Behind the Blog is a new monthly feature where you and I can get to know the person behind the blog a little better! For the month of July, I thought I would enlist Hollie to be our guest. I met Hollie last year at YALC and she is a gem of a person. I really enjoy reading her posts and I hope once you’ve got to know her via this post, you’ll check out her blog too!
Hi! Introduce yourself – what’s your name? Where are you from?
Hey! I’m Hollie, I’m 25 and live in Wiltshire. I blog about books and travel at hollieblog.com and am a big reader of sci-fi and fantasy books!
Give us one fun fact about you!
I am a very nostalgic person. I love listening to music and watching films/shows that I used to love when I was younger. I’ve also visited places I used to live and I always get emotional. I just love the feeling of reminiscing that I’ll actively watch ‘Do They Know 2000’s Disney Channel Shows?’ videos on Youtube and listen to emo/punk music from 2004.
When did you become a reader?
I’ve loved reading ever since I was a kid and that continued through my teenage years with Twilight and a late introduction to Harry Potter. I stopped during uni because I just found I had no time, but since graduating my love of reading has returned with full force!
What made you decide to start a blog and stick with it?
As part of my uni course we gained credits for building an online ‘writer’ presence. So I created a Twitter and Tumblr blog to show case my writing. I found I didn’t like publishing my writing that way, and so instead started using Tumblr to post reviews and Twitter to interact with more readers. My blog has since evolved from Tumblr to WordPress to now self-hosted!
How would you describe your blog in 4 words?
Really. Trying. My. Best.
Which of your posts are you most proud of or one that you wish had gotten a little more love?
I love my discussion posts, especially posts that discuss ‘current affairs’ in the book community. Those posts end up with the most comments either agreeing or disagreeing with me. It’s nice to talk to everyone about what they think!
What tips would you give to someone looking to start a book blog?
Start at the most basic level. I often looked at professional and popular blogs and wanted mine to look and feel just like theirs, but ultimately blogging is a bit of fun, and that should always come first. Use platforms that are easy and provide a lot of support, such as blogger, WordPress.com, and Tumblr. Don’t start with the challenging technical stuff otherwise it won’t seem like a hobby but more like a chore.
What’s your favourite book/series?
This is extremely hard! But one of my favourite series is The Conqueror’s Trilogy by Kristen White. It’s a historical retelling of Vlad The Impaler, re-imagined as a woman. I’m not usually a fan of historical fiction, but this felt like a fantasy (minus any magic!) with an anti-heroine and lots of LGBTQ+ and Muslim rep!
Give us a book recommendation based on what you’ve read recently.
I recently read Running With Lions by Julian Winters, which is a LGBTQ+ sports romance, and it was so lovely! I’d been reading back to back high fantasy, so it was great to get into a summery contemporary during this British heatwave.
Outside of reading and blogging, what do you do in your spare time?
Ummm….??? Ok, I do other things, I promise! I’m learning to drive at the moment, that takes up a lot of time. But I also love photography, I take as many photos as possible when I go on little city trips throughout the year! I also watch a lot of Youtube and Netflix. Love a bit of Brooklyn 99 before bed.
Are there any blogs that you’d recommend?