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Reader interview: Anita

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Hi, Anita!
Beore we get started, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a retired vet nurse and have spent most of my life looking after terminally or critically ill dogs. I spend many hours out walking in the Peak District which is on my doorstep. I also spend a lot of time training dogs, just for fun now as I enjoy working with the dogs enormously.I have a great interest in wildlife and for many years have recorded the fungi in my local woodland for the council ranger. I am a keen amateur photographer and have set myself up a small portable studio where I enjoy taking portraits of dogs or children of friends.
Myself and my husband are lucky enough to live round the corner from our daughter and son in law and our two beautiful granddaughters, Evie and Holly. We love being grandparents and enjoy every moment we spend with the children, in fact we enjoy a very busy family life all round and the family is complete when my sister, Kay joins us, she lives in the North East.

Brilliant. Thanks!
So, where is your favourite place to read?

My favourite place to read is in my study sat in my high backed leather chair with my feet up and a nice single malt by my side. My chair is a little on the worn side but it fits me perfectly and has taken me many years to get to this wonderful comfy condition.

Sounds perfect!
What genres do you like to read?

I enjoy reading Crime / thriller novels, history, historical fiction, sword and sorcery. I also read a lot of natural history books. I also enjoy reading to my eldest granddaughter who has just started on paperbacks so I am once again enjoying the Enid Blyton books.

How do you feel about books that have been turned into movies? Do you watch them or avoid them?
I don’t watch much TV or films but the only time I have watched a film version of one of my favourite books ( Lord of the Rings ) I was very disappointed so didn’t watch the next instalment and wouldn’t watch another film after I had read and enjoyed the book.

I can understand that.
Which book character(s) would you most like to meet?

That’s quite difficult as there have been so many over the years. If I had to pick one then I think it would be Mathew Shardlake from the C J Sansom novels, I could get on with him I think.

How do you choose new books to read? Is price a factor?
I don’t have any grand plan for choosing a new book, I enjoy browsing and buy what I like. I do like reading new authors. Price doesn’t really come into it although I don’t like to be ripped off.

How do you feel about self-published books?
I think self publishing is a great idea. Years ago there was no other outlet for authors except the big publishers. With self publishing we have the chance to read a novel and make our own mind up if we would like to read another by the same author or not. Some of my favourite authors started by self publishing and I’m very glad they did.

I completely agree!
Are there any places in particular that books have made you want to visit?

I am not much of a traveller at all and having been abroad a lot as a child I now stay in England. I guess I always wanted to visit the Lake District after reading Swallows and Amazons as a child but that’s about it. I don’t like city’s and have never even been to London and I am much happier in the countryside but can’t really say the places I like to visit came from one particular book.

Brilliant! Thanks, Anita!
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So, that was the serious interview. Now, let’s have some fun!
What is the weirdest thing that someone has said to you while you’ve been reading?

I can’t think of anything weird being said to me whilst I was reading but a when the kindle keyboard came out I was reading whilst waiting to see the Doctor and an elderly lady couldn’t grasp the concept of an ebook, she said there was no way I could get a book into the kindle as ” there wasn’t enough room for all the pages ” she was a sweetie and had everyone in the waiting room laughing.

Aww, bless!
If you had a time machine, where/when would you visit and why?

If I had a time machine I would go back 100 years and do all my favourite walks in the Peak District just to see how things were back then.

If you were stuck on a desert island and could only take three things with you, what would you take and why?
My 2 granddaughters Evie and Holly and Emma my young Labrador, I couldn’t manage without the 3. Of them. Of course they are not things as such so my Kindle, a nice single malt and a good warm coat to keep out the cold.

What is your biggest fashion regret?
My whole life is my biggest fashion regret ! I don’t have much time for fashion except my walking gear and even then I go for practical over fashion. As for makeup, well I am as blind as a bat and always have been so could never see to put it on when I took my glasses off and gave up trying years ago. Luckily my lifestyle doesn’t have much room for fashion and makeup.

I don’t tend to wear much make up either!
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

I would be a horse and love being able to run and run and run.

