So I ummed and ahhed about whether or not to start doing monthly wrap-ups on the blog but have eventually decided that in an effort to keep my blog more organised, to keep on top of challenges and to do a nice re-cap of the month for you all, that I would do them :-). Therefore, this post will be set out like my weekly highlights post, split into headings in an attempt to keep everything organised easily :D
Woah! How in the hell is it nearly October already? I swear it was the end of July like… yesterday? So.. if you haven’t guessed yet, September was a month that flew by! The reason for this is because I have been incredibly busy with work and doing social things and keeping myself fit and healthy! Of course, I’ve really been enjoying the busy-ness of my life because I’ve never been a person who can handle just well… sitting still, but it has made it difficult to keep a handle on my blog.
But, I think the beginning of September wasn’t too slow and I am certain that my blogoversary went really well which is pretty awesome if I do say so myself!
I have a LOT of posts to do for the month of October and so I’m really starting to think that I’ll be blogging more regularly for a while! *fingers crossed anyhow*
And don’t forget to have a look at ALL the posts I had go up to celebrate my blogoversary!
There were another few bookish events I went to this month which were really great fun and I have a few more lined up in October too!
I read nine books this month! Which is more than I’ve read in a while so I’m incredibly happy about that! I’m still behind on my goodreads challenge but I think the chance of me reading 120 books this year is very slim! But I’m okay with that because I have still read a lot of books!
I adored this book SO MUCH. It was the perfect book that I needed at the time that I read it as well. It was really easy to read but one that I got so incredibly emotionally invested in as well. I felt for the main protagonist, I wanted to comfort her, and I just wanted to make everything go right for her. I devoured this book quickly and when I wasn’t reading it, I was hoping that I could just jump straight back into it. And when I finally got to the end – which I really loved, by the way – it felt like a piece of me was missing. I wanted more. I STILL want more and I know that I simply cannot wait for the next book in the series! I am stunned by the amazing talent in Holly Smale – although I should have known because she is an incredible person – and am just so glad I got around to reading this book! Look out for a longer review soon!
A-Z Book Challenge; I read G.
British Books Challenge; I read three books; Geek Girl by Holly Smale, Geek Girl; Model Misfit by Holly Smale, and The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clare
Mystery/Crime Challenge; I read one book; Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan
TBR Pile Challenge; I read two books; Angelfall by Susan Ee and Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Witches/Witchcraft Challenge; I read one book; Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
Genre Variety Challenge; I read Thriller.
And that concludes my month!
I am here today to announce what covers I hid around my blog and why I chose them!
I hope you all had fun trying to work it all out. If it was something that you enjoyed or if you have ANY feedback on it at all, please let me know as I may do some more scavenger hunts in the future!
Scavenger Image 1
*obviously there was no set order*
One Day by David Nichols
This cover was chosen because it was the very first review that I wrote on this blog!
Scavenger Image 2
*but this is how i pictured them*
The History Keepers; The Storm Begins by Damian Dibben
Not only was Damian the first author I’ve met (or at least remember meeting), he was also the first author I met through blogging and I actually went on a blog tour day with him which was just great. This is why his book was chosen for this!
Scavenger Image 3
*intringing one indeed*
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Aside from being a terrific and stunning book, the reason I have chosen this book is because it was the first book that I ever buddy read. I read it alongside Sarah and it was one of the best moments ever! And it only happened because I was a blogger.
So there we have it! All of the covers that I hid.
The giveaway is now over! And I will choose the winners ASAP so keep an eye on your inbox if you entered and got them all right! – or at least one anyway!
Good luck to you all!
Thank you so much to everyone who entered, you all rock <3
Weekly Highlights is a new feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts and will be a post highlighting things that happened on and off the blog. It is inspired by The Story Sirens In My Mailbox, Books, Biscuit and Tea’s Showcase Sunday, Kimba Caffeinated’s Sunday Post, and the British Letterbox Love.
In the feature I won’t mention everything I received, nor every post I wrote during the week but will simply feature a selection of things I wish to spotlight a second time around.
I did a highlight of all the posts that went up during the blogoversary earlier today and I won’t bore you with them all again. Instead, head over to this post.
