For today, we got the chance to interview the wonderful Sarah R. Hatch who blogs over at https://writtenwordworlds.com/! Check out her blog where she does reviews and book tags!
And below, you can check out her interview. Feel free to answer any of the questions in the comments below.
1. What inspired you to start blogging and reviewing books?
Like all the other book bloggers out there, I’ve always had a passion for reading and writing, but I was never really a part of the online community during middle school. I enjoyed watching booktube, but I didn’t realise there was a whole world of blogging that I hadn’t discovered yet. It’s funny, but I actually started blogging and reviewing books because of a school assignment. In 9th grade, we had to choose a project to work on for the entire year, and I wanted to do something to do with reading or writing, but at that stage, I was way too camera-shy to have a go at booktubing. So I decided to make a blog where I could discuss books. Most of the other kids in my grade stopped working on their project when the year was over, but I wanted to keep reviewing books — it was something I’d fallen in love with. And so I’m still here today, almost four years later, because of that school assignment!
2. Who are some of your favourite LGBTQ characters from books?
One of my favourite queer characters would definitely be Delilah from The Flywheel — it was the first book I read with a queer protagonist, and it has a special place in my heart, because it was the first novel that made me feel like my sexuality was valid and the things I was feeling mattered. I also adore Rhy from A Darker Shade of Magic, Aled Last from Radio Silence, and Charlie from Queens of Geek. I just want to hug all those queer munchkins!
3. Who are some of your favourite writers?
I could honestly name about 300 authors, but I’ll try to refrain myself. One of my absolute favourite authors is V.E. Schwab. She’s so incredibly talented and I just adore everything she’s written. I’d probably fangirl over the shopping lists she writes, let’s be honest. I’m also a big fan of Adam Silvera — he makes me feel all the feels. Angie Thomas is simply phenomenal and I’ll never not be recommending The Hate U Give to readers of all ages, and I also love Becky Albertalli. I could go on forever!
4. Do you write? If so what are you working on?
Yes, I do! I’m currently working on a few things because I have the attention span of a gnat and like to move between projects. I’m editing a science-fiction fantasy novel I started during last year’s NaNoWriMo, which is kind of about queers pondering morality and immortality — it’s nowhere near as philosophical as it sounds though! I’m also writing the script for a podcast that my co-creator and I are launching towards the end of this year, which we’ve dubbed ‘Audible meets Wattpad’. And finally, I’m planning (well, more like creating aesthetics for) a novel that I would like to begin writing next month!
5. If you could only bring three things when you're stranded on a desert island, what would they be and why?
Ooh, this is a tricky one! The millennial me immediately says ‘LAPTOP! PHONE!’ but I’m not too sure how well they would work if there was no signal? And I’d probably need a powerpoint, which I won’t find on the island. So the practical me would opt for a notebook and a pen, that way I could still write, and even try and send a message out to sea. For my last item, I would choose a speedboat. Is that against the rules? Look, I’d prefer to escape this island if possible. I already miss wifi.
6. What's more important: characters or plot?
While we can all agree both characters and plot are integral, I’d much rather see characters I adored doing boring, mundane tasks than characters I hated leading a really interesting narrative. For me, sometimes the best scenes in a book are the ones where the characters aren’t doing anything dramatic or aren’t busy saving the world — it’s where they’re doing normal things and holding normal conversations, because sometimes it’s these things that allow to you get to know them better. There’s nothing I love more than genuine, three-dimensional characters that I can relate to in one way or another.
7. What are you currently reading?
I’m actually just between books at the moment! I finished reading When Dimple Met Rishi earlier today — which I adored — and now I’m trying to decide what to read next. There are so many exciting books waiting to be read on my shelves! Let’s be honest, 90% of my shelves are books I haven’t read yet. I’ll probably either pick up How to Make a Wish or A List of Cages. Too many books, too little time!
8. What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
I think perhaps the most noteworthy author in this category would be Patrick Ness. I first picked up one of his novels when I was in my early teens, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as it had hoped. Something most of his books have is that strange, somewhat sci-fi element, and I think it took me a little while to really understand the depth and meaning of these aspects. And then I read Release a month or so ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll definitely be picking up whatever he writes next.
9. What was your first ARC to review?
While I don’t think it was my first ARC, maybe my third or fourth, the most memorable ARC I received in my early blogging days was Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick. I was so excited to receive a book by such a well-known author, and I think I screamed a little bit in class when I was offered a copy.
