Talking Travel, Books, Food & More (Novel Newcomers: Gel @ Whimsy Reads)

Are we ready for the first interview up on my blog? Although this is the second interview of the series hehe. We’re welcome Gel @ Whimsy Reads today, as she kindly answered these interview questions.

You’ll find her links to her socials and blog at the end of this post. So, grab a cuppa and settle down for an interview with the lovely Gel! 

What’s Novel Newcomers?

The idea of debut authors being featured across the blogosphere, but with book bloggers instead. But there were so many features already focusing on debut authors at the time, why not focus on newer bloggers in the bookish community as well?

In 2016, Nori from ReadWriteLove28 and Sophia from Bookwyrming Thoughts joined forces to feature some of the newest additions in the book blogging world. In 2017, Sophia started it… but dropped off the face of the planet due to other commitments and put the feature on a hiatus for 2018.

Now Novel Newcomers is back for 2019! With me, Clo, as Soph’s co-host. Are you ready for this years fun, as we shine a light on newbie book bloggers who started in either 2017 OR 2018?

Outside of blogging and reading, what other interests do you have?

I love learning to play the guitar and the ukulele. I’m no good at both of them and I currently don’t even have time to practice but when I do I enjoy it. I love how hard it is to learn songs in the beginning but it just gets easier after every practice.

What is your most unusual accomplishment? (doesn’t have to be blogging)

Recently, I joined the February Guided Hustle Challenge in our Virtual Assistant Bootcamp community. The challenge is to write three cover letters per day for the whole month of February. After just three days of doing it, I got myself a client!

What is your favorite food? 

(hi, hello this is Clo popping in to say if you google, you can see the images of the foods. I know it’s obvious but well I didn’t include the photos, as I’m an anxious dragon over copyright infringement etc)

I want to share you guys my favorite Filipino foods!

For breakfast: Tomato and Salted Egg with Fried/Dried Fish

For lunch/dinner: Menudo

I can’t write food descriptions properly (I just know they taste good!) so good thing here’s Wikipedia to rescue me. According to Wikipedia, Menudo, also known as ginamay, is a traditional stew from the Philippines made with pork and sliced liver in tomato sauce with carrots and potatoes. Unlike the Mexican dish of the same name, it does not use tripe or red chili sauce.

Sounds super yummy, right?!

Another favorite of mine is Pininyahang Manok

Again from Wikipedia, Pininyahang manok, commonly anglicized as pineapple chicken, is a Filipino dish consisting of chicken braised in a milk or coconut milk-based sauce with pineapples, carrots, potatoes, and bell peppers. Some variants of the dish use a chicken stock base instead of milk.

As you may or may not have discovered I love dishes with carrots and potatoes on them!

As for dessert, I LOOOOVE Ube Halaya!

According to Wikipedia, Ube jam, ube halaya or halayang ube is a Philippine dessert made from boiled and mashed purple yam. Ube halaya is also used in pastries and other desserts such as halu-halo and ice cream.

If you could travel to three places in the world, where would you go and why? (ignoring the cost of travelling)

Scotland – I want to see the countryside and experience a lovely rainy day!

Australia – It’s just my dream since I was 10 years old. I don’t know why 10 year old me wants to go to Australia badly.

San Francisco, California – I want to study here someday!

Favourite reads from 2018?

Save the Date by Morgan Matson – I love hilarious and it is! It’s like a movie so someday I hope it gets to be one.

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes – The title may be all about saying yes but one of my favorite takeaways from this book is actually learning how to say no, too. Often times, I’m just too shy to say no and I end up doing work that I don’t like or doesn’t give me joy. I’m so proud of myself for learning to say no to some things last 2018.

#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso – It just reminded me that no matter how big my dreams sound, I can still achieve them.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – my new fave Historical Fiction book.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell – This one broke my heart to tiny pieces.

If you could live in and explore any fictional world, which one would you choose?

This is sooo hard but I would LOVE to be a part of the Shadowhunting world. I want to be a Shadowhunter obviously but I can be a part of the wolf pack too!

Is there something you’d like to see more/less of in the books you read? (trope, representation, themes etc)

I would like to read more scenes with girls having their periods on books. I just baffles me how girls isn’t mentioning their periods. Like don’t they get terrible cramps, heavy flow??? No???

You’re hosting a dinner party, who would be on your guest list? (fictional characters, actors/actresses/authors etc)

Will Herondale to entertain us with his demon pox song and dance, James Carstairs as my loving husband, Simon Lewis as my ex-boyfriend and well basically anyone from the Shadowhunter Chronicles because I’ve been rereading the books and I’m hooked now more than before.

Connect With Gel






7 thoughts on “Talking Travel, Books, Food & More (Novel Newcomers: Gel @ Whimsy Reads)

  1. hi Gel, welcome to the book blogging community!! music is such an awesome hobby, I took piano lessons starting in elementary school and have been meaning to get back into it (though I don’t currently have time to practice, either 😕) – I’ve also been working on composing and arranging covers, though I don’t have much of an ear for pitch or rhythm 😅

    and omg, all the foods you mention sound amazing! I’m salivating over the google image results, and definitely adding some to my recipes pinterest board to try out 😋

    as a NorCal girl born & raised, I feel like it’s rarer to see someone who’s interested in SF over LA – but I am so here for it! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Gel! I loved Save the Date too. I loved the family dynamics of that book and well, Morgan Matson is one of my favourite authors! I want to go to Australia too. I think something about it being on the other end of the world and isolated makes it unique and fascinated me.
    Oh, and I am learning to play the guitar too!
    All the best for your blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awww I loved reading this interview and learning more about Gel! I really love the sound of ukelele and lowkey want to learn to play it; my friend did Teach for America for 2 years in Hawaii and pipcked it up as a hobby. That guided hustle challenge sounds really interesting, too, I am going to have to check it out — congrats on nabbing a client!

    Having been to and fallen in love with Scotland, I highly recommend you get there! It is one of the most beautiful places in the whole damn world, and I can’t wait to go back. San Francisco is really nice, too! I live about 1.5 hours away from there currently!

    Liked by 1 person

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