Q&A at StetotheJ

Despite being elusive around here of late, I was very kindly nominated for an award by Irena over at Books and Hot Tea and whilst I’m not one for awards these days I thought it would be nice to mix up my usual posts with a little Q&A with some pleasingly eclectic questions.

If you could choose your theme song, which song would it be?Sunshine_poster

John Murphy’s Surface of the Sun is something I very much like, not exactly a song but it is a mighty fine tune with just the right amount of epic in it and if it gets more people to watch the underrated film Sunshine then that is all to the good.

People often ask about favourite characters, but I would like to know who are your favourite villains?

There are plenty of great villains, the list is almost too long, villains always seem to have more depth about their motives than the good guys ever do so I would have to pick The Phantom (from that opera), Kurtz from Heart of Darkness, Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Randall Flagg from The Stand amongst other Stephen King books is also a good choice but does Gollum count?  He was a victim of circumstance after all.

What would be your dream trip?

I would love to do a whistle-stop tour of bloggers in their home countries, it would take in a lot of the world and would involve lots of new foods and blog posts which is always a bonus as well.  My interests aren’t in the popular spots so much as meeting people in real settings and seeing a country without its clichéd tourist trappings is always more preferable to mine eyes.

If you could own a fictional/fairy tale/fantasy pet, what would it be? Why?

Kiki the parrot from Enid Blyton’s Adventure series would be awesome, she was really clever and could mimic loads of voices to scare away criminals.  Whilst neither of these next two are strictly pets, Shinto the donkey from the travel book Spanish Steps was a great pilgrimage companion and provided plenty of comedy relief as did The Luggage, a wooden chest with hundreds of little legs – once described as half suitcase, half homicidal maniac – that was bodyguard to Rincewind the wizard,  if that counts?

What was the first book you read on your own?

pear_plumI think that was each Peach Pear Plum, at least that’s the first one I remember reading by myself and I still love that book to this day, the fun is spying all the characters on each page.  There may have been a few others before that but none has stayed with me, I may have to review it at some point.

Do you read multiple books at the same time? Or do you prefer to read just one book at a time?

I once read seven books at the same time which was a mistake so I try to stick with one now unless I’m behind with my blog commitments.  I do find it easier to write focused reviews if I have a less crowded mind these days which is why I usually wander around with a glazed look on my face especially when working.

Why did you decide to start blogging?

I wanted to find like minded people to chat about books with and share my passion.  I never expected to find such a plethora of fascinating book and non book blogs but through each one, I have learnt things and bettered myself through all the inspiration which is awash around Bloggaria and is one of the many reasons I continue to carry on posting.

What is your favourite month? Why?

Probably December as I am filled with Christmas spirit and all the romance of that season manifests itself in my mind and makes me hum tunes on the way home.  It also allows me to surreptitiously glance into people’s houses like a Victorian urchin and see all the flashing lights and such traditional stuff. I find it a good month to write, not prolifically as it’s a busy time but it always brings out the sentimental side of my many sidedness.

What is the last film you’ve seen? Did you like it? Would you recommend it?

I was watched a classic, Labyrinth…so it goes without saying that I recommend it wholeheartedly, it’s great it’s got the titular huge labyrinth, a great soundtrack, lots of comical characters, a bit of a moral and a reference to Escher’s Relativity.  What’s not to like?

Name some of the (small) things that make you happy.

A tree in the breeze, a pint and a book in a quiet pub, getting the seed of an idea to write about, dinner with people I like, blasting out some music and just getting lost in, be it cheesy one hit wonders or layered classical music or anything in between.  At the moment I’m listening to summer hits from the mid 90’s, my taste in music is as eclectic as my books, watching a film I know and love,.

55 Replies to “Q&A at StetotheJ”

  1. I’ve always thought a trip around the world to visit my various blogging friends would be fun as well. A great way to see the world as well. Ok, now I’m off to listen to Surface of the Sun which doesn’t ring any bells right now but perhaps upon hearing it…

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    1. It would be great to have a cup of tea with each one of you and the blog posts would be well inspired after that and that is why I deserve the big lottery win or just some free cash from a sponsor…perhaps if I mention banks enough in each post they will pay me, lol…I am such a sell out.

