Welcome to the first blogger to take centre stage here on Romance That Rocks Your World! Give it up for the singularly amazing JB Johnston of Brook Cottage Books!!
I love this lady to bits. Go visit her–now! Well, actually: read our chat first and THEN hop on over visit her…
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Who are you and why are you blogging?
My name is Debbie Johnston, or JB Johnston in the book blogging world, although I will answer to anything! I blog because I simply adore books. I love everything about books and their wonderfully talented authors and love sharing what I read with other like-minded people. I initially started off reviewing books and now I organise virtual book tours too which are proving to be very successful. Thanks to fellow blogger Shaz Goodwin from Jera’s Jamboree for her support around this.
Where’s your favourite reading nook and why?
Oh to have a reading nook! I lead such a hectic lifestyle that I read wherever I happen to be! Most of my books are read snuggled up on the sofa with my gorgeous husband or in bed with a cup of tea and a big plate of toast beside me. I have been known to sneak into the photocopying room in work with a good book or hide under the desk.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Oh so many crazy things, not enough time to tell you all about them! Many years ago I ‘borrowed’ a horse whilst slightly inebriated. I once trapped a guy in the ladies toilets in a nightclub and asked him to throw his underpants over the door so I could win a hen party dare! He obliged! Recently, I stalked Katie Fforde as she went into the ladies toilets at last year’s Festival of Romantic Fiction. I grabbed her for a selfie and she was very gracious about the whole thing.
There seems to be a toilet theme with me! Sadly, if I told you about all the rest of the crazy things I have done, I’d have to leave the country! On a more normal note, I have started hiking up mountains!
What’s the craziest thing you’d still like to do in your life?
I’d love to give up ‘the day job’ and focus full time on my book work. Either that or shave my head and join a commune on a desert island somewhere! I also quite like the idea of a sky-dive although my husband cannot understand why anyone would jump out of a perfectly good plane! I like to do mad things for charity (see enclosed pic of me with an elephant!)
What’s your most treasured possession?
I love to browse second hand book shops and jumble sales for old books, especially ones with inscriptions inside. I love that books have this little bit of history to them. My other most treasured possession is this little wooden chair that was given to me when I was a child. It belonged to a neighbour who would have let me hide out in her house when things were tough at home. I always sat in this chair when I was in her house. When she died, her children gave it to me. I have never painted it or changed it in any way because I think it’s just perfect!
Who or what would need to accompany you on a desert island?
Oh I have some very essential items that I would need – A huge crate of books of course, a torch (I’m afraid of the dark), matches (to light a fire), lots of yummy food and wine, a hammock for two and my lovely husband! And, if such a thing exists, solar powered hair straighteners. I suffer from the most frizzy hair!
Top ten favourite books of all times (any genre)?
- The Grapes of Wrath
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
- Jane Eyre
- On Writing by Stephen King (I adore all King’s books)
- Little Women
- 84 Charingcross Road
- Pride and Prejudice
- Of Mice and Men
- To Kill a Mockingbird
I could go on and on and on………I do also like books by a certain Ms Wells!
Who’s she? LOL! Great list. Love Steven King, although couldn’t read him again now. Read his collected works as a teenager and no, IT didn’t give me nightmares then. (It would now!)
What’s your favourite cocktail or alternative tipple?
Favourite cocktail…….ummm I kinda like them all but usually go for a Cosmo! I’m very partial to a nice rose wine or a huge glass of Baileys too.
What’s the thing you regret most not having done in your life so far?
Oh so much lol. I regret not joining the navy when I was 18 like I had planned to do but fell for a boy instead! I so wish I had also gone to university when I left school instead of waiting until I was 32! I’d have loved to have travelled more too. I also regret not chasing my writing dream. Hopefully it’s not too late for that.
The navy? Really? Wow! You’re full of surprises! As for your writing dream, it’s never too late. Get to it!! xx
If you could marry a celebrity, who would it be?
Stephen King! What can I say! I love the man!
Lol! That I did not expect, but I hear you!
You’re starting a book club. Which celebrities would you invite, and how would you convince them to turn up?
Stephen King, Nicholas Cage, Queen Victoria, Jane Austen, Emily Pankhurst, Dali Lama, George Clooney…
To convince them to turn up I’d promise copious amounts of alcohol and good food. I’d like to invite quite a varied range of people to mix it up a bit so here’s my guest list.
I’m so coming!!
You’re invited to a buffet dinner, but you can pick only ONE savoury item and ONE sweet. What would you cram on your plate?
Oh the savoury item would be something with chilli in it. Yum! The sweet item would have to be something chocolate based.
You’re asked to a pot luck dinner party. What do you bring?
Vegetable Curry! I make a mean curry!
Where’s your favourite place in the whole wide world?
Malta. I went there on my honeymoon and cried when we had to leave!
You’re talking to a hopeless romantic (me). But do you believe in love at first sight? Why? (Or why not?)
Well that’s a toughie. With my first husband it was love at first sight and that turned out to be a disaster! With my second husband, I hated him! He irritated me so much and I thought he was a loud-mouthed pig! Now, I totally adore the man and I have the greatest marriage ever! The heart is a funny thing!
Unbeknownst to you, your best friend has entered you for a talent show, and suddenly you’re on a stage in front of 5,000 people. What’s your talent, and would you be voted through to the next round?
I can do the splits! But, only when drunk! That’s it I’m afraid. I cannot sing or play a musical instrument!
Any other random comments or photos that you’d like to share with my readers?
I’d like to say a big thank you to all the authors who have entrusted their ‘babies’ to me. I have cherished your books as though they were my own. I have loved them, cried with them, laughed with them and disappeared into unknown worlds with them. When life seemed to be too much at times, they have breathed new life into me and saved me.
Awwwwwww you are so sweet!
Thanks so much, JB, for taking the spotlight today, and for sharing all those wonderful facts. So~you’re a little bit crazy, you hike, you wanted to join the navy, strange things happen to you in public toilets, and you harbour a dream of becoming a writer. Go for it! I love you to bits and am cheering you on all the way. Rock on!! XX 🙂