Interview with…Stephanie from HERE! :)

We’re very excited to welcome Stephanie to Aside from Writing today. She is a new member of our blogging team here and you’ll have already seen some of her reviews and posts over recent weeks. Stephanie also blogs for herself at My World. Let’s find out more…

So…can you tell us a little about yourself and your blog?

It’s a small (newbie) blog with all things books.  I’m trying to branch out and include much more than just my own reviews now and it’s really starting to come together, I think.

What prompted you to start writing the blog in the beginning?

Honestly, I got the account  just to enter a giveaway I saw on twitter, I believe.  Then I figured since I had it, I would start writing and started out just writing general life stories, and then got into reviewing the books I read, and so on.

What are your favourite parts of blogging?

I love the writing!  I enjoy sharing my thoughts about the books I read with others and love it when I get feedback!  (That lets me know I’m not talking to myself)  I also love getting in contact with other bloggers and authors.

Any tough bits?

I think the toughest bits of it for me are getting the word out there.  I know I have a decent viewing audience, for me anyway, but still not many followers.

What’s an ideal day for you – and how do you fit your writing, reading, blog into that, along with motherhood and work?!

An “ideal” day for me would be to get a lot of reading/writing/blogging in AND still have plenty of family/housecleaning time. I’m still working on that perfect balance, I still find myself neglecting one area while pouring most of my time into another.  Fortunately, I have been juggling each so not just one thing gets all my time and I’m getting better at the management of my time.

We know that you’re also doing your own writing, tell us more!

I haven’t gotten much on paper, yet, and what I have written, I have already changed in my head.  I’m very new at this and just hope its good enough that people will want to read it.  I have always been a “daydreamer”, one quick look at the comments on all my elementary school report cards will show that.  I always seem to have a story running through my head.

What I’m working on right now is a story of a young, small town girl who, through some disruptions to her “normal” life, makes some discoveries about who she really is and what it could possibly mean to a lot of people.  There will be some romance, of course, and it’s definitely a paranormal story.

What genres/authors do you love to read?  

A few months ago, I would have said YA/Paranormal Romance, with sometimes branching to a thriller. Since I’ve been reading books for review, I have discovered that, while that’s still my favorite, I have really enjoyed genres I never expected to!

As for authors, that changes a lot since I love so many of them, but right now, I can say Lauren Kate, Amanda Hocking, Cassandra Clare, PC Cast, Jenna Black.. and those are just a few that I’ve read a lot of and loved, there’s plenty that I have only read one book from, but still absolutely loved; such as Julie K. Rose and Christopher David Peterson.. I could go on all day about authors and books!

Do you think your reading tastes and experiences influence your writing?

I definitely believe that’s true!  For me, a good book is like a Calgon bath, for those of you old enough to remember those commercials!  I love a book that can transport me to some other realm of reality, or at least get me caught up in its world!  I would definitely put the book I’d like to write into the paranormal romance category.

The Random Questions:

If you could be a character from any book – who would it be and why?   That’s really hard for me, I love so many!  But I’d want to be a paranormal of some sort, not just a slight human girl in love with one.  I would want to be strong and powerful, like maybe Alice Cullen, Dana from the Fairiewalker series, or Zoey from the House of Night series.

The reason is, of course, to not have to rely on everyone around to keep me safe.. I’d like to be the one to keep others safe, and let’s face it, the abilities of some of these heroines are amazing!

Favourite fictional world – where would you live?   One that immediately comes to mind is Rivendell from The Lord of the Rings, it’s beautiful!

Best super-evil baddie?   The first one to come to mind at the moment is Cam, *swoon*!  He may not be necessarily a villain to some, but he’s a bad boy, and wow!

I also think of Peter from My Blood Approves, by Amanda Hocking, again, not the villain, but a definite jerk.. You don’t realize until later in the series exactly why and the last book makes him ah-mazing in my eyes!

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4190077-stephanie

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/#!/Stephsgrn

My Blog:  http://stephsgrn.blogspot.com/

My Food Blog:  http://fromstephskitchen.blogspot.com/

Google+  https://plus.google.com/u/0/110791132875372753313/posts

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/stephsgrn/

I will be working on my wordpress blog as well, I started with blogger and am just getting the wordpress underway.

http://stephsgrn.wordpress.com/

I am still working on making it my own, stay tuned!

