Insurgent By Veronica Roth

Monday, 30 July 2012

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
Cover Rating: 3/5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I read Insurgent in the dreaded reading slump which, as with The Golden Lily, reduced my enjoyment of it. I had huge expectations for Insurgent after my love of Divergent and although I liked it I don't think it got there. Insurgent followed straight on from Divergent, the factions are in tatters after Erudite destroyed most of Abnegation. They are all taking sides and none are necessarily the right ones. Everything anyone has ever know has changed and it is beyond fixing. The factions are all looking after themselves and slowly self-destructing. Can Amity, the peaceful, remain peaceful? Can what's left of Abnegation stay selfless? With everything crumbling nothing and no one is safe.

The characters all changed a great deal in Insurgent and not necessarily for the better. I really liked Tris in the first book but in the second I feel that she became a lot less likable. She goes into a kind of depression and although it makes her character more realistic, it's not all that fun to read about. As you get further into the book and she snaps out of it a bit more she climbs higher on my likability scale. Apart from the slight glitch at the beginning I still love that she's as brave and free as she was originally. In the first I loved Four/Tobias and in this one I still do. At some points I couldn't tell whether his protectiveness was annoying or sweet but that didn't matter. What matters is that he is a strong character and not one of those drop dead gorgeous air heads like some young adult novels have - though he is gorgeous. The most annoying thing about him was the fact they stopped calling him Four and started calling him Tobias. Decide on a name!! There were some characters I grew to hate because of their cowardice but I can't go much into that without spoilers.

Overall Insurgent is fast paced and totally shocking. The ending made the book for me, it was so unexpected. I don't think it was as good as the first but it didn't disappoint too much either. I am looking forward to the third book but mostly I just want to see the title. The first two rhyme so I'm torn between emergent, resurgent and convergent. All would work I think. Unless killer cleaning products come into the story I don't think it will be called detergent but you never know.

My Favorite Quotes:
“Cruelty does not make a person dishonest, the same way bravery does not make a person kind.”
“It reminds me why I chose Dauntless in the first place: not because they are perfect, but because they are alive. Because they are free.” 
“No matter how long you train someone to be brave, you never know if they are or not until something real happens.” 
“Got that gun?” Peter says to Tobias. 
“No,” says Tobias, “I figured I would shoot the bullets out of my nostrils, so I left it upstairs.”

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

The Golden Lily By Richelle Mead

Friday, 27 July 2012

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)
Cover Rating: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
Synopsis: Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought. 
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

Time for the long awaited review of The Golden Lily. I started this knowing I was going to love it because, well, it has Adrian in it. Yes I was right I did love it but I read it during a reading slump which lessened my enjoyment of it. I will probably reread it sometime to enjoy it more. Anyway I was very excited to read this especially after the huge cliffhanger of Dimitri coming back in the last book. This book had a very similar plot to the last one but it was a LOT more exciting than the last. Lot's more drama! This one focused more on a different threat  than all of the previous books, instead of Strigoi they have a new enemy.

Ah, I just love so many of the characters. Sydney is one heroine that I'm yet to hate, well I am angry at her at the moment (can't tell you why) but I do still love her. She's smart and doesn't depend on any guys. Her beliefs in the Alchemists are still strong but she does what she can for her friends. Adrian, Adrian, what to say about Adrian? I loved him even more in this one, he is a lot less depressed in this one but he does have the odd moments which just makes his character more believable. Also I'm positive his hilarity increased! We saw a very protective side of him which was just amazing. Anyway enough fan-girling. I really like the more minor characters like Eddie and Trey still, both are just believable and I love it! I wasn't keen on Jill or Angeline, neither really connected with me but I don't hate them. Ugh, Dimitri was so boring! I really liked him in Vampire Academy but he seems to have lost all the badass personality though luckily Adrian picked it up. Adrian is the best kind of badass.

I think I'm in love with this book, I laughed at every witty comment from Adrian and even a few from Sydney. The ending made me write a very hysterical email to Richelle Mead which I luckily deleted before sending but I can't tell you any more about that just yet. I was very disappointed that Christian hasn't made an appearance just yet, he better do at some point though because he was a great character. Lissa can stay away though she doesn't bother me. Overall I adored this book and if you haven't yet read it you need to. Now.