      Sunshine is a good piece of sci fi, underrated or just not seen by most people and the music really makes it as it does in so many films.

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    1. Ah well, any excuse to show my book collection off and throw around many recommendations as I bounce around all excited as I’m told I do. A blog post involving pubs and of course having to sit down to take in the atmosphere…I think you’ve hit on something…I would have to get up early for that odyssey but I’m going to do it. Not for me…for you.

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      1. You have to be standing outside the pub waiting for it to open so the publican doesn’t know if you’re first customer of the day or just one who failed to get home the night before.

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    1. I love their contrast as well, which would do for a good character study perhaps. I enjoyed your questions, although now i think on it, my theme tune could be the opening credits from Deathwish 3 which I completely forgot about until an hour ago.

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  2. I love this:

    >I usually wander around with a glazed look on my face especially when working.

    Are there circumstances when the glazed look goes?

    If you’re ever in Tynedale, do drop a line. I live pretty close to Hadrian’s wall. Allendale Brewery’s Wolf is to be had.

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    1. That’s a fair point, perhaps when people talk about the pop culture or shoes I go to happy yet mythical lands of magic and weather that includes a cooling breeze now and again.

      I shall make a note of that, I do need to do some UK journeying and with history and beer and good company in close proximity it’s a no brainer.

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  3. As I held my hard cover copy of “Heart Of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad (published 1966) in my hands, I wondered why I had never read it a second time. (I read it in the 80’s) Is it because “Apocalypse” the movie, overruled it?
    Thanks for reminding me of this wonderful book!

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    1. Reading heart of Darkness was a strange thing, it’s a short book but it seemed to take me ages to read, Apocalypse Now is a shorter watch and visually impressive, I’m due a second reading of the book as well though, perhaps it will feel different this time.

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      1. I agree with you there! It is the smallest book I own (in the physical sense), even considering all the poetry books I own, which tend to be small in size.
        Yes, Apocalypse Now is a visual feast, and great performances by all.
        When we read, we have to imagine for ourselves. I think Heart of Darkness taxed the imagination, after all, it took us to a place many of us had never been.
        Also, it was written in a time when global travel, media & entertainment was of a smaller scale.
        ….. Right after the next book of poems i want to read, Heart of Darkness is on deck!
        I love that there are maps of Africa & “Belgian Congo” in the back of the book.

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        1. Maps are great, I love to pour over them in books and get really annoyed when they aren’t really detailed, I have been known to carry a big atlas to the pub with me just so I can reference parts of journeys. It is strange these days to not be able to find things out at the touch of a few buttons, how times have changed. It is a wonderful book, one that really tests the reader, I may have to give it a reread soon as well.

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          1. Sadly, I suppose libraries full of books will evolve away.
            Toronto has been adamant about maintaining our beloved libraries, but the future is unwritten!

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            1. Yes all it takes is one round of cost cutting and the apathy of the general public and they will disappear, already it seems like more and more libraries are devoting more space to computers and getting rid of their books. we shall continue the good fight though for as long as possible.

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  4. A wonderful post to get to know you more!
    That would be quite a trip. If I had cash to spare – I’d for sure do that too.
    Don’t forget another reason to like December – It’s RoSy’s bday! LOL
    Cool beat on the vid.

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    1. I forgot it was my birthday too in December! Imagine jetting all over the world, meeting all fellow seat dwellers which is always fun then blog friends, it would turn me into a social beast! Glad you liked the song, it’s one of those that only seems to be played in summer and makes me appreciate the sun, even if I don’t go out in it unless I really have to.

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  5. And who, pray tell, is Rincewind the wizard and what book does he/she appear in? You speak of this wizard so very casually and knowledgeably that it suggests I should know the name, but I’m afraid I’m clueless on this one….

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    1. I meant to add that he was a cowardly wizard in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, he has been part of my world since I was nineteen so you will have to excuse the slip.

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  6. A physical trip would give new meaning to the term “blog-hopping.” December is my favorite month, too, for similar reasons, but especially since it’s my birthday month. 😀

    I haven’t read Each Pear Plum. Will have to include it as part of my children’s book MUST reads. I’m at Highlights Summer Camp for this next week, immersing myself in children’s literature AND fabulous food and scenery. Will post about it after I return. Cheers!

