Ever wonder about the person behind the blog? I mentioned back in January (here) that I would be starting a Meet the Blogger series. This series will feature some of my favourite bloggers as we go behind the scenes and have them answer the questions!
Next up is Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek
So excited to have Drew on Clues and Reviews today! Drew brings some testosterone to this female-saturated book blogging world! He is absolutely hilarious and his discussion posts are always riddled with sarcasm. His honesty is a breath of fresh air! He reads a lot of fantasy novels, which is completely outside my comfort zone, but, Drew, I promise, recommend one to me and I will be sure to read it!
Keep reading to see what Drew had to say when it was his turn in the “hot seat”
Why did you decide to join the world of book blogging?
Unfortunately the reasons why I decided to join the book blogging world form a boring story, there’s no plot twists, tension or elaborate revelations to be found within the tale.
Not many people I know read, and due to that I found that I’d got something that I enjoyed doing, and no-one to talk to about it, you could chat with people about TV shows, films, sports, even games, but with books and reading, it was like tumbleweeds lazily blowing across a desolate wasteland.
So, the idea to start a book blog had been at the back of my mind for a while, but I hadn’t acted on it, hell I remember I wasn’t even sure how to go about it. Then, my dog got ill, and I had to have her put down, cancer is a bastard people, be it in animals or humans!
To give me something to do, I decided to create a book blog. After all, what was the worst that could happen? I’d just lost my companion, and if I failed at book blogging, well, it didn’t matter, and in the grand scheme of things my failure would be an irrelevance. So I created a blog on blogger/blogspot, shudders, at the memory, the blog lasted a couple of days, it didn’t even have a real name, just something generic, and I hated it, thought, no this isn’t for me and deleted it.
Well, a few days later I looked into it again, browsing the different blog options and found WordPress, saw some cool designs and customization. I thought about it some more, I definitely wouldn’t say I planned anything as I went into blogging completely blind to most things and any expectations. (Somehow I’ve managed to stumble along for over a year now). The only thing I did figure out beforehand that second time was the name I would use, I have tattoos, reading by many, particularly the fantasy genre I love is deemed geeky, and it was going to be a book blog. Can you see where we’re going with this? Thus the name The Tattooed Book Geek was created!
Anyhow, to conclude, I unleashed The Tattooed Book Geek on March 5th 2016, and that is the story of the how and why I decided to join the book blogging world.
What have been your favourite and least favourite parts of being a book blogger?
My favourite part about blogging would have to be the community. As I mentioned in the previous question, one of the reasons I started a book blog was because not many people I know read.
Reading sadly seems to be a dying medium, and it often seems to be maligned as boring amongst a lot of people (both young and old), they scoff and deride it, and you sometimes feel weird for enjoying it so much. Having a book blog makes all that irrelevant, and makes you feel like you are part of something. Regardless of the genre you read, your age, or even the country that you live in, what brings us together, is that we are all book lovers, and being part of that is pretty damn cool.
My least favourite part of book blogging would be constantly questioning myself, asking if I’m good enough. It is also one of the factors that recently made me feel jaded by blogging, I actually wrote a post by that same name due to how I’d been feeling.
While this was one of the reasons, it’s tiring constantly questioning yourself, it’s also something that has plagued me from the start of blogging. I’m a firm believer in that your blog should be part of you, and that you should show of your personality on it, it’s your blog, make it your own. However, I know I’m not the most eloquent when writing, I suck at grammar, occasionally swear, and my spelling can also be a bit lapse at times, and I write in an informal style, all that is me, it’s how I am and as such, it’s how I write and it feels natural to me.
But, I see all these essay style posts and reviews with their perfect grammar, spelling, usage of big words, etc and it makes me question whether or not I’m good enough to have a book blog. There’s always a voice in the back of my head that’s whispering, telling me that my writing and posts are bad, low quality and not good enough.
I’ve been blogging for over a year now, and that voice is still there, it’s not as bad as it once was, but everytime I post it’s there, hidden in the background. I know a lot of it is down to me lacking confidence in myself, and so, for me that is the worst part of blogging, putting myself out there with each review and piece of poetry that I write, questioning myself and the standard of my blog.
What have been your 3 favourite books to review since you started book blogging?
Tough question! but I’d go for:
- Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawdon.
Jakob’s Colours spans countries, decades and generations, taking place across England, Austria and Switzerland during the 1920’s, 1930’s & 1940’s. The Story told focuses on the beginnings of Jakob’s family, and then the plight of Jakob and his Romany family during The Porrajmos (The Gypsy Holocaust).