My favorite quotes - because one isn't enough!

“Sage," he said. "What are you wearing?"
I sighed and stared down at the dress. "I know. It's red. Don't start. I'm tired of hearing about it."
"Funny," he said. "I don't think I could ever get tired of looking at it.”

“He shouldn't have said that," repeated Adrian, eerily serious. He leaned his face toward mine. "I don't care if he's not the emotional type or the complimentary type or what. No one can look at you in this dress, in all that fire and gold, and start talking about anachronisms. If I were him, I would have said, 'You are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen walking this earth.” 

“Day 24. Situation is growing worse. My captors continue to find new and horrific ways to torture me. When not working, Agent Scarlet spends her days examining fabric swatches for bridesmaid dresses and going on about how in love she is. This usually causes Agent Boring Borscht to regale us with stories of Russian weddings that are even more boring than his usual ones. My attempts at escape have been thwarted thus far. Also, I am out of cigarettes. Any assistance or tobacco products you can send will be greatly appreciated.
-Prisoner 24601” 

OKAY I'm done... Nearly.

“Adrian, I'm on a date. Why are you here? On my car?” 

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

Cover Clash (1)

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Look what we have here! We all know how obsessed I am with covers and you must know the horrible moment when you realize the stunning cover you've been admiring for months is in fact another countries cover. I know I've been shocked when I receive my Amazon order and the book is ugly when I was expecting pretty. This feature will compare book covers from different countries as well as remakes and you can vote for your favorites. As I'm currently reading Starcrossed we can start with that!

Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1)  Starcrossed  Göttlich verdammt
  USA                            UK                          German
Predestinados (El despertar, #1)  Helena (Starcrossed, #1)  Χαμένοι θεοί
Spanish                     Swedish                     Greek

I really do NOT like the German or Spanish ones at all. They kinda freak me out. The Greek one is quite bland in my opinion though I do like the girl's eyes/ The UK one is the one I have and I can't say I'm that keen, it's pretty but not all that nice. I love the USA one and the Swedish one. I love how the girls dress is being swept away by the wind (because I do love the wind! I don't understand why the girl is near the sea though since she hates it. The Swedish one is really pretty and the girls hair is windswept again, I love the gold too. Overall I'd say the winner for me is the Swedish cover!

I asked my friend Beka to give her opinion too and this is what she thought:

I'm going to start off by agreeing with Emily :) that the Spanish cover is a obvious loser (no offence); it's fairly plain and boring and doesn't capture your attention. On the other hand my first disagreement with Emily will be about the German cover which I actually really like. The first thing I noticed is the unusual font which intrigued me. I also like the girls face as it is simple but striking. The little gold detail around the edges is the cherry on the cake for me. The UK cover, I must say, isn't one of the best but it definitely does it's job as it was this cover that grabbed my attention in a shop and introduced me to, what is now, one of my favourite books! It also gets brownie points for being the only cover to include Lucas (main male character) which is pretty much the joint main storyline; so fairly important! Both the Greek and USA covers do noting for me: I find the Greek to washed out and a bit depressing due to the girls expression and USA is quite pretty but it irritates me as it has nothing to do with the actually story, never does she wear a beautiful, long flowing dress and stand on a cliff impersonating the titanic! Now one I most definitely agree with Emily is that the Swedish cover is "'really pretty', I love the gold stars surrounding her and the girl is actually doing something other than titanic or staring depressingly at you so 10 points for originality. Over all I think that there is a joint winner between German and Swedish!

What do YOU think?

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

Stacking the Shelves (4)

Monday, 23 July 2012

STSmall_thumb[2]Stacking the shelves is hosted over at Tynga's Reviews. I have now no shelf space so I am literally stacking books on top of books... I need more shelves! I haven't done one of these for a while so I'm catching up.
Warning this is a big one! 


The first five books in the Shifters series, all five for £3. Bargain right? I couldn't resist! Plus they looked so sad in the charity shop!

