Tuesday, September 15, 2009
BBAW Day 2- Interview Swap!
1. Would you say you were more interested in the techology behind creating the blog -and the extras- or was it the chance to talk about books that made you want to start Flip The Page! Book Reviews...?
I always like to say that Flip The Page! is just an extension of conversations I have with my friends about the books we love. It’s my favorite line when describing why I started it in the first place. The best part of my day is when I finish a really good book and immediately I want to go out and tell someone and I want to be able to influence other readers and share my passion for the books I read.
2. Have you always been a reader or did you become more of a reader once you started the blog?
I guess it’s kind of cliché to say that Twilight was actually the book to… like rejuvenate my interests in books, sure I had read a lot of books before and I actually enjoyed doing it to, but after I read Twilight I was kind of like “Man! I really love reading!” The circumstances in my life were kind of off before that so I didn’t seem to read as much but after I read Twilight I wanted it to become an everyday thing.
3. Do you have an all-time favorite book? A book that is a hit every time you suggest it? And what about a book that you thought was outstanding from the past year?
I love old, classic books! I read a lot of YA novels right now but the first book that really caught my attention was Call of the Wild by Jack London! I first read it in eighth grade and I felt like a total dork when I couldn’t wait to get to my Language Arts class just so I could read another chapter, it was really embarrassing! About three years ago I reconnected with the book after I found it in the books section at Goodwill- it was the best 99 cents I ever spent! A book that I recommended to all my friends was Burned by Ellen Hopkins! I literally cried the whole time I was reading it and most of the time I was there when my friends were reading the book too and I couldn’t help but smile when they started crying also! Becca Fitzpatrick recently blew my freaking socks off with her stunning debut Hush, Hush, I mean she basically wrote my dream characters and the plot was beyond amazing!
4. When you're not reading what do you like to do?
I am currently the captain of my schools Varsity volleyball team (Go Lady Lions!), so you could say that volleyball is definitely one of my passions! I love how I can just go out on the volleyball court and the rest of my life complete fades away! It lets me escape just like reading does! Another passion of mine is writing, it’s this amazing kind of thing where I can just channel all my emotions and ideas into this one story or work of poetry. It’s really relaxing and definitely something I can see as a future career!
5. Do all your friends read? Do they ask for suggestions all the time? Has a friend recommended something you wish *you* had found first?
Last year, before I started my blog was when I really got into reading so when I did start to read, my friends were always making fun and being silly about it. Then I would show them the book I was so into and they were like “Oh my god! Can I borrow that??” of course I let them so after that point we all kind of banded together and formed this unofficial book club, trading books and what not. Now my friends and I are constantly talking about books and it’s kind of like the glue that holds us all together! It’s really cool! One of my friends and I have this harmless little competition going on where we’ll try to beat each other out on who can find the better book. She recently introduced me to Identical by Ellen Hopkins and I let her borrow Hate List by Jennifer Brown.
6. Do you have a favorite author? or an author you avoid? And why?
Ellen Hopkins is definitely an author I love! Her books are so real and disturbing that whenever I hear about some new material coming from her I immediately jump at the chance to get my hands on it! Sarah Dessen of course is a god when I comes to YA novels, my favorite of hers are Dreamland and This Lullaby. Becca Fitzpatrick is another author that I’ll be looking out for now and I look forward to more of her work.
7. If you're getting ARCs (advanced reader copies) from publishers, how did that start? And the author interview was great, was it hard to get in touch with Ms. Zevin?
It was really hard getting into the whole ARC’s thing; I read a lot on it before I even began to send out requests. I only wanted to send out the requests when I KNEW that I would be able to read the books and I felt that my blog was at a good standing point. Usually I’m very shy and hate asking for help so I was kind of hesitant at first but then I saw how easy and helpful it was to the authors and my blog and I thought that I should give it a try. I’ve only been doing it for a little over a month but I’ve gotten great feedback and some amazing books. Now, I love connecting with the authors and getting to review there amazing books! I feel really appreciative that they take time to read my emails and interact with my even though they probably have a million better things to do!
Before I did ARC’s, I tried my hand at author interviews. It was really easy for me and I had fun making up the questions that I asked them. One of the authors that I really wanted to interview was Gabrielle Zevin, author of Elsewhere and Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac; I sent the questions out and crossed my fingers hoping she would reply. After weeks of waiting patiently I started losing hope but I understood that she was a really established author and was probably just really busy. Miraculously, I got this email from her long after I stopped expecting it and I was really thrilled that she took the times to actually answer them! It just goes to show that people surprise you in the most unexpected ways and I was really thankful that I got the chance to ask a really good author some of my own interesting questions!
8. What kind of advice would you give other teens who are inspired by your blog? What could/should they do to get started and any pitfalls to avoid?
It’s definitely not easy but it is really fun! When you feel like no one cares or if your not getting a lot of hits just stick it out because just maybe somewhere out there someone is watching you but just hasn’t addressed it yet! You never know who you’re inspiring with your opinions so don’t quit just because you feel neglected- most likely you’ve been noticed and someone does care!
If you want to start a blog, just search the many blogging communities for something that really inspires you! I started by spotting a very home-y, low profile blog that talked about a lot of books that I really loved. When I saw what they were doing I immediately wanted to partake in something so creative and incredible! Blogs like The Story Siren and Presenting Lenore had a lot of how-to-guides that severely helped me out when it came to starting up and the inner working of a blog.
One thing I would warn new bloggers about is negative criticism and taking advantage of author’s and ARC’s. I can’t stress enough about the last one. ARC’s are NOT a way to get free books but rather a way to broaden you and the author’s horizons, making it easier for people to read about their books while at the same time sparking a little interest in your blog. Nasty comments about your blog and readers who don’t agree with your opinions should just be ignored and really they shouldn’t even matter! Be above it!
9. Would you rather be an author or an editor? Or neither, because you're planning a career in....?
Like I said earlier, I love to write and I wouldn’t mind getting a book published and people falling in love with it! :) I’m more into the creative side of writing rather then the technical, analytical part, so actually writing a book definitely appeals more to me! Of course I would love to do ANYTHING with books so I would settle with anyone. I just love the idea of telling a story and people relating to it and enjoying it!
10. I there anything I failed to ask, that you want to add?
Basically I want people to love my blog because they love books and I want them to enjoy books more then anything else. I think reading is a really essential part of humanity, one of the most important things in this whole world so I’m glad to be connected with something so utterly vital to everyone!