It’s almost Christmas and it is the last Friday Night Drinks of 2020! Joining me for a festive virtual drink this evening (is there any other kind in the world currently?) is blogger at Good Books Come To Those who Read… Annette Revitt.
Welcome, Annette, thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?
Thanks for inviting me! My drink of choice – definitely a gin and tonic! If I could choose the gin then it would have to be a gin called Wicked Wolf, it is distilled on Exmoor and its one of my favourites.
I love gin but I’ve not come across this brand, I will have to give it a try. If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?
The venue would have to be somewhere we could eat and drink so how about a little tapas restaurant in Exeter, it has a lovely atmosphere, where we can sit and relax, listen to the live music, drink gin, eat Tapas and chat the night away.
Perfect, I so miss going out for dinner with friends! If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?
The first person I would choose would be Beatrix Potter, she was as we all know her a writer and illustrator of children’s books, the most famous being Peter Rabbit, but she was so much more than that, she was also a natural scientist, conservationist and an early supporter of the National Trust. As a woman of the Victorian era she struggled to have her work recognised and I believe that it was only in the more recent years that some of her studies have been taken seriously. For me she is a truly inspirational lady, who I think I would enjoy chatting to about books, flowers, the lake district and her love of Herdwick sheep.
The second person I would choose to join us is inspired by my love of horses – Monty Roberts. He is an American horse trainer who promotes and uses his techniques of natural horsemanship. He has written several books, and was encouraged by the Queen to write his first book “The Man Who Listens To Horses”, after she saw him demonstrate his work with some of her horses. I have read “The Man Who Listens To Horses” and have used his techniques with success myself on some difficult/nervous youngsters, I believe there is still a lot I could learn from Monty and would love an evening chatting.
So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?
Back in July, my husband finally persuaded me to start my own book blog. I was very sceptical about the whole blog thing to start with, partly as I had no idea what I was doing and just seemed to be making it up as I went along! Secondly, I couldn’t get my head round why people would want to read anything I posted. But here we are five months later, with a steady stream of readers. So, I guess I’m doing something right!
Where do I want it to go? That’s a good question, I have never really given much thought to where I would like this all to lead! I just love reading and I hope that my blog helps others on their book journey’s. On my blog journey so far, I’ve met (virtually!) some really friendly, helpful people, if that continues and people are enjoying my blog and finding it useful then that’s enough for me to start with.
I also enrolled in a proofreading course that I started in September. I’m hoping that It will expand my knowledge and help with blog writing, maybe even allow me to start proofreading from home.
Exciting times! What has been your proudest moment since you started blogging and what has been your biggest challenge?
My proudest moment so far would have to be plucking up the courage to start the blog in the first place, it took my husband quite a while to talk me into it, but to be honest, now I’ve started I’m really enjoying it. I’m overwhelmed by the number of authors and publishers that have been in contact since seeing my blog requesting reviews, I never thought for a minute that my blog/ review would be of interest to anyone. The biggest challenge I have come across so far was when I lost my reading mojo, I know it happens to us all from time to time but it felt so much harder to break when I was relying on it to provide reviews for my blog.
What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!
I would love to be able to make a living out of blogging, reviewing, maybe proofreading. I love reading so anything book related would work for me!
What are have planned that you are really excited about?
It’s really hard to plan anything in this current world with Covid lingering in the background. So, the only thing planned is that I am expecting my second child in April 2021, so that’s pretty exciting.
Oh, how lovely, congratulations! I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?
My favourite place abroad would have to be Hawaii. My husband and I went to Big island as part of our honeymoon. It had such a variety of landscapes from pretty beaches to barren volcanic areas to the green expanse of countryside. If you ever go, I would recommend a visit to a place called Waimea, it’s an area known for its cattle ranches, we had one of the best burgers I have ever tasted there. Our trip to Hawaii was a trip of a lifetime.
If we are talking about the UK then it’s a tough one between the Lake District as it is such a picturesque area, that I’ve now visited three times or Wales, which is a beautiful part of the country, I’ve lost count how many times I’ve visited. My husband proposed at the top of Sugarloaf mountain in Brecon Beacons, so Wales holds lots of fantastic memories.
On my bucket list of places to visit, well, Iceland is on there for the Northern lights, I would love to see more of the UK, places like Scotland and Yorkshire. We were due to stay in a lovely cottage in the Yorkshire countryside but our holiday was cancelled due to the first Covid lockdown so it’s back on the list of places to visit in the future. Hopefully we will get there soon.
Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself.
For anyone who knows me it won’t be surprising or a secret, but I have a love of horses, I have done ever since I was a child. Before moving to Devon in 1999, I attended Berkshire College of Agriculture and completed my national diploma in horse studies. Up until about 10 years ago I used to compete regularly in showjumping, cross country and showing. I enjoyed re-schooling ex racehorses and also used to breed welsh section B ponies. Due to work commitments and family life, I cut it all back and now only have two horses, an ex-racehorse and a welsh pony that I bred.
I love horses too, we have three ponies here at the moment. Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?
This is such a hard question as I have come across so many talented authors and brilliant books, but what about The Hoarder by Jess Kidd? I received this book from a book subscription my husband bought for me as a birthday present, not an author I had come across before and probably not one I would have picked up off a shelf to read but I thoroughly enjoyed it. This book has a bit of everything so would cater for someone who enjoys crime, magical realism and a hint of romance.
Unintentional psychic Maud Drennan arrives to look after Cathal Flood, a belligerent man hiding in his filthy, cat-filled home.
Her job is simple: clear the rubbish, take care of the patient. But the once-grand house has more to reveal than simply its rooms. There is a secret here, and whether she likes it or not, Maud may be the one to finally uncover what has previously been kept hidden . . .
If you fancy reading my review you will find it here
So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?
I hate hangovers, which is why I suggested eating whilst we are drinking! I find that this always helps to prevent a hangover, that and having a jug of water on the table to keep hydrated. I also try not to mix my drinks and when I get home, I always sit down with a nice cuppa tea before heading to bed.
If all that fails, then lots of painkillers, cups of tea and a good old roast dinner the next day should fix it.
After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
If the hangover stayed away and the weather was good then I would head to Dartmoor national park with a picnic for a nice walk with my husband, daughter and some friends. On the way home we would grab some fish and chips and find a nice place to sit, eat and enjoy. If the weather was rubbish then it would have to be a roast at home, with board games and maybe a bit of reading time.
Annette, thanks for joining me, it’s been a pleasure. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.
Annette lives in Devon, UK. She has what she calls an ‘addiction’ – the love of books.! It’s not just the reading that excites her, it’s the thrill of hearing the book you have been waiting for in a series is finally being released or stumbling across a bargain secondhand book that just has to come home with you. It’s the swapping with friends and family and reading other people’s reviews as we all interpret books differently. Annette likes to write a short review of every book she reads in the hope it helps other book lovers on their journeys. It was because of this that her husband nagged her to set up a blog. So, in July 2020 that’s what she did! Annette’s blog is full of book reviews and anything book related that takes her fancy. When not blogging or reading she spends time with her two horses, enjoys walking especially on Dartmoor National Park, trips to the beach and spending time with friends and family.
May I take this opportunity to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas, whatever the situation is where you are. I hope you find peace and happiness over the holidays and look forward to a better year in 2021 for all of us.