And in the same charity shop? The first four books in the Blue Bloods series for only £2. Have I mentioned how much I love rescuing books from charity shops?

Bet you can't guess where I got these... No not the same charity shop but a charity shop non the less. I really am lucky. These were more expensive though at around £10 for them all.

I've seen this everywhere lately but, silly me, I was thinking it was a guyish book. The cover is two faces but I didn't spot that at first and it just looked like a guy book. Once you see it you can't un-see it though. Courtesy of yet another charity shop.

Hallelujah! This one was bought in an actual bookshop! Still cheap at a fiver though. I'm such a cheapskate! I pity the author though, I can't say his last name without swearing. Is it impossible? Could always say Fookuda...
On another shopping spree I picked up these lovely's from yet another charity shops...

And this one which I am very eager to read and not just because it's on the banned books list!
All the hype around this book made me pick it up - yes in a charity shop. I'm not sure I will like it but it's worth a try right?

In an effort to redeem myself here's some books that I actually paid full price for!

These were cheap too but don't judge, they were from a book shop!

Believe it or not I really do love historical fiction, mostly Tudor fiction and my absolute favorite author for it is Philippa Gregory. 

Yes, yes I know what your thinking. "You've already read The Hunger Games". I am aware of that fact but I didn't own the physical books so as sad as I am I got them. On the bright side they were only £7 for all three!

Last but by no means least is a book that I think is the most exciting...

Ooo look what I have here! Fans will recognize this as the final book in the Chemical Gardens trilogy and the lucky girl I am I managed to win a signed ARC from the author, seven months before actual release. I'm evil flaunting it on here but I couldn't resist! Too add to my evilness:

View photo.JPG in slide show
Sorry for the rubbish picture but eeek I was so happy when this arrived.
Okay I've finished boasting, for now anyway! If there's a record for the longest STS post I think I may have it in the bag! 32 books wow a lot to say I've only read 3 this month. I will have to get back at it!!
Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

Final Giveaways Of The Birthday Bonanza

Well my birthday was yesterday and I was originally going to post this then but I fell asleep before I could.

I have two books left to giveaway though, the first one being Tiberius Found by Andrew Goodman. Here is an interview with the author himself to tell you a little more about his book and himself.

Tiberius FoundTell me about yourself
I’m a tutor from England who’sbeen writing since I was a child. Although it’s only since 2008 since I’vereally been developing the craft of writing. I’ve written a number of shortscreenplays (and was as semi-finalist in the British Short Screenplaycompetition in 2009) and have recently written a commissioned 90-minute featurefor SeeView Pictures.

Apart from Tiberius FoundI have three short-story collections available on Amazon for the Kindle, andnumerous short stories on other websites such as Littlerature (
My blog can be found here:

Tell me about your book/s
Tiberius Found is an action/adventure set in 2028, and stems from mylove (as a child) of reading action/adventures. I always wanted to be the boyin the story; to have adventures and eventually win through.

“On his sixteenth birthdayDaniel Henstock’s parents are murdered and he discovers that his life, so far,has been a lie. He’s been genetically engineered and those responsible want himback. To survive Daniel must run. And run hard. But it was never going to beeasy or simple.

When his liberator iscaptured Daniel returns and puts his life on the line to re-pay the debt.”

Tiberius Found started life as a short story, for a genetics-themedcompetition, and grew from the initial idea of what a teenager would do iffaced with an awful truth: his life has been a lie; that he’d been created asan experiment and the group of shadowy, government, scientists responsiblewanted to finish the job. Overnight he’s forced to leave everything he knowsbehind and flee the country. What would he do? How would he react?

As a youngster I lovedreading The Three Detective mystery novels, and wanted to write an adventurestory that incorporated elements of science, mystery and action. Daniel was agreat character to write and very soon took on a life of his own, and when theaction stepped up a gear it was Daniel who showed me what was going to happennext.

What are your favorite books?
How long do you have?