Interesting choice!
If you were a superhero, what would your super power be?

I would love to have the superpower of being able to always put a smile on the friends of my family and friends, I hate them being unhappy and not being able to help.

Aww, that’s the best superpower suggestion I’ve had!
Would you rather having to say everything on your mind or never being able to speak again?

I would much prefer to never speak again than saying everything on my mind, I could always write anything down that’s important and I am not always very sociable, in fact I’m very often not sociable, and as long as my animals could understand me then that’s fine.

Thanks, Anita!
To learn more about the wonderful Anita and see what she’s reading, please visit her Goodreads profile.

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Reader Interview: Pat (scorpio)!

Hello, Pat! Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed.

Before we start, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in November and birthday parties always had fireworks to end with. I left school and worked in a stationers who sold maps. I learnt to love maps with all the strange names of places you can find, and still do. When I was old enough I joined the W.R.N.S as a cinema operator. Next came a long stint as a T.V. fault finder in Rank factory until they close down and I was made redundant. After three months I went to work for the N.H.S in the sterilizing of equipment dept. I retired from there in 2001. A new start in life from then on.

Wow! That all sounds really interesting!
So, where is your favourite spot to read?
My favourite spot to read is curled up in a recliner a lapghan on my legs and a kitty curled in my lap.

How do you feel about books that you have read being turned into movies? Do you watch them or avoid them?
I am delighted if a book I have read is turned into a film. Such a reward for the author. Would I watch it? NO my imagination will do more for me than any film maker can. With the exception of LOTR. I did enjoy them.

When you’re reading and you come across something you’re not familiar with, what do you do?
If I come across something I don’t understand or not familiar with, I look it up, but if it is at a point where I just got to continue with the story, it is left till later.

The Kindle’s built in dictionary is brilliant for this!
How do you feel about self publishing?
Self publishing is the new sliced bread. If I could write I would self publish.

How do you choose new books to read? Is price a factor?
When choosing new books to read price does not come into it. Unless the price is outrageous. An author I have read before, the subject matter, the cover (attraction) and a recommendation will also do it.

What has been your favourite thing to read?
My favourite thing to read depends on the mood I am in. Murder, Mystery, Adventure, Paranormal, Cosy, Romance, any and most things but not keen on Horror. Now that is strange as when I was younger I loved Horror.

Finally, what type of character would you most like to read about?
What character I would most like to read about is one that I can relate to. That is believable and I care about.

Brilliant. Thanks, Pat!

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So, we’ve done the serious interview. Now for some fun!

How would you describe yourself in three words?
In three words I am Old, Grumpy, Unsociable

What were you like in school?
In school I was talkative and always being told off for it. Be seen and not heard!

If you were stuck on a desert island, what three items would you want with you?
On a desert island I would want. Books (of course), a hook and wool, ice cream.

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
If I was an animal I would be a horse, but only in an ideal world.

Interesting!
What would you rather, not being able to speak or having to say everything on your mind?
To chose between being mute or saying everything that was on my mind. I would be mute.

If you had a time machine, where would you go and why?
I don’t know where I would go or when if I could time travel. Something I will have to ponder upon.

It’s tricky to choose when there’s so many great places!
Finally, what’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
The funniest thing that happened to me was a few years back I had my gall bladder removed. Not that that was funny, the funny bit I had read a book by Patricia Briggs called Silver Bourne I think it was. About a werewolf who had to go to a hospital for treatment. Under anaesthetic I thought I was a werewolf and I was afraid I would lose control of myself and start killing everyone.
After my op I was meant to go to Tamar Ward, but I was sent to WOLF Ward. So you see the NHS has a sense of humour and I take all the books I read to heart.

That’s brilliant!

Thanks, Pat!

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To learn more about the lovely Pat and to see what she’s currently reading, please visit her Goodreads profile!

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Reader Interview: Janet!

Hello, Janet!

Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed.

