Hello biblios! And welcome to another “Cuppa with a Book Blogger”, where we get to learn a little bit more about some of our favourite book bloggers (or meet a new book blogger friend along the way)!
My guest today is Ashleigh, the book queen behind A Frolic Through Fiction. Chandra is an 18 year old college student who is a dedicated bookaholic and art lover. If she’s not reading books, then she’s writing about books or chatting about books on her Booktube channel – something I could just never do!
But before I spill all the beans in my intro, let’s go ahead and read her interview:
So, let’s get the obvious question out of the way – who is Ashleigh? Tell us a bit about the book lover behind the blog.
Hi guys! I’m Ashleigh, an 18 year old college student from England. I’m quite a homebody, since I can’t do much travelling at the moment – though there’s many places I hope to see some day. Most of my time is dedicated to books in one way or another. Whether it’s reading, running my blog, making a new video, lurking on social media or even at college studying (I’ve managed to make my entire project revolve around books mwuhaha). And I feel like I have an inordinate amount of hobbies! Aside from all those mentioned above, I also love art – mainly drawing and painting – singing, bullet journalling, and I’m currently trying to learn how to play piano. Phew!
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?
So for years and years, I’ve wanted to be a Booktuber. But I never had the skills needed to actually make decent videos – or the courage to stand in front of a camera and talk. I used to post really small reviews on Instagram. When I started college, we learnt the basics of how to set up a WordPress blog, and so the idea sparked from there. I had to teach myself a lot of how to actually design the blog, considering I’m so bad with technology, but I got there in the end!
(Ironically, I now have a booktube channel too)
As for the name, I basically just brainstormed every word I could think of relating to books – that’s where “fiction” came from. Then I had a theme in mind of walking through pages…but why simply walk when you can frolic? And so, A Frolic Through Fiction was born 🙂
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?
One that always sticks out to me was the tutorial I did for Corner Bookmarks. It took me hours to make, but I loved bringing more art to my blog. Also a post I did recently where YOU GUYS recommended books to ME, to help me with my 2017 resolutions! That got such a huge response and helped me out so much, I loved it!
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?
I don’t feel like I’ve done anything particularly notable really, though I do always feel proud of myself when looking back on the year 2012, for simply getting through it and bouncing back. It was a particularly rough year (and to warn you, this is a li’l personal but it’s the only way I can explain). At the start of that year my mum died, which as you can probably imagine is tough enough. Combine that year with being ill to the point of being bed bound, injuring my neck and having to miss what was going to be my first holiday, and losing friends…yeah. It was a rough one, to say the least. But I got through it, and here I am today!
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.
Well like I said before, I’m quite a homebody, so there’s nothing particularly daring coming from me aha. Though 5 things I’d say…revisit Scotland (numerous times), build up my booktube channel, hike up a mountain of sorts, meet a favourite author, and attend some sort of light festival – y’know, where they release lanterns at the same time and everything.
Name one of your most cherished life experiences.
Going to Scotland a couple of years ago. It was my first time leaving England – granted, I didn’t exactly go far – and my first “proper” holiday. It was a holiday where I actually managed to explore as much as possible. We stayed in this quaint cottage, and every day we visited two or three different cities/towns, even isles. For someone who has barely left their home city, it’s a memory I look back to often <3
What’s some of the best advice you’ve received and who was the wise human who shared this bit of wisdom with you?
“Crying doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you acknowledge how hard things are right now, and yet you still have the strength to get up and fight your way through.” Said by…I think it was my Nan? I can’t remember it well. It was in that god-awful year of 2012, but it really stuck with me.
“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.
I don’t really have a life motto. If I need any motivation/encouragement, I usually just find my favourite quotes from books.
Let’s talk books for a bit… How did reading become such a big part of your life?
It just always has been. My mum was a fan of reading, so I probably picked it up from her. But there’s never been a moment in my life where I haven’t loved reading.
What would you consider your “most reached for” genre? And is there any special reason for this preference?
Fantasy! Usually YA, though I don’t normally pay attention to whether it’s YA or adult fantasy until it comes to writing the review. I just love anything magical!
On the other side of the spectrum, what genre do you hardly reach for and why?
Hmmm…Oh! Crime and Mystery. I own a few but haven’t read them. They just don’t appeal to me as much as the others on my shelves do.
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?
Any where my favourite characters are still alive and relatively happy, let’s be real. Though I am a fan of open endings particularly, because then I can imagine the “after”.
What are some of your most cherished quotes from books?
“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy” – A Court of Thorns and Roses
“Books are mirrors: you can only see in them what you already have inside you” – The Shadow of the Wind
What bookish franchise do you tend to fan and fawn over most?
Harry Potter has been a favourite of mine since childhood, so there’s always that one. But both of Sarah J Maas’ series – A Court of Thorns and Rose and Throne of Glass – I tend to fawn over most.
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?
The whole “oh you should read classics, they’re more academic/meaningful/intelligent” argument. Get away from me with your book snobbery, any reading is better than no reading and no one’s reading preferences should be judged, thank you very much!
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?
According to Goodreads, The Host by Stephanie Meyer. That’s still sat on my shelves actually…
Stressed Reader or Relaxed Reader?
Favourite Subject in school?
Quiet night in or a night out on the town?
Night in, always
Paperback or Ebook?
Pretty dress or jeans and T-shirt?
What advice do you have for anyone who would like to get into your field of work?
Well, as a student I’m hardly one for giving out advice. But here’s a thing I like: Take time to really appreciate the little things. If you sit and think to yourself “Oh this coffee is really nice while I take a moment out” or something like that, I find it can bring more comforts to every day life 🙂
About A Frolic Through Fiction: A Frolic Through Fiction is just a place for all my bookish ramblings – and even yours! – to go. Full of reviews, discussions, random bookish posts and even arty things, it’s an outlet for bookworms to natter while internally frolicking through the pages of a book.
Goodreads | afrolicthroughfiction
Thank you so much to Ashleigh for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. I hope you’ll go ahead and give her a follow!
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!