Interview…with Amber from Just Another Book Nerd

Our guest today is Amber from Just Another Book Nerd blog. We met Amber through Goodreads and as she’s very active as a blogger, commenter and now mod of one of the YA groups, we ‘speak’ to her a lot. So let’s find out a little more about her 🙂

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Hi Amber, welcome to Aside from Writing, can you tell us a little about yourself and Just Another Book Nerd?

Hi! Thank you 🙂 My name is Amber, and I’m 23. I am a major bookaholic. You will probably find me with a book in my hands at any given time. When I’m not reading, I’m either working with GIMP (my other hobby) or hanging out with the little ones, I’m the oldest of 6 🙂 Just Another Book Nerd is my first attempt at blogging, and I love it. I’ve actually started reading more frequently because of it.

 

What prompted you to start writing it and was there anything particular you wanted the blog to achieve?

I started looking at the blogs other members of Goodreads shared, and I thought I’d give it a try. I wanted to share my thoughts on books I’ve read. Was there anything particular? I think I just wanted others to know what I thought of a book. And maybe they’d come across books they would like to read.

What’s been the best part of running the blog? Any particular highlights for your first few months?

I think the best part of running the blog would have to be meeting other bloggers, and authors. It’s nice belonging to a little community. I don’t have a local book club, so blogging is the next best thing for me. And I’ve met some really cool people.  One highlight for the blog is winning an award, which was awesome.

 

And the hardest parts?

Sometimes I’ll get a brainfreeze trying to figure out what to write. I don’t want to give away too much, or any spoilers. Or, writing negative things about a book. Luckily, a lot of books I read are really good, so I don’t have that problem too much.

You’re really active on Goodreads – we’ve seen your comments on lots of groups and subjects, even before you became a mod – what do you like best about the site and getting involved?

I think finding Goodreads has to be the best thing I’ve done. I like that I can have all my books in one place. I can look for more books to read. And there are so many different groups on there. There is always somebody to connect with. And you get to share and get ideas from other group members, which is nice.

And how’re you finding the role as moderator?

I’m liking it. Everybody gets along, so that’s great. I think this has to be one of the easiest groups to moderate.

What genres/authors do you love to read? 

I like reading paranormal and chick-lit. I’ll read dystopia from time to time. I’ll mostly read YA, but I’ll occasionally read a non YA. The authors I like reading most are PC and Kristen Cast and  Meg Cabot. I’ve recently started reading Anne Rice.

 

Any ‘must have’ books that you want to get hold of in 2012?

The next House of Night book. I have to wait til October for it, so I’m going crazy. And the next Sookie Stackhouse novel.

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The Random Questions

 

If you could be a character from any book – who would it be and why?

Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries. She’s kind of an anti-princess. She’s more of an everyday, down to earth person. She has her problems just like everyone else. And I have to admit, I’m a bit jealous of her. She has the perfect boyfriend.

 

Favourite fictional world – where would you live?

Wonderland

 

Best super-evil baddie?

Neferet from House of Night. I don’t think I’ve dis-liked anybody so much! She is truly evil.


Thank-you for taking time to talk to us today!

Thank you for having me!

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Want to know more? Check out the links! 

http://myyathoughts.blogspot.com/

 Twitter  @justabooknerd

Interview…with Sharon from Obsession with Books

For today’s blogger interview we’re welcoming Sharon from Obsession with Books. 

Hi and thank-you so much for having me!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and the blog you write? 

I am a full-time mum to 2 beautiful children and live in Sydney, Australia. I started my blog Obsession with Books in March 2011 and mainly focus on book reviews, author spotlights, weekly memes and giveaways.

What prompted you to start writing it and was there anything particular you wanted the blog to achieve? 

I originally started Obsession with Books as a way to collect my thoughts on books and series that I love to read, I was updating Goodreads constantly but never reviewing so once my children both started school it was an outlet for me to keep track of what I read and loved (or disliked). It also gave me an opportunity to interact with other bloggers with the same interests.