Before we start, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m 26 (I’ve been telling my nephew that for years and he always believed me). Seriously I stopped counting and 26 seemed to be a good place to stop. I work in an office, and enjoy my work most of the time. I hadn’t always intended doing this job, tried teaching and hated the year I spent doing that. I love travelling, gardening and reading, I can also knit and crochet (although I haven’t done much of that recently) and those parts of my house that aren’t full of books are full of paper crafting items. I can’t remember not being able to read, apparently I knew Black Beauty by heart and my aunt didn’t like reading it to me because I wouldn’t let her skip any of it.

Brilliant. Thanks!
So, where is your favourite place to read?
I read every where and anywhere. The only place I don’t read is in the car – which is probably why I was late learning to drive. I drive because it is necessary to get to places I want to go, and not for pleasure.
Since getting my kindle I can read more as I can take hundreds of books with me everywhere. At the moment I’m on the settee with my feet up and the dog on my knee. And apparently wearing odd socks.

Which character would you most like to meet?
I would like to meet Brother Cadfael, I think he would be very interesting to talk to plus he would be able to advise me on my lack of success with herb growing.

Interesting!
What is your favourite genre and why?
I read lots of different things, I’m not sure that I could choose one genre over another. It depends what mood I’m in when I’m deciding what to read next. Sometimes I have a book for a while before I get round to reading it. I don’t like poetry, or horror or ones where animals get hurt.

Do you like background noise when you read, or silence?
There is usually some noise, I read while other people are watching tv, and I can blank out the background noise.

How do you feel about self published books?
I had hit a “sticky patch” in my reading, the library was open less hours, the second hand book shop nearby had closed and I was just reading and re-reading the same books. When I bought my kindle the first books I downloaded were books that I remembered reading and didn’t have copies of such as Little Women and Katy 3 In 1: What Katy Did, What Katy Did At School, What Katy Did Next and The Children of the New Forest
It wasn’t until I found forums for kindle owners that I discovered free kindle books, and so began to read more new books. The fact that people could write and make their work available for me to read meant that I could read more, discover new authors and start enjoying reading again. Although there are still books that I enjoy re-reading, there isn’t anything like the thrill of reading a book for the first time, wondering how the person will get out of the scrape that they are in, whether there will be a happy ending or whether the bad guy will get his just desserts.

I have read many books over the last few years, quite a lot of them were indie authors, self published books and so I am grateful that they did write those books and that they are available for me to download.

I feel the same way!
Do you like to eat or drink while you read? If so, what?
I have been losing weight for the last year and a half, so have tried not to have snacks in between meals. As for drinks – If you ask any of my family they will tell you of the number of times they have to remind me to stop reading to have my drink before it is stone cold.

Do you think that a book being free means it isn’t good quality?
That is just the same as saying that if a book costs £100 it must be good. I have read plenty of free books that were excellent, and have gone on to find more by that author. I have a budget for what I can spend on books, and am quite happy to pay for ones that I know I will enjoy, I’m more cautious with unknown authors. It isn’t the price that dictates the quality of the book. There were very few books that I haven’t finished (Dickens being the main culprit) but now I find it easier to give up on books that I’m not enjoying for whatever reason. I would only delete it if there was no chance of me ever trying it again, sometimes I’m just not in the right frame of mind for that particular book.

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So, that’s the serious questions done! Now let’s get to know the real you!

How would you describe yourself in three words?
I cheated here because I couldn’t think of three ( I thought of short, not as fat as I used to be, and ?? )
So I asked my niece and she said ~~~
intelligent, adventurous and kind

Aww, that’s very sweet!
What has been your biggest fashion regret?
I was a teenager in the seventies!!!

I think that says all that we need to know!
If you were stuck on an island, what three items would you want with you and why?
My kindle, internet connection and electricity supply. Better would be a hotel offering all those services plus food and accommodation, then the other two items would be a kindle and a transporter like on Star Trek so I could go anywhere I wanted.

If you were an animal, what animal would you want to be and why?
Looking at my dog, she has a good life, food on tap plenty of walks and treats and people to make a fuss of her. As long as I had a good home a dog or cat would be ok. Cats give the impression of being more well read as they sit on the newspapers when people are trying to read them, so perhaps I would be a cat.