There’s still a few hours left to enter my scavenger hunt giveaway! There’s clue at the end of all those posts which lead to puzzle pieces of three book covers. Guess the covers and enter to win! click here!
And there are thirty-six prizes to be won in my blogoversary giveaway! Don’t miss out your chance to win! Head over here to do so!
Next week I have some good posts that will be going live!
I’ll be announcing the Scavenger Hunt covers!
I’ll be participating in Top Ten Tuesday!
I hope to have three reviews for you!
AND I also have an ANNOUCEMENT to make so keep your eyes out for that! It may just be of interest to you!
Around the Blogoshpere
How expensive is it to blog? This week the lovely Giselle has written a post on this! I thought it was quite interesting. Click Here to find out if you agree with all she said!
One of the hardest things about blogging is carving out the time to actually blog. This week Caitlin has spoken about this and is asking for advice. If you know what tips will help, let her know here.
Something that seems to be really hitting it out of the park and making itself known to Book Bloggers is Book Tubing. Have you explored this venue yet? Take a look here to see what Harley Bear has to say about it!
This past week was banned books week and I stumbled across two posts that I really enjoyed. The first is this one where Cee has posted some of the Banned YA books in the last few decades. And this one where Rebecca is discussing banned books from a teenage perspective!
Unless you were living under a rock – if you are, can I join you? – then you probably didn’t miss the Goodreads changes that happened recently. This week the Book Nerds have written their responses to them all. Head over here to see if you agree or disagree with them!
If you haven’t noticed yet, I love Gaby’s Coffee Clutch posts and this week she’s talking about “do not read” and “skip this author” labels. Check the post out here
Furthermore, if you’re a UK blogger and are on Facebook, you should let me know – in the comments below or by tweeting at me – as there’s now a UK Book Blogger group on Facebook that I’d love to invite you to!
So, this is a pile of ALL the books I got in the last two weeks. Crazily, only two are library books and only one is a review copy. The rest I actually paid money for so yeah, it just shows I am a crazy person! I also got some kindle books which I will add below!
Deception by C. J. Redwine; This was a review copy from Little Brown UK (Thank you!), and you have NO IDEA how excited I am to be starting this one soon. I loved the first book in this series and cannot wait to continue you it on!
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor; I had this one out from the library but when I saw it on a deal in Waterstones, I decided I would prefer to actually own this amazing book and so I bought it!
Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder; In that vlog I filmed but never edited, I show you all how I bought Poision Study and Magic Study, so when I saw this one, I had to buy to to make the first half of this series complete! Looking forward to starting it.
City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare; I have the first three in this series, figured it was time to complete it with the fourth and fifth books! This also means I can now read through the series at once if I so wish to!
Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne; I love this book so much. It was one that truly blew me away but I read it from the Library so when I saw it, I decided that I simply had to buy it and add it to my collection!
Chill Factor by Rachel Caine; I brought this because it looked like a good read, I just found out it’s the third in a series and I’m banging my head a little bit but nevermind!
Briar Rose by Jana Oliver; Saw this and simply had to buy it. Had my eye on it for a while now and am so excited to read this one! Hope to get to you in the next week or so!
Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle; Another book I’ve had my eye on for a while. I plan to read this closer to christmas and am really looking forward to it!
Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas; I have read and loved both of these books but I only own them in ebook format and as I’m going to be meeting Sarah next sunday, I wanted to have physical copies of the books so that she could sign them! So looking forward to this!
The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson; This one is her newest book and it sounds incredible and I just simply cannot wait to get stuck into this one!
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan; I have read and loved this book! It is such a fantastic read that I just devoured. Again, I borrowed it from the library to read but as I’m going to be meeting him this week, I decided I should have something for him to sign!
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson; Another book by Maureen that looks absolutely stunning! Cannot wait to get started on reading this one!
Earth Girl by Janet Edwards; I only heard about this one recently but decided that it sounded incredible and I had to see if it was true. Got this one out from the library and hope to get around to reading it soon!
Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper; Looking forward to starting the Vampirates series! It looks like such a fun read! Another library book!
