Sunday, 11 May 2014

Reader Spotlight: Shaun O'Keefe

Today it's the turn of Shaun O'Keefe to appear in the weekly Reader Spotlight feature.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am 23, nearly 24 :( and am at that stage in my life where I really need to think about where my life is going but have no idea. I live in Liverpool, but often find myself in London which I consider to be my second home and where I would love to move one day. Reading is one my favourite things to do but I also love music, TV (soaps, US dramas, panel shows) and I would love to travel one day and visit places like New York and Australia.

Have you always been a bookworm?
Definitely. I can still remember the day I got my first library card. I would then go every single weekend and want to borrow every book I laid my eyes on. Visiting the library weekly continued up until I got my Kindle. I do still visit the library (Liverpool's city centre one is now one of the best in the UK so I'd be a fool not to!) but most of my reading is on Kindle. Growing up I would always have a book on the go, and remember a few years ago being able to log in to the library website and seeing every book I'd borrowed since the year 2000! Unfortunately I lost my card and can't access that info any longer. I don't know where my passion for books came from, the only two people I know in my family that have ever been big readers are my mum and nan.

Do you have a favourite author?
My favourite author has always been Jackie Collins but I'm going to go with Kimberley Chambers. Kimberley is an author who is yet to write a bad book (and never will...) and she has definitely shot right to the top of my favourite author list over the past few years. For me I want books which are realistic, have fantastic characters and where the world created within just feels so real that it's like you are there. Kimberley writes these sorts of books. I absolutely love anything to do gangsters, and gangland London. Growing up I had an unhealthy obsession with the Kray twins and would read and watch everything I could about them.

I then discovered Martina Cole and waited years for an author to come along that was just as good if not better. Kimberley is definitely that author. Along with Jessie Keane and Jacqui Rose she has completely revitalised this genre of books for me and I constantly recommend her books to anybody who will listen. The first book of Kimberley's I read was The Feud which is the first in a trilogy, well after a week I'd finished the trilogy and couldn't wait to get my hands on her other books. Most recently from Kim was the first two books in her latest trilogy The Trap and Payback. Usually with my favourite authors I am wary and apprehensive about whether their new book will be as good or better as their previous one, no such fears with Kim. Having read each of her books it definitely is a case of improving with each one. 

What is your all-time favourite book that you love to read time and time again? 
Jackie Collins – Chances. I just love this book. As well as my gangland obsession I also loved anything to do with the Mafia and true crime growing up and one of my favourite books was The Godfather. Now Chances, whilst a female oriented book has huge similarities for me with The Godfather in certain parts of the book. Chances is like five books in one there is so much going on. It also features my favourite female fictional character ever and that is Lucky Santangelo. I feel that there's quite a few of Jackie's books which could be read and enjoyed by men. 

Do you have a preferred genre that you mainly read, or are you open to read almost anything? 
My genre of choice is and always will be crime fiction but a few years ago I read a Sophie Kinsella book and discovered chick lit. In real life people think it's weird but I couldn't care less, growing up most of my friends were girls so I find myself relating to them really easily. I do read mostly crime but throughout the year I read a healthy mix of crime fiction, chick lit, thrillers, autobiographies, family sagas set in Liverpool or London, young adult and true crime. 

What book is top of your current wishlist? 
The Wronged by Kimberley Chambers. This is book three of her current trilogy and I am that eager to read it that I am already wishing the year away. It's not out till 2015 and doesn't have a cover but it's the one I want more than any other. I'm going to say this might be Kimberley's best book ever as it is going to feature a character her readers already know and love from her Facebook page and that's a certain canine by the name of Fred. Seriously though after the events of book two, Payback, anticipation levels for this book are through the roof!

Physical books or eBooks, what’s your preference? 
Ebooks because I read them quicker! You can't beat new books though, especially the smell! Or visiting a bookshop. I find myself visiting bookshops for recommendations for my Kindle though which I know is terrible but ebooks tend to be cheaper. 

What was the last book you read that made you cry? 
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I just loved this book. It was on my to read list for the longest time but I finally read it and it was just amazing. Seriously. I think most people will have read this book by now but if you haven't I really suggest getting it ASAP and reading it. 

If you were going to be stuck on a desert island and could only take 3 books with you, which ones would you choose? 
Jackie Collins – Chances JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Kimberley Chambers – The Trap

What book would you like to see made into a film and who would you cast for the central characters? 
Definitely one of Kimberley's trilogy of books but I honestly have no idea who I would cast. I love the Carters in EastEnders and think Sam Strike (Johnny) would perhaps be a good choice for Joey from The Feud who is gay. Not sure if Danny would be good as Eddie or Vinny. I also love Kellie Bright who plays Linda Carter. I also love Sheridan Smith and Jaime Winstone so would like to see them in there. Though suppose Sheridan would have to change her accent. Kimberley's books like Martina's would also work great on television and I would love to see this one day.

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