Sunday 19 February 2012

Sunday Special: Interview with Jesse of Books 4 Teens

I've been thinking for months that I'd like to interview another blogger but have always been too nervous to ask anyone. I eventually plucked up the courage to approach Jesse of the wonderful Books 4 Teens and he accepted straight away - not sure why I was so worried!

Thanks to Jesse for such a fantastic interview, and if you have a book blog and would like to be considered for a place in this feature, please let me know either by e-mail to or by a tweet/DM to @yayeahyeah.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself - what do you do aside from reading
and blogging?

Most of my spare time is taken up by reading and blogging but in the remaining minutes (okay, maybe not minutes) I love musical theatre so whenever a musical I want to see roles into Bristol, the Bristol Hippodrome is where I’ll be! I’m also learning to play the piano (easy play music here I come) and I am just about to start the Open University openings module, Starting With Law (it looks fun :D)

I'm a fellow fan of musicals, although my attempts at the piano would NOT convince you of this - last time I played anything the general consensus was that I lost! I've done a module with the OU before and it was really interesting - good luck with yours!

2. Your blog Books 4 Teens recently hit its 2nd anniversary -
congratulations! Has there ever been a time when you felt like giving
up, or has it been plain sailing?

Thanks (it’s my longest running blog ever! :D) I’ve had a blog of some kind ever since I discovered WordPress about five years ago. I’ve blogged about TV, magic, celebrity fashion (don’t laugh) amongst other things and I stopped because I lost interest.

Books 4 Teens though is different, I found the community on Twitter quite early on when I started blogging and everyone’s so friendly and help is always on hand when you need it. So back to your question (rambling is a bad habit of mine) Books 4 Teens has been much more plain sailing and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

Definitely agree with you on the fabulous Twitter community!

3. Is there anything you wish you'd known about blogging 2 years ago
when you first started?

Ooh! Good question. * thinks * If you want to try something out like a new feature and you want authors or anyone else to get involved don’t be scared to ask.

I’ve only put this into practice this last month and it’s resulted in something that I’m really excited about :D

4. I'm hoping that some of my readers will shoot over to Books 4 Teens
to check it out (preferably AFTER finishing reading this interview,
though!) Is there a post you're particularly proud of that you'd like
to direct them towards?

Oh, yes - wait till after reading this post (and then more of your fab blog ;) )

I don’t really have many discussion posts or posts that I could really say you must read this or that, but the post I’d say would be most useful (to bloggers anyway) is the post that explains how to backup a blog. It’s one of my most popular posts but I hope it was (and is) useful, the last thing any blogger wants is for their blog to go bye bye overnight with no way of retrieving it.

I remember reading that when you first posted it! Definitely one that bloggers should check out.

5. Is there any book you've reviewed in the last 2 years which you
really enjoyed, but which hasn't had the level of success amongst
readers you'd have expected?

I had to do a little search but I think Ready Player One by Ernest Cline fits the bill nicely, it was a really fascinating story set in a world which was so dire it was better to actually live in a simulated video game. (The book description sums it up way better than I could).

I only spotted it on a few blogs apart from mine when it was published and I haven’t heard much about it since.

I've seen it but never read it, will keep an eye out for it after that recommendation!

6. What's your favourite genre to read?

That’s a tough question to answer, I only read YA but I read very widely within it – I enjoy everything from paranormal romance to dystopia to contemporary and virtually anything in between so I can’t really pick one particular favourite :)

7. If you could interview any author (living or dead) for Books 4
Teens, who would you choose?

For me it would have to be C. S. Lewis – it was the Chronicles of Narnia or more specifically, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe which got me interested in reading when I was younger. I remember my primary school putting on a play of the book and our head teacher at the time sitting us in the canteen while he read us bits of the book in the lead up to the performance. I can actually even remember the performance – I think it must have been the biggest one my primary school did while I was there.

I was given the book the following Christmas – and still have it today (even though it’s seen better days!).

8. Do you have a favourite place to read books?

Not a favourite place as such but anywhere where it’s quiet – I read a lot in work (not during office hours of course lol) as there is absolutely no distractions between 7:30am and 8:30am and I read a lot in bed.

9. What's your favourite thing about blogging?

Meeting via Twitter all the other bloggers and publicists and getting to find out what books everyone is getting excited about. Not forgetting the times when you tell someone you haven’t read something yet and they convince you that you must! And it’s fab :D

10. Do you think you'll still be blogging 2 years down the line?

I hope so, I love my little blog, I love writing the posts and posting comments and I love all the interaction it brings!

Agreed, I love the interaction with other bloggers. (Like this interview!)

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Jesse!

Thanks for having me!


  1. I really enjoyed reading this interview. Thank you! Books 4 Teens is a brilliant blog and it's great to hear more about Jesse. (Good luck with the OU course, Jesse!)

  2. Thanks Luisa :) I had fun answering them - they were good questions too :D

  3. Thanks Luisa! It was great to interview another blogger - and glad you liked the questions, Jesse.

    Next one should hopefully be next weekend with a yet-to-be-announced blogger whose site I really enjoy reading!

  4. What a lovely idea and interview. It's great to hear more from other readers/bloggers. And I agree with Jesse, the Twitter community is great.