The Alex Rider novelsof Anthony Horowitz; Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series; BernardCornwell’s Warlord Trilogy (his re-working of the Arthurian legend); andanything by Henning Mankell (the author of the Wallander stories).
Pretty diverse, huh?
Basically what I most like ischaracter. An author can have the most cunningly-crafted story in theworld but if the main character is two-dimensional then what’s the point inreading?

Who is your inspiration?
Anthony Horowitz and MichaelCrichton – both because of their range of scope.
Horowitz is probably bestknown for his Alex Rider novels but he’s also written extensively for TV,across many genres. He’s a great story-teller and really knows how to hook a reader.
Crichton, because the man wasa genius. He never let him self get pigeon-holed and wrote technological sci-fistories as well as period fantasy. He wrote what he wanted and was so skilledthat he pulled it off.

Are you working on anybooks we should look out for in the future?
There’s going to be a sequelto Tiberius Found (as yet untitled) which will reveal more aboutDaniel’s past and the nature of his ‘evolution’. Also – without giving too muchaway – there’s at least one character that’s going to be seeking revenge, andsome of the other character’s motives will be explored in more depth.

And as well as the next Tiberiusstory, I’m in the process of finishing of an historical YA supernaturaladventure titled Oliver Drummond and the Four Horsemen, set in 1926.Oliver Drummond is a fourteen year old schoolboy who finds him self embroiledin having to prevent the horseshoes from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypsefalling into the wrong hands – murder, betrayal, ghosts and a girl get in hisway. Oh, and then there’s the Four Horsemen themselves, of course.
Similar to the Tiberiusstories, there will be continuing Oliver Drummond adventures, with thenext one already in out line.

What is your favouritequote?
It’s from John Wayne(allegedly) – “Life is hard. It’s harder if you’re stupid.”

If you could be anycharacter from any book who would you be and why?
I think I’d like to be one ofthe Wizards in the Unseen University from TerryPratchett’s The Colour of Magic. It’s very similar to old-school Englishuniversity mentality that the Professor’s needed be in touch with the ‘realworld’ and were almost oblivious to anything outside the walls of theiruniversity.

What is your favouritegenre?
I love Young Adult, thoughI’m not a big fan of the Vampire supernatural stuff. But I’m also a huge fan offantasy and historical fiction. Basically, I’m a bit of a Magpie.

Who are your favouriteauthors?
Horowitz, Cornwell, Crichton,Pratchett, Mankell and Derek Landy (author of the Skullduggery Pleasantnovels). Great writers, great story-tellers.

What tips would you giveyoung aspiring writers?
Read, extensively – and notonly in their chosen genre; study structure and how good writers craft theirstories; identify how characters are defined; practice ‘show’ rather than‘tell’. Realise that writing is a skill – like any other art form – that can bedeveloped through experience and knowledge.
Give yourself permission towrite a bad first-draft – but never let that first-draft be finished copy.
Above all – keep writing anddon’t let rejection or the knock-backs stop you.

If you could live in anystory world what would it be?
It would have to the Discworld.Everyone there seems mad or just at ease with the madness around them.
If you wanted adventure thenyou’d just have to go outside your door, and if you didn’t then all you’d haveto do is sit in your favourite chair and choose which biscuits you wanted withyour tea.

What is the worst bookyou've ever read?
Stieg Larsson’s The Girlwith the Dragon Tattoo. I couldn’t get past about five pages. I know thatit’s done huge business and been feted worldwide but I found the opening soheavy, so dull that it killed my interest.

What do you do aside fromwriting?
I’ve participated in LiveAction Role-Playing (LARP) here in the UK since I was twenty; so quite awhile. After several years of playing I decided that I’d like to write and runevents, which was just an extension of story writing – I’d create a storylineand weave it into the existing framework of the ‘world’ that others had alreadybuilt.

More recently I’ve run my ownrestaurant – after close to twenty years of being a chef, I thought it wasabout time – and I now teach. I’ve run writing workshops and in 2009 started‘Meridian Writing’ (– a UK-based short story competition website – and act as its main judge andcritique writer.

The FINAL book of my Bonanza is The Caregiver by Astrid Cruz, here is an interview with the author to tell you a bit more.