A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand; I first heard about this book AGES ago and keep meaning to get my hands on it so when I saw it in Foyles, I knew that I simply had to get it! Looking forward to seeing if it’s as good as I think it is!
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell; This was a kindle daily deal and I’m really looking forward to reading it! I have heard SO MANY great things about Rainbow and I really think it’s time I jumped on that train!
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff; Have you seen the trailer for the movie adaptation of this? Well as soon as I did I knew I wanted to see the movie… but I also wanted to read the book and so I now hope to do that before I go and see the movie! Wish me luck!
And there you have it, my Weekly Highlights!
I hope to visit all posts of this manner, so feel free to link to your own IMMs, Sunday Showcase, Sunday Posts, Letterbox Loves or whatever it is you do below!
what did you get this week? what cool blog posts did you stumble upon? what are you waiting to happen this week?
It is all over! My two-week celebration of reaching two-years of blogging is now complete and I don’t know about you but I’ve rather enjoyed the last two weeks! It’s been so much fun bringing you a variety of posts and of getting so many different opinions about the internet and blogging! I can only hope you enjoyed the posts as well!
Just in case you weren’t able to see ALL the posts that went up this week – there were a lot – I am listing them all here with their links!
Scavenger Hunt Announcement
Faye Interview Questions
Claire McFall Guest Post
Hollie Guest Post
Sophie Guest Post
Rachelia Guest Post
Debbie Guest Post
Damian Dibben Guest Post
Emma Guest Post
Faye Guest Post
Gabriella Lepore Guest Post
Helen Boyle Guest Post
Faye Guest Post; Favourites
Julia Green Guest Post
Cassandra Rose Clarke Guest Post
So, as you can see. There was a LOT going on!
I just want to take this moment to thank everyone who was kind enough to contribute to this giveaway – even those who were angels and wrote me a post extremely last minute! But really, every blogger, author and publicist that helped me with this, THANK YOU.
And lastely, thank you to all of you reading this. My dedicated, loyal followers – and my amazing new ones! – this blog most likely wouldn’t have made it to two years without you so just, yeah, thank you!
And don’t forget, my giveaway which boast of 36 prizes is still open! Get your entries in while you still have the chance!
Finally… here’s the FINAL clue to the scavenger hunt!
It is time for you all to get your answers! Thanks to all the people who asked me questions, I really enjoyed this! Hope you like getting to know me a bit better!
What’s your favourite ever movie?
This is a very hard question for me to answer. I have favourite films within different genres and it always depends on the mood I’m in when I answer this so don’t take this answer as my absolute favourite but I would have to say that at the moment my favourite film is Finding Neverland.
If you had £10,000 what would you spend it on?
Realistically, I’d save it to help buy a house later on but if I wasn’t going to be spending it on my future, I would probably take a month or two months sabbatical and go travelling with it. Give some to charity and some to my family and then just go to all the places I’ve always wanted to go and visit all the people I always wish I could visit!
What is your earliest reading memory?
I want to say that I remember my mum reading to me every bedtime – and trust me, she did – but that would be lying. I also remember vaguely reading books as a child – especially one book that was my favourite that my little sister then decided was her favourite but the moment I truly remember was when I was reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It was late at night and I was swept away by the story, and I remember this vivid scene and then when I woke up, I couldn’t find that scene in the book anywhere. That is my earliest, fond memory anyway. The first time I actually dreamt about the book I was reading.
Which book is your most prized possession?
My signed copy of Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman.
Which fictional character resembles you the most?
Bah. I don’t know if I could answer this. I know I relate to a handful of characters but I never really picture myself as them in any way and I certainly don’t remember it when I do!
Of all the reviews you have written, which one are you most proud of/is your favourite?
Okay, so you’re bringing in the tough questions, I see how it is. Well, I don’t really know why but I think my favourite review is, Meeting Destiny by Nancy Straight.
What book scares or intimidates you?
I’m probably going to go with Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. It is huge!! But I’m also fairly scared to read The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling, just afraid I will dislike it and it will ruin my thoughts about her!
What book do you have an unpopular opinion on?
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohen. I swear, everyone just LOVES this book and I just couldn’t get into it. I felt disconnected from the characters and really had to force myself to read it which was just a shame!
