Everyone on Bookstagram loves to read. We are suckers for good stories, for beautiful covers, and especially so for books that build the anticipation within us. We click pictures and share our thoughts about the book and we – especially me – get really happy when someone appreciates our reviews. There are a few people who are storytellers in their own right. They talk about a book, sure. But the pictures they click for the book will be a story in itself. A story that tells you the theme of the book being talked about.
One such account is From Bee, With Love.
Bronte Huskinson is a lady who is sweet and fierce in the way she talks about books, issues, and everything in between that you can’t help but admire her through your mobile screen. Her aesthetic is on point, as they call it these days. Her blog is smart and pleasing to the eye as well as the mind. She plans her content out, at a level that’s nothing short of inspirational. I basically hang on to every word that she has to say.
I was lucky enough to have worked with her before, collaborating with her on a reading tips video for my YouTube channel. And now again, I knew that I wanted to do an interview with her, understanding, or at least trying to understand the thought process that goes into such a genius! And I got lucky again!
Here’s what I wanted to ask Bronte and what she had to say.
(MB: Melodramatic Bookworm; BH: Bronte Huskinson)
MB: You used to be known as Bookish Bronte. But now, you’re called ‘From Bee With Love’. What prompted the brand change?
BH: When I started the account coming up to 4 years ago (times flies!) I had absolutely no idea how big the account would get. And I also had no idea that it would eventually become my job! As I grew up and it became clearer to me who I wanted to be online, I realized that I wanted to be known for more than just being ‘bookish’. I wanted to talk about other things that were important to me and not feel guilty for talking about something other than books. So the ‘Bookish Bronte’ name ended up feeling really constricting. So I decided to change it and I feel much happier now!
When did you start Instagramming? How has the journey been so far? How has it changed from then to now?
BH: I started Instagramming in my second year of university, so when I was around 18/19. The journey has definitely been full of ups and downs, and times when I’ve been so frustrated with the whole thing I’ve wanted to quit altogether. But it’s also been very rewarding and I’ve loved sharing my photos with the world. And oh boy, has Instagram changed from when I first started it. It’s definitely a lot harder to grow now, and the type of photos that do well has completely change from when I first started Instagramming. But I like to tell myself it’s all part of the fun. Instagram definitely keeps you on your toes.
MB: What do you do when you’re not working?
BH: Oh gosh, sleep? Haha! It’s kind of hard to say because the line between ‘working’ and ‘not working’ is quite thin when you work in social media. I consider being on Instagram as work, and I count reading as a form of work too because I do book reviews. Luckily, I enjoy both! But when I’m having a ‘day off’ I’ll usually be in bed with a book or Netflix. There’s probably a cat curled up next to me too.
MB: How do you conceptualize and ideate on your picture ideas?
BH: I look to Pinterest for a lot of inspiration of poses etc. But the location for me is a big factor in my inspiration. From a certain location, I can tell what kind of ‘vibe’ I need to portray in the editing and in the posing. I rarely shoot in my house anymore, and I’ve found getting out and exploring has been a huge factor in my creative process. I’m the type of person who needs a starting point so I can bounce ideas around in my head of what type of photo I want to produce.
MB: You have such a refreshingly different way of storytelling that happens on your Instagram account. Do you plan to write a book anytime soon?
BH: Aw thank you! I do plan on writing a book, I just need to figure out what I want to write it on! I’m still discovering who I want to be as a writer and what kind of stories I want to tell. So for now, I’m just experimenting on Wattpad and seeing what I’m enjoying writing and what isn’t working for me.
MB: What is the biggest mantra you’ve discovered and followed? How has it changed your life?
BH: I’ve always lived by the phrase “everything that happens for a reason.” It’s got me through a lot. I truly believe that everything has happened to me as got me to where I am today, and everything that I’m going through, the good and the bad, is a learning experience that is putting me on the path to where I want to be.
MB: What is a place you’ve visited in recent times that has stayed with you, that has left a lasting impression on you, where you will go back in the future?
BH: Oh that’s a good question! Upstate New York will always have a very special place in my heart for many reasons. I took photos out there in my first summer of Instagramming (they have all since been archived) and I’d love to go back now that I’m more advanced with my photography and know what I’m doing more to see what I could do!
MB: If there’s one bookish and one non-bookish thing you could tell your younger self, what would it be?
BH: I think I would tell my younger self to diversify my reading a lot more. I’d encourage her to read more books written by Women of Colour. And in terms of a non-bookish thing, I’d like to sit down with my younger self and just tell her about what I’m doing now and some of the amazing things she is going to achieve. I doubt she would believe me, but I would love to see her reaction!
MB: What are your favorite Bookstagram/Instagram accounts?
BH: Oh God, there are so many! I love @chapter92 for giving me all of the cosy vibes and @theslowtraveler for her gorgeous photography and book recommendations which I always end up loving! @mossonyi’s photos are just stunning and I think @tezza and @sorelleamore are some of the most brilliant people to ever exist online. Oh, and @florencegiven has me cracking up pretty much every day in her stories!
MB: What are 3 books you think everyone must read, irrespective of whether or not they end up liking them?
- The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel. Whenever somebody asks me for a book recommendation, this is the one I always recommend first. Something deep in my soul shifted when I read this book. It’s a heartbreaking story of prejudice and racism and the way it’s written is so metaphorical. Nothing I could ever say tell you how good this book is.
- Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis. This book shows how the word ‘feminism’ can mean many different things to different people and how it can conjuring up different feelings and emotions depending on who you’re talking to. This book was the first step to making my feminism more intersectional.
- Normal People by Sally Rooney. Sally Rooney is one of my favourite writers, and Normal People is one of my favourite reads ever. Her writing and characterization is just so incredible. I think it’s very hard to create the characters that are equally likable and insufferable at the same time. I also think it’s really hard to write books that are character driven where nothing much happens. Sally Rooney manages to do both of these things incredibly well and I think her books need to be shouted about from the rooftops for that reason alone.
I had so much fun coming up with the questions and much more than that, reading Bronte’s answers!
I hope you enjoyed this too. If so, please do head over to Instagram and give her a follow at From Bee, With Love and on her blog, frombeewithlove.com. I promise you’ll love her content, without an iota of a doubt!
I’ll be back with a new blog post soon. Until next time, keep reading, keep loving, and add melodrama to your life!