BAMB 7Qs with Edward Hancox

Edward Hancox will be joining us on Books Are My Bag day - Saturday 10 October -  between 11 am and 12:30 pm! Edward will be enjoying cake as well as chats, photos and book signings!

Edward Hancox is the author of Iceland, Defrosted, a brilliant travel book loosely based on a circuitous route around Iceland. The book concentrates on places, people and experiences, soundtracked by the coolest Icelandic musicians, all wrapped up in the warmest lopapeysa and jump-started with the strongest coffee. It is a story that’s almost a love letter, born from a constant yearning for this special place and fuelled by a growing understanding and a desire to uncover the real Iceland. Edward Hancox is a local author who can often be found at Wenlock Books!

1) Why are high street and independent bookshops important to you?

“Well, I've always loved bookshops. As quick and efficient as the internet is, something goes missing in the process; something that only bookshops can deliver. It's hard to actually quantify - it could be a smiling suggestion from a bookseller, a chance to find something new and then read the first chapter with a cup of coffee in hand, or just meeting other like minded book lovers. I also find them hugely inspiring. It must be all those ideas being captured on pages and then arranged on shelves. I quite often leave with a book in my hand and a head full of ideas!"

2) Name your three favourite independent bookshops (apart from us, of course!). What makes them special?

“Hmm, this a tough one. Leakey's in Inverness is wonderful - a former church, it's now full to the rafters with second-hand books and has a cafe that serves a hearty soup. It's a great place to hide out for a day, especially if the weather is being typically Scottish.
We have so many great book shops in and around Shropshire. Even The Book Barge - a floating book shop is moored nearby in Staffordshire. It's a great little bookshop that has travelled around the canals of the UK. You can read about it in the owners book - The Bookshop That Floated Away. She even has a rabbit that lives aboard call Napoleon Bunnyparte.
For truly independent, there is a tiny bookshop in a village called Flateyri in the remote Westfjords of Iceland. It's miles from anywhere and has been open since 1898. It has survived avalanches and biting cold winters. The current owner is a great, great grandchild of the original owner. This place is less about the books and more about the stories - especially if you get chatting to the extravagantly bearded Eyþór who will happily show you around and share some tales of life in Flateyri with you."

3) What is the best, funniest, quirkiest or most moving experience you have ever had in a bookshop?

“It has to be the launch of Iceland, Defrosted. I decided that there would be three launches, Reykjavik, the Embassy of Iceland in London, and Wenlock Books. Anna and the team at Wenlock Books were really supportive, and we turned a very English bookshop into a slice of Iceland for the evening, complete with Icelandic delicacies and Icelandic music. The bookshop was filled with friends, family and book lovers - it was a great evening and one that I won't forget!"

QUICK FIRE ROUND!

4) What three words come to mind when you think of Wenlock Books?

“Friendly, warmth, community."

5) What has been your favourite book of 2015 so far?

“Snowblind by Ragnar Jónsson - a crime novel but set in rural and very snowy Iceland. The very opposite to the usual city based cop procedural."

6) What books are you looking forward to reading before the end of the year?

“The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson. I'm a huge Bryson fan but didn't enjoy his latest books as much. So pleased he is back on the road!"

7) What are your top three desert island reads?

“Penguins Stopped Play : Harry Thompson
McCarthy's Bar : Pete McCarthy
The Blue Fox : Sjón"

Keep up-to-date with our Books Are My Bag plans by following us on Twitter @wenlockbooks, and join in by using our hashtag #WenlockBooksAreMyBag.

Don't forget to use the Books Are My Bag hashtag #BAMB and to tag @booksaremybag too!