Today, Tilbury Talks To… Yvonne Bastian. Welcome to my blog Yvonne, please introduce yourself.
I have always loved reading from a very young age. I am originally from Lincolnshire and have lived in several places before finally settling down here in Cornwall and yes there are many, many books that have stayed with me and travelled with me. Over the years my reading taste has changed, I used to read certain genres for a couple of years and then move to something else when I felt the magic dwindling. Now however I read a large range, so from genre binger to genre butterfly. It was about 18 months ago when I started my blog and in that time I have read and reviewed a whole range of different books.
What went through my head when I decided to be a book blogger?
I had no idea there was such a thing and then when I stumbled across this I was so excited. I had spent the previous two years reading quite a few of the classics and didn’t review them, well apart from saying “I really enjoyed this”. This was because the reviews I had seen were so intimidating, people using those big fancy words I didn’t understand, often thinking it was as if I was reading a thesis rather than a review. Though I did write my own thoughts of the book on paper, that is where they stayed. Then at the beginning of 2017 I decided I wanted to read something modern and up to date, that was when I discovered that people wrote reviews that I understood, they conveyed what they liked or loved and why the book worked for them. I realised that this was something that I was already doing on paper, and then the lightbulb moment when I realised this was something that I could do and also wanted to do.
What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
The best thing about book blogging for me are the fabulous people I have virtually met, I have never met so many different people from so many different backgrounds that share such a love for their reading. I know people in real life who read and some read a lot and some not so much (it really doesn’t matter how much you read, just along as you read), but the enthusiasm book bloggers have is something I still find mind blowing at times. They are so welcoming, caring and so supportive of anyone new to blogging and are so willing to help out in any way possible. The worst thing, well for me that is not something I have been subjected to but I know others have, that is the bullying online. As a blogger you are putting yourself out there for the world to see, therefore there will be times that your opinion will differ from others and that is great until you see it spiral way out of control. I am all for a grown-up discussion but when the un-called for name calling and personal insults start I get really angry and upset.
How soon after finishing reading a book do you write a review?
Whenever I have finished a book I get my trusty pen and paper out and write my initial thoughts either straight away or the following day. Sometimes writing my thoughts at 2am when I have work a few hours later is not an option, so when I get the chance I then write it before I start my next book.
If you’ve not met any other book bloggers in ‘real life’ yet, who would you like to meet and why?
I have not met any fellow Book Bloggers in real life and this for me is something I would love to change. I do get very envious of those that not only have a friendship online but are able to then cement that friendship in real life. I love the friendships I have online and I value them dearly, but I would love to have the chance to give a big old hug to and say thank you to people face to face for making me feel so welcome when I first started. So, who would I love to meet? All of those people I have a relationship on line with but especially Eva Merckx for being ….. well just for being Eva and being a brilliant friend, a funny, fabulous and wonderful person who I am getting to know a little more about 🙂. Abby Slater for dropping in to make sure things are ok even though she already has lots to deal with herself. Rachel Gilbey, Anne Cater, Sarah Hardy and Caroline Vincent for making sure I never run out of books to read, they really are a bad influence lol, but have also introduced me to books I may not have previously picked up. These tour organisers I review with have definitely broadened my reading and for that I thank them so much. There are so many people I would love to meet in real life, to be able to have a drink and a laugh with and I could list so many more fabulous people.
Have you met any of your favourite authors? Did the experience meet your expectations?
I don’t get out to book events as usually I am working, also the distance to travel to various things can be a real issue as I live on The Most Southerly Point on mainland UK otherwise known as The Lizard Peninsula. But I was able to meet Jane Corry at Penzance Lit Fest when she gave a talk on Blood Sisters. I loved the way she spoke of her life in writing and also her job in a male prison. The time I was there flew by and I could have listened to her a lot longer. She was kind enough to have a photo with me and signed both of my books, that was a big deal for me and a proper grinning moment 🙂
Which book has had the most emotional impact on you? This can be any emotion – sadness, laughter, fear etc.
Books and emotions argghhh it is difficult to read when you can feel the tears welling up and impossible when they are running down your face. But when this happens you realise how much you have connected to the book. Last year I read The Radium Girls by Kate Moore and I don’t think I have cried so much over a book. It’s a biography of a small group of girls/ women who worked in the factories painting radium onto the dials of clocks when the side effects radium was unknown. For me this author nailed it. It is a book that will stay with me for a very long time. Emotion isn’t just about the tears though, there have been books that I have dropped as they caught me unawares, books I have sworn over and those that have made me feel uncomfortable and I have just recently finished The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton and that gave me a feeling of claustrophobia, I’m not in the slightest claustrophobic and I was reading that book outside.
If you could transport yourself into one book and be part of the story, which would you choose?
I have a love for The Lord Of The Rings since reading it in my early teens and I would love to transport myself into so many parts of that series, not the battle parts though. I would love to sit in Bilbo’s house with him and take a trip around The Shire, listen to the old stories and songs, though I may get a sore neck in his home as I am 5ft 9″
Thank you so much for allowing me to ramble on. A hard set of questions to deliberate over and made me think about the people as well as the books that make up the world of Book Blogging.
You can find me on:
Facebook Book Page https://facebook.com/meandmybooks24.
It’s been a pleasure Yvonne, thank you for taking part today and for your great answers. The Radium Girls sounds like an interesting, yet emotional book.
As always, thank you for your continued support.