Geek Girl Blog Tour – Author Holly Smale’s Geekiest Traits

I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Holly Smale’s Geek Girl with a Q&A about her geekiest traits.

You can see a list of the other stops on the tour on the list below and I posted my review of the wonderful funny Geek Girl here.


Hi Holly, congratulations on the book and thanks for answering my questions about your geekiest traits. Firstly I’m very pleased that being a geek is now seen in a more desirable light.

Thank you! Me too! The first time I ever got called a “geek” – when I was about seven years old – I cried for about three days. Now people are proudly buying T-shirts with the word emblazoned across it. It’s an amazing turn-around.

When did you first start to accept and be proud of your geekiness? When did you let your inner geek out?

I’ve always let my inner geek out without actually meaning to: that’s kind of what Geek Girl is about. I remember when I was eleven obliviously telling my brand new class that my “favourite single” was The Dying Swan by Tchaikovsky, and getting mocked mercilessly for the next three hours. There’s never been any hiding my inner geek, sadly: it’s really quite gobby.

It took a really long time to be proud of it, though, and I probably didn’t really come to terms with who I was until my late-twenties. I sometimes still struggle with parts of my own particular brand of geekiness, though. It’s fine that I recite Shakespeare when I’ve had too many glasses of wine and sometimes dribble a bit when I laugh: it’s not so fine when my social awkwardness leads me to say hugely embarrassing things and stops me making friends, or when I get overly verbose and irritate people. It’s more a case of acceptance, really. That shy, nervous little geek in me will always be there, so I just try to be kind to her instead of shouting at her all the time.

I have a feeling that being a writer potentially predisposes us to geekiness  (e.g. stationery and smelling books). What are your writerly geeky traits?

All of them. Book shops and libraries are where I immediately go when I’m stressed, or anxious, or overexcited, or physically lost. There’s something about the smell and potential of them that makes me feel both calm and a bit tingly. I also have the normal writer’s Stationery Habit: I buy dozens of beautiful pens and notepads to “write things”, and then end up scribbling ideas on the back of supermarket receipts because I don’t want to ruin them.

Oh, and lists. I’m a list-freak. I have one right in front of me right now. Answering this question is on it. (*Leans forwards and triumphantly crosses it off*)

To me geekiness is akin to passion and addiction. What addictions and passions do you have? What would you happily lose sleep to do?

Books are my main passion, and also what keep me up at night: it’s physically impossible for me to choose being unconscious over a good story. If I haven’t read or written anything in a while I get narky, and depressed, and twitchy, and I shout at people I don’t know very well. I think that’s a pretty universal sign of addiction to anything.

Do you think Twitter helps to feed your inner geek because it’s the perfect place for a geek up with others that may share our bizarre obsessions?

Twitter feeds EVERYTHING, doesn’t it? It gives people a place to meet and communicate about things they love, and that can be a great thing, but I also think it can be an obsession in itself. I’ve actually found myself refreshing my Twitter feed in the cinema, during quite a good film. That’s the problem with geeks/obsessive people: there are no limits to the things you can become obsessed by.

Do you think that the growing acceptance of geeks demonstrates a growing acceptance of difference in general?

I hope so. I remember when I was young that “normal” felt quite limited: you either ticked the box, or you didn’t. Now a lot of our biggest icons in every area of life – film, books, music, fashion – seem to be constantly pushing the boundaries of what that word means, and it encourages people to be whoever they want to be. That has to be a good thing. I just really hope it spreads as far as the people who struggle the most to “fit in”. I’d hate for Geekiness to become such a cool trend that isolates insecure or awkward people even more, because then it’s doing the opposite of what it’s supposed to do.

Finally down to the nitty gritty

Who would you happily stalk and why?

Ryan Gosling. There’d be so many of us I’d have lots of other people to talk to. And he’d never see me.

Geekiest book choice

A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking. I’m nowhere near smart enough to understand all of it, but I find it fascinating.

Geekiest song choice

Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky. Still.

Geekiest menu

My favourite coffee: Starbucks Medium Cappuccino, extra hot with soya milk and two pumps of Almond Syrup (not four) and less froth and extra chocolate sprinkles. Every single time I ask for it I can see the person behind the counter trying not to punch me.

Geekiest outfit (feel free to share a picture)

My mum’s holey tracksuit bottoms, thermal vest, thermal leggings, a beige jumper that doesn’t fit my dad anymore and cheap grey NHS glasses that make me look “like an old lady” (I won’t share a picture because I don’t want your readers to combust with jealousy at just how vampy and glamorous I am.)

Geekiest trait of all

Getting overexcited and writing overly-long answers on Q and A quizzes.

Feel free to add anything else geeky that you’d like to be loud and proud about.

I hate Star Trek, I don’t read comics and I know nothing about computers. So there you go.

A huge thank you to Holly for sharing this insight with me – she truly is a geek after my own heart.

So dear readers what are your geekiest traits?

Geek Girl by Holly Smale is out on 28th February, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, £6.99 (PB).  Also available in e-book formats.

Posted on February 20, 2013, in Author Interviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Great questions and great answers .. many of which resonate with me. I particularly love ” it’s physically impossible for me to choose being unconscious over a good story” and totally agree 🙂

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