About Me

Hello! I'm Dani, a 23 year old English and Creative writing degree graduate from Birmingham, UK. I'm also a Children's Bookseller at my local Waterstones store; obviously the best job for any fan of YA! I've worked there since the beginning of 2010, and since then my book collection has become ridiculous. Not only do I have three bookcases in my bedroom, but I also have books that do not live in these bookcases! I refer to it as 'my library', and I am incredibly proud of it.
I can always remember loving the feel of a book in my hand - even before I could read entirely on my own. I grew up reading the likes of Beatrix Potter, Roald Dahl, Jacqueline Wilson, Lucy Daniels and A. A. Milne, and many more. Given the chance, I will still read these now!
I've gone through many reading 'phases' in my life so far, preferring certain genres to others, at certain times, but I will always return to fantasy and science-fiction; they are the ultimate escape. I love anything supernatural, or out of the ordinary - anything that will keep me on my toes, and make me expect the unexpected. There aren't many genres that I won't pick up, though. I don't tend to go for purely romantic novels, or 'chick-lit', though there have been the odd books that I have enjoyed in these genres.

My big-eared obsessions!
Aside from reading and blogging, I also enjoy baking (mostly cupcakes), going to the theatre, going for coffee with friends (though I am much more of a tea drinker), browsing the internet (particularly catching up with the wonderful booktube community on YouTube - my channel is called PentopaperBlog, if you're interested), meeting up with Jenny from Chocolate Chunky Munkie (a good friend of mine!) for a chat, some tea and some book shopping, and adding to my beautiful collection of Elephants (ornamental, not real!). I've also recently started doing more fitness stuff - I have an exercise bike in our spare room, that I love, because I can work out and read at the same time!

With Lee Child, September 2012
I also love going to author events. Writers really are my rock stars, and I just can't help but get a little starstruck around them! Among the authors that I've met, my favourites are; Rachel Caine, Gail Carriger, Jasper Fforde, S. J. Watson, Lee Child, and Ruth Warburton. I'm always trying to find out when authors are going to be doing events or signings, near my part of the world - it's just so great to meet the people behind all of those incredible, imaginative stories.

That's pretty much all there is to know about me. If you do happen to have any burning questions, then of course feel free to email me (the address is on my contact page). I love being in touch with you guys, and being a part of this wonderful blogging community, so please, don't be shy :)

About the Blog
I started Pen to Paper on September 1st 2011, after a couple of friends (Jenny from Chocolate Chunky Munkie being one of them) began to get involved with the community. I had tried blogging once before, but several years before, when the community was not as strong, and I was not as confident in my review-writing abilities - it didn't last long, this first time around. Thankfully, when I set this blog up in 2011, it did last, and I have made many new friends, and read many new books that I may never have come across, had it not been for this wonderful community.
My main reason for setting up the blog though, was that I have a compulsive need to talk about the books that I've read, or am currently reading, and although I work in a bookshop and do an English degree, I just hadn't found an audience large enough, to settle these impulses. Blogging has given me a worldwide audience  of people just like me - people with a passion for books and reading - and ever since this extended family of wonderful, like-minded people started building up around me, I haven't looked back once.

The most rewarding thing about blogging, for me, is the feeling I get when one of my readers messages me, or comments on the blog (or my goodreads, twitter, facebook or YouTube, for that matter), to tell me that they picked up a book that I recommended, and loved it. This kind of response is something that I never expected, when I published my first post, but it's such a great thing to have come out of just a girl from England, sat behind a keyboard, fervently typing away. That is the kind of powerful effect that the blogging community has, and it truly is spectacular!
Another great reward, is that I get to work closely with both publishers and authors. As an aspiring author myself, and as someone aiming for a career in publishing, this is one gigantic bonus. These are the (wonderful, friendly, warm, passionate) people that bring me what gets me out of bed every morning, and I can't wait to be a larger part of that!

Now that I'm here, and a part of the worldwide book-blogging, book-loving community, I know that I couldn't live without it!
Some more author photos...
Click to enlarge each photo.
From left to right, top to bottom: Gail Carriger, Rachel Caine, Jasper Fforde (twice!), Lee Child, Ruth Warburton. The final two are Justin Lee Collins and Phill Jupitus - both technically comedians, but both have written books! I have also met Scottish crime-writer, Ian Rankin, but I couldn't find the photo!

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carmens007 said...

Hi Dani,
I'm Carmen Stefanescu from:
I signed to follow your blog. I'd be glad if you could honor mine, too.
I live in Romania, better known as Dracula's country. I am a teacher of English and German.
Best regards!
I sent an email, so, please check the spam/quarantine folder, too.

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