Welcome to another Cuppa with a Book Blogger!! I am having such an amazing time with these interviews – it’s been incredible learning more about my book blogger friends that I’m always talking to on social media. Every Monday I feel so blessed to be a part of this community and today is no different!
My guest today is the lovely Abdeah from Under the Midnight Sky! A fellow Capetonian book lover and a dear friend who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting along the journey of blogging and bookstagramming. Her interview was an absolute delight to read, which is why I’m thrilled beyond words can describe, to share our chat with you today.
So, let’s get the obvious question out of the way – who is Abdeah? Tell us a bit about the book lover behind the blog.
I am an introvert by nature (specifically an INTJ), fantasy enthusiast, part-time musician and full time cat lady. I’m pursuing a career in publishing. So basically, I’m trying to achieve the bibliophile dream. (YAAASS!!!)
I pride myself as a creative. I spent my teenage years and early adulthood playing guitar and bass in various bands and was convinced I would become a rock star, but eventually reality caught up with me.
I love making things. You’ll often find me painting, designing or crafting.
Everyone has a story and I’m positive you do too. What inspired you to start blogging? And how did you come up with the name for your space?
While I was completing my undergraduate degree I found myself stuck in a 3 year long reading slump, the only novels I read were for academic purposes.
When I eventually graduated I was in a strange place, trying to figure out my life’s purpose. I know; melodramatic much?
While I was job hunting I realised that I really needed to get in touch with the things that I was passionate about. I soon discovered booktube, bookstagram and book blogging and that lead to rekindling my love for books. I realised that YA literature had grown so much in the three years I was studying and so I scrambled to catch up. I initially started the blog to encourage myself to start writing more and to keep track of what I was reading and it kind of just grew from there.
Regarding the name, I am a night owl. I write at night, I read at night. Under the Midnight Sky just seemed appropriate, plus, it had a really nice ring to it.
From one book blogger to another, I know how much time goes into crafting a post that you feel comfortable enough posting for the world to see. Looking back, what was your favourite post to write? (You may list more than one if you want)
One of my favourite post was a post I wrote in early 2016 called “8 signs that you’re a book nerd”.
I also love reviews and tags.
Getting a lil personal; what is your biggest achievement to date? Is there a moment you are especially proud of when you look back on all you’ve accomplished so far?
My biggest achievement to date has got to be finishing my mini-thesis. I kind of went through a crisis trying to figure out what I was going to focus my research on. All I knew was that it had to focus on YA literature. I battled to find a supervisor who would actually support my eagerness to focus on Young Adult fantasy and at one point I was ready to just give up. But eventually I decided to focus on Young Adult Urban Fantasy and used Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone as the primary text.
I am extremely proud of myself for pulling it off.
Do you have a bucket list stashed away somewhere with some daring (or more subdued) activities that you’d like to complete? Name 5 items on your list.
I actually don’t have a bucket list but if I did it would look something like this:
- Dye my hair blue, visit Prague and pretend I am Karou from Daughter of Smoke and bone.
- Visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Visit the Greatest Libraries in the world
- See the Northern Lights
- Get through my ever growing TBR…
Name one of your most cherished life experiences.
Visiting the Shetland Isles with my besties when I was 15. ‘Twas fun. I’ve been obsessed with Scotland since, and hope that one day I’ll be able to visit Scotland again.
And performing, I really miss playing music and seeing other people enjoying it almost as much as I did.
What’s some of the best advice you’ve received and who was the wise human who shared this bit of wisdom with you?
Someone once told me that the key to happiness was getting to know and love yourself in your entirety and not apologise for being peculiar. The best of us are a little mad.
“Hakuna Matata – it means no worries, for the rest of your days.” Do you have a motto in life? If yes, let us know what it is.
Be your honest self. And when all else fails, sarcasm and a dark sense of humour will get you by… Haha! It keeps me sane, ok?
Let’s talk books for a bit… How did reading become such a big part of your life?
When I was 8 my teacher told my mom I couldn’t read. I reacted by picking up the biggest book I could find in the library and read it on my own. I guess I have a thing for proving people wrong… I haven’t stopped reading since. Reading has become an escape. I can’t imagine my life without books.
What would you consider your “most reached for” genre? And is there any special reason for this preference?
Fantasy is by far my most reached for genre. I blame Roald Dahl and J.K Rowling. I just love magic, dragons, swords and political intrigue. In an alternative universe I would have been a Dragonrider or a witch or maybe even a werecat.
On the other side of the spectrum, what genre do you hardly reach for and why?
Crime, adult contemporary and literary fiction. I read to escape. I hardly ever read novels that are too close to reality.
As a major book nerd, I know how overwhelming – or let’s just call it IRRITATING – it can be when someone asks you what your favourite book is because there’s never a black ‘n white answer. So here’s my question: What is your ideal ending for a book?
One that resolves the conflict of the novel but still leaves room for you to wonder just a little. Also, endings in which my ships actually end up together instead of being ripped apart – I’m looking at you, Sarah J Maas. I’d really like that…
What are some of your most cherished quotes from books?
“Don’t worry. You’re just as sane as I am.” – Luna Lovegood, Order of the Phoenix
“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.” – Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone
“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?” – Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone
‘I don’t think you’re a waste of space.’ – Dudley, Deathly Hallows
What bookish franchise do you tend to fan and fawn over most?
I am obsessed with Harry Potter, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Throne of Glass and recently ACOMAF.
If you’re anything like me then you’ll have a long list of bookish pet peeves. Can you name one of your biggest bookish pet peeves?
- Dog-eared pages
- Mismatched spines in a series
- Cheesy covers with faces on them
I know that is 3… Couldn’t resist
I think one of the biggest problems us bookish folk face is our never ending TBR pile that gets longer and longer no matter how many books we tick off as ‘read’. What book has been on your TBR the longest?
The Lord of the Rings… I know, it is shameful.
Stressed Reader or Relaxed Reader?
Favourite Subject in school?
Quiet night in or a night out on the town?
Paperback or EBook?
Pretty dress or jeans and T-shirt?
Somewhere in the middle
What advice do you have for anyone who would like to explore opportunities in your field of work?
Write a lot and make sure you do internships while you study. Take initiative and make sure you’re always adding to your skill set. We need more people who can think for themselves and do not need to be told what to do all the time.
About Under the Midnight Sky: The 12am musings of a bibliophile and writer.
Thank you so much to Abdeah for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. I hope you’ll go ahead and check out her blog and social media platforms, she’s just incredible!
If you would like to have me feature your blog on A Cuppa with a Book Blogger, please drop me an email so we can talk more. Don’t forget to come back next week Monday to meet another Book Blogger Friend!