Interesting way of choosing!
How lucky are you and why?
I’m still waiting for my premium bonds to deliver, although I did win some things on a tombola at the Christmas Fair. Nothing I wanted though so I gave them all away.

What is the weirdest thing someone has said to you while you’ve been reading?
Probably “are you listening to me?”

Funnily enough mum has just walked in and said “do you know you have odd socks on?”. But probably that doesn’t count as I am answering these questions and not reading.

I’ll allow it!
Finally, what would you rather – not being able to read ever again, or not being able to eat your favourite food?
Definitely not being able to eat favourite food. I could find a substitute for that easily enough. What would I do with all my time if I couldn’t read? I would have to talk to people or (shudder) watch soaps. Or sort my socks into matching pairs. In my defence they are both striped and have the same colour stripes, just in a different order. Mum says I probably have another pair just the same.

Brilliant. Thanks, Janet!

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To see what the lovely Janet is currently reading, check out her Goodreads profile!

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Reader Interview: Joo!

jooGood morning, all. Today, I am interviewing the lovely Joo from Joo’s Book Reviews and Interviews about her reading habits, and at the same time she’s interviewing me! I’ve not been interviewed before, so it should be interesting!

So, Joo, let’s start with the serious interview. But, before we get started, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Joo and I’m pretty boring. My hobbies are reading and that’s about it. I like to live my life via tales in books.
I don’t do shopping, I don’t do fashion, I don’t do shoes, I don’t do make up. So I read even more ‘cos I’m not doing those things.
For all my lazy normal life activities, I do like to go on action holidays such as skiing and scuba diving.
See, told you I was boring 🙂

That definitely doesn’t sound boring! So, where is your favourite reading spot?
Anywhere and everywhere.
I have a lovely comfy sofa in my conservatory and have been known to spend a whole weekend sat there reading and glancing up when the birds make noises.

Do you like background noise when you read, or do you prefer to read in silence?
I can blank out most things when I read. I tend not to stick the telly or radio on when I come in and settle down for a read, but hubby likes background noise.

What is the most memorable place that books have made you want to visit?
I can’t think of any.

They obviously weren’t very memorable, then! 
Are there any genres that you won’t read?
Full-on military, deep sci-fi. I don’t like made up names with lots of Js and Xs in them.
I’ll try most things, but usually like a lightness or a bit of humour to my reads.

I know what you mean about silly names!
Which character would you most like to meet?
Jim Omally and John Pooley and the cast of Robert Rankin’s Brentford Trilogy. I’ve read about them so many times and I feel like I know them.

Do you eat or drink when you read? if so, what?
I’d read at the dinner table if I was allowed (I do on my own). It’s so much easier to do that with a kindle. When having arguments with people about the merits of books v kindles, I ask them how do they read whilst drinking a cup of tea and eating a biscuit? One of them has to be put down with a book haha.

That’s always my argument, too! As well as the amount of books I can carry around at one time!
Do you have a favourite book?
Not really, however the one book I don’t want to get rid of even though it’s a bit tatty now is Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman which I picked up a few months ago for just £2 for the kindle.
I haven’t read it for a bit, I just know I’ve really enjoyed it every time I did.

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What is the weirdest thing that someone has said to you while you were reading?
I wouldn’t know, I’m in a world of my own when I read.

If you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring three things, what would they be and why?
Obviously my kindle with its solar powered charging case (they do exist, don’t they?)
Assuming it’s in a sunny region, a massive tub of sun cream in an umbrella shaped container.
And probably a spare kindle, just in case.

If they don’t exist, they certainly should!

If you had a time machine, where would you go and why?
To a bit in the future to find out the lottery numbers for a massive jackpot so I can win £100m and spend the rest of my life reading and funding hedgehog charities.

Nice choice!
Would you rather having to always say everything on your mind, or be able to mind read?
My mind is totally scattered, so I’d just be babbling. I’m quite nosy so mind reading would be my choice.