What’s been the best part of running the blog? Any particular highlights for you?

No-one I know in real life has the love of reading that I do so it has been absolutely wonderful to interact with fellow bloggers, publishers and authors alike who share my passion. The biggest highlight for me would be knowing people are stopping by and reading my thoughts on the books I have read.

And the hardest parts?

Writing objective and informative reviews without them each sounding the same, also writing reviews on books I didn’t particularly love – I find that tough and admit at times to avoiding it.

What’s an ideal day for you – and how do you fit the blog into that?

My day revolves around my family and school commitments, being a mum to two young children can be quite full-on so I work my day around them. Fitting in a review or two or working on my blog is generally done when I get a spare 2 minutes.

You must meet a lot of authors – what do you like best about the engagement you get with them writing the blog?

I have had contact with a number of wonderful authors who have written some amazing books and I try to help promote their book/s in any way I possibly can on my blog whether it be by doing an interview, guest post or review either directly through the author or as part of a tour. I thoroughly enjoy the interaction and introduction to books I wouldn’t have normally looked into.

And what’s the best bit about connecting with fellow readers?

Learning about new releases. Same dislikes and likes and receiving feedback on what I am doing.

What genres/authors do you love to read? 

I enjoy a variety of genres, I am going through a YA phase at the moment but I also enjoy Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian, Contemporary Romance and Sci-Fi. My all time favorite author is Karen Marie Moning, I became obsessed with her Fever series.

Any ‘must have’ books that you want to get hold of in 2012?

The first book which popped to mind is Pure (Covenant #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout, I read the first book in the series, Half-Blood last year and absolutely loved it. Karen Marie Moning is also releasing another book from the Fever world this year titled Iced which I am also pretty eager to get hold of.


Random Questions:

If you could be a character from any book – who would it be and why?

Anna Oliphant from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins perfect location, perfect boyfriend.

Favourite fictional world – where would you live?

Again, it would be Anna and the French Kiss – France would be pretty perfect for me. Otherwise Hogwarts would be truly magical and wonderful!

Best super-evil baddie?

Ooh, Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter series I think tops my list.

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Thank-you for taking time to talk to us today!

Thank-you kindly for having me!!

Want to know more about Obsession with Books? Check out the links!

 Blog – www.obsessionwithbooks.blogspot.com

Twitter – @SharonBooks

Interview…with Lucia from iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books

This week we’re welcoming Lucia to Aside from Writing for an interview about her love of books and the blog iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books.

So let’s get started – can you tell us a little about yourself and the iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books blog?

Hi, all! Thanks for inviting me! My name is Lucia (pronounced Lou-Chee-Ya) and I’m an American-Asian high school teen. I’ve been blogging since January of last year, so it’s been over a year now. I’ve been reading ever since I can remember and I love books almost as much as chocolate! There. I said it.

 

What prompted you to start writing your blog and was there anything particular you wanted it to achieve when you began?

I kind of just did it on a whim, with no real ideas of how far I would get. Now, I don’t want this to become a pity party or anything, but I started blogging almost a year after I was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease. Because of this disease, I had to quit a lot of extra-curriculars and miss out on fun events with my friends to rest. Thus, this “house arrest” led to me searching on Google and discovering the blogosphere. I needed something to do, and what better than to lie in bed and read.

 

What’s been the best part of running the blog? Any particular highlights so far?

The best part? Oh, there’s too much! Meeting awesome bloggers and authors and publishers. Everybody’s so nice! I loved going to ALA Summer last year, and I hope to go sometime again! I had to miss out on the recent Midwinter Convention.

 

And the hardest parts?

Sometimes the amount of posting and reading that I’m supposed to be doing weighs down on my shoulders. It can get difficult to balance school and blogging, you know? Bonnie: Yep – definitely know what that feels like – although it’s work and writing for me 🙂 

 

What’s an ideal day for you – and how do you fit the blog into that?

