Lights, Camera, Blog Action!

This is a special feature dedicated to spreading the word about the other great blogs that are out there! I have found a lot of great blogs through such features and I want to be able to share some book blog joy too!

If anyone would like to participate email me at pageturnersbooks(at)

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Today I am featuring Mayowa from Pens with Cojones. I only discovered this blog very recently but already I am enjoying it a lot. The content is so well written and on a real variety of issues in the publishing and writers world. I highly recommend this blog to people not only after good book reviews, but quality discussion on other literary related issues.

Q: Tell us something about yourself:

A: I love Bacon. Besides that inescapable truth, I write literary fiction and I'm busy slacking away on novel number two. I am Nigerian although I live in the States now.

Q: What was your favourite book as a child or young adult, and why?

A: I loved Enid Blyton books as a kid, my friends and I devoured everything she wrote. The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew (there goes the gangsta reputation) were a close second. I am not sure why I loved these books, but when I look back now I realize there's something just a little bit twisted about all these Nigerian kids obsessed with the imaginary lives of kids in the West.

Q: Why do you love to read?

A: I've tried to remember the exact moment when I became "a reader" but even my earliest memories involve books (ask my folks what happened whenever I lost the book I was reading for a moment, a tsunami of tears I tell you). It's hard to say why I love reading, when I've always read. Maybe my love for reading mirrors my love for bacon; it's inexplicable and unending.

Q: How do you choose your books?

A: I get most of my recommendations from the blogosphere. There's something raw and instinctual about a bloggers reaction to a novel, something unsullied by the excessively highfalutin analysis you can find at the highest levels of literary criticism. I still read reviews in the NYT, Harpers, Granta and the rest, I just trust bloggers more. You and other great book bloggers get the credit for this one.

Q: If you had to narrow it down - who would be your 3 favourite authors and what would be your 3 favourite books?

A: This is always a tough question for me and if you asked me tomorrow, i'd give you a different answer. Today though, I'll say Vladimir Nabokov, Toni Morrison and Sidney Sheldon.

Q: When and why did you start your blog?

A: I started blogging at the end of March this year. I wrote my first novel in total isolation from the blogosphere and book world and when I emerged (bruised and joyful), I decided to find out everything I could about publishing and literary culture. It was rather shocking to discover how things really work in the industry and I felt (and still feel) that the status quo was unhealthy for authors and readers. The blog is an attempt to connect with other writers, readers and industry professionals to share what I've learned, learn what they have shared and to shake things up a bit.

Q: How did you choose your blog's name?

A: I was talking (read ranting) to a friend who worked in publishing for many years about authors getting shafted and I said something about authors needing cojones to tackle these issues. When I decided to start the blog, Pens With Cojones felt natural. Also it cracks me up because I have the brain of fourteen year old.

Q: What do you love about book blogging?

A: The people I meet for sure. I can't tell you how great it feels to walk the writing walk, the reading walk with other writers/bloggers/readers. There are endless articles out there proclaiming the death of letter writing between members of the literati. but I think these blog posts are our letters to each other and to the world, they are our confessions, our rants, our opinions laid bare for anyone to examine and be amazed.

Q: What tips do you have to offer to other book bloggers?

A: Don't stop trying to get better at it. Also make sure that you're not in an echo chamber, if you're a literary blogger, check out genre blogs, same goes the other way. There's a real danger to hanging out with the same folks all the time (see highfalutin tendencies in the academic/literary establishment).

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Some of my earliest memories involve books too. I remember every night one of my parents would read a chapter of this beautiful illustrated version of The Magical Faraway Tree by Enid Blighton. They are really lovely memories and I am sure are what motivated me to becmoe a reader.

Thank you for participating and I hope that people take the time to check out this blog.


  1. This is a great new feature! I'll have to check out Mayowa's blog. It sounds so unique!

  2. Thank you for having me and for your kind words, Becky. I had a blast answering your questions.

    Hope you liked the blog Emidy. Une Parole looks great and I'm following you now.

  3. Wonderful insight and thanks for sharing your thoughts and tips for other book bloggers! Much appreciated!


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