Favourite book to give as a gift?
Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid! This book is also one I recommend a LOT. It is seriously fantastic and if you haven’t read it… what are you waiting for?
If you could go to any bookish location in the world, where would you go?
Favourite and least favourite movie?
Favourite; Finding Neverland.
Least Favourite; Observe and Report – this may not be entirely true but is what came to me while thinking of this! I got so irritated by this movie! I wanted to just get up and walk out but was with my friend who seemed to be enjoying it so I endured it but I will never watch it again. But really, the old silent films I struggle with and films like Bruno irritate me but I’ve never watched them the whole way through so thought it was bad to judge!
Do you have any writing quirks?
Aside from typing so fast it takes my brain a little while to catch up. I’m not really sure. I sometimes take a break from writing to make a cup of tea or coffee and then when I return to write, I may end up neglecting said drink simply because I am so focussed on the story I’m writing! But um… I don’t think so?
Wooo! So… did you like the interview? Anything you have to say in response?
So Today I am introducing you all to Cassandra Rose Clarke, author of The Assassin’s Curse and The Pirate’s Wish. She has written you all a post about how the internet has affected her life and her career as a writer! It’s such a lovely feeling to be able to introduce you all to her! Hope you enjoy the post as much as I did!
Internet; Then & Now
I remember the first time I logged on to the Internet.
I was twelve years old, sitting in the computer room at the house of a family friend with said family friend’s son. We were trying to entertain ourselves before dinner, and after playing MYST for a little while, he dialed up his modem and showed me the website for the Victoria Zoo, where I did volunteer work.
Honestly? It was pretty underwhelming. I would never have imagined, that summer evening in 1995, that twenty years later the Internet would be instrumental in my success as a writer.
The Internet of 2013 is a much different affair than what my friend showed me back in 1995. At some point when I was in college, blogs and social media flowered, and the Internet became a true social community, not just for a select group of hardcore nerds but for everyone. I’d always known that, to a degree, but it wasn’t until I was published that I realized the full extent of that community.
For example, four years ago I’d never even heard of book blogs.
And yet it was book blogs that picked up on my debut, The Assassin’s Curse. Book blogs who talked about it, who invited me to share interviews and guest posts. Word spread, and people from all over the world—Malaysia and Finland and Brazil and Venezuela—not only heard about my book (which is cool enough), but read it, too! Someone in Japan, on the complete opposite side of the world, read my book! That’s astonishing. And it only happened because of the Internet and its insistence on bringing humanity into one enormous conversation.
The Internet provides innovative ways for me, as an author, to reach readers. I don’t just have to attend conversations or host readings in my hometown anymore, and there’s a level of creativity present in book blogs specifically that I really enjoy—character interviews, for example, which are such a charming way to talk about my book without sounding like an overly enthusiastic salesperson. Blogs have also allowed me to detail what I imagine the movie version of my books would look like (something I daydream about anyway), to write backgrounds for my characters, and to think critically about my favorite movie musical.
But the Internet isn’t just about bringing me to readers, it’s also about bringing readers to readers, and that’s something special. Have you been to Archive of Our Own lately? The Books & Literature section is crammed with fanfic for such diverse works as The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Ulysses, and the Robot books by Isaac Asimov. And what is fanfic if not a way of bringing readers together? There’s nothing more exciting than scrolling through the AO3 fandom list and finding that one book you’ve read and loved and thought were the only person who had done so—yet here’s someone else, sharing their thoughts about the book in one of the most creative and entertaining ways on Earth.
I realize fanfic existed before the Internet, but the Internet has made it so widely accessible that it’s become a new sort of literary criticism (and film criticism, and TV criticism, and comics criticism). It’s a literary criticism that’s not limited to just a small number of book, or that’s practiced by a small subset of the population. It’s open to everybody and everything, and it can engender some fascinating conversations about the way we read books and interpret characters and story lines.
And actually, book blogs do the same thing. Book blogs take literary analysis out of the classroom and, like fanfic, bring insight and clarity to genres and authors that might never get discussed in academia. Bloggers are blending two seemingly disparate experiences into something new and exciting and very, very fun.