An ideal day… Waking up at a comfortable time, such as 11 AM. Going out to lunch with the fam. Returning home and reading until my eyes fall out. Okay, not really. But reading counts as blogging, right? Really, a super nice day for me is no homework and getting to Tweet and write blog posts and read all day. I would much rather do that than, say, WHAP. (See? Blogging is my ideal day!)

 

Running your blog you must meet a lot of authors – what do you like best about the engagement you get with them writing the blog?

 

Honestly, just feeling their awesomeness. I respect authors, every single one of them. And if they wrote the book that I totally loved and shamelessly fangirled about on Twitter, it’s hard to describe how amazed I am to get to talk to them! They’re real people! It’s nice to talk about books and normal things with them.

 

And what’s the best bit about connecting with fellow readers? 

Pretty much just as good as talking to the authors. Man, these awesome bloggers and readers that are willing to do the fangirling (or fanboying…) along with me feel like my best friends!

 

What genres/authors do you love to read? 

I’ll read just about anything teen and middle grade. Contemporary, historical fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, you name it!

Any ‘must have’ books that you want to get hold of in 2012?

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer. Maximum Ride: Nevermore by James Patterson. SQUEEEEE. All by authors I have loved since middle school. (I’m sure there are plenty of great authors and books that I read in high school, but these have special, older connections with me.)

 

Random Questions:

If you could be a character from any book – who would it be and why?

Oh, gosh. A hard one. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. Why? Because she’s brilliant and strong and one of the best female characters ever. And she has a British accent.

 

Favourite fictional world – where would you live?

NARNIA!!!! C.S. Lewis’s series is my all-time favorite. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read the series, but I read it first in second grade.

 

Best super-evil baddie?

President Snow from The Hunger Games is pretty despicable and twisted. I can’t wait to see him and his bloody roses (pun intended) in the film. The only reason I said him is because I already mentioned HP up there so I didn’t say Voldemort. Galbatorix is pretty evil, too.

 

Thank-you for taking time to talk to us today!

THANK YOU!!! (Sorry if I blabbed too much. I do that a lot.)

 

 

Want to know more? Check out the blog!  

http://livelaughlovebook.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/LiveLaughLoveBooks

https://twitter.com/LooChiaPet

Interview…with Crystal from What R U Reading

For today’s blogger interview we’re welcoming Crystal from What R U Reading? Crystal was one of our first guest book reviewers in February (check out her review here). Let’s find out some more about her! 

Hi Crystal, welcome to Aside from Writing, can you tell us a little about yourself and What R U Reading?

Hey, thanks for having me! Well my name is Crystal and I am 21 years old. I live in Virginia where I am a full time college student at Radford University. In my very limited free time I love to read, and I thought it would be nice to share my love for books with others. So I created my blog What RU Reading, I am still new to the blogging scene but I am really enjoying it so far!

What prompted you to start writing it and was there anything particular you wanted the blog to achieve? 

I do not really have many friends that share my love for reading so I decided to create my blog as a way to meet others that also love books. When I created What RU Reading my main goal was, and still is, sharing what I am reading with others as well as my thoughts after I am finished reading. I also love hearing what books other readers have read and really enjoyed.

What R U Reading has a facebook page that closely tracks the blog – some people have both, other bloggers don’t bother with facebook or twitter feeds to promote the blog. Why did you add one and what difference do you think it makes?

I decided to create a facebook page for my blog to attract more readers. By having my facebook page I have expanded my audience beyond fellow bloggers. Before I created the facebook page I felt that my audience was limited to only other bloggers who found me through similar blogs. With facebook I am able to gain readers that aren’t bloggers. I hope that makes sense lol 🙂

What do you think are the best (and perhaps worse) things about engaging with authors through your blog/facebook?

I really like being able to talk to authors through facebook and blogs. It gives us (the reader) a chance to express our thoughts and such about a book directly to the source. The worst part?? Well I would have to say it is the fact that they are all so creative, I wish I had the skill to put together stories but I do not think story telling is my thing.

And what’s the best bit about connecting with fellow readers?

The best thing about connecting with other readers would have to be all the suggestions they give. Without all their book suggestions I might not have read some awesome books!

You’re studying graphic design/art…. at the moment. Do you think you judge a book by its cover more than another person might?