It’s a very emotional and thought-provoking book that tackles the very tough, but little-known subject of the Romany Holocaust that took place in WW II.
I found Jakob’s Colours to be more than just simply a ‘book’ whilst I was reading it, feeling it to be more like a harrowing and poignant journey that stayed with me long after you’ve finished it.
As a fantasy fan it was a book that was outside of my comfort zone and favourite genre. I’m including it because after I’d started blogging, Jakob’s Colours was the first book that I reviewed that really had an emotional and lasting impact on me, it was the first review I wrote that made me ponder and question what I’d just read, and to this day I still think it’s a book that everyone should read irrelevant of their own favoured genre.
- Bite by K.S Merbeth.
Bite is a book that is perhaps the opposite of, and antithesis to a book like Jakob’s Colours. It’s not thought provoking or emotional, it’s just one big, dumb, wild and fun post-apocalyptic ride.
It was a book that I loved, and also really enjoyed writing the review as I was able to reference one of my other hobbies of gaming during the review.
The best way to explain Bite is to steal the ending of my actual review:
“So, for the readers like myself who are also gamers. Bite is what would happen if Mad Max, Fallout and Borderlands met, drank themselves stupid, ended up spending the night together in a seedy wasteland hovel and partook in some unprotected three-way drunken debauchery. Nine months later a baby would come out into the world kicking and screaming and that baby wouldbe Bite! Pure awesome!”
- Wrath (The Faithful and the Fallen book #4) by John Gwynne.
Wrath is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite book that I’ve reviewed since I started blogging. Surprisingly it’s also the first big boy fantasy book out of the three books I’ve chosen, why you ask? Well, I like to diversify and be different! 🙂
The Faithful and the Fallen is my all-time favourite fantasy series, and being able to review the final book in the quartet on my blog was an absolute pleasure and a privilege.
Wrath was my book of the year for 2016, and as such it still sits at the top of my favourite books I’ve reviewed list. It is a stunning and epic conclusion with everything that you could want and more in a fantasy book, and I only hope that my review did the book justice.
Have you always been a reader? If not, what got you into reading?
Well, obviously I’ve always read! My grammar and spelling might on occasion, alright, for grammar, often be bad, but I can actually read!lol 🙂
I wasn’t really into reading when I was younger, back in the day I generally listened to a lot of music, I’d always have my headphones on or I’d be gaming. I’m still a gamer now but reading is my preferred choice for escapism now.
I’d read but it was only on occasion, or dare I say it without being vilified as a last resort to avoid boredom. As I got older I did read more, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and various other books, but I wasn’t what you would call a ‘reader’.
It was only back in November of 2010 when I really started to first get into reading, I’d found that I enjoyed it and had started buying more books, then I broke my hand and couldn’t play video games, but I could read, yes, there’s plenty of other things that you can do one handed to!……mind out the gutter people as I mean eating! 🙂 The months went by and I read anything, I hadn’t yet found my favourite genre, if it looked good to me, I’d read it. Then, I saw the adverts for a new TV show that was starting in the spring of 2011, Game of Thrones, it looked awesome, and it was based on a book! Well, I just had to read that book and bam, it opened me up to another world, escapism from reality, violence, fighting, intrigue, complex quality and morally ambiguous characters, dragons and creatures, simply put, I had found my genre, I was home! That is how my love for fantasy started, and Game of Thrones is also the book that actually turned me into a reader. Yeah, I’m aware of how stereotypical it is that Game of Thrones made me a fantasy fan, leave your haughty derision in the comments section. 🙂
Now the impossible question…what are some of your favourite books?
OK, here goes: The Faithful and the Fallen series by John Gwynne. The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. The Chronicles of the Exile series by Marc Turner. The Broken Empire trilogy and Red Queen’s War trilogy both by Mark Lawrence. The Farseer trilogy, The Liveship Trader’s trilogy and The Tawny Man trilogy all by Robin Hobb. The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. The Greatcoats series by Sebastian de Castell. The Long War series by A.J Smith. The Traitor Son Cycle series by Miles Cameron. The Passage by Justin Cronin. The Stand and The Green Mile both by Stephen King. Swan Song by Robert McCammon. The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone. Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. Poison City by Paul Crilley. Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis.
Be sure to follow Drew on his Social Media!
Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/TheTattooedBookGeek/