Behind the Bloggers

Behind the Blogger – Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek

Tell me about the person behind the blog?

OK but you need to keep this a secret as no-one else knows!………I’m Batman!

I’m Drew and I was born many moons ago way back in December of 1981.

I’m an only child, introvert, rather stay in than go out, animal lover, likes music, wrestling, gaming, films, reading, works at Tesco and I’m single, hello ladies.😉

I’m nothing special, I’m just an all-around average and decent guy who has a blog.

When did you start blogging and why?

I started blogging on the March 5th, 2016. That makes it nigh on 2 years since I ventured into the world of book blogging, damn!

Why did I start blogging?! Hhmmm, that’s actually quite a tough one to answer. Obviously, I love reading and as most of you will know being a blogger and helping to spread and share the book love is an extension of that love of reading but that reason isn’t solely why I started blogging.

At the start of 2016 while I knew what a blog was I can honestly say that I had never thought of actually having a blog myself. I’d written a couple of reviews for Goodreads after I’d been lucky enough to win a couple of giveaways but a blog, no, I’d have said it wasn’t something for me and I would probably have laughed at the idea.

I didn’t (still don’t in the real world) know many people who read and when you have something that you enjoy and have no-one to talk about it with you are missing out on something. You go into work and you can chat about sports, film, TV shows and then when you try and mention books and no-one reads you are a greeted with a barren wall of silence, the tumbleweeds start rolling and I began to feel like I’d like somewhere to be able to express my views on what I read.

It was just a thought that I had started having and I’m not sure I’d have followed through on it. Or, at least I’d have given it more consideration, thought and planning before jumping into the deep end like I did with no prior knowledge or guidance.

So, what changed? Well, on February 19th, 2016 I had to have my dog (RIP my friend) put down. I wasn’t in a happy place and in the days afterwards I found myself looking for ways to take my mind off things. Work, sucked, life, sucked, gaming, gaming is awesome but it takes me months to finish a game (even longer now I blog), reading, escapism and one day I thought sod it (yeah, it was the four-letter f-word before it but as I’m on a big and professional blog I’m being a gentleman and keeping it clean) and I created a blog.

It wasn’t the blog that I have now, no, it was a blog on blogger and I deleted it after a few hours thinking what a stupid idea it had been to create a blog.

A few more days went by and there was a nagging little voice telling me that it wasn’t a bad idea and that I should give it another go and see what happens as after all, what was the worst that could happen? I fail as a blogger and quit? No-one would care and the world would keep on turning.

I put more (a little) thought into it, I chose WordPress as my blog platform, it seemed easier than blogger (whether or not it is, I don’t know) as I’m not very tech savvy. I’m not caveman level but I’m definitely not up on all the intricacies and nuances that go into websites and I chose a name too, The Tattooed Book Geek (I have tattoos, I read books and reading itself is classed by people as being geeky ergo, The Tattooed Book Geek) and that was that.

On March 5th, 2016 I pressed publish on my first blog post, The Tattooed Book Geek was born and I had jumped back into the world of blogging still not having a clue what I was doing!

So, after the long-winded ramble, I started blogging due to a circumstance beyond my control, for something to do and because I love reading. The rest, as they say, is history and for those wondering, I’m still not entirely sure that I have a clue what I’m doing but I somehow manage to wing it and muddle by. 😂

What are your proudest moments or achievements to date as a blogger?

Achieving the status of a Blogging God!😂 I jest!

Being able to review the final book in my all-time favourite fantasy series (Wrath, The Faithful and the Fallen by John Gwynne) was a proud moment for me. The previous three books had all been released before I started my blog and actually having an opportunity to put my thoughts into a review and share it with the world was a great feeling.

I’ve had four of my favourite authors on my blog (John Gwynne, Marc Turner, Ed McDonald and Nicholas Eames) which I take as a win for my little blog.

I was one of the first to review Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames way back in January last year before its release in February. I absolutely loved the book and being one of the first to review it and share my thoughts was a great experience especially when come the year’s end the book had made most fantasy websites and blogs from the big to the small top books of the year posts. Obviously, I had nothing to do with the success and I’m not trying to imply that I did but seeing a book that I had said was going to be one of the top fantasy books of the year actually become one of the top fantasy books of the year was pretty cool and I have to admit that when I read those top book lists to occasionally nodding knowingly to myself and thinking ‘yeah, I told you all how good it was before it became a hit’.

My blog is only small, it’s a hobby and while there are blogs out there who achieve massive popularity and greatness I’m happy just being me so I was shocked when in January my blog achieved 100,000 page views in under two years. Now, that’s not many to some but to lots and lots of bloggers it is an amazingly high figure (that’s not me bigging myself up it’s what I’ve been told by others) and it’s not something I ever expected to achieve. I mean c’mon, people read what I write, that legitimately still shocks me!😱😂

I’ve also had my book reviews quoted a fair few times on the Amazon page for the book I’ve reviewed which is pretty cool to me seeing my blog name and review used. I have also been lucky enough to be quoted in a book! Only one (so far, fingers crossed for more) and this shocked me no end! But it happened! Blood of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom Book 2) by R. J Barker and lo and behold there is a review quote from The Tattooed Book Geek!