The Caregiver (The Caregiver, #1)Tell me about yourself

Even though I was born, raised, and still live in the tropical island of Puerto Rico, I'm not tanned and dislike piña coladas. I'm happily married to a professional photographer who, like me, can't dance salsa even if our lives depended on it. I've been writing since very early in my life, it's the only hobby I've held on to since collecting stamps only lasted a month or so and piano, flute, and painting classes turned boring after a couple of sessions. I'll read almost anything but horror (whatever it is that pursuits me down dark corridors, stop it!) but my preference in writing is thrillers with strong female characters, psychological twists, and lots of blood. Also, I write in both English and Spanish.
Tell me about your book/s
The Caregiver is the first in a series. In it we follow undercover Interpol agent Scarlett Lang during a mission where she's assigned as a caregiver for London's biggest drug lord, Armand Sayer. But she's no ordinary agent. She comes from a family with strong ties to the drug trafficking world and, since the age of 12, was trained by her grandfather (the famous hitman, Adrian Lang) to become a hitwoman herself. She has one foot on either side and must decide which road she'll take.

What are your favorite books?
'Perfume' by Patrick Suskind, 'O Matador' and 'In Praise of Lies' by Patricia Melo and 'Anna Karenina' by Tolstoy are up there in the top, holding on against the cold gusts of wind. 'The Harry Potter' saga follow closely behind along with Gary Shteyngard's 'Super Sad True Love Story', Ernesto Sábato's 'The Tunel', Ken Bruen's 'London Boulevard' and the book that got me into reading when I was a kid: 'The Story of a Seagull and the Cat who Taught Her to Fly' by Luis Sepúlveda.

Who is your inspiration?
If I had to pick one person that truly inspires me that would be my grandmother Helen. She passed away last year and even to her last breath, she thought she could take down any man in a fight. Once, when my mother was still a child, she set out to kill a man that had pulled on my mother's long blonde locks with only a pair of scissors. He was lucky she never got to him.
Are you working on any books we should look out for in the future?
Right now Book 2 of The Caregiver Series is on the works and will be out before the end of the year. Book 3 should be out before next summer. Also, there are a couple more outside the series awaiting thorough rewrites that I hope will see the light of day soon enough.
What is your favourite quote?
"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues." -Abraham Lincoln
If you could be any character from any book who would you be and why?
That would be Lisbeth Salander, from Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy, because she's the perfect combo of a badass, yet flawed character.
What is your favourite genre?
I don't think I have a favourite genre per se, but I love thrillers of any kind, grit, and romance. I'll even give erotica a chance if it's got a good story. In the end, it doesn't matter the genre if it is an intriguing, well-written story.

 Who are your favourite authors?
It's hard to choose, although I believe Patricia Melo would be the first one in the list. Her characters, male or female, don't always follow the conventional routes for getting around.
What tips would you give young aspiring writers?
Write until your fingers bleed, read until you're seeing double. Really, the only way to better yourself is to do it over and over again. Also, don't be afraid to put your stuff out there. At first it may seem like nobody cares but, with time, you'd be surprised at the responses you'll get.

If you could live in any story world what would it be?
That's a tough one. Actually, what I do know is in what world I wouldn't live in, and that's Hogwarts. They may have magic, but no computers, smartphones, or Internet? No thanks.

What is the worst book you've ever read?
I don't think any of the books I've read have made it into that bin yet. Even if the book is really bad, there's always something to take from it (either a do or a don't).

What do you do aside from writing
When I'm not writing I'm either working on finishing my Masters in Communication Theory and Research, keeping up with the day job, helping the hubby with his photography, watching British gangster movies, or playing around with our 2 year old Scottish Terrier.

So listen up, here's how you enter. I'm bored of rafflecopter so to win leave me a comment about your perfect birthday as wacky as you like and the one  I find most entertaining will win simple as that. Also don't forget to tell me which of the two books you want. I will pick two winners, one for each book so get writing! It doesn't have to be long at all. Ends July 30th.

