Monday, 3 April 2017

Getting To Know... Me - Nerdish Mum!! (And A Cheeky Announcement)

As I've had a couple of weeks break from Getting To Know... to catch up on reviews and other things (see my announcement at the end), I thought it would be fun to do a Getting To Know... with me! So instead of writing my own questions I asked in Book Connectors (an awesome book group on FB and Twitter full of authors and book bloggers) for questions that I could answer and I got some absolutely great ones! This is a bit nerve racking now being in the hot seat but here goes!

What is the inspiration behind your blog name, Life Of A Nerdish Mum - Mairead of Swirl and Thread

When I first set up my blog, the idea was to blog about all the nerdish things that I get up to, to share my experiences and meet other people who like the same things as I do. So Life Of A Nerdish Mum just made sense as I was already Nerdish Mum on twitter. This included reviewing books and comics etc and the book review side of things has just bloomed so much it's the majority of what I post now, but I still do blog about other things too and there is more on it's way (sneaky hint about my announcement below).

What made you decide to be a blogger, how long have you been doing it and how long do you spend each week doing it? - Marie Campbell author of Baby

After having my little guy, Mini Nerdling, in 2013 I ended up with quite bad post natal depression (which goes well with my normal anxiety and depression *sarcasm*) and I needed something that was just about me so I set up my Twitter account and dived into the nerdy/geeky community. I discovered an amazing group called IGGPPC (International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club) and they have loads of groups that are just so friendly. I obviously was drawn to the book group (Iggleworms) and everyone was talking about what book challenges they were going to be doing for 2015 and how they were going to keep track of them. I made the decision to start up a blog that would be a place to review each of the books that I read for my chosen challenges as well as a place to share my experiences of cons and other such things that I went to. So on the 1st of January 2015 my first blog post went up and I've been blogging ever since. For the first year I only really published my posts and never shared them or promoted them in any way until probably about a year into it when I became more and more involved in the book blogging community. As to how much time I spend each week, it varies but I can tell you it's a full time job! I am a stay at home mum during the day, I work six evenings a week and until recently I volunteered one morning a week helping children aged 2-5 with speech delays. Every bit of my spare time (hahahahaha) is spent either reading or blogging. When I'm prepping for my Getting To Know... feature as well, it takes even more time as I like to personalise my questions as much as possible so I research each participant so I can ask the most interesting questions I can manage,

What else do you write aside from blogging and what inspires you to write these things? - Chantelle Atkins author of The Mess Of Me

I used to write articles for Teddy Bear Times as before I had my little guy I made collectors style teddy bears and I somehow ended up working for one of the most well known teddy bear magazines. I also write letters which I absolutely love doing when I have the time as I have met some absolutely wonderful people through being a pen pal and I keep a couple of journals, one book and one bullet, These really help keep me organised, focused and motivated which is really important to me.

I am also in the process of writing my own novel, it's all laid out I just need to finish writing it. Other than it being fantasy I won't give anything else away ;)

I wondered how you deal with books that you start with a view to reviewing, but find you really don't like, do you always finish them? Do you always write a review? - Peta Rainford, author of Isabella, Rotten Speller

I am very lucky in the fact the the books I have received for review have all been good (so far anyway) as I try to only accept ones that I think that I will enjoy. I have a real problem with not being able to put a book down though even if I am hating it, I came very close last year to putting my first ever DNF (on a book I chose myself from the library), but I felt so much readers guilt that I finished the whole darn thing!! I will always leave a review though good or bad for a few reasons; firstly that it'd look weird if I liked every single book that I ever read, I don't think anyone has got that lucky. Next, good or bad, a review on a book is good for the author as it gets their book more audience and I try to be as constructive as possible and a lot of the time I explain that the reason I don't like something is that it's just not for me rather than it being bad. The only thing I would do differently if my review was "negative" is that I wouldn't tag the author or publisher on social media and I probably wouldn't promote my blog post like I do when it's positive review.

What do you find most fascinating about your feature Getting To Know... and is there something that you've learnt that you can use in your own reading? - Susan of The Booktrail

I find each and every person I interview fascinating. I love finding out about people and each person is so different from the last and the next. There was something I did learn which I think is invaluable to both readers and writers from Anna Osborne, author of Walking Wounded, (Anna's Getting To Know... is here) who is also a chiropractor, make sure you stand up and pace around every 20 minutes so that you don't damage your back.

