Introducing Patience @abookinherhand

Sometimes, whether in the space of social media or in everyday life, you make a solid and real connection with someone. You know when you first meet them it's like you've been knowing them forever. One of the things I love about the book community on Instagram is the friendships I've made and the wonderful inspiring person I'm featuring today is one of those people. Patience @abookinherhand takes the most beautiful awe worthy photos. Ok let's face it her photos are perfect!!! Her style is ridiculously unique and I am so excited that she chatted it up with me about reading, traveling, photography,  blogging, inspiration and more!!  


 
Photo credit Patience Randle

Photo credit Patience Randle

 

TRW: Where are you from?

PR: Kansas City, Missouri :)

TRW: What sparked your love of reading?

Patience R. : My parents! My whole family has always enjoyed reading!

TRW: If you had to choose 1 genre what would you say is your favorite?

PR: I’d have to say classic literature. I absolutely love sci-fi and fantasy, but as an aspiring author, I constantly crave the elements of classic lit to “carry home with me” for modern storytelling.

TRW: What made you start a bookstagram and how would you describe your feed?

PR: I’d been following a few bookstagrammers on my personal account for a while and thought to myself one day, wait...I love to read, I’m writing a book, and I’d love to get to know some new bookworms! Basically there was nothing to lose and everything to gain and I’m absolutely loving it so far.

TRW: 3 top favorite authors?

PR: C.S. Lewis, Fernando Pessoa, and Donna Tartt.

TRW: Talk about quitting your job and traveling.

PR: I left my job in 2015 to explore the freelance world in my industry (film production/photography) so that I could have the freedom to work and travel at the same time! So far, so good :)

Photo credit Patience Randle

TRW: Tell me about your blog, blogging plans, direction.

PR: My blog started out as way to keep track of my travels after I quit my job. But now I’d like to see it evolve to accommodate my small business (photography, web design, etc) and a place where I can showcase snippets of fiction that I write :)

TRW: What is your reading schedule?

PR: I prefer reading early in the mornings before work, usually between 5:30-7am if I have the time. There’s something so sacred and very much your own about reading before the rest of the world wakes up.

TRW: Thus far what would you say is your favorite book?

PR: This is SO hard. After reading The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, I thought that nothing would ever be able to take its place. I carried it around with me for years, I just felt better with it close by. But now I feel that way about The Secret History by Donna Tartt. The way she writes is absolutely stunning and captivating. It was so hard to let go of her world after finishing it. You know how I feel about Mama Tartt Cici!!!! (So can I please have two favorites!??)

TRW: What's the best thing about being in the book community?

PR: The diversity! I’ve never met so many different people with so many different tastes at one single time. It has been the best experience being able to chat with people from all over about the same books (and different ones), it brings the world closer in a way and I love that.

TRW: Best advice for future bookstagrammers/book or photographers

I would say take the time to find a style that works best for YOU. It’s so easy to get caught up in what seems popular on other bookstagram feeds but we all have to start somewhere! And while fancy cameras help with photos, you can also get amazing results with your phone camera too. It’s all about natural light and how you arrange your props/books. Don’t stop experimenting until you find what you like ;) And don’t forget to read!

TRW: What does your photo taking process consist of?

PR: I start out with my Sony A7 and Canon FD 50mm lens. I like to arrange my books/props in a little corner next to a window (natural light is so important!). Once I’m comfortable with the setup I start snapping away! I then process the photo in a photo editing app called Adobe Lightroom on my Mac. I like the clean, simple white look so I don’t really tweak it too much. And for some photos I use the VSCOcam filter A6 on my phone.

 
Photo credit: Patience Randle 

Photo credit: Patience Randle 

 

TRW: What are looking forward to in the new year?

PR: Finishing the first draft of this novel is my main priority! I’m also looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and meeting new people, bookstagram has already helped me so much with that!

Oh, and I also can’t wait to go to BookCon in NYC this year, it’ll be my first time and I know there are going to be so many amazing bookbeans there I can’t wait!

TRW: What would be your ideal career? Are you living it?

PR: I would love to write full time. Just endless amounts of screenplays and novels. I write now, but it doesn’t pay the bills. One day, I pray that it will.

TRW: Who or what is your inspiration?

PR: I’d have to say my dad. He is constantly pouring into my life. Telling me that I can do it when I think I can’t. Telling me that I HAVE to finish this book and that I have to keep writing and creating even on the days that I want to give up. And when I think I’ve reached the ceiling, he pushes me to break through, and reach higher. Because of that he’s my biggest inspiration. Thank you dad, for lifting me up.

If you would like to follow Patience click the the links below!