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

Giveaway Of Paraglide By Peter Anthony Kelley

Saturday, 21 July 2012

So tomorrow is my birthday and I still have a few more giveaways to fit in. If you were wondering why I haven't uploaded any reviews recently it's because I haven't read very much. I'm in a bit of a slump but don't worry because when I get back into it I have plenty to read! Up for grabs today is a YA adventure ebook by Peter Anthony Kelley.

For siblings Jim and Erica Winters, a summer vacation to London promises adventure and a bit of freedom from their overprotective mother. But once they arrive, they end up with more excitement than they bargained for. Their mother is kidnapped and her captors demand the one thing they can’t produce – their long-absent father.

Unable to trust the authorities, Jim and Erica set off in pursuit of their father, racing across Europe and fending off mysterious assailants. As the trail of clues dries up, help arrives in the form of a raven-haired beauty. Is she the answer to their prayers or a romantic distraction? With the kidnapper’s deadline looming, the truth about their father’s shadowy past is revealed. In a last ditch effort to save their mother, Jim and Erica must climb high into the Swiss Alps where a perilous choice confronts them. Can they trust their father who has repeatedly betrayed them?

And here is an interview with the author of Paraglide:

Tell me about yourself
Hmm, this sounds like a dating show. I'm 2 metres tall with golden blonde hair and love long walks on the beach... Well, I'm not actually that tall and my hair is decidedly not blonde. I do like beaches though.
Tell me about your book/s
My debut novel is called Paraglide. It's a young adult action adventure story about siblings Jim and Erica Winters who summer vacation to London provides more excitement than they bargained for. Their mother is kidnapped and her captors demand the one thing they can’t produce – their long-absent father.

Unable to trust the authorities, Jim and Erica set off in pursuit of their father, racing across Europe and fending off mysterious assailants. With the kidnapper’s deadline looming, the truth about their father’s shadowy past is revealed. In a desperate effort to save their mother, Jim and Erica must climb high into the Swiss Alps where a perilous choice confronts them. Can they trust their father who has repeatedly betrayed themTheir family's survival may depend on it.

What are your favourite books?
How much time do we have? I've loved reading since I first cracked the cover of Green Eggs and Ham (it's still a favourite!) In grade school I devoured everything sci fi and lived for Lord of the Rings. More recent picks would be The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, River of Doubt and anything by Irish novelist Tana French.
Who is your inspiration?
My novels were created for my daughters. Their demands that I write faster keep me going and fend off any possibility of writer's block.

Are you working on any books we should look out for in the future?
I'm wrapping up work on the sequel to Paraglide, tentatively titled Wave Runners. It's the continuing adventures of Jim and Erica Winters, this time set in the Caribbean. Look for it sometime later in 2012
What is your favourite quote?
My memory has never been good enough to remember who said what. I’m always amazed at people who can quote something off the top of their head. Whenever I try, all that comes to mind is: “I do not like them in a box, I do not like them with a fox…”

If you could be any character from any book who would you be and why?
Has to be Gandalf the Gray from Lord of the Rings because he knows all the answers and could explain all the mysteries of Middle Earth.
What is your favourite genre?
I love young adult, of course. There are so many fantastic writers working in this genre today. I'm also a big fan of character driven thrillers and mysteries.
Who are your favourite authors?
Tana French, Kate Atkinson, Ian McEwan, Stieg Larsson, Susan Collins, J.K. Rowling…
What tips would you give young aspiring writers?
Read. Then read some more. I think the best advice on the subject comes from On Writing by Stephen King. “If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

If you could live in any story world what would it be?
That’s a tough question. Most of my favorite stories contain quite a bit of conflict. I love to read about them, but I don’t think I’d really enjoy living there. It would be cool to explore Hogwarts Castle, but I’d probably run away shrieking at the first sight of Nearly Headless Nick.

What is the worst book you've ever read?
Probably my own first attempt at a novel. Or maybe the second or third. Dreadful! I never seemed to get past that opening paragraph.
What do you do aside from writing?
Reading, cooking, riding my bike. I also love to travel and explore new places, either around the world or in my own backyard. Many of my story ideas are inspired by the destinations I’ve visited.

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