Behind the Blog is a regular feature where you and I can get to know the person behind the blog a little better! For the month of September (also our guest bloggers birthday month), I got in contact with Lauren of FictionTea! You may know her from her super famous Instagram where she posts gorgeous pictures. I’ve known Lauren for quite a while now, meeting her at YALC 2017 and again at 2018, and she is absolutely lovely. If you haven’t checked out her blog before, then what’re you waiting for?
Hi! Introduce yourself – what’s your name? Where are you from?
Hello! Thank you so much for having me on your blog! I’m Lauren, although you may know me as FictionTea in the book blogger-verse. I reside in Glasgow, Scotland and have lived here my whole life.
Give us one fun fact about you!
I don’t know if this counts as a fact about me, but I’ve met Billy Boyd (Pippin from LotR) in my local grocery shopping store. But not only once, twice. I’ve met him there twice as he only used to live ten minutes from me, but I believe he lives on the other side of the city now. Oh well!
When did you become a reader?
I became a reader from the moment I could hold a book really. In my family baby videos, you can often see me running around in a diaper holding a book. However, my love for reading really started when I was around 6 or 7 when I began reading Jaqueline Wilson books and a book series called My Secret Unicorn by Linda Chapman. I was a reader from then on and I need to thank my Gran who always motivated me to keep reading whenever possible. She’s one of the reasons I’m still a reader today.
What made you decide to start a blog and stick with it?
Back in 2016, I really got tired of the limited word count on Instagram, which is where I usually do my reviews. I always had more to say and I thought starting a book blog would be the perfect way to do that. I will admit, I struggled for a while getting into the habit of posting, but once I did, it became a very fun and rewarding experience.
How would you describe your blog in 4 words?
Bookish, Informative, Anime and Travel.
Which of your posts are you most proud of or one that you wish had gotten a little more love?
Probably my posts based around YALC; My Guide to YALC, YALC 2018 Review, YALC Haul, etc. I work hard on those posts and cram as much useful information as I can into them without being too overwhelming. I really love knowing if the information I’ve gathered has helped readers in any way to prepare them for the event.
What tips would you give to someone looking to start a book blog?
From my experience, the first thing I’d say is, make sure you are determined and motivated to do this, or passionate about it. When I first started, I had no idea how hard blogging would be. I enjoyed it, but it takes a lot of time and effort and you need to be prepared for that, otherwise it will stop being fun very fast.
I’d also say to make sure you have a list of posts that you really want to do. I find having a list of posts that I’m excited to write really helps me stay on track.
What’s your favourite book/series?
If you know me at all, you know my favourite book series is The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon. I’ve often been referred to as ‘Bone Season girl’ which, as you can imagine, I was thrilled about. I couldn’t possibly choose which book is my favourite in this series, because I love them all the most, but for different reasons.
Samantha Shannon also dubbed me as the number one fan, so…that made my life.
Give us a book recommendation based on what you’ve read recently.
Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Read it now, have tissues at the ready and prepare to be pulled into the incredible adventure and life story of Achilles and Patroclus. They are two friends, who grow to have feelings for each other as the battle of Troy fast approaches.
If you love Greek mythology at all, or if you’ve just merely been curious about this book. Read it immediately.
Outside of reading and blogging, what do you do in your spare time?
I do quite a lot of freelance Graphic Design work. I studied Product Design in College and University and then went onto study Graphic Design in College again afterward so design is a big part of my life and I do it every day, whether it’s designing a bookmark or an item for a Fairyloot box (Reading Journal, Rune Scarf, etc).
Are there any blogs that you’d recommend?
Of course, there are many more I enjoy, like this one!