Social media links:

patiencerandle.com

twitter.com/patiencerandle

goodreads.com/patienceerin

 

Q&A with Author Ruta Sepetys

To say that I am over the moon excited about this post would be an understatement. There are so many benefits to joining the Bookstagram community one of which is being exposed to different authors. Early on in my Bookstagram journey I saw this gorgeous cover floating around between bookworms. I was so transfixed on the cover and after reading everyone's poignant captions about how this story tugged on their every heartstring, I read the synopsis and knew this book was a must read. That book was 'Salt to the Sea' by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea is categorized in the YA Fiction genre. However, this book is without traditional YA tropes and is written so brilliantly from the POV of the four main characters. Sepetys delicately layers every detail of this story which reels the reader into every emotion of the character and their development. Grab your tissue! Sepetys crafts a fictional story around a real life rarely discussed historical tragedy, the bombing and sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German military ship that was to take East Prussia refugees to freedom and salvation at the closing of World War II. Sepetys' self proclaimed title of  'Seeker of Lost Stories' is well deserved as she also tackled a fictional tale around another historical event when the Soviet's invaded Lithuania in 'Between Shades of Gray'.  I've read all three of her books including 'Out of the Easy', but 'Salt to the Sea' is one of my favorite reads of 2016. You can read my review of 'Salt to the Sea' here

 
 

Sepetys is a captivating storyteller and I am bubbling because she took time out of her very busy schedule to chit chat with me for therusticwindow.com. We'll take a look at her writing process, what she's reading and the best advice for any aspiring authors!!


TRW: With Between Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea how have you mastered writing historical fiction to appeal to young readers? 

Sepetys: In order for history to appeal to readers, it has to feel human. I try to create characters who feel real, people that the reader cares about. If the reader cares about the characters, they will take the journey with them. 

TRW: How or did your family history play a role in creating Salt to the Sea? Research.

Sepetys: My own family history plays only a small role in Salt to the Sea. My father's cousin had confirmed passage on the Wilhelm Gustloff. But the day of the voyage, she was unable to board the ship. She is the one who shared the story with me and encouraged me to write about it. 

TRW: Which Salt to the Sea character do you relate to the most? Why? 

Sepetys: I probably relate to Emilia the most. She sees life through nature and has more of an inner emotional landscape than an exterior one. 

TRW: What is your writing process?

Sepetys: It's more of a "mindfulness" than a "process." I take long walks and I think about the characters, visualize them. I create scenes in my mind (like I'm watching a movie) and then I write detailed notes in a journal. There is a lot of thinking and imagining before the writing begins.

TRW: What are some of your favorite books or books that inspired you? 

Sepetys: I love "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl. As a prisoner in a concentration camp, Frankl realized that although much can be taken from us, we alone choose our attitude. It's a powerful and inspiring book. 

TRW: What can bookworms expect from you next? 

Sepetys: I'm hard at work on a new novel! It's set in Spain in the 1950's and will introduce readers to the hope and heartbreak during the Franco dictatorship. 

TRW: Advice for aspiring authors. 

Sepetys: Read lots of novels. Good writers are good readers. Consider joining a critique group and sharing your work with others. Having several people read your work and give you feedback can be very helpful. For writers who are struggling to find inspiration, I suggest they think back on their own experiences of love, loss, joy and humiliation. Those triumphs and scars are part of our individual emotional truth and if write about them—and through them—the work will have a feeling of authenticity. 


Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys

What determines how we remember history and which elements are preserved and penetrate the collective consciousness? If historical novels stir your interest, pursue the facts, history, memories, and personal testimonies available. These are the shoulders that historical fiction sits upon. When the survivors are gone we must not let the truth disappear with them. Please, give them a voice.”
― Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the Sea

Bookstagram Feature ~ Polly ~ @pollyandbooks

Are you guys having a blast scrolling through the bookstagram page. Yay! It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to my good friend Polly who takes nothing short of Perfect photos!! She just reached her 20K milestone on Instagram and if I had to describe Polly I would say she is your favorite bookstagrammer's FAVORITE BOOKSTAGRAMMER. She is always so kind to me and we're going to be buddy reading 'The Goldfinch' by Donna Tartt because we both loved 'The Secret History' so much!! Here's a little peek into Polly's bookish corner. Enjoy!!

 
 

Bookish Beginnings.....

"I've been a reader for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories is reading on holiday and visiting the library with my Dad. I got back into reading seriously a couple of years ago after discovering book blogs!"

Genres, Bookstagram, Authours & Ships...

"My favourite genre is definitely fantasy, I love the escapism and discovering completely different world."

