Saturday, 28 July 2018

An Author Interview with Lisa Williamson

Hey guys! So this week I have a special author interview with Lisa Williamson who kindly agreed to answer a few of my questions. I hope you enjoy her answers!

About Lisa Williamson

Lisa is the author of the book, The Art of Being Normal, which I absolutely loved because it has two transgender characters in who are so different yet so lovely in their own ways. It really reminded me of Jacqueline Wilson! She is also the author of All About Mia and her newest book, Paper Avalanche is out in January 2019.You can read more about Lisa here.

Interview Q&A

What was your inspiration for writing The Art of Being Normal and what part/character was your favourite to write?

I was initially inspired to write about trans teenagers following a two year spell as administrator for the Gender Identity Development Service (the NHS service for young people struggling with gender identity issues) between 2010 and 2012. Having noted a severe lack of transgender protagonists in YA fiction at the time (something which is slowly changing!), I wanted to have a bash at writing something that explored gender identity in a way that reflected the experiences of the young people using the service.

From the very beginning, I wanted to write a book that was about gender identity, but not defined by it, just like the dozens of young people I met. My favourite parts to write were all the horrible bits – the bullying scene and the scene in the woods. I don't know why, but writing really emotionally charged scenes is the most exciting part of writing for me. My favourite character to write was Leo. I loved how gruff yet vulnerable he is.

What made you want to be a writer? Did you know from a young age you were going to write books?

I've always loved stories and from a very early age, I'd make up stories in my head. My first ambition was to be an illustrator and I'd spend hours drawing people and coming up with back stories for them all. As I got older, I developed a love for acting and I sort of forgot about writing for a while! I rediscovered it in my late-twenties when I was temping in offices between acting jobs but it took another six years before I got a publishing deal.

Who is your favourite author/book and why?

I have lots of favourites but one that really stands out is When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. It's clever, funny, inventive and beautifully written.

What's your advice for someone going through writer's block or someone wanting to become a published author?

If you have writer's block the worst thing you can do is stare at your notebook or computer screen and wait for inspiration to hit. Go for a walk, watch a film, do a really mundane domestic task, write something totally different - anything that will take your mind off your project. More often than not, the solution to your problem will present itself when you're least expecting it.

My best advice for aspiring authors is to remind yourself it's not a race. I was 35 when I first got published and I know many authors who were significantly older than that. Writing is a craft and it takes time and hard work to figure out your voice and style. If your destiny is to be a writer, it'll happen. Just stick at it and try to have as much fun with it as possible.

Do you have any plans to write more books/series?

I do! My next book, Paper Avalanche is out in January 2019 and I'm currently working on a fourth novel.

If you had to pick a quote that you had to live by, which one would it be?

'Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today' (Jordan Peterson).

Now, this is a fun question I love. You're stranded on an island and you can only pick 3 people and 3 objects/things to take with you. Who and what would you take?

My boyfriend Dylan, the author Non Pratt and my good friend Ash. They're three of the most interesting and inventive people I know. Plus, they're positive thinkers (a handy trait on a desert island!). In terms of items, I'd go for pen and paper (can that count as one, please?), sunscreen (I'll burn to a crisp otherwise), and a hammock.

I hope you all enjoyed this author interview and I'll see you next week! Love, Vee x

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

YA Book Prom

Hey guys! So last Friday I attended a YA book prom! It was to celebrate author Katherine Webber's new book Only Love Can Break Your Heart. There were other authors there including Lisa Williamson, Juno Dawson, Tanya Byrne and Connie Glynn.

I never got a chance to go to prom because I was homeschooled so hearing that I could go to the prom as an adult with books was a dream come true. I dressed up (as you can see below) and went with my partner and my trusting book bag! The night was full of networking, buying books, awards, a quiz (that did go badly wrong, I won't lie!), dancing and pizza. There was also the opportunity to freely go up and get your book signed by the authors and to have a conversation with them.

I primarily wanted to meet Juno Dawson and Lisa Williamson because I've read some of their work and I have an interview with Lisa coming out on the blog soon. I adored The Art of Being Normal and wanted to tell her in person how much I enjoyed it and to thank her for agreeing to make time in her busy schedule to answer a few of my questions.

I also met a few new authors including Tanya Byrne who offered to sign my book, Floored (which is also co written by Lisa and a lot of other authors!). She was so sweet and I can't wait to read her work.

I thought that it was wonderful to meet other book nerds and it was great to see the effort they went to for the prom. I just hope if there is another prom, there will be a lot more activities and organisation involved!

If you went along to the prom, let me know what you thought! Until next time, love, Vee x

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Poetry Review: Love Her Wild by Atticus

Hey guys! I hope you're well. It was recently my birthday and as a gift I received a Waterstone's voucher from my partner's mum. Within days I had already spent it on poetry, including Atticus' work, Love Her Wild. I'm going to be reviewing his poetry and sharing some of my favourites with you.


I was excited to read Love Her Wild ever since my friend showed me Atticus' Instagram. I recently read Rupi Kaur's work and also Amanda Lovelace's, so I was eager to read some more modern poetry.

I loved the photographs in the book and I thought that they conveyed what Atticus was writing about, but in a physical way. There are three sections of the book, the first starts with Love, the second, Her and the last one is called Wild, obviously. I like how he's used the sections to create the title, or vice versa.

