Monday Mortals: Blogger Jontybabe


I'm delighted to have book reviewer and blogger, Jontybabe with me today. Here's the interview...

Hi Jontybabe! Can you tell us a little about your blog.
My blog basically started off as an online diary to myself to give me an avenue to have a really good old rant about life in general. Whilst initially enthusiastic about my blog I did let it slip for a while before getting back into writing on the blog in a big way. Now I love my blog and I find it really therapeutic. I like to think that the blog helps others in similar circumstances connect. It’s a Crazy World is mainly about special needs issues as my daughter has autism and a severe learning disability. However, over the last year it has evolved to include book and product reviews and I have to say I really enjoy this new aspect to the blog. Being involved with indie authors has opened up new reading experiences for me and I am thoroughly enjoying discovering wonderful new authors and genres. This has reawakened my love of books and I am in the process of developing a dedicated book blog, due to be launched on 1st December 2012.

Have you ever read a book that made you think 'wow'? If so, what book was it and why did it have such an effect on you?
Oh my goodness, what a difficult question. I have read so many great books like this. I suppose the most recent ones I can think of are the first two books in Justin Cronin’s vampire trilogy – The Passage & The Twelve. The books are intense post-apocalyptic stories with vampires. Weird I know, but the books contain so much detail and every character is very cleverly linked. They are the type of books that demand all your attention and are exhausting. I’ve got to wait until 2014 until the final book is published. Not sure I can survive that long!
I have loved reading these books because they give a great sense of the talent that the author has and leave me in awe at the planning that would have gone into pulling the stories together. What I love about being a reader and a reviewer is that I get the opportunity to read such an eclectic mix of genres. I recently read ‘Me before You’ by JoJo Moyes and that left me sobbing like a loon. This book made me feel a huge sympathy for the main characters and touched so many emotional nerves.

Who is your favourite author and why? 
Again, because I read such an eclectic mix of books it’s so difficult to pinpoint one favourite author. When I was a teenager I was an avid Stephen King fan and read so many of his books one after the other. I have recently discovered that his son Joe Hill is a writer and loved his book Heart Shaped Box. Very creepy! In complete contrast I also love some of the classics authors such as Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre is a firm favourite. I also love Steinbeck, Du Maurier and a little bit of Shakespeare. I think the reason that I love these books is that they get me so hooked into the story and the differing styles of the authors are intriguing. I love comparing and contrasting.

Name one of your all-time favourite book covers?
I love the cover from ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows because I think it gives a clue to what the book is about. I love the cover because it has a picture of a letter and I love books that involve correspondence between the characters or letters that help shape the story, providing history and background. It’s much like another favourite of mine, 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, which is another story evolved out of letters between characters.

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
I think in order to make the dinner conversation as interesting as possible; the most diverse group of authors would need to be assembled round the table. Here’s my list.
Stephen King – he is the master of horror and making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up! He would bring a creepy element to the dinner party.
William Shakespeare – there simply couldn’t be a dinner party without him. The true genius of storytelling.
Oscar Wilde – Just to add a little bit of extravagance and scandal
Roddy Doyle – to add lots of good old Irish humour.
John Niven – he’d obviously have to sit beside Roddy Doyle. The two of them together would be hilarious!
The Bronte sisters – revolutionary writers of their time, leading the way for women writers at a period in history when women didn’t get the same opportunities to be published.
EL James – I hated Fifty Shades of Grey but would love her at the party just to mix it up a bit with the Bronte sisters.
Justin Cronin – my newest favourite author. I think he and Stephen King would get along.
Daphne Du Maurier – simply because I love her!

Who, or what, inspires you?
My daughter is my foremost inspiration for my blog. I never fail to be amazed by her courage throughout daily difficulties. She has made me the person I am today. Life is never dull with her around.
Since I have gotten involved with lots of indie authors I am truly inspired by their talent and determination and a great sense of self-belief. They are wonderfully interesting people who have been courageous enough to chase their dream. They have inspired me to take my interest in reading and all things bookish and develop a new book blog.

Where is your favourite place to write your blog?
In my dream life I have a beautiful old antique desk at a window overlooking a beautiful garden. Unfortunately in real life I don’t have room for a desk so much of my writing is done perched on the sofa between my daughter and the dog or sitting at the kitchen table. Not very glamorous! I constantly spend my day looking round my house wondering which piece of furniture I can get rid of to replace with a desk!

Tell us a little about your favourite book...
I absolutely adore Rebecca by Dauphne Du Maurier. I love the mystery behind the story and the creepy character of Mrs Danvers, the housekeeper. It’s the story of a young woman who accepts the marriage proposal of an older man and moves to his country estate, Manderley. Unfortunately the huge house is haunted by the memory of his first wife Rebecca who was both mysterious and very beautiful. Behind it all there is a mystery to be solved. It’s exciting stuff and I love it.

What is your favourite film that was based on a book?
Oh that’s a hard one as I am constantly disappointed by movie adaptions from books. I’m not sure I have one – yet! Though I have heard that the film rights have been bought to Justin Cronin’s vampire series so we’ll see!

If your favourite book was made into a film, who would you like to play the main characters?
This year my favourite book has been ‘Somebody to Love’ by Sheryl Browne. In my review I did say that the book was crying out to be made into a romcom. For the central character of Donna I’m not actually sure who could do this part justice. It would have to be somebody who could carry off comedic situations on the big screen. For the part of Mark, the love interest, I have to say I always imagined Chris O’Dowd for that part. I don’t know why as he physically he wouldn’t resemble Mark but that’s who I kept thinking of when reading the book.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I once posed dressed as an Austrian milkmaid for a local tourist board publicity shot. My town is twinned with a town in Austria. Apparently!

Tell us something interesting about the area where you live.
I live in Bangor, Northern Ireland. During World War II, Dwight D. Eisenhower addressed Allied troops who were departing to take part in the D-Day landings.
The new blog which goes live on 1st December
Thanks Jontybabe! Its been an absolute pleasure having you on my blog today :)


  1. I have never read "Rebecca", and I need to! Headed over to check out the new blog!

  2. wohoooooooooooo thanks Suzy!!! Great feature. x

  3. Awesome interview. I'm excited to check out this new blog of yours, Jonty! :)

  4. I've not read Rebecca either so must check it out. I, too, have a rather eclectic reading list. I can't say I'm a huge Shakespeare fan (we had to do one play a year in secondary school as part of the school curriculum) but enjoy the others you've mentioned, Jonty.

    Best of luck with your new book blog.

  5. Thanks for all your lovely comments guys and gals!

    Jontybabe... you're welcome here anytime :)


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