I absolutely tend to judge a book by its cover, I do not think I do so more than any other person. But I do think that I judge a book by its cover in a different way than other people might. I tend to look at the composition, layout, colors, etc of a cover and think about what they did well as a design or what they could have improved on. As a graphic designer I tend to really notice the typeface on a cover, the wrong typeface can just throw the whole design off. 🙂

Do you have any book cover favourites, from a design point of view?

I really like simplistic designs, I think that you can tell a story with a single image. I do not really like covers that have to much going on. I love the cover of Elixir by Hilary Duff. They made a beautiful cover that is very simple yet eye catching, and the image is very representational to the story. The cover for The Help by Kathryn Stockett, is really nice I like the use of complementary colors. I also really like all of the Twilight series covers, another instance of simplicity.

What genres/authors do you love to read?  

I really enjoy reading Young Adult books, usually paranormal romance. I particularly  love Richelle Mead. I have really enjoyed all of her books, her Vampire Academy series is one of my favorites. Definitely team Dimitri ♥

Best books you’ve read so far in 2012?

So far this year I have read City of Fallen Angels, Hush Hush, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, and Cinder. I really liked all of them but if I had to pick the “best” I would go with…..oh this is so hard lol. I would pick Cinder, I loved the twist on the classic fairy tale.

Random Questions:

If you could be a character from any book – who would it be and why?

Bella Swan, only because she gets Edward!

Favourite fictional world – where would you live?

Narnia!

Best super-evil baddie?

Jace from the Mortal Instruments, not super evil but definitely has a dark side. 😉

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Thank-you for taking time to talk to us today!

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Want to know more about What R U Reading? Check out the links!

Blog: Http://whatrureading.staytruehost.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/What-RU-Reading/110757122336121

Interview…with Emily from Confessions of a Bookaholic

Welcome to Aside from Writing, Emily, we’re really excited to be talking with you today about your book blog Confessions of a Bookaholic and the Goodreads group your run: Books, Blogs, Authors and More, which has quickly become one of our favourites 🙂 

 So…can you tell us a little about yourself and the blog/group?

Well my name is Emily (as you already know) and I am a self professed bookaholic. There’s never a time when I don’t have a book on the go.

My blog, Confessions Of A Bookaholic is a place where I express my views on books I have read and share news that excites me. I also have author interviews and guest reviews although ive only had one person send me a review.

My group; Books, Blogs, Authors and More is very new. In fact I only set it up a few days ago. I made it because people needed a place to promote their blogs and books that focuses primarily on just that.

What prompted you to start writing the blog in the beginning?

Well I was searching the web and I came across a review blog and I was very bored that day so I decided to make one too. Since then it has become a kind of obsession of mine, my friends are probably sick of me constantly  telling them how many followers I have. But they put up with me 🙂

What about the Goodreads group? Was there anything particular you want the group to achieve?

Ah the group, well it was my second group that I had made on good reads and I really wanted more followers without the hassle of searching through all the groups to find one where I can submit my link. So I just made a group to save me and others the fuss. As its only been open a few days I hope to get many more members and see many other people’s blogs.

What’s been the best part of running the group? Any particular highlights for you?

I like it when I get positive comments or when I get a new follower then see they came from my group. I also love getting tips on how to make it better because then I know people like it enough to want to improve it.

You’re right – followers are one of the best parts of running a blog – it’s nice seeing that people like what you’re doing. If that’s the nice side, what are the hardest parts of being a moderator?

Hmmm… The hardest part has to be keeping the group interesting and active because at some point we all run out of ideas, yes even me.

What’s an ideal day for you – and how do you fit your writing, reading and blog work into that?

An ideal day for me… That would probably be a day when I don’t have any work to do so I can just relax. Usually I blog on a morning and read on a nighttime. I don’t know why it just always seems to work out that way. I am also attempting to write a story but I only usually do that on a weekend when I have the whole day.

So – blogging, moderating, reviewing AND a writer in the making too…you’re as crazy as us! 🙂 You must meet a lot of authors through the group and blog – what do you like best about the engagement you get with them?