10. Do you believe in writer's block?
Absolutely, though I think it happens to people in different ways. For me, I haven’t experienced the typical way it manifests — when you don’t know what to write or how to get out of a plot hole or when you’ve run into a brick wall. Because I’m the type of person who works well under pressure and with a deadline, I know that I have to get the words down. If the storyline is dragging, add in an explosion! If the characters don’t have enough dialogue, give them a new friend! I think the most important thing about writing to me is having fun and enjoying what I’m doing and while writing is something I’m serious about, I need to remember not to take it too seriously. Just have some fun with what you’re writing!
I figured the best way to kick off #LGBTQMonth was some extracts about the wonderful Malec from both of our favourite author, Cassie Clare.
Alec dropped his witchlight. The light winked out, and he fell to his knees, scrabbling on the ground among the trash and the dirt, grit under his fingernails. At last something lit up before his eyes, and he rose to see Magnus standing before him, the witchlight in his hand. It shone and flickered with a strangely-colored light.
“It shouldn’t illuminate like that,” Alec said, automatically. “For anyone but a Shadowhunter.”
Magnus held it out. The heart of the witchlight was glowing a dark red, like the coal of a fire.
“Is it because of your father?” Alec asked.
Magnus didn’t reply, only tipped the runestone into Alec’s palm. As their hands touched, his face changed. “You’re freezing cold.”
“Alexander . . .” Magnus pulled him to his feet, and the witchlight flickered between them, its color changing rapidly. Alec had never seen a witchlight runestone do that before. He put his head against Magnus’ shoulder and let Magnus hold him. Magnus’ heart didn’t beat like human hearts did: it was slower, but steady. Sometimes Alec thought it was the steadiest thing in his life.
“Kiss me,” Alec said, tipping his head up; Magnus eyes were sad and shadowed, and unreadable.
Magnus put his hand to the side of Alec’s face and gently, almost absently, ran his thumb along Alec’s cheekbone. When he bent to kiss him he smelled like sandalwood. Alec clutched the sleeve of Magnus’ jacket, and the witchlight, held between their bodies, flared up in colors of rose and blue and green as their lips touched.
(from City of Lost Souls)
It must have been raining a little outside. There were sparkling drops of water in Alec’s messy black hair. He was wearing a hoodie that Magnus thought he might have found in a dumpster, and sloppy jeans, and his whole face was lit up just because he was looking at Magnus.
“I think,” said Magnus, pulling Alec in by the strings on his awful gray hoodie, “that I could be persuaded to clear my schedule.”
Then Alec was kissing him, and Alec’s kisses were uninhibited and utterly sincere, all of his lanky warrior’s body focused on what it wanted, all of his open heart in it as well. For a long wild euphoric moment Magnus believed that Alec did not want anything more than to be with him, that they would not be parted. Not for a long, long time.
“Happy birthday, Alexander,” Magnus murmured.
“Thanks for remembering,” Alec whispered back.
(from The Bane Chronicles, “What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything” )
Simon fled across the hall and up the stairs, moving at a pace that would have amazed his evil Shadowhunter gym teacher. Scarsbury had never provided him with motivation like this.
He knew that Magnus and Alec had put in a fancy suite up in the attics. Apparently there was even a separate kitchen. Simon just kept heading up, knowing he would hit the attics at some point.
He reached the attics, heard murmuring and movement behind the door, and flung the door wide open.
Then he stood, arrested on his second threshold of the day.
There was a sheet over Alec and Magnus, but Simon could see enough. He could see Alec’s white, rune-scarred shoulders and Magnus’s wild black hair spread on the pillow. He could see Alec freeze, then turn his head and give Simon a look of absolute horror.
Magnus’s golden cat eyes gleamed from over Alec’s pale shoulder. He sounded almost amused as he asked: “Can we help you?”
“Oh my God,” Simon said. “Oh wow. Oh wow, I am really sorry.”
“Please leave,” said Alec in a tight, controlled voice.
“Right!” said Simon. “Of course!” He paused. “I can’t leave.”
“Believe me,” said Alec. “You can.”
(from Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy, “Born to Endless Night”)
Hope you enjoyed these snippets from Malec’s relationship in The Shadowhunter Chronicles. If you haven’t already read Cassandra Clare’s books, then I urge you to go read them now!
Coming up tomorrow is an interview with the wonderful blogger, Sarah R. Hatch!
So for the month of July, Meg (@ The Blue Eyed Demon) and I are hosting an exciting LGBTQ+ event, that’s going to be packed with readathons, chats, interviews, fun games and two special giveaways!