"I had a blog on tumblr for about a year and mainly posted pictures of books on there so decided to make a bookstagram account! My feed is quite messy, I don't really have a theme but I like my pictures to look quite bright and clean!" 

"Oh my favourites three authors would have to be - Rainbow Rowell, Sarah J. Maas & Leigh Bardugo, I love everything they've written!" 

"At the moment my ultimate ship is Feyre & Rhysand from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series."

Tumbling...

"I've had a blog, pollyandbooks.tumblr.com for almost two years but I'm not as active as I'd like to be. I'm much more focused on posting on my bookstagram at the moment!" 

Reading Time, Book Fave, Bookish Connections...

"Hmm I don't know if I'd say I have a reading schedule, I try and fit it in whenever I can! If I can't fit it in I have to make time to read normally in the mornings or evenings!"

"Ohh picking a favourite is so hard, can I give you a few favourites? The Martian by Andy Weir, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson & The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh are my faves." 

"I love being able to share my love of books with people as not many people in my real life are readers. And being able to talk and fangirl about what I read with really lovely people is the best thing!" 

 
 

Tips & Community.....

"I try and know what sort of picture I want to take before I take any, most of the time I get a bunch of props I might want to use together too. Apart from that I don't really have a process when taking my pictures, I usually end up taking hundreds before I pick the one I like most and edit it before taking any other pictures!" 

"I'm not the best at giving advise but if you're thinking of starting a bookstagram I'd say that the most important thing is to be yourself and post what makes you happy! Natural lighting is always a good thing and don't worry if it takes a while to figure out a style or theme you like, it's taken me over a year to figure out what sort of pictures I like taking. Commenting nice things on other people's pictures is a great way to get to know people!"

Bookstagram Feature ~ Cherry ~ @_forevermint

I absolutely adore this girl!! Cherry @_forevermint is another bookstagrammer who's amassed almost 25,000 followers on Instagram. Her photos are clean, colorful and beautiful!! I started following her when I first started my bookstagram account and I've been hooked every since. You have to see her book stacks and spirals. EPIC!! Because she's a sweetheart she took time out to chit chat with me about her little bookish lifestyle. Enjoy!!

On her bookish spark, genres & feed...

Cherry: I've always loved reading since I was a little girl. I don't know which I loved more, the cute pictures or the stories. In 3rd grade my teacher decided to read Harry Potter to us during story time and that was when I really became obsessed with reading. My heart was CAPTIVATED beyond words. We got through the first book and after that I read them on my own and fell so madly in love with the world that I wouldn't leave my room until I finished the books as soon as they came out. 

Cherry: FANTASY. Most definitely fantasy, I blame Harry Potter. I read to escape and with my vivid imagination, every fantasy book is like this epic motion picture in my mind. I love the endless possibilities, the magic and the magical creatures. 

Cherry: I stumbled upon bookstagram accidentally one day actually. I was bored over the summer and decided to make a fashion account on IG but after taking my first picture and failing horribly, I decided to photograph my new books, The Lunar Chronicles series. Out of nowhere people started liking and commenting on my photos and I quickly discovered there was an entire community dedicated to books!! It was like falling into the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. I would describe my feed as a colorful meadow of flowers and books (and chocolate of course). At least that's what I'm going for (:

 
 

On her top authors, ships, blogging & book time....

Cherry: AH this question is so hard! But if I must, Holly Black, Leigh Bardugo and Maggie Stiefvater. I really love their writing styles and the stories they've crafted. 

Cherry: Okay so imagine like Noah's ark, but instead of animals, I would have couples from all my favorite books LOL.....Hermione + Ron, Katniss + Peeta, Rhysand + Feyre, Blue + Gansey, Anna + St. Claire, Will + Tess, Kady + Ezra, America + Maxon, Lara Jean + Peter, The Darkling + Me

Cherry: My blog started out as a place for me to review books but as I've started using goodreads more I'm starting to move away from that and have been posting other things like bullet journal tips, unboxings and tag posts. One thing I've always wanted to do was review a few shows here and there like animes and Korean dramas or create recommendation lists for them as it's always fun to find people who enjoy watching similar things. 

Cherry: I used to read all day every day, but that type of schedule only works when I have lots and lots of free time. Now, I mostly read before bed or early in the morning before everyone wakes up.

On her book fave... 

Cherry: Oh mann, Cici these questions are so difficult!! I have like 100 favorite books! But most recently I would say I really really enjoyed A Court of Mist and Fury. It's such a long and satisfying book with so many highs and lows, ahhh, just thinking about it makes me feel ALL THE FEELS. {To be honest} it's really hard to pick a favorite these days because authors are putting out sooo many amazing books. It's great. 

 
 

On Community & Bookstagram advice...

