Tuesday, 28 July 2015

#IrishFictionFortnight - Day 2 - Q&A with BookBlogger Amanda Horan of GoBookYourself.info

Today I am delighted to chat to Amanda Horan of the fantastic website  http://www.gobookyourself.info/
As a fellow Irish book-lover, I have some questions to put to her: 

1. Tell us a little bit about how you came to review books.

Initially started reviewing because my family were sick of hearing me blab on and on about books. I was a member of Goodreads long before I started Go Book Yourself. I remember scrolling through a book review on Goodreads and seeing a link to someones blog. Believe it or not, before this I didn't even know "book blogging" existed! I remember looking through her blog and other blogs that she linked to and thinking "Where has this community been all my life!". I started Go Book Yourself about a month later

2. What is your favourite genre?

Margaret! I can never answer this question. If there was a gun to my head then I might pick crime fiction but I also love literary and historical fiction. You see it's impossible to pick one! 

3. Name 3 Irish writers that you rank as your all-time favourites.

Only 3. Oh lord. I think...John Boyne, Roisin Meaney and Brendan O Carroll but I also love Emma Hannigan and Claudia Carroll and....sorry ha ha!

4. I am dying to see Brooklyn by Colm Tóbín on the big screen this November.  What Irish book would you like to see as a movie?

I think a lot of books by Irish authors are screen worthy but I'd love to see Can Anybody Help Me? by Sinead Crowley. I think that would make a good thriller especially with so many of us living our lives online!

5. Where is your favourite place to read?

This is easy. In bed. I love reading in bed either late at night (thank god for the light on the kindle!) or really early in the morning. There is nothing better than pulling the duvet up to your chin and losing yourself in a book. It's even better if the wind is howling and the rain is battering the window!

6. Tell us something that not many people know about you.

That's a tough one. I'm a fairly open person. I guess a lot of people don't know that I have inflammatory arthritis. It's not like the osteoarthritis you get in old age. It's an autoimmune disease that attacks the lining of your joints and wears them away. I basically woke up one morning feeling like I'd been hit by car and have been feeling that way since! This is why I love reading. I can't really do anything physical because of joint pain and fatigue but I can still get lost in a good book and socialize with bookish people online!

7. Can you remember any of the Irish poetry you had to learn for your Leaving Cert, or is it all a blur?

I remember everything! Seriously, I was a bit weird like that. While poetry made others in my class yawn, it sent shivers down my spine. I adored Heaney and his ability to make the ordinary seem so beautiful. My favorite is "Twice Shy". I'll post it here:

Her scarf a la Bardot,
In suede flats for the walk,
She came with me one evening
For air and friendly talk.
We crossed the quiet river,
Took the embankment walk.

Traffic holding its breath,
Sky a tense diaphragm:
Dusk hung like a backcloth
That shook where a swan swam,
Tremulous as a hawk
Hanging deadly, calm.

A vacuum of need
Collapsed each hunting heart
But tremulously we held
As hawk and prey apart,
Preserved classic decorum,
Deployed our talk with art.

Our Juvenilia
Had taught us both to wait,
Not to publish feeling
And regret it all too late -
Mushroom loves already
Had puffed and burst in hate.

So, chary and excited,
As a thrush linked on a hawk,
We thrilled to the March twilight
With nervous childish talk:
Still waters running deep
Along the embankment walk.

Lovely isn't  it? You can really feel the tension between the two!

8. Do you read many short stories? If yes, who would you recommend?

Yes I love short stories. They're great for when you don't have time to get into a novel. I also think it takes an immense amount of talent to craft a good short story. I've read way to many to pick a favorite but I wanted to let you know that you can go to www.tor.com and read an endless supply of short stories for free. Lots of famous authors post short stories there to gauge the reaction to it and some even get turned into full length novels. I read stories there almost everyday!

9. Which Irish author, alive or dead, would you like to meet most?

I would love to meet Bram Stoker. Can you imagine the conversations you could have about Dracula with all the novels and movies that it has spawned? I'd also love to know his opinion on Twilight ha ha.

10. In your opinion, what is the best part about book blogging?

Other book bloggers! It's great to be able to share your passion with others who care just as much. The book blogging community is, on the whole so welcoming and inclusive. Starting a book blog was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog Margaret and props to you for organizing Irish fiction fortnight. This could be huge. I see a whole convention in the future! Comic con watch out!

Thanks so much to Amanda for allowing me to grill her.  Great answers and a nice way to get to know her a little better.  

You can find Amanda at:
Twitter: @Gobookyourselfx

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for having on your blog Margaret!


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