Tome Topple is officially into Week 2 and the finish line is in sight! I’m making excellent progress on King of Scars and am really, really loving it! Today’s interview is with Tori from Tori Morrow over on YouTube! Let’s get started and chat with Tori!
Mr Geek: Hi Tori! Thanks for taking the time to chat! To kick things off, why don’t you introduce yourself to my readers. What are a few things you enjoy doing outside of reading? Have any fun hobbies? What do you do as your day job?
Tori: Hey, Tome Topplers! My biggest hobby outside of reading is definitely playing video games. I’m big into open-world RPGs, action, and games with strong narratives. Some of my all-time favorites include: Fallout 4, Horizon Zero Dawn, The Last of Us, Control, Uncharted, and Bioshock. A hobby that I’ve started recently and have surprisingly been loving is hiking. It’s one of the few forms of exercise I’ve found I actually enjoy, but it’s also been amazing for my mental health in a way I couldn’t have imagined. The Chicagoland area has so many beautiful hiking trails and parks, and it’s been great exploring more of them and spending hours in nature.
By day, I work in non-profit recruitment in a senior project management role. By night, I’m a writer (currently struggling to clean up a terrible draft of my novel) and freelance short story editor.
Mr Geek: We’ve been co-hosting Tome Topple for awhile and I had no idea you were into video games! Also a big fan of Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted and Bioshock! I also didn’t realize you were writing a book which is very cool and a perfect transition over to BookTube! How long have you been a BookTuber? What inspired you to start your own channel? Have you always loved to read?
Tori: I’ve been on BookTube for 6 years. (No one go back and watch that first upload, please!) I was actually inspired to start my channel as a way to help with my public speaking. I’ve always been better at writing and getting my thoughts down on paper, but verbalizing them was something I struggled with from my pre-teen years into my early twenties. I used to speak faster than it’d take for my thoughts to fully form and would start rambling, so most of the time, I’d be too self-conscious to say anything at all. Talking to a camera, though, especially about books, and explaining what I enjoyed or disliked about something I’d read, really forced me to slow my thoughts down and be intentional with what I wanted to say. It’s been a journey, but the process of creating videos has been an amazing life skill for me and is something I use every day.
Yes, I’ve always loved to read! Growing up, my mom and grandma really cultivated my passion for reading, and books were a staple in our home. Even when we had moments that were a challenge financially, they still made sure I had something to read. They knew how much of an escape books were for me, and I remember they’d let me read for hours, completely uninterrupted, so I’d have time to get lost in a story. My mom also worked nights and was still in school when I was a kid, and I remember her coming home and somehow still making time to read with me. I was incredibly blessed in that way and was able to grow up on books and classic series that I still cherish now. My mom and grandma are definitely the reason why reading is still one of the biggest parts of my life today.
Mr Geek: I LOVE that you stared your channel as a way to help improve your public speaking skills! What an incredible idea. Being a strong presenter is such a great skill to have no matter what profession you’re in! It’s also great to hear that your Mom and Grandma really instilled reading in you at a young age – it is also nice to see that this is something you’ve enjoyed and have carried with you into your adult life! If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what would you pick and why?
Tori: Science fiction, without question! Since starting my BookTube channel, I’ve really come into my love for sci-fi, and I’m still amazed by the vastness of the genre, its sub-genres, and how some authors are defying categorization altogether. I’ve always had a fascination with the “what if”, in relation to technology, government, the environment, and even space, and I feel like that question is the foundation for a lot of great science fiction. It’s a genre that I’ve found really encourages big and exciting ideas, whether that’s done through a space opera, a futuristic setting, a dystopian, or even a literary sci-fi that’s a commentary on our modern society. Science fiction has allowed me to reflect on the world and my place in it, in a way that few other genres have been able to do for me. That’s something I’ll never get tired of reading!
Mr Geek: Sci-Fi is a genre that I don’t read very often but I usually enjoy whenever I do! What were some of your favorite and least favorite reads from 2021? Read any good Science Fiction?
Tori: My top ten favorites of last year were:
- Jade War (Green Bone Saga #3) by Fonda Lee
- Ring Shout by P.Djèlí Clark
- My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
- Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
- Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown
- Velocity Weapon by Megan O’keefe
- Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
- In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
- Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
- My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
My least favorite books were:
- To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
- Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
- The Whisper Man by Alex North
- The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He
Mr Geek: Should’ve thought about that question a little more before asking it! Like all of my other interviews, I didn’t think about the impact this question was going to have on my TBR. I’ve read about half of your Top 10 list and a few of those have been on my radar (like My Dark Vanessa) but I wasn’t sure if I should pull the trigger. I think I will! I as neutral on The Whisper Man but I didn’t like North’s most recent release, The Shadows. Very meh, in my opinion. Ok, as we wrap up here, what have been your favorite and least favorite books of this year?
Tori: My favorite read of the year so far is Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown. My least favorite is Mickey7 by Edward Ashton.
Mr Geek: If this conversation did anything, it firmly convinced me that I NEED to move the Red Rising series up on my TBR and get to that soon! It was great chatting with you Tori – thanks for stopping by!
And that Ladies & Gentlemen, was Tori Morrow from ToriMorrow on YouTube! I think I can confidently say if you like Fantasy or Science Fiction (among other genres), you’re going to love her channel! Be sure to check her out! I’ll be posting my final 2 interviews this week, so keep your eyes peeled!
Until We Meet Again,