Cherry: FRIENDS! SO MANY FRIENDS! I've met so many kind, awesome, thoughtful, smart, funny, cheerful, generous, lovable people on bookstagram, my life is now full of interesting, wonderful people I get to interact with daily <3 The community part really makes bookstagram special. Reading has always been a solitary activity for me growing up as I never really had any friends who enjoyed reading as much but now I can fangirl with hundreds of people and get recommendations whenever! Bookstagram is literally a wonderland for book lovers, I love it so much. 

Cherry: I think to be really successful with either bookstagram or blogging, you have to be wiling to interact with other people and participate in the community. Taking high quality photos that are creative and represent you is also very important. For blogging, creating genuine and interesting content that is relatable and opens up discussions is essential. But with both these things, passion and sincerity is key. I think once you've figured out your style and what you want your bookstagram/blog to look like and represent, you can really have fun with it and enjoy the ride for what it is. What you get from either of these things is all up to how much you put into it--and boy is it a lot of work. Some people may not think taking pictures of books is time consuming but oh it is! Setting everything up, taking the pictures, adjusting things, all the time afterwards editing and writing the caption and then replying to everyone's comments, etc it's definitely a process. But if you really enjoy it then it's worth it, and it really really really is. 

Where you can find me :)

Twitter @_forevermint

Tumblr @forevermint

Snapchat @cherrymintt

Personal IG @cherrymintt

Blog readforevermore.wordpress.com

Bookstagram Feature ~ Mhay ~ @teariffic.books

Oh my gosh!! I am super excited about this section of my blog. As you guys know, I gush incessantly about Bookstagram!! {The book club community on Instagram} I am not an Instagrammer that cares about numbers and likes, but more connections. That's why I joined this community in the first place and one of the greatest blessings was meeting my bestie Mhay!! Not only is she sweet as pie and tea {that's why her name is TEAriffic}, but her feed is absolutely beautiful. She takes the most amazing outside island shots and I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to interview her to find out all of her bookish secrets. 

TRW: What sparked your love of reading?

Mhay: My parents. They fueled my love for the written word by reading to me every night. I loved it so much that I remember I wrote my alphabets a billion times hoping it’d speed up my ability to be able to read a whole book. My parents probably regretted it after the millionth time I showed them my terribly written A-Z alphabets. 

TRW: If you had to choose 1 genre what would you say is your favorite?

Mhay: This question makes me feel like you’re pointing a gun at me. I’m quite an open reader and I read across all genres, but the two genres I pick up the most are fantasy and contemporary be it young adult or new adult. I don’t often read just one genre, so I cannot choose one.

 
 

TRW: What made you start a bookstagram and how would you describe your feed? 

Mhay: Tumblr. I would see so many beautifully photographed books and it would lead right back to their bookstagram accounts and that’s how I dropped into wonderland. The account that I couldn’t stop looking at as I scrolled through bookstagram was @ursula_uriate .Her account gave me that push to make my own so I could stalk her account properly. Thus, my account was born on December 21, 2015. I honesty didn’t take my account seriously as I just made it to stalk beautiful bookish accounts. My feed finally was born around March 2016 with its cool tones, outdoor themes, and bright colors. 

TRW3 top favorite authors.

Mhay: Neil Gaimen, Marie Lu, and Renee Carlino.

TRW: Who do you ship?

Mhay: Oh, this is easy. Warner and I. Rhysand and I. Not what you meant? {My bestie is hialrious}

TRWTell me about your blog, blogging plans, direction.

Mhay: My blog is fairly new. I’m still working out a schedule and brainstorming ideas to be able to post consistently. I hope to post a review and other (tags, challenges, unboxings, etc.) If you’d like to check out my content thus far here’s a link to my blog: tearifficbooks.wordpress.com

TRW: What is your reading schedule? 

Mhay: Since I’m currently in summer break I read about three times a day. First when I wake up, then in the afternoon, and before I sleep. 

TRW: Thus far what would say is your favorite book? 

Mhay: Another tough question…I’ll just go with my favorite book as of 2016- Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. It’s a book I highly recommend everyone to read.

 
 

TRWWhat's the best thing about being in the book community?

Mhay: The reason I love the book community so much is because of the friendships I made with people who share the same love and passion I have for reading and being able to share your reading experiences with them. (I have made friends where I could send them long essays about all my feels for a certain book and they don’t mind at all. Lol)

 TRWBest advice for future bookstagrammers/book bloggers? 

 MhayJust read, share your love for books, and support each other. 

CiCi, I love Mhay!! Where can I find her. 

seoulologyy.tumblr.com

Instagram.com/teariffic.books

twitter.com/seoulologyy