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Tea and Talk at Sally Lunn’s with reviewer Shaz Goodwin

Sally Lunns Tea HouseDSCF1675Welcome Shaz to Tea and Talk, lovely to see you here and a first for me interviewing a reviewer and not a writer as I usually do.

Thank you for inviting me Jo.  I’m looking forward to this * gets comfortable *

First, to kick off, I know you live in Dorset and are near the sea, -something which I’m very envious of -but could you tell us a little about yourself, your family and of course your animals.

I was born here although I have no heritage here!  My father was a Londoner and mother originally from Devon so it was quite difficult for me as a child as my peers had families going back generations and generations.  Not that I didn’t have any friends! but we were seen as the ‘outsiders’.

My OH is from Berkshire so when I offered to move there (gulp) I was extremely glad he wanted to move here!  Next year it’s our 25th wedding anniversary (seriously, where does time go?) and I’m hoping we’ll go back to Fowey, where we spent the first week of our honeymoon.

My eldest son is off to Uni this September (we don’t see very much of him now so I think we will probably see more of him when he moves out!) and youngest son is going into his second year of college.  Both boys have chosen to study media, animations, 3D graphics etc.  I am quite jealous truth to be told …

At the moment we have another addition to the household in the form of youngest son’s friend.  He’s had rather a stormy family background in the past, recently kicked out of home, he’s staying with us.  He’s no trouble at all.

We still have one of our cats, Baggins, with us.  He’s recently had his 16th birthday and he’s been with us since 6 weeks old.  We had to say goodbye to his half-brother, Barney, just before Christmas and I was devastated.  He was my shadow and I still miss him.  Taz is our cross-breed rescue dog and entertains us on most days … he is such a character!  It’s thanks to him that we have to get out in all weathers.  We’re living a much healthier lifestyle.

How long have you been a reviewer and what exactly made you take this up?

I’ve been reviewing since February 2011.  Having always been an avid reader, when I realised that such things as book blogs existed I couldn’t believe that this opportunity to share my love of the written word existed!  I started with reviewing books and Jera’s Jamboree has grown to encompass other features too.

I know you review a wide variety of books but have you a favourite genre?

I always find this question really difficult to answer because honestly, I don’t.  As long as the plot and characters take me on a journey that leaves the outside world behind, that I can be completely engrossed in, the story can be any genre.  The one genre I am quite ‘picky’ about is erotica.  It has to have a strong plot at the foundation for me to want to pick it up.

Is there any one book which has been a special favourite?

I’m going back to my childhood to answer this question Jo.  It has to be Enid Blyton’s The   Faraway Tree.  All of those magical journeys to different lands to be found at the top of the tree!  Always a new ‘moral’ to ponder on and such fab names too – Moonface and Saucepan Man!   Adventures that have stayed in my memory.

Yes I remember The Faraway Tree, we used to have it read to us when I was in junior school!  You have a website – Jera’s Jamboree – besides your reviewing is there anything else which features there?

I also host guest posts, interviews, book news, promotional posts, writing news, giveaways and my popular ‘Stationery Love’ feature.  Once a year I post my top reads.  I also enjoy being creative so once in a while you’ll see my blog’s theme and icons change.

Do you have a typical day?

During term-time, I’ll be up just after 6.  There’s not such a thing as a typical day in school as everything I do meets the needs of the school community so although I may have blocked time in my schedule to do certain tasks, it often gets rearranged.  As soon as I’m home, the laptop goes on and I catch up with social media.  Often my OH will come home from work and I haven’t even thought about a meal.  He’ll often start the cooking …  I’ll check in to my work emails and then after dinner it’s a dog walk which has more value than anything else for relaxing and bringing peace and being centred.  This marks the time between the end of the working day and the start of my leisure day.

During half-term/end of term holidays it’s totally different!  I wake up when my body is ready, potter around, meet up with friends, have pampering sessions, read when I want, log on to the laptop when I want, dog walks at lunch etc.  I love the freedom of not being ruled by time!

If you were marooned on a desert island, what would be the essential three things you would want to have with you and why?

I’ve been pondering this question for an age and all I have in my head is ‘On The Island’ by Tracey Garvis Graves!   So with this in mind I would have to take a companion and my choice is Ed Westwick = for keeping me sane, gorgeous eye candy for uplifting the spirits (essential) oh and doing the macho things and keeping me safe (and of course he’s much younger than me).   A Porta Potty (reducing the chances of getting my bum bitten) with an endless supply of aloe vera leaves which grow in abundance on my island!  My last choice has to be ripstop nylon, very versatile ie tent, clothing but I’m thinking of making a kite with driftwood for the spars and skis …

If you could invite four guests to dinner who would they be and why would you choose them?

Well Jo, I’m fascinated with DNA and research so …Brian Sykes (The Seven Daughters and Adam’s Curse), Paramahansa Yogananda to tie the DNA in with ancient wisdom – and maybe learn a little spiritual wisdom myself.  Next on my list would be biologist Toby J Gibson – he could put his research of molecular biology (including DNA finds) to the group.  Finally, the late Douglas Adams.  He could give everything a quirky and fun twist.  I’m sure the discussions would be mind-blowing!

Many thanks Shaz for taking the time to drop in to Tea and Talk, it’s been a really enjoyable chat!  If you would like to learn more about Shaz and her work just click on the links below –

Jera’s Jamboree

Facebook Jera’s Jamboree

Twitter @shazjera



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Directs fictional destinies. Living on the edge of a wonderful Georgian city. Addicted to Arthurian legend, good wine, and rock music. Writes...mostly about love

5 thoughts on “Tea and Talk at Sally Lunn’s with reviewer Shaz Goodwin

  1. Smashing interview. And such a nice change to read about a reviewer. Well done, Jo! I always find learning a little about people’s lives interesting, and Shaz’s is no exception. And how lucky to live in beautiful Devon. Us authors owe a lot to book reviewers and we need to support them more. Shaz does a wonderful job – one of the best!

  2. Brilliant to see Shaz here, well done Jo, and thanks for such great questions. I learned quite a lot of new things about the lovely Shaz today! Fabulous interview, thank you both!

  3. Great and fascinating interview and I especially loved the answers to the dinner guest question. I would love to be a fly on the wall. The port-a-loo is inspired, you’d need a life – time supply of Andrex. The photo I gather if of you and OH…? Is he by any chance a Red Arrow? Now if he were, make sure you have him at the dinner party so I can listen in – now that would be fun too. Good luck and thanks for visiting my blog too. Such a fun interview Joanne. Thanks.

    1. Thank you Jane. Alas, the Red Arrow is not my man … my claim to fame hahaha. It was taken at the air show last year in Bournemouth! Although this week I met the children’s author, Jeremy Strong, at an event at my school. Have a cheesy grin in that photo too!

      Thank you for following Jera’s Jamboree Jane (oooh, alliteration!)

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