This is, I think, my favorite part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week: The book blogger interview swap! This year I’m pleased to interview Rachel Star from Under a Star Studded Sky (@UnderAStarSS). She’s a teenager from England, and she blogs mostly about young adult (YA) books.
Word Lily: Under a Star Studded Sky is actually your second blog. Tell us about your first blog and why you decided to ditch it and start afresh.
Rachel Star: Well, I discovered book blogging in June ’09 and I started my own blog pretty much straight away. I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I didn’t do it very well! I then moved house in October ’09 and I lost my internet, and then I was very distracted by other events that were happening in my life at the time, and I felt that it wasn’t fair to just leave it, so I closed it down. Then, in January ’10, I started Under A Star Studded Sky, with a three month break between March and June, where I focused on my GCSE exams, and I feel as though I know so much more about what I’m doing now, although of course, I’m not claiming to be an expert!
Word Lily: What’s the origin / meaning of your blog name, Under a Star Studded Sky?
Rachel Star: I love the sky. I think it’s beautiful, especially at night, when the stars are out, and I find it fascinating; astrophysics/cosmology is something that I find incredibly interesting. And right now, I’m sitting at the window, Under A Star Studded Sky.
Word Lily: I love that! You just moved and were away from the internet for a couple weeks. What did you miss most?
Rachel Star: OK, this is going to sound awful, and teenagerish, but Facebook and Msn. I wasn’t at college, and I didn’t have a phone signal and I couldn’t chat to people, or arrange to meet up with them, which made me feel very isolated, to be honest. It’s kind of scary how much I depend on it, and it’s made me much more grateful for it!
Word Lily: What do you do when you’re not reading/blogging?
Rachel Star: Books are a pretty big part of my life, but the other stuff that helps keep me busy includes climbing, studying, volunteering and acting, as well as the occasional bit of cooking and looking after my newly acquired bonsai tree (I’ve named it Beryl. It was house-warming gift).
Word Lily: Why did you start blogging? What keeps you blogging?
Rachel Star: Well, I happened to chance across a book blog, and I thought, this person is like me; they read. A lot. And then I found loads, this massive linked up community of people all reading, and it just seemed the sort of thing that I’d love to be part of. And I was right; I love it.
Word Lily: That’s awesome. Tell us about a bookish pet peeve.
Rachel Star: SEQUELS THAT AREN’T CLEARLY MARKED AS SUCH. Gosh, that really, really annoys me.
Word Lily: Oh, ugh. Me too. Turning your hardest question back to you: What’s the first book you can remember reading, or having read to you?
Rachel Star: Agreed, that’s a pretty hard question! I guess the first book I can remember being able to read on my own would be a book called The Giant Jam Sandwich. It might not have been the first, but it’s the one I remember the most. It was awesome, about this town that was plagued by wasps, so created an enormous jam sandwich to trap them.
Word Lily: Describe your perfect/ideal book (genre, length, characters, setting, etc.).
Rachel Star: About 500 pages, completely gripping plot, not too many characters and beautiful writing style, would be the ingredients for my ideal book, I think. But so often I am surprised and pleased by books that I read for review purposes, ones that are perhaps different to what I might normally read, that I don’t really have any definitive “recipe” for an amazing book.
Word Lily: Thanks so much, Rachel, for being my BBAW interview swap partner! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you a little.