I like it when a writer actually writes to me and says they are a fan of my blog instead of me telling them I’m a fan. I also love it when I write to an author and they write back even though they are really busy. An example of this is the interview I had with Daniel waters who was the only one of the fifteen authors to reply and agree to an interview.

And what’s the best bit about connecting with fellow readers?

I love it when they comment on my posts because I know someone is actually listening to what I have to say and not just following my blog for the sake of it. I have 57 followers but I doubt most of them have read my blog, the ones who do though I am thankful.

What genres/authors do you love to read?  

My favourite genres are Paranormal Romance, YA, Dystopia and Urban Fantasy. As most are written for my age I find it easier to become engrossed in than lets say horror (which I do like but it’s harder to get into). My favourite authors wow that’s a hard one. Probably Richelle Mead,  Rachel Caine, Suzanne Collins, Cassandra Clare, Jeaniene Frost and Malorie Blackman. They are all VERY talented authors.

Any ‘must have’ books that you want to get hold of in 2012? Or good ones to recommend so far?

There’s loads, the ones I’m looking forward too most are The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead, Black Dawn by Rachel Caine and Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.

Books I would recommend are Bloodlines and Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, Morganville by Rachel Caine and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Random Questions:

 If you could be a character from any book – who would it be and why?

Oh that’s difficult, maybe Sydney from Bloodlines then I could have Adrian. Or Katniss from the Hunger Games.

Favourite fictional world – where would you live?

I think I would want to live the Vampire Academy/Bloodlines setting with the constant excitement or perhaps Morganville because Myrnin is there and he is just plain awesome.

Best super-evil baddie?

Avery from Vampire Academy, she was evil but really clever. What every good baddie should be. Also Dimitri while he was Strigoi, he became so much more exciting and badass. Rixon from Crescendo also, a charismatic bad guy.

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Thank-you for taking time to talk to us today Emily and good luck with the new group. 

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Want to get in touch? 

My Goodreads profile: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6810492-emily

Books, Blogs, Authors and More: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/62777.Books_Blogs_Authors_and_More

The other group I moderate: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/58144

My blog: http://emily-confessionsofabookaholic.blogspot.com/

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK


Interview…with author and blogger Marie Landry

Our interview today will be of interest to authors and readers alike as our guest is Marie Landry, author of Blue Sky Days and book review blogger on Ramblings of a Daydreamer. Let’s see how these two very distinct areas of interest have influenced one another…

Hi Marie, welcome to Aside from Writing, can you tell us a little about yourself, how you came to be a blogger and then an author?

Thank you so much for having me here today! Over the years, I’ve started several blogs, but none of them really stuck. When I started Ramblings of a Daydreamer, it was mostly a place for me to share my writing—I was writing articles for online magazines and websites—and little bits of my life. I wrote a handful of book reviews for one of the sites I worked for, but didn’t do any reviews on my blog. In April 2011, I joined the A to Z Challenge, which challenged bloggers to write 26 posts during the month of April—one for each letter of the alphabet. I hadn’t really gotten serious about blogging yet, so I knew this was perfect for me—I wrote mainly about writing and books, and the challenge helped me get into the habit of blogging every day.

It was while visiting the other participants of the challenge that I discovered the world of book blogging. I don’t have many friends who like to read, so finding all these people who not only loved to read, but loved to talk about books, opened up a whole new world for me. I started writing reviews for my blog, participating in weekly book memes, blog hops, blog tours, and other features.

When I realized that the majority of book bloggers I came across read mostly YA books, I was intrigued. I hadn’t read many young adult books since my teens, but I decided to give them a try, and I fell in love. It was then that I decided to turn Blue Sky Days—which I’d written seven years before, and which had been an adult romance—into a young adult book.

You’ve recently been working hard on the book launch (January 2012) and blog tour for Blue Sky Days – what were the best bits about going through this process?

Hands down, the best part has been connecting with readers. I made quite a few friends and acquaintances in the book blogging community, so I had a lot of people to reach out to when the time came for me to start sending out ARCs of Blue Sky Days, and planning the blog tour. Getting to know fellow bloggers and book lovers has been an incredible experience.