If there was a movie made about your life, who would play you and why?
I used to be told I looked a bit like Tamsin Grieg (not that I can see it myself) and I quite like her. Or Michelle Gomez as she’s totally bonkers.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Quiet book worm

What has been your biggest fashion regret?
My first outfit I chose myself to go to a cousin’s wedding.
The “blouse” was blue with a kind of bib on it rather than buttons. The skirt was burgundy with a thin white grid on it, not quite a check, with a narrow ruffle at the bottom. It was a hideous mix, but I was about 14 and this was the 80s, so everyone else’s attire was hideous too.

That certainly sounds interesting!

Thanks, Joo!

Again, here is the link to Joo’s Blog and her Goodreads profile, where you can find out more about her.

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Reader Interview: Michelle!

Hey, Michelle! Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed.
Before we start, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Michelle but I also go by Spiderg1rl. I balance my reading with plenty of TV and games. When not doing those things I’m probably at work or relaxing with my husband.

Brilliant, thanks!
So, where have books made you want to visit?
Narnia, I would love to visit Narnia. There are tons of real and non real places but I always come back to Narnia, especially the beauty from when it was being created. Wouldn’t you want to see the birth of a world?

It would be pretty magical to see!
Is there anything you won’t read?
Not that I’ve really come across yet. Like anyone there are some books I don’t really go for compared to others favoring some genres over others. My to read list is so long I’ve not really breached a topic I found I couldn’t read.

Which book character would you most like to meet?
I don’t know really. To be fair that answer would probably change fairly regularly but I would love to meet Peter Parker, yes Spider-man. Not a big surprise given the first question but I would probably have a new person I want to meet every week. Last week I wanted to meet Sally just so I could help her. This week I’m reading about a girl turned into a vampire but I would like to meet one of the vampires that have been around through much of our histories that could tell me stories we would never find in the history books.

Where is your favourite reading spot?
Either sat on the sofa or on the bed. I do often read at work or walking home but it’s never as good as when actually at home.

I find that I can’t get lost in a book like I can when I’m home!
What is the worst book you’ve ever read?
Now that is a tough one. I don’t know because I’ve either purged it from my head or naturally it’s been forgotten by some truly amazing books.

Do you eat or drink when reading? If so, what?
All the time. If I’m really into a book I even eat dinner or lunch when reading. 90% of the time it’s snacks, fig rolls, crisps, chocolate and some diet Pepsi. After all I need to keep my energy up for all that page turning.

Do you listen to music when you read or prefer silence?
I rarely listen to music anymore but the TV is pretty much always on. Being raised in a house with tons going on I find myself able to keep up with both a book and a show/movie at the same time. It’s a skill and I have no idea how I can help others gain it. I’m sorry 🙂

I, too, possess this skill! Very useful, isn’t it?

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So, we’ve done the bookish questions. Now it’s time for the silly questions!

Would you rather having to say everything on your mind or never being able to speak again?
I think for my families sake I would say never speak again. I already tell my brother he drives me crazy sometimes he doesn’t need to know how much lol

What is your biggest fashion regret?
I am like Andrea in the Devil Wears Prada, fashion means little to me so I’m actually probably screwing up on a daily basis. If only I looked like Anne Hathaway then all would be forgiven anyway.

If you had a time machine, where would you go and why?
It would be so cool to go back in time and spend a day with each of my ancestors. I know so little of my past beyond my parents and grandparents but at some point my dad’s side left Germany or Austria for America it would be cool to know why. Also somewhere down the line on my mothers side a (I have no idea how many great-great) grandmother was a lady and gave up her future title and inheritance to marry a coal miner. It sounds like an interesting ancestry and that’s surely just the start.

Interesting!
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?
Lets see, funny…
I don’t usually get funny things happen to me, instead they are usually miserable. I can tell you however the last time I laughed quite hard actually. I was really nervous on my wedding day a few months back and my fella was trying to put my wedding ring on and well I must have had a warm hand because it just wouldn’t go on. I burst out into giggles and before we knew it the whole room was laughing, even the registrar was laughing. Eventually the room stopped laughing and my fella managed to get my ring on my finger. It certainly broke the nerves we were both feeling and thankfully everyone had a good day remembering the giggle fest in the middle of the ceremony.

