction she would have wanted now her son has taken over, and also how she thought of the series in the first place.

If you could transport yourself into one book and be part of the story, which would you choose?
I would love to be transported to Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn books, but only if I could have some of the powers that the people in her book have as well as being at Obernewtyn itself instead of the council farms.

In your opinion which book should everyone read at least once, and why?
I think one of the best series I have read apart from the ones previously mentioned is Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials, so I would have to recommend Northern Lights, which is book one in the series.

Who are your 3 favourite authors and what makes them stand out?
This is always a very tough question as I read so many great books from so many brilliant authors.  I will go for authors who are different from the normal so Jim Ody as all of his books have a brilliant twist, which normally involve something so out there that there was no way you could see it coming.  Steve Moore as his books are a mix of adventure and archaeology, with great descriptions of the area Hiram Kane is visiting.  Finally Isobelle Carmody as her Obernewtyn series were the first dystopian novels I read, before this was even a category back in the mid 90’s.



Thank you for answering my questions today Simon, and for some great book recommendations in genres I don’t usually read.

You can also find Simon on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simon.leonard.507.
Twitter: @SimonJLeonard.


As always, thank you for your support.

Best wishes,


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