26 May 2014

Armchair BEA: Introductions and Literature

I'm absolutely thrilled to be a participant of the Armchair BEA this year. It's my first time ever at the event and I've also signed up to help out as a volunteer - so you can catch me at many of the twitter parties taking place over the next week.

Who Am I?
Well, I'm Suzy Turner, a 38-year-old British author and blogger with a fondness for white wine and dark chocolate (not necessarily together though!), married to the most amazing man who I met when I was 16. I first began blogging back in 2008 with a blog I called Iberian Bird (because I live in Portugal and have done since I was ten years old). The blog slowly developed and I soon began blogging under my own name Suzy Turner, YA Author which I still do over there (it is dedicated to young adult themes). Last year, however, with the launch of my first romance novel, Forever Fredless, I decided I wanted to blog about women's books - not just romance and chick lit, mind you, but all kinds of books aimed at, and written by, women. So I began Fiction Dreams and haven't looked back. I've interviewed some of the most popular authors around today including Gena Showalter, Joanne Harris, Ruth Saberton, Belinda Jones and so many more. I love helping both indie and traditionally published authors to spread the word about their books and I particularly love interviewing them. It's become a bit of an obsession actually lol!

Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details -- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. -- so we can connect more online. 
As I mentioned above, Fiction Dreams is a blog about women's fiction - all kinds of fiction!

What genre do you read the most? I love to read because ___________________ . 
Probably YA because it's so easy and fun to get into. Also because that's what I've been writing for the past few years. I particularly love reading YA urban fantasy - books that are set within our own world but with a magical and/or supernatural element to them. Harry Potter and Twilight for instance are some of my favourites that I couldn't get enough of.  But I also read a lot of chick lit - my other absolute favourite that I've actually been reading the longest. I first read Jilly Cooper, for example, when I was about 12. Gosh I learned a lot, if you know what I mean ;)

What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year? 
Just one? Oh no that's really difficult! I have many favourites from last year but if I can only give one then I'd say The Time Spirit series by Melissa Pearl. All I can say is that I'm so glad I have a kindle so I could immediately download the sequel after finishing the first book in the middle of the night in order to continue reading. That series blew me away!
From this year? Well, Melissa Pearl's releases from 2014 have been AMAZING too but to give another author equal credit, I'll say Shalini Boland's The Perimeter. OMG - that dystopian series is freaking amazing! Oh, and I literally just finished reading Pulled Beneath by Marni Mann and it was freaking awesome (look out for a review coming soon)!!

What does your favorite/ideal reading space look like? 
I can read just about anywhere, but at the moment this is exactly where I like to read before the sun gets too hot........
And this is my view...
And this is who keeps me company...

What book would you love to see as a movie?
Shalini Boland's Marchwood Vampire Series - I think it would be utterly amazing. 

Today's topic is 'Literature'....
What do you think of when you think of literature? Classics, contemporary, genre, or something else entirely? We are leaving this one up to you to come up with and share the literature that you want to chat about the most. Feel free to share a list of your favorites, break down your favorite genre, feature your favorite authors, and be creative about all things literature in general.

If you'd have asked me this question when I was a kid, I would have just thought of the classics - you know, the kind I was 'forced' to read at school. Although, having said that, I never really felt forced because I always had such a passion for reading. Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Anthony and Cleopatra, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Waiting for Godot - these were just some of the books I read as a teenager that weren't my choice. However, I delved in and discovered worlds I'd never knew existed. It was hard work, mind you. I mean, come on, Shakespeare takes some understanding! But it was fun, nevertheless. What wasn't fun, however, was having to write deep, meaningful essays on the books afterwards! Bleurgh! I just wanted to read them and enjoy them. Not try to unravel the mystery of how the author was feeling when he or she wrote it!
I also had to read the more modern classics such as A Bend in the River by VS. Naipaul (didn't enjoy it at all - it just seemed too boring after those other early classics), Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (probably one of the most hilarious and incredibly unusual books I've ever read!), A Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood (this became my absolute favourite book that I read at school - it's amazing) and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird which I recall our teacher also bringing in the film for us to watch. I was glued to it. Wonderful!
Of course, I've read a few classics off my own back, like Little Women which I adored and can never get enough of. The movie too - I love the old version and the newer one.
But back to what I really think of now, when I think of literature. Well, being an author and a book blogger, I think of so many different wonderful authors. I have tonnes of favourites - many of which are from a wide variety of genres including YA, Chick Lit, Mysteries, Horror (yes, occasionally I'll give one  a go!), drama, romance, historical - the list goes on. But here are a few of my favourites:
Shalini Boland
Melissa Pearl
Patti Roberts
Arthur Golden
Margaret Atwood
JK Rowling
Belinda Jones
Sophie Kinsella
Jenny Colgan
Wendy Holden
Ruth Saberton
I could quite easily go on and on and on....

For more Armchair BEA tales of literature, visit Armchair BEA's website.


  1. Welcome to your first ABEA! It's great fun and a terrific way to meet other bloggers. And I'm glad to have some company in the UK. There are a few of us participating in ABEA.

  2. Thank you!! I'm looking forward to it and meeting lots of other fab bloggers like yourself. I'm popping over to you next :)

  3. Love your reading spot. Not familiar with either one of your favorite books so I will be checking them out shortly. Have a Great Week

  4. That' same great reading to. I loved visit Portugal.

    My Armchair BEA Intro

  5. Welcome to Armchair BEA! And your reading space is amazing.

  6. I love that view! So splendid! I would probably spend all my time there, if it were possible. Hope you have a great time doing Armchair BEA!

  7. Wow, you've been at it for a long time! I've only been blogging for a few weeks, haha. But somehow I still recognized your blog. You have a memorable theme here.

  8. Great introduction! I loved meeting you, and that view is spectacular! Atwood is one of my favorites too.

  9. You have the perfect reading spot and companion, I love it! You listed a lot of great authors that I've heard of but some I have not read, I will have to check them out. Great post today!

  10. Wonderful scenery in your outdoor reading area. I don't know if I could stop myself from looking up. Our last home was surrounded by hills. I miss that. Your sidekick is sweet too.

  11. Great reading spot! I enjoyed your posts, too. Can't wait to visit again this week!

  12. I seriously love that you promote women's authors and themes. Awesome! And YA, another fave of mine. :) Remind me to get you to participate in my Women's Lit Even next year, which I hold in March!

  13. Welcome to ArmchairBEA, I see this is your first; you're gonna love it

  14. Ahh, that is a fantastic view!

    I like the reasoning behind starting Fiction Dreams - that's a great idea.

  15. I haven't read any of the books you mentioned but your enthusiasm is contagious!! I feel like we could be sitting at a table with a bottle of wine and just gabbing about our favorite books.

    Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors as well. Such an amazing storyteller.

    Happy Armchair BEA!

  16. What a fabulous welcome from you all! Thank you so much for popping over to say hi. I will return the favour :)

  17. your pic caught my attention and continued to read i love to hear how people have found inspiration and hope and give it right back thanks so much for your story.

  18. Ahhh! I'm a hammock reader, too! Isn't it just the best?! I've already downloaded Raven, and I'm throwing your other books on my TBR. Exciting to find new books that I know I'll love through ABEA!

    Kristen @ Pretty Little Pages

  19. So great to meet you! I love your reading spot and your pal, what a cutie!


Hiya! Thanks so much for stopping by the Fiction Dreams site. If you have the time, I'd love to hear from you so please do leave a comment :D xx