What world from a story you've read is the one that you'd least like to live in; and conversely, the one that you'd most like to inhabit? - Karl Drinkwater author of They Move Below

There's quite a few that I'd hate to live in like Panem, The Phase, The Glade and other such places, though thinking about it they are all post apocalyptic/dystopian so I'm pretty sure I shouldn't want to live in them haha! Also anywhere like Gotham City, Star City or Central City, I couldn't cope with the constant threat of one bad guy or another.

The one I'd most like to live in is actually really hard, I think it'd have to be Discworld! Terry Pratchett just created an amazing world full of both good and bad.

What's the best and worse thing about blogging? - Lorraine of The Book Review Cafe

The best thing is the people! The bloggers and authors and publishers that I've got to know have all been so wonderful and welcoming. I am extremely awkward when communicating so I don't always comment or interact too much, but no one minds and I'm always made to feel so at home with everyone. I finally met my buddy reader a few weeks ago which was so nice after knowing her for over two years and I'm hoping to meet more people in the future.

The worst thing I think is the guilt - you feel guilty for saying no, you feel guilty for taking too long to read a book, you feel guilty for not sharing other peoples blogs as much as you'd like, you feel guilty for spending so much time blogging, you feel guilty that your review is too long/short....the list of guilt is endless. But it's all worth it!

I'd like to know what made you decide to review books in the first place and how you find the books? - Harriet Springbett author of Tree Magic

I've enjoyed reviewing books since I was little. My local library when I was in primary school had a kind of book club in which you could progress through the ranks by reading books and writing reviews for the librarian to read. My primary school was also very into books and having us write reviews so I had a solid foundation in writing reviews when I'd finished a book. I did fall out of it for a while until I discovered Goodreads and the online book community. As to where I get books, 95% or more of my books are books that I buy myself or get from the library, it's only been in the past year that I have started receiving books from authors and publishers, but even then if it is a book I adore, I go out and buy my own copy to make sure I'm supporting the author.

Which book that you've read do you really wish you'd written? - Linda of Linda's Book Bag

Oooooh there's a few for this one (I'm allowed more than one right?) - The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis, The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub and The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. In fact I could go on and on!

What was the first book you remember from your childhood? - Jane Cable, author of The Cheesemaker's House

I still own a lot of my childhood books so that'd be cheating to just look at them, but the first book I really remember reading myself and it really sticking with me was The Sixth Seal by Mary Wesley. I had read things like the Chronicles of Narnia, The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, The Hobbit etc before it, but this one really stood out to me. I had borrowed it from the library and I wrote a book review for school about it (I think I was in year 5) and I even decorated the edges of my review with pictures I'd drawn from things that happen in the book. I always remembered this book and so as an adult, early twenties, I decided I needed a copy of it and I went out and bought it. I've read The Sixth Seal again about two or three times since then and I still absolutely love it.

What is your favourite genre to review? - Alison of Ali's Romance, Thriller and Christian Fiction Book Reviews

I always say that fantasy is my favourite genre, which is the truth. However, I don't like to read just one genre of book, I love classics, non fiction, YA, middle grade, horror, crime, children's etc etc. I could never set myself just one to read as I'd always feel like I was missing out. Since book blogging I have also read books in genres that I never thought I would read and have thoroughly enjoyed reading them so it's always good to keep an open mind.

And that's it! Phew that was pretty intense, but I hope you all enjoyed that as much as I did! Thank you so much to all the authors and bloggers that gave me questions, it is greatly appreciated and I hope I did justice in my answers!

Now onto my announcement! As well as reading, my other number one love is music! I have always been a HUGE music fan and have been to countless gigs over the years. From pop to classics to heavy metal, I love it all (though I am a full on rock chick when it comes down to it). So to include this part of me in my blog, I will now have a monthly feature where I interview bands. I cannot explain how much this excites me and I am really looking forward to my first one going live this Friday the 7th of April. I really hope that this is exciting for you all too and that you'll come join me on Friday when I interview John Lov, the guitarist of Ascendia. (Check out one of their music videos here)


  1. Fascinating! More bloggers should interview themselves in this way because we like to know the person behind the blog. Thanks for sharing and good luck with your music features.

  2. Lovely feature, sorry I missed sending a question. I totally agree I do all my reviews and what I dont like can be the selling point to another. Enjoy your concert.


  3. Great post - lovely to find out more about you x

  4. What a great idea for a post. It must have been nerve racking to put yourself under the spotlight but it's so nice to find out more about you Helen 😉