Having hosted authors and tours on your own blog in the past, was your recent experience of doing it yourself what you expected it to be?

Yes and no. I knew the logistics of it from hosting guest posts, interviews, and giveaways, so I knew there was a lot of work involved, but it was so much more than I thought. I did everything on my own—a lot of authors find or hire other bloggers to plan their tours, but I planned it all on my own, which meant contacting people, then sending out the books, and scheduling dates, plus then all the interviews, guest posts, and other features I had to write, as well as sending out books to giveaway winners. I also visited every blog along the tour, and spent a lot of time promoting on Facebook and Twitter.

Do you think being a blogger has helped you with your creative writing and/or launching Blue Sky Days? And if so, how?

Absolutely. I think that if I hadn’t started out as a blogger, I would have been virtually unknown when I published Blue Sky Days. A lot of authors are unknown when they publish their debuts, but traditionally published authors have a whole team behind them helping to promote the book and take the author from an unknown to a potential star. As for helping me with my creative writing, I think blogging has helped, because it’s gotten me into the habit of writing on a daily basis and keeping those creative juices flowing.

What’s an ideal day for you – and how do you fit your writing, reading and blog work into that?

An ideal day for me would be one without distractions, but that rarely happens (and that’s often my own fault, because I’m addicted to social media, and check it compulsively). I work from home, and I spend almost all day working on one thing or another. If I’m not writing I’m reading, if I’m not reading I’m blogging, and round and round the cycle goes.

Any advice for bloggers who have an interest in creative writing?

Write every day, even if it’s just a few sentences. Learn from others—there are thousands of bloggers out there who write about tips, tricks, and their own personal experiences. If writing is something you want to do professionally, build a platform, even if it’s just as a book blogger at first—get your name and face out there so people know who you are. Make connections, make friends, but be genuine about it. Most importantly, keep writing. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you if it’s what you really want to do.

Alternatively, do you have any advice for other authors looking to network with bloggers for reviews and support with marketing?

Again, be genuine. I think most bloggers are smart enough to know when someone is sucking up to them because they want something, and when someone is genuinely trying to make a connection. One of the best things you can do is be seen, and that’s usually by visiting and commenting on other blogs. Hop around from blog to blog—almost every blog has a blog roll of other bloggers they love, so take time to visit some of them and leave thoughtful comments or join discussions. There are also always a ton of events going on in the blog world—hops, giveaways, read-a-thons. Participate in those, and be visible to bloggers so your name is familiar to them.

If you could only do one – the blog or write books – which would it be?

Write books. Creative writing has always been my first love, and I think and hope it always will be. I was born to tell stories.

So – what else do you have planned for 2012?

Right now I’m switching gears from YA to adult, and writing what I guess people would term chick lit, or women’s fiction. I’m a romance junkie, so there’s a romance in the story, but it’s not the main focus of the book like it was with Blue Sky Days. After that, I have ideas for several projects, but I’m not sure which I’ll start next. I might go back to YA and work on an idea I’ve had for several years that involves faeries—but that’s all I’m saying!

Random Questions:

If you could be a character from any book – who would it be and why?

It would probably be Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. She basically led a simple life, but she had the most vivid imagination that let her live a life that seemed anything but ordinary. She made the best of every situation, and even though she got herself into a lot of trouble with her imagination, she was happy and free-spirited, and a good and loyal friend. Plus, I love Prince Edward Island, where the book was set, and I was totally in love with Gilbert!

Favourite fictional world – where would you live?

Hogwarts, without question. It’s my absolute favourite fictional world—the school itself, the people, the magic, getting to go to Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. I love it all.

Best super-evil baddie?

I’m sticking with Harry Potter and saying Voldemort. He was so evil and cruel, but he was also clever and devious. And not only that, but he represented so much more than just a villain—good versus evil, the power of friendship and love—JK Rowling is an incomparable writing in my opinion.

Thank-you for taking time to talk to us today!

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Marie’s debut novel Blue Sky Days is out now!

Would you like to know more? Check out the links! 

Debut novel, Blue Sky Days, available now on Amazon and Smashwords
Blog: Ramblings of a Daydreamer Author blog: Marie Landry, Author
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