First off, thank you all for being so supportive of this series! I’ve been having a great time interviewing people and I love that y’all are enjoying it too!
Today’s very special guest? The one and only GARAN from @gobletoffiction!
I’ve been a big fan of Garan since he began his wildly hilarious (and super cute) booktube…seriously, he’s probably reallllllll tired of me reacting to all his videos and Insta stories! Garan is not only incredibly funny, he’s also very kind and earnest. Watching his vlogs really make my day (and seriously add to my TBR) and if you aren’t subscribed to his channel, following him on Instagram, or following his Twitter, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! Without further ado, here’s the lovely little convo we had.
Why did you decide to start a bookstagram, then an INCREDIBLY HILARIOUS YouTube channel?
First of all, thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of this today and also thank you for the KIND words about my channel.
I started my bookstagram just after the new year. I was having one of those moments where I felt like I needed something new and creative to put some effort into and I had been following a few bookstagrams already for a couple of years so it just felt like the perfect jump for me. I’ve always loved to read and I thought that it would be a way to help me read more and hold me accountable. As for Booktube, a friend of mine (Chandler Ainsley) is a booktuber and she’d been telling me for a while that she thought I would be successful on Booktube and I finally listened to her and expanded my platform to include youtube as well. I’d desperately been wanting a new community to join for a while when I started my accounts and I’m so lucky that people have been so welcoming on both IG and YT.
You’re also super active on Twitter (and equally hilarious), and constantly talking books and other fun things! Who are your favorite people/authors you’ve been able to connect with or interact with on Twitter?
Oh, I love Twitter SO MUCH! Twitter was actually my first taste of the book community at large. I’ve met so many amazing people through it and have been able to make so many cool connections because of how much we all love books! Twitter is where I met Chan, as well as my bffs Emily (@LibraiEmm) and Kate (@FlyingFoxReads on IG). Author wise, I am a reply fiend on Rainbow Rowell’s tweets. She wrote my fave book, Carry On. I am also certain that I met Ryan La Sala on Twitter as well. His first novel, Reverie, just debuted on December 3rd and it is INCREDBLE!
A lot of people choose their username to include their name, but you didn’t (and I love it)! What was the thought process behind your username/blog title?
USERNAMES ARE SO HARD! I knew that I wanted something that was punny and bookish but also something recognizable. Goblet Of Fire is my favorite Harry Potter book so the moment I thought of GobletOfFiction, I instantly knew it was the right pick for me.
What does your ideal day look like (think of Miss Congeniality ;))?
Oooooh, that’s a tough one. I love springtime because it always rains more here. I think my perfect day is sitting in our sun room, reading a book and drinking an iced coffee while a thunderstorm rages outside.
What is your first book-related memory, and/or your favorite books as a kid?
Oof, my earliest book memory is my mom reading The Giving Tree to us when I was like six and then WEEPING for like 30 minutes because of how SAD and SWEET is was. I’ve always loved that book and it still elicits those strong feelings to this day.
This is a weird question, I know, but I live my life as if I have an awesome movie soundtrack going on in the background. If your life was a movie and had a soundtrack, what would your entrance song be?
I’m totally gonna be That Bitch right now and says “you should see me in a crown” by Billie Eilish. It pumps me up so much and I always imagine I’m like in slow motion walking down some type of hallway when I listen to it.
[blogger note: that song is a serious bop so I’m. here. for. this.]
Speaking of music, you’re pretty active in theatre and musicals in your community (also from what I can tell, you’re pretty dang talented)! What are your favorite musicals or plays (besides Six, of course 😉 )?
Oh my gosh, thank you so so much. Theatre has been such a savior for me. I’m a Pisces so the safe space to be able to explore emotions and performance is something vital to my happiness. You’re right about me loving Six. I also REALLY love Fun Home, Company, and Soho Cinders. I love a ton of musicals but those are the three that are constantly on my mind right now. My favorite play is probably Rabbit Hole which is about a family who is grieving the loss of their toddler. The playwright calls it a “funny play about sad people” and I agree with that. It’s dark and heavy but they really navigate it all in a light way and I appreciate that contrast. I would love to be in it one day. Also, Puffs is a HILARIOUS play that I’m a little obsessed with right now.
Okay, back to bookstagram! I don’t know about you, but I’ve found some pretty great books through my fellow bookstagrammers! What are your favorite books that you’ve found through bookstagram?
Oh, so so many. I know that I first heard about Red, White, & Royal Blue through bookstagram and it is still one of my favorite books of the year!
We’ve both been on bookstagram about the same amount of time, and I know in that time that I’ve gotten some bookstagram pet peeves- do you have any pet peeves and if so, what are they?
I think my biggest pet peeve would be people who get angry at you if they DM you and then you don’t respond fast enough for them. Whether it just be a reaction to your story or a question they might have, I’ve had a few people get genuinely angry with me about not responding in the way they wanted me to! I think that we all just have to be mindful that this is a hobby and every content creator still has a life and things that they are committed to. I think we put too much pressure on each other to be ON all the time but that is not always the safest option for everyone’s mental health.
While obviously there’s some negatives of bookstagram, it’s also an amazing community of people. What is/are your favorite thing(s) about bookstagram?
My favorite thing about bookstagram is truly being apart of the community. I love love love talking to people and making friends. I’ve some super cool people (yourself included) and that is absolutely the best part of this platform.
In addition to being a hilarious and inspiring bookstagrammer and booktuber, you’ve also had a lot of awesome partnerships along the way! What have been some of your favorite bookish opportunities you’ve had since starting your bookstagram and/or booktube?
Oh, 100% getting to work with Fae Crate. I’ve worked with Penguin and Book Of The Month YA as well as a few other publishing companies but the team at Fae Crate is the ABSOLUTE best. They are so kind and they take care of us and always support us. The owners of the company have become my friends and, man, I just love them so much.
[another blogger note: because of Fae Crate, Garan gets to go to Book Expo of America AND BookCon next year- how freaking cool is that?!]
What advice do you have for bookstagram/booktube newbies?
Try not to let yourself get weighed down by numbers. That was my biggest downfall in the first few months. Once I started focusing on creating, the joy came and I stopped being so nervous about every post I drafted.
I know this is probably an impossible question BUT I’m still going to ask you: (to you), what makes a great book/read?
For me, it’s all about the connection between the characters. You can set a book in a room with only a table and two chairs as long as the characters and dialogue work for me, I’ll be okay. That might be the actor/script analyst in me but if the relationships don’t work, there are no stakes for me.
And finally, what are you currently reading?!
I am reading SO MANY THINGS but I am FOCUSING on Mr. Frosty Pants by Leta Blake and The Christmas Shop by Nancy Naigle BECAUSE IT IS VLOGMAS! Thank you again for having me. I really enjoyed this and I am so appreciate of the opportunity to chat with you about these platforms that I love so much.
[yet another blogger note: reach out to me if you’ve read The Christmas Shop…I have t h o u g h t s]
It was such a dang treat to talk to Garan and tbh just to follow him and share in his book journey, so I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did! Seriously, subscribe to Garan’s booktube here, follow him on Twitter here, and follow him on bookstagram here– I assure you that you will NOT regret it 🙂
Until next time…
[final blogger’s note: dangit Garan, I forgot to ask about RORY!]