Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Getting To Know...Alix Long


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum my Getting To Know.. feature is back after the Christmas holidays and I'm happy to bring bookblogger and booktuber Alix Long. 

You have both a written blog, Delightful Book Reviews, and a Booktube channel, what inspired you to set these up?

I decided to set up Delightful Book Reviews first because I met PR extraordinaire at a book launch in London, and she offered to send me a few books to review for the Huffington Post, who I was blogging for at the time. After setting up a twitter account and discovering some great bloggers, I decided that I wanted to set up my own personal book blog where I could post about whatever I wanted, and rave about my favourite books. I have been a reader all my life, and this was a way to share my passion with others, and become a member of the awesome book blogging community. This was when I was fifteen - three years later, and that’s when I decided to set up my BookTube channel after being inspired by a panel at YALC, with Amy Thurgood, Lucy Powrie and Sanne Vliegenthart. My BookTube channel is pretty different to my blog, as I share the books I haul from publishers, and my favourite picks of the month, which I don’t do on my blog. 

On your blog, you have a children's book spotlight which I absolutely love, what made you decide to have this kind of feature?

I decided to start my children’s book feature DELIGHTFUL KIDS BOOKS as Alma Books (a gorgeous publishing company!) began to re-publish some of the best loved children’s classics, and I wanted to feature them on my blog. After reading these classics I decided that I still loved kids books, and so I thought by sharing both recently published and old school kids books I could reach a bigger audience and show people that I love to read all sorts of books! Thankfully the response has been great, both from my readers and from publishers - I’m so glad people like the feature, because it’s so much fun to write.

You are part of The Tutor Trust, can you tell me more about that?

The Tutor Trust is a wonderful charity that is based in Manchester, that I am privileged to work for. The Tutor Trust employs university students such as myself to be tutors at primary and secondary schools across Manchester, to provide top quality tuition for kids whose parents would not be able to afford it. It’s main aim is to bridge the gap between the quality of education received by kids in the South and the North, and as someone who went to a state school who was lucky enough to receive tutoring for maths, I wanted to give back. I absolutely love my job and the kids I teach are so wonderful and inspire me every single time I teach them.

When you're not reading what would we find you doing?

Sometimes it is easy for people to forget that, as well as a blogger, I am also your average university student! When I’m not reading I love to hang out with my friends and just chill out! Obviously I need to fit in studying, but I also love to watch TV (Game of Thrones is my current obsession!) and go out. My boyfriend and I love to go out to eat, watch films and go to music concerts at the Bridgewater Hall. At the moment we also love visiting the Christmas markets, which are wonderful. I also love going to see live music - this year I have seen Foals, 1975, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Chance the Rapper and in February I am going to see Drake!

You are currently a student, do you know what career that you are working towards?

When I graduate I would love to work in books in some way - at the minute I am leaning towards publicity and marketing. My absolute dream job would be to have a books column in a magazine and be a freelance journalist, like in Stylist. I want to also keep writing, and it would be brilliant to have the kind of job where I could do this on the side.

Do you have an absolute favourite boo of all time that you would recommend to everyone?

My absolute favourite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. It is a tale of courage, female empowerment and love. I have re-read it almost as many times as I have read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which is my favourite contemporary book. Rainbow is a wonderful person and meeting her at the Worlds Collide tour was honestly a dream come true.

With having both a blog and a Booktube channel, do you have a preference over which medium you use?

I prefer having a blog simply because it’s a lot easier to fit around my current lifestyle. I can blog in the university library in between lectures, or while me and my friends are cooking dinner. My BookTube channel is a lot more difficult to keep updated because I can’t always film in the morning due to lectures - and because of the light this time of year, that’s the only time I can film. Also the editing takes time I don’t always have, and uploading videos is a bit of a hassle too. That being said, it is rewarding, and I do like being able to use both mediums to share my love of books. 

Do you have a favourite author?

My favourite author is without doubt Charlotte Brontë. I love all of her books (apart from The Professor) and I find her such an inspiring figure. Reading her private letters, it seems we have a lot in common, and visiting the house where she lived inspired me to keep writing. I wrote my EPQ (extended essay) on her and it was a really enjoyable experience. Her stories about strength, determination, and fulfilling your goals even when you have a thousand obstacles blocking you have a lot of resonance in today’s world.

Will we see a book written by yourself in the near future?

I would love to publish one day! A novel sounds a bit ambitious at the moment, but in my creative writing class I really enjoy writing poetry and short stories. To have a collection of poems or short stories published would mean everything.

What advice would give anyone thinking about setting up their own blog/youtube channel?

The advice I would give anyone who wants to set up their own blog or YouTube channel would be to just go for it! Don’t get bogged down by reading loads of advice - everyone does it differently, and some bloggers won’t agree with my method just like I don’t follow what other bloggers do. The most important thing to do is to follow your gut and remember that the blog is for you. Obviously it’s a bonus if people do like it, but stats aren’t everything! What really matters is that you are sharing wonderful books because you love reading.

Thank you so much to Alix for fitting my questions in around her super busy schedule and for kicking off 2017's Getting To Know... with a bang! 

To Connect With Alix 

Twitter - @long_alixhttps://twitter.com/long_alix

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