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Sunday, 20 June 2010

Book Blogging Around The World (20) : Essex, England

Name : Carolyn
City / Country : Essex, England, UK

Welcome Carolyn!

Tell us a little bit about you.
Well, I'm a Brit chick and I live in Essex with my hubby. I'm totally obsessed with books; I love reading them, buying them and collecting them. Book Chick City is my outlet for my unhealthy book addiction.
I also love to go to the gym, cycle, run, play golf, hike, (especially in the gorgeous Lake District) and generally having a good time with my friends and hubby. As well as reading I also love watching movies, mainly horror and big blockbuster disaster flicks but I'm also a sucker for a good rom-com as well.

Tell us a little bit about your blog.
Book Chick City is mainly a review blog focusing on ‘Speculative Fiction’ (horror, urban fantasy etc), ‘Mystery’, and now ‘Romance’, a new addition to the blog. I didn’t read ‘Romance’ AT ALL, but now I can’t stop! LOL. You can read about my discovery of the ‘Romance’ genre in a post I wrote: Genre Misconceptions: Have you ever been wrong? I also have author interviews and guest posts from time to time, as well as regular features such as 'Where Stories Are Made', 'Cover Crush', 'On My Wishlist', 'The Blogger's Bookshelf' and 'Books We Love' among others.

Have you ever lived anywhere else in the world?
Nope. I was born and raised in Essex. Although there have been times when a move to the US has been on the cards, but it's never come to anything... yet.

What countries have you visited?
I've visited quite a few places over the years: France (Paris, Chamonix), USA (New York, Florida, Las Vegas, San Francisco), Thailand, Kauai (Hawaiian Islands), Austria, Belgium, Sicily, Italy (Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, Molveno), Bermuda, St Lucia (Caribbean) and Wales.

What countries would you like to visit?
Oh wow. There are so many places I want to visit. I *love* America, it's one of my favourite places, everyone is just so nice, so I would love to visit a few more states there. I'd also love to visit China for the culture and the Great Wall, as well as the glorious mountains and amazing views. The Maldives for the gorgeous beaches, crystal clear waters and warm, sunny days - you don't get many of those in England *sigh*

At a local book signing event with horror writer Conrad Williams

According to you, what are the positive and negative aspects of being a book blogger in England?
I don't really see any negatives or positives being an English book blogger. I just love what I do. Being on the internet means I can chat to anyone at anytime, so I don't really feel there's a divide between bloggers and that's what makes it so amazing and diverse.
With regards to books, I have a few contacts in the states so getting certain books isn't really a problem. And to be honest if I see a book I really want I'm happy to wait for it to be released in the UK and if it's not released here then I just head on over to the Book Depository ;)

What English authors and books would you recommend?
There are many English authors that I love: For classics it's obviously the Bronte sisters - Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are two of my favourite books. Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte is fantastic as well, just not as well known. Also Jane Austen, along with Charles Dickens *loved* Great Expectations. Another book that is one of my favourite books of all time is Dracula by Bram Stoker, so he has to be on the list.

Horror writers:  James Herbert and Brian Lumley, Paul Magrs who writes the fantastic Brenda & Effie paranormal mystery series, chick-lit author Sophie Kinsella for her Shopaholic series. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, which is a really creepy ghost story and it's just so good, she's a fantastic writer. Malorie Blackman for the amazing Noughts & Crosses series (If you haven't read this series then do, it's a *must* read) and of course the adorable Agatha Christie. I could go on and on...

 How many languages do you speak?
Sadly I only speak English, but I did study German for a year while I was training to be a classical singer, as I sang in German a lot. Then I moved and didn't find another tutor. I would love to take it up again as I really enjoyed it. Probably forgotten it all now though LOL

Where do you usually buy your books?
Usually via Amazon UK and Waterstones, but to be honest I will buy from anywhere I can get my hands on books! I love buying new books, but I also buy second hand and I have a great little charity shop in my village, it's mainly older books but I can still pick up some real bargains.

Is getting your hands on foreign books tricky or easy (not mentioning online stores)?
If I have a definite title in mind then yes, it can be difficult. But if I'm just browsing then I do find a few Urban Fantasy, PNR and Sci-Fi titles in our bookstores, but I do have to look hard.

Every country has its clichés. What cliché about England do you consider disproportionate?
Well, I will mention the clichés from my part of England, which is Essex. Essex girls have had a bad rap since the eighties and have been called many, not so nice, things. But I would like to put the record straight and say that not all Essex girls wear white stilettos, dance around their handbag, wear fake tan or have peroxide blonde hair... although I am blonde.. ahem ;)

running for a local charity in a 10k race

I read that St Peters’ Chapel in Essex is the oldest church in all England (built in 654) : do you feel close to your country’s history ?
Absolutely. I love the fact that England, and the UK as a whole, is rich in history. In fact a town called Colchester in north Essex is one of the oldest towns ever recorded, which is pretty cool. Wherever you go in the UK you will find historical buildings and ancient artifacts. I'm very proud of our culture and history. And I love our Royal Family!

Quick Q&A :
Favorite thing about England : Countryside
Least favorite thing about England : Cold
Favorite typically English food : Roast
Favorite place in Essex : Dedham
Favorite bookshop: Waterstones
Favorite English author: Bronte's (can't choose one!)
Favorite English singer/band: Emma Kirkby
Favorite book to read while travelling: Cosy Mystery
Plane or train: Train
Boat or bus: : Bus
Bike or feet: Feet
I heart scones.
I’d rather eat chocolate than makeout with Colin Firth.

Thank you Carolyn! It was a pleasure having you up on the hill!
Next week we'll be traveling to Malaysia!
If you'd like to be featured, this post is for you.


  1. Cool interview! I've got ancestors from Essex on both sides of my family (going way back), so it's one of those places I'd love to visit some day.

  2. Seriously?! I love Colin Firth.
    Great interview.

  3. me too!i love colin firth!!

  4. This was so much fun to read! I loved getting to know more about Carolyn and about Essex!

  5. La Coccinelle - That's cool! Essex isn't a bad place to visit but North Essex is much nicer. Hope you get to visit one day :)

    Becky - Yes, seriously - he's just not my cup of tea. Love his acting though, but making out? Nah, give me chocolate!

    Darlyn - I enjoy his films but not his looks ;)

    Amused - Thanks, I'm glad you liked the interview, it was really fun to do :)

  6. Lol, how come Sicily and Italy are listed as two different countries?

    I'm totally with you with the Colin Firth thing - I'd rather eat chocolate than make out with him, too. Meet him, yeah - just not exchange body fluids!

  7. Alessandra - I suppose I see them that way as to me they were quite different and Sicily is it's own little Island - also, it was just a list I drew up of places I've been, wasn't meant to be a geography lesson LOL

    Glad I have *someone* who agrees with me regarding Colin Firth :D


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