We wanted to organise this fun month to create awareness for all the LGBTQ+ books out there and the LGBTQ+ authors, and give a chance for people immerse themselves in the queer book community for an entire month!
Below is the schedule for the activities throughout the month:
1st of July - An exciting extract about Malec from the world of the wonderful Cassie Clare!
2nd - An interview with the talented blogger Sarah R. Hatch at writtenwordworlds.com !
3rd - Our first readathon! A choice between either Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli or Aristotle & Danté Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Ends of the 8th. More info down below!
5th - Interview with the wonderful Non Pratt!
6th - Interview with the fantastic Claire Hennessy!
7th - #LGBTQChat
8th - Our reviews of the readathon books.
9th - The Art of Being Normal extract!
11th - Interview with the superb Lisa Williamson!
13th - Interview with the incredible Moïra Fowley-Doyle!
14th - An extract from History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera.
15th - LGBTQ Bingo!
16th - Our second readathon! A choice between either Radio Silence by the phenomenal Alice Oseman or The Space Between by the amazing Meg Grehan! This will end on the 22nd!
17th - Interview with the exceptional Alice Oseman!
18th - Interview with the excellent Jessi at bibliojessi.wordpress.com !
20th - Spotlight on some of our favourite LGBTQ books!
21st - Interview with the marvellous Meg Grehan!
22nd - Our reviews of the readathon books!
24th - #LGBTQChat
25th - Our third and final readathon! A choice between either Spellbook of the Lost & Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle or The Last Beginning by Lauren James! This one ends on the 30th of July!
27th - Extract of Release by the admirable and wise Patrick Ness!
28th - Interview with the splendid Lauren James!
29th - Our favourite LGBTQ book characters!
30th - Our reviews of the readathon books!
31st - We announce the giveaway winner!
A bit about the readathons: For all three, there are two options for each. I’ll be choosing one of them and Meg will be choosing the other. It’s up to YOU to decide which one you want to read along with us! We’ll be uploading our reviews on our blogs also! Can’t wait!
Information for the giveaway! We are giving away two amazing books which we both love! A signed copy of History is All You Left Me by the amazing Adam Silvera! And an illustrated version of A Monster Calls by the incredible Patrick Ness. Both Meg and I have read these and they are tear-jerking, emotional rollercoasters and both are so incredibly written. More info to come on our twitter accounts so look out for that!
Hope to see you all taking part in July! Comment below what books you'll be choosing for our readathons!
Can you believe it's June already? Where does the time go, omg??
My lovely friend Meg tagged me in this a few days ago so I've decided to take a break from writing right now to write up this. I don't know a lot of blogs yet that I could tag so count yourself tagged if you're a blogger and reading this!
1. THE BEST BOOK YOU HAVE READ IN 2017?
Damn. That's a hard question because there has been so many good books. I would say either Lord of Shadows by the wonderful Cassandra Clare or Release by Patrick Ness because they're both brilliantly written. The plots are expertly done and their characters are just glorious.
2. BEST SEQUEL YOU'VE READ OF 2017 SO FAR?
Lord of Shadows by Cassie Clare!
3. NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN'T READ YET BUT WANT TO?
Like Other Girls by Claire Hennessy,
Truth or Dare by Non Pratt
and Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer.
4. MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 2017?
It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne!!
5. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT?
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo.
6. BIGGEST SURPRISE?
The Great Gatsby!
7. FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR?
ALICE OSEMAN (aka my queen, aka author of Radio Silence and Solitaire)
8. NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH?
Adam Thorn from Release, wow.
9. NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER?
Starr Carter from The Hate U Give. She's so fierce and fabulous.
10. BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY?
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera.
11. A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY?
All About Mia by Lisa Williamson.
12. FAVOURITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION YOU HAVE SEEN IN 2017?
I don't think I have actually seen any....?
13. FAVOURITE REVIEWS YOU HAVE WROTE IN 2017 SO FAR?
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. wHAT A BEAUTIFUL BOOK.
14. MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU HAVE BOUGHT THIS YEAR?
On the inside: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.
On the outside: Wing Jones for its sprayed edges and my hardcover of Release.
15. WHAT BOOK DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THIS YEAR?
Tangle Weed and Brine by Deirdre Sullivan (even though it's not out yet lmao)
A sixteen-year-old book-lover from Ireland. Reviews will come as often as I finish a book, which is quite quickly, to be fair!