It’s always good that you can both laugh at with each other!
If you were stuck on an island and could only take three things with you, what would you take and why?
I’d take my husband, he’s not a thing but I think we would both be happier if he was there… Actually he may not be but I would be. I’d take a Kindle with a full hard drive and I’d take some sort of crazy unending generator that would keep it going till it breaks or we get saved. Then I would hope the husband was given 3 things too so he wouldn’t go crazy whilst I’m reading all day.

How lucky are you and why?
I’m fairly unlucky really but I’m always hoping that will turn around one day.

What is the weirdest thing that someone has said to you while you’ve been reading?
My husband is always trying to get my attention whilst I’m reading. He usually says things that make sense to him and what he can see on his tablet but I have no idea what is going on.

Thanks, Michelle!

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To learn more about the lovely Michelle, please visit her Goodreads profile and her Blog

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Reader Interview: Rosemary!

Hey, Rosemary!
So, you have the honour of being my first victim Guinea pig interviewee!

Before we start, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in the Netherlands and grew up in Aberdeen, where I studied architecture. I’ve lived in North Berwick for twenty years. I work on building designey stuff with my husband, have a part time job in the plant area of a garden centre and I paint pictures. I am chair of the local in Bloom group, an RHS Britain in Bloom Ambassador and Community Champion. And I read a bit.

You sound very busy!
So, what genres do you like to read?
Basically, anything good!
What I’m trying to say is I don’t have any restrictions genre-wise, but I do find myself particularly drawn to literary fiction, crime and fantasy. I’ve found that being a member of a book group in which members each choose a book in turn has meant I’ve read novels I would never have even looked at – I thoroughly recommend going out of your comfort zone occasionally. It’s very easy to get stuck in a rut!

Is there anything you stay away from? Genres, plot ideas, etc.
Celebrity “autobiographies” (where’s that 10 foot pole?) and those misery childhood memoirs with monochrome covers.

I completely understand that! *shudders*
Where is your favourite place to read?
On the couch, feet up, stove on.

Which book character would you most like to meet?
DI John Rebus. I would have a whisky with him in the Oxford Bar.
Or… Sherlock Holmes, Sir Lancelot, James Bond or Jackson Brodie (especially if he really did look like Jason Isaacs) Or Toad from Wind in the Willows. Actually, can I have all of them at a dinner party?

That would be an awesome dinner party!
Do you eat or drink while reading? If so, what?
Generally no. But later on in the evening a wee malt goes down a treat. Though I do stand with kindle in hand stirring the pots while cooking!

Do you have a favourite book?
Really can’t narrow it down to one I’m afraid. But Lord of the Rings is up there (I reread it every couple of years). No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod and The Summer Book by Tove Jansson are also particular favourites.

What is the worst book you’ve ever read?
Hands down, by a country mile – The Famished Road by Ben Okri. Emperor’s new clothes or what?

Brilliant! Thanks, Rosemary!

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So, we’ve done the serious interview, now let’s have some fun!!

What would you rather – not being able to read ever again, or not being able to eat your favourite food?
That’s easy, giving up my favourite food. Actually I’d lie and give up something I don’t really like. “Oh, I just LOVE marmite…”

Sneaky! I like it!
What is the weirdest thing someone has said to you while you’re reading?
“What are you doing?”

If you were stuck on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring and why?
My kindle, a few cases of wine and Ray Mears. He could sort out the catering and lodgings.

Nice choices!
Do you believe in bigfoot and why?
Oh yes. There is bound to be some Gigantopithecus still kicking around.

How lucky are you and why?
Very lucky. That chimney pot missed me by inches.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you?
Nothing funny has ever happened to me. I am very very serious.

Where would you go in a time machine?
The Roaring Twenties looked like a lot of fun. Plus I could totally carry off the flapper girl look. But only if it didn’t cause a major space/time continuum paradox.

Thanks for being my guinea pig, Rosemary!

Thank you for having me!

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Here is Rosemary’s Goodreads profile if you would like to check out what she’s reading and her reviews!