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    1. Imagine giving feedback to a post in person, or reading it straight after publication and letting them experience how you read it! It seems everybody has a birthday in December, it should be even more festive this year.

      Sounds like you are going to have a great time, I look forward to hearing all about it, take photos!

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    1. Never too be repeated again though, I think my mind wouldn’t be able to cope with being spread so thin for a second time, ot make me even more eccentric than I already am.

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  7. I like December, because I love Christmas.

    And yes, villains have much more depth. Being good can be boring and sometimes if the author does not handle the characterization very well, they turn out as flat characters.

    I also tried the multiple books once and it di not work. Now, I have trouble even reading one book at a time, lol! 🙂

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    1. Celebratin’ season is always the best time of year!

      The bad guys are always more compelling because we have to know the why to what is behind their nefarious schemes. You’re spot on with how much of a challenge it can be to write a good good guy.

      Your not alone struggling with just one book, I’ve hardly been reading anything and summer is normally my prime time as I avoid the sun wherever possible.

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  8. Excellent Ste J and I now feel I know you a bit better. Randall Flagg would have to be on my list of villains as well and I will admit that I did not know some of your other choices. I guess I will need to get busy reading a few more books on the list. 🙂

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    1. I could have expanded on some of my villainous choices but I do so much want people to go into books just knowing that there is a devious persona waiting for then and whatever the blurb mentions. It’s all part of the drama and I do hate to give spoilers away, apart from about myself of course, I’m an open book on that score, to labour the motif.

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  9. I really liked Sunshine – I think I saw it in the winter so the solar observation room mesmerized me as if I had become one of the characters. The Stand is a great one for characters – they were all done so well with so many details. And I agree those little things are definitely the best things in life.

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    1. I saw Sunshine in the winter as well, suffering the cold certainly makes the film that bit more compelling. The stand had plenty of strands, I liked Nick, not being able to hear certainly helped ramp up the tension and made me sigh, which I always do when worrying about characters I like. I am a man of simple pleasures, they make my day more than the overrated trappings of today’s society.

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  10. Enjoyed your answers very much. I loved Kiki the parrot when I was a little girl. I haven’t seen the Adventure books for years. I haven’t read anything by Conrad as everyone I’ve spoken to who has, always says it takes them ages to read his books. I must have a go one day and see if I agree. The first date I was taken on by my first husband was to see Apocalypse Now. My eldest daughter finds that very telling – like an omen of things to come.

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    1. Haha, an omen, at least you didn’t go to see The Omen! I have only read Heart of Darkness and it was strangely slow for a book under 200 pages. I have another of his too read so will set myself a month aside to read it lol. You should go pick up the adventure books and relive your younger years, the Castle, Island and Valley are all as great as I remembered.

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    1. December is the winner when it comes to months lol. It’s nice to mix the posts up with a Q&A every so often, give you all an insight into a little bit of myself.

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        1. It’s a series, it’s started showing on one of the Freeview channels recently but yes start from the beginning, it avoids the hackneyed clichés of sci fi and turns it into a more fun odyssey than most.

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  11. I’m not one for awards, but did thoroughly enjoy your answers to these questions, Ste 🙂 Love getting to know you better. I like your version of a “dream trip” and just now ordered Each Peach Pear Plum from the library 🙂

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    1. I do like to drop my barrier of mystery sometime, haha. It would be awesome to be able to criss cross the world and be able to chat with everybody and really get to know them in their own localities, it’s an extra layer of understanding and that makes me happy. I’m always bigging up Each Peach Pear Plum I hope it lives up my biased appreciation hehe.

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      1. As you know, I’m a big “Kidlit-ter” and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. We all have our favorites, and when I look back, along with anything by Dr. Seuss and Madeline, I repeatedly reread Are You My Mother?” and honestly don’t know why that was a favorite of mine lol

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      2. hey, Ste J 🙂 I just now read EACH PEACH PEAR PLUM (it finally arrived at my library 🙂 ) and I just love it! I love this style of an “I Spy” book. This is the type book that, if it’s still available for purchase, I would want for my grandchildren. SO glad you mentioned it 😀

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        1. It is still around, we have copies at Waterstones which is our equivalent of B&N so you should be able to source it easily enough. I’m glad I didn’t over hype it. it seems I had great taste in books even at the age of four lol.

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