Lorna Holland – Blogger in the Spotlight

Lorna Holland

Today I’m featuring Lorna Holland who blogs as The Writing Greyhound. Thanks for agreeing to be part of my Blogger in the Spotlight feature Lorna. First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?

No problem, I’m glad to be here! I’m a 21 year old author, blogger, and freelance writer/editor, from Northamptonshire. Unsurprisingly, writing and books are two of my biggest passions along with music, which is why I write about them so much on my blog. My other interests include everything from photography to travel to theatre to American football (I’m a Chicago Bears fan). I have a slight addiction to vanilla lattes and all things Harry Potter, and I’m definitely guilty of overusing the comma.

What books/authors did you enjoy as a child?

Enid Blyton was by far my favourite author when I was young. Anything she wrote, I read. My favourite was her Famous Five series – I owned the complete set, collected book by book from various second-hand bookshops.

What made you want to start blogging?

I’ve always been interested in books and writing, but it wasn’t until I was studying for my degree (Creative & Professional Writing at Canterbury Christ Church University) that I really got into blogging. Since I graduated last year I’ve had more time to focus on my blog, so it’s just grown from there.

I started blogging purely as an outlet to practice writing, with the view to create a platform to showcase my work and add to my professional portfolio. Since then my focus has shifted, and I now blog because I enjoy it as much as I find it useful. There’s no point wasting time keeping a blog if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

The freedom to write about anything I want to write about. Blogging is the perfect platform for writers to express their thoughts and ideas on any topic they want, and I think it would be silly not to take advantage of that.

I also love the friendliness within the blogging community. The majority of bloggers, authors, and PR people I’ve met through blogging are genuinely lovely people, and it’s rare to find such a large community with a spirit like this.

Tell me about your blog – sell yourself!

The Writing Greyhound is primarily a lifestyle blog with a strong focus on books and a lesser focus on music… That’s how I describe it anyway! I don’t like to pigeon-hole my blog because I like to keep the freedom to write about whatever I want to write about, which is why you can go from a book review to a music news piece to a feature on selfies on my blog within a week! Variety is one of the best things about writing, and I try to keep that alive on my blog.

What’s your favourite book you’ve reviewed in the past year? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose.

I’ve read and reviewed a few books in the past few year that have really stood out for me. I could mention some more obvious or more popular choices, but one of my favourites from the last year has to be ‘Blood & Ink’ by Stephen Davies.

It’s a YA story set in Timbuktu, told from the viewpoints of Ali, a boy trained as an Islamist fighter, and Kadija, a resident of the city. It’s marketed primarily as a romance, but it’s actually much more than that – ‘Blood & Ink’ is a story full of passion, hope and belief, and is also incredibly current.

This is definitely one of those brilliant under the radar books that deserves more recognition, so I highly recommend it! You can also see my review of the book here: http://www.thewritinggreyhound.co.uk/2015/07/book-review-blood-ink-by-stephen-davies.html

What are you reading just now? 

(April 2016) I recently hit a bit of a reading slump due to various reasons, so I’ve been rereading the entire Harry Potter series again to get me back into reading. This feels like it must be about the 100th time I’ve read them, but they never get old and it’s still one of my favourite book series of all time.

Aside from that, next on my tbr pile is YA fantasy debut ‘Diamond Boy in the Rough’ by indie author Helen Faul. She sent me a review copy last year but I’m only just getting round to reading it (Sorry, Helen!)

Tell me about your reading habits:  book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?

If I’m reading a book I’m enjoying, I’ll be reading it literally whenever I can. Normally though, I tend to leave my reading to an hour or so before I go to bed as I find it helps me relax and get to sleep easier. This does sometimes leave me staying up reading till the small hours just to get to the end of a book I just have to finish though, which isn’t necessarily a good thing!

In terms of the book versus kindle debate, I have to say that I don’t particularly stand on either side. I use both – kindle is infinitely easier for travelling and carrying about in your bag, but nothing quite beats a real book. Both have their benefits and drawbacks.

How can people follow your blog or connect with you on social media?

Your lovely readers can visit my blog here: http://www.thewritinggreyhound.co.uk/ and can subscribe by email or follow via Bloglovin using the widgets in the sidebar.

I’m also on all the usual social media platforms:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lornahollandwriter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/themaxdog

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themaxdog/

And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?

I always find questions like this hard to answer! But I think (to continue with the Harry Potter theme) I’d have to pick Luna Lovegood. Luna may be quirky and unusual and everyone makes fun of her, but she’s also fiercely loyal, she values her friends, and she is a genuinely nice person. She refuses to change no matter what people think of her, and she has the confidence to be herself. She’s also smarter than people give her credit for (she was sorted into Ravenclaw house for a reason!)

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