I really enjoyed reading his poetry about love and life and the meaning of all of it; I have similar views and ideas and thought I was the only one thinking so deeply about little things. It's nice to know other artists, especially writers, feel the same way.

I think Atticus' poetry is new, refreshing and serves as inspiration to fellow poets and aspiring writers. I can't wait to read more of his work.

Now I'm going to share some of my favourite pieces from Love Her Wild. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Have a great weekend! Love, Vee x

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Book Review: Emergency Contact

Hey guys! In this week's blog I'm going to be reviewing Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi. Let me know in the comments if you've read it and what you thought!


From debut author Mary H.K. Choi comes a compulsively readable novel that shows young love in all its awkward glory—perfect for fans of Eleanor & Park and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a cafĂ© and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

Review (may contain spoilers)

I saw the cover of this book on Instagram (as most of the books I buy are found on aesthetic Bookstagrammer's pages) and I was intrigued. The cover is so pretty and once I read the synopsis I really wanted to buy it.

When I started reading it, I was so excited after all the hype around it that it sort of fell flat at first. The writing isn't amazingly thought out; it's very much "he said, she said" and nothing more. But as the book went on I started to forget the overused verbs and enjoyed the story line.

I really warmed to Penny's weirdness and related a lot to her without even knowing it. She keeps an emergency stash of supplies in case of an apocalypse and her emotions are totally the opposite of what she wants them to be. I also thought Sam was lovable and even a gentleman. I don't want to spoil anything for you but it's so sweet and cringy when he thinks that a baby (not really a spoiler, it happens early on) can solve everyone's problems.

I actually really related to the whole texting instead of talking in real life idea. It's true, even with my partner of three years, I still have the urge to text him my feelings because I can better explain things via writing. It was a fresh idea and I think it worked well. The only thing that was slightly disappointing was Sam not getting his big break that you expect him to. 

For a debut novel, I think that Choi hit the ground running with this unique story of love, awkwardness and family drama. It has a bit of something for everyone and I even warmed to Mallory once I got to know her.

Overall, the characters were well set up, the plot was intriguing and even though the end is slightly predictable, the journey was the best part. I hope you pick it up and read it! It's such a heartfelt book.

Happy reading! Love, Vee x

Saturday, 7 July 2018

An Interview With C.G. Drew

Hi guys! This week's blog is a special interview with C.G. Drew, the author of A Thousand Perfect Notes. I'm excited for this one!

About C.G. Drew

For those of you who don't know, here's a brief overview of who C.G. Drew is, taken from

C.G. Drews lives in Australia with her piano and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novels to make you laugh or cry (or both). She never sleeps and believes in cake for breakfast.

She blogs at


A Thousand Perfect Notes was recently released in the UK last month; what gave you the idea for the story?

The very first threads I had for the story came from wanting to retell a classical composer's life! (I won't say the exact name, but you'll know when you read the book!) I also have a bit of a whisper of Cinderella in there, coupled with the want to tell a story about siblings, friendship, music, and saving yourself.

A Thousand Perfect Notes is an emotionally charged story and I was wondering what the hardest/best part to write was?

The best parts to write were the banter scenes! I love writing jokes and quips, so it made me smile! The hardest, for me, is usually the last chapters. Keeping the tension right, figuring out a satisfying ending, and then of course letting it out in the wild to see what people think after I'm done...Always nerve-wracking!

Where do you like to read/write; does it have to be quiet or loud, indoors or outdoors?

I love the quiet! I'll even wear headphones (without music haha) to block out as much white noise as possible. I usually write in bed too...or sometimes sitting on the floor (shh, I promise I'm a professional) and I do have a desk but somehow it ends up covered in books.


I'm sure you get asked this question a lot by writers but how do you cope with writer's block? And is there any advice you could give to someone experiencing it?

Oh it's the worst for sure. I actually write very intense outlines (we're talking 20,000 words!) so I won't get stuck at all while drafting. But when plotting and developing stories, I do get blocked. I don't think there's a "this works every time!" fix, but sometimes going for a walk and listening to music can help get the gears turning. I also make sure I keep my creative tank full (read lots of books, watch movies, look at art, etc.). I whinge about writer's block, but I make sure I've put aside actual time to tackle it and I don't just hope it resolves itself!

This is a hard question for any reader! Who is your favourite author or book and why?

Ahhh I can't pick one favourite!! But here are some authors who endlessly inspire me! Maggie Stiefvater, VE Schwab, Adam Silvera, K. Ancrum, and Patrick Ness.

What are your future plans; are you doing a book tour for A Thousand Perfect Notes?

No book tour! I'm just small-time author yet!

This is one of my favourite questions to ask: If you were stranded on an island and could only choose 3 people and 5 books to read, what would they be and why?

For the people, I'd chose my sisters probably! (And possibly someone else who knows how to make a raft?!?) And the 5 books would be: The Lies of Locke Lamora, Lady Midnight, The Scorpio Races, The Wicker King and Autoboyography!

Your second book, The Boy Who Steals Houses is out in 2019; How different was it writing this book compared to A Thousand Perfect Notes?

I'm so excited for everyone to meet Sam and Avery in The Boy Who Steals Houses! The writing is definitely my same style as for ATPN, but you can expect a little bit of unique formatting, some achingly short chapters in the finale, and scenes that will make you laugh....and also cry!

Thank you so much for reading and I'll see you next week! Love, Vee x