Book Blogger interview with Georgia (The Books Bandit) #DiversityMonth

img_02341-jpg1Hi, I’m Georgia, a blogger from London! I am an aspiring writer, and journalist, who dabbles in photography. Reading has always been a favourite hobby of mine, I love jumping into different worlds and meeting new people. Away from the books, I enjoy painting, poetry, and baking.

Social Media Links:
Twitter: @Books_Bandit
Facebook: thebooksbandit

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As a book blogger I’m pretty certain you love reading but when you were growing up did you find the books you wanted/needed?
When I was younger, it was fairly hard to find the books that I necessarily wanted to read. I would often wonder into my school’s library and the only books I could find were the ones that had a strong male protagonist going on a heroic quest. Whilst I did find those stories fairly engaging, I wanted something different, like a girl saving the day, rather than being the stereotypical damsel-in-distress; I wanted some girl power in my life! It was only when I went to my local library did I find some of the books that I needed in my life. I think it was the Rainbow Magic! books by Daisy Meadows that made me realise that girls could be the hero too, and that was when I thought I should try to find books where the female characters were weaker than the male.

rainbow-magic

Why is good representation in books important to you?
A good representation means that the reader will have more of a realistic feeling of something being described in a novel. An author may choose to write about a certain culture, for example, and the representation is so amazing, the reader would actually feel like they are experiencing the culture for themselves, rather than through someone else’s eyes. A false representation of something isn’t my cup of tea, really, as it means that as a reader I’d have to imagine that certain something that the author is describing, or I would have to look it up to learn more about it myself. Books need to have a good representation so the reader can understand what the writer is writing about – whether that be about a certain culture, or country, the author should be as realistic as possible.

malalaAre there any books you want to recommend?
Ah! There are so many books to recommend! I think the main one for me would have to be I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, it was an extremely poignant novel that brought me to tears because of what Malala had to go through, just so that she could have her education, as well as every girl having an access to school. All of the Above and Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson are equally amazing, both written so fantastically that I had finished them within a sitting. Dawson writes incredibly realistically (well, Mind Your Head is a non-fiction, informing you of the different mental health illnesses, but it was very straight to the point).

Let’s pretend the magic is there and you can have exactly what you want. How would you like diversity in publishing to be?
Well for one, I would have the different characters come from different religions and cultures, have them be different ages (rather than them being the stereotypical teenagers in YA or MG novels), and just let them be the mirror image of us – i.e. characters who deal with bullying, or mental health issues, I want novels to portray characters as if they were people in our world; special in their own and unique way. I think it’s important for diversity to be portrayed in the way that yes, the author can write their cast in the way they want, but in the sense that they have to tackle certain problems, e.g. body shaming. If the magic was there, I would make sure that diversity was so true, that others would learn to accept that everybody is different.51kpr8osngl-_sy445_ql70_

What do you think we as book bloggers/reviewers can do to support this?
I guess that bloggers could promote more books that have diverse characters (i.e. ones that come from India) or set in different countries that you wouldn’t normally find stories set in. I tend to find stories that are either set in fictional worlds, or countries such as Britain or America – but there are a few that I’ve fond that are set in Russia and Italy – more books like this that have such a strange and wonderful history should be promoted!

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