Admittedly, they are all only small achievements but to me, they are my proudest blogging moments.

If you had to breakdown the components of your ideal perfect book what would they be?

The pacing would fit the story being told. I’m not bothered if the book is slow-paced or fast paced but it needs to be the right pacing to match the story that the author is telling.

The story needs to be interesting with twists, turns, action, suspense, emotion and surprises.

World building, as a fantasy fan the world in which the story is set and its history needs to be well developed. I want to be able to immerse myself in the created world.

My ideal book would also include a hook. This could be something big, something huge to the story or main character that occurs or it could be something small and something that is irrelevant to the overall story and characters. The hook is often different for each reader. It can be a very individual thing and it is that moment when a book transcends from being just ‘a book’ that you are reading to something is special and has captivated your interest. It’s the moment that you are actually ‘hooked’ by what you are reading.

Characters are probably the biggest component of my ideal book. You can have all the other aspects and yet, if you don’t care about the characters that you are reading about then none of the other aspects really matter. I like my characters to be individual with their own personalities, traits and to show growth during the book. Whether you love them, hate them, root for them or hope that they get what they deserve, the main characters, for me, need to elicit emotion from the reader. When I’m reading I want to care about them and their fate.

What is your favourite genre to read?

Fantasy!

In fantasy, you are transported to different worlds filled with a myriad assortment of different races, creatures, monsters and magic. You also get to discover brand new locations, religions, history and lore. In fantasy, you never know who or what you are likely to encounter and from the good to the bad, to the shades of grey anti-hero you get to live vicariously through the characters.

Fantasy is an adventure, a quest to save the world, a blood-drenched revenge saga waiting to happen. It’s anything that the author dreams up and it could take and lead you both any and everywhere. It’s pure escapism.

What 3 books would you recommend and why?

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton.

One of the best books I’ve ever read. So complex, so well written, multi-layered, a work of art that is woven like a tapestry and even with that complexity there are no plot holes left by the author. It’s a phenomenal book.

The Stand by Stephen King.

1,000 pages and you are engrossed from the beginning to the end. So many characters that you care about and such a great story. It’s compelling, a classic and a masterpiece by King.

Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen Book 1) by John Gwynne.

The first book in my all-time favourite fantasy series. Malice includes everything that is good in modern fantasy. Simply put, if you are a fantasy fan then Gwynne is an author that you need to read.

Finally, tell me more about your blog and why we should subscribe?

Because I’m not a stereotypical blogger, I’m unique, my blog is definitely not boring and as I mentioned earlier, I am a blogging god!😂

I’m the blogging embodiment of cool. Anyone who says and thinks that book blogging is sad and geeky and that bloggers themselves are boring then please come and check out my blog. You will see how wrong you are and if you sadly still think that way (some people, unfortunately, are misguided in their opinion of blogs and bloggers) then we can debate it in a gentlemanly fashion or a duel, either way, is fine with me as to why your view is incorrect.

I’m a male book blogger. Now granted, there are a few of us around but compared to the female book blogger population we are definitely the minority. As such, we need to be loved, nurtured and cherished by all otherwise like the dodo we might become extinct!

I think it’s safe to say by now that you have perhaps gathered that I have the occasional tendency to at times not be serious and to be sarcastic. It’s far more prominent on my own blog (at least in certain posts) but as I’m appearing on a large and professional blog I’m attempting to be the epitome of a perfect gentleman (I haven’t used foul language, trust me, that’s a win).

I’m just me, sarcastic, foul-mouthed, informal, likes to have a laugh and a joke and tries my best. My blog is definitely an extension of that and my own personality. The Tattooed Book Geek is me but in the form of a blog no facades, no airs or graces and I don’t try to be something or someone that I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong, I run the blog to the best of my ability and I’m always professional when dealing with authors or taking part in tours but I like to put my own personality into my own posts too. I’m just a genuine book lover who runs a genuine little book blog.

I post book reviews, memes, music monday (rock and metal for the win), some sweet original content (when I have ideas), always weird but guaranteed to make you smile fun and inappropriate book cover posts, the occasional meaningful poetry (yes, I’m multi-talented, with one hand I rock the sarcasm and with the other I bleed emotion through the written word), I take part in blog tours and I have indie authors on my blog for excerpts, guest posts and interviews.

Part of the question is ‘why we should subscribe’ and yeah, some people can sell ice to Eskimos and some bloggers will be able to sell their blogs. They will give you all a list of valid reasons why you should subscribe to their blogs and subsequently, their stats and followers will skyrocket but that’s not me.

There are far better bloggers and blogs out there than me and my blog that are all way more deserving of your time. But, if you are looking for something a little bit different and a blogger and blog that doesn’t conform to the blogging stereotype then my blog is the place for you! Other than that, I have no reason why you should subscribe to my blog and really, it’s not up to me anyway, it’s your choice.

All I will say is, why not check out my blog and if you like what you see then please, say hi and stick around.😀

To read more from Drew and check out his blog – click here

To follow Drew on Twitter – click here

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