The static web sites of the mid-90’s Internet might not have impressed my twelve-year-old self, but thirty-year-old me is delighted by the blogs and fanfic and the worldwide conversation of the Internet today.
Thank you so much for this lovely post Cassandra! What do you think about it all? Do you think the world has changed for better or worse with the internet? Let us know!
Today I have for you all the wonderfully talented Julia Green, author of a handful of books including Bringing the Summer. I love her writing and am so excited to intoduce her to all of you! Hope you enjoy her amazing guest post!
Online Blogs and Marketing
Your question: How do you feel about all the online blogs and marketing?
…my reply, by YA author Julia Green
It’s extraordinary how quickly things have changed in the publishing world. My first YA novel, ‘Blue Moon’, was published by Puffin just ten years ago, and no one talked about blogs and Twitter and Facebook then! Puffin sent out review copies of the book to a number of key people who wrote professional reviews in newspapers and magazines. I did some events in London and elsewhere, at conferences… I went to schools and met my readers and potential readers that way. Some wrote me lovely letters, by hand, which my publisher sent on to me. I didn’t even have a website at that time.
This summer, for my latest YA novel, ‘This Northern Sky’, published by Bloomsbury, there were no physical, bound review copies: the text was available to blog reviewers online via netgalley.com. I updated my website, with extra notes about the book ( www.julia-green.co.uk), posted on my Facebook Author page, tweeted (@JGreenAuthor) – a new thing for me! I’d only just started doing this, although my lovely publicist Emma had been telling me what a good idea it would be, for ages – and I wrote some guest posts for blogs… lots of writing, in fact: responses to questions, and interviews, and posts about related topics … and I enjoyed it all, because it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to talk about something I am so passionate about. It feels like a very direct way of communicating with readers, even though it takes a lot of extra time. But so does travelling around, talking at festivals, in schools, in bookshops, and actually, it is lovely to talk to readers, and hear responses to my novels, and to engage with this extraordinary community of readers and writers, both online and in the physical real world.
I am aware that many of the people who blog or talk on social media are older than the ‘target’ audience for my books: in their twenties or older, often, rather than the teenagers I’m talking to in schools or at festivals, so that’s been an interesting discovery. I’m also aware of how well-read, how well- informed, those bloggers are. There is something very empowering for readers, I think, about having their voices heard – writing a review and having it read. It has made it a more ‘democratic’ process – anyone can say what they think, rather than a few ‘experts’. There are downsides to that, of course. Authors are human too, and a little kindness goes a long way. Most people thrive best in a supportive and constructive atmosphere: that’s what I believe, and practice, in my teaching of creative writing, and I think the same holds true for online communities of readers.
So, the idea of communities of readers, talking to each other online, seems to me to be a very good thing. And perhaps it also means that it’s easier to get at least some ‘attention’ for the sort of books that individuals readers love, but which might not get the big marketing spend that publishers lavish on those plot-driven, high- action, concept-heavy books which they know will sell in huge numbers. Perhaps the word- of- mouth recommendations that bloggers share with each other means that a bigger range of fiction gets read, including those ‘quieter’ novels which I think are just as important. I’m not sure about that: what do you think?
There are now so many blogs it can be hard to keep up. Sometimes, perhaps it’s better to listen, and watch, and not speak. If everyone is talking, no one is listening, and no one can be heard. As a writer, I need that silence – the room on my own, or the walk by the sea – to feed the internal processes of the imagination. The act of reading, too, takes place in quietness, and one of the many amazing things about reading is that it is an internal process: the ‘journeys’ we go on, the thoughts and emotions and ideas we experience, are all happening on the inside, invisible to anyone else. I like that.
So, there’s a time for talking, sharing, meeting people, discussing ideas, and that’s when twitter and Facebook and online blogs and festivals and meetings with real people are really helpful and enjoyable. But for me, there also need to be the quiet times. Without those, there would be no writing, no new novel.
See what I mean? What do you have to say in response to this? What do you think about the “quieter” novels? And the quiet time?
Julia Green is the author of more than 10 novels for children and teenagers. She is course director for the MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. Her latest YA novel is THIS NORTHERN SKY, set in the Hebrides, about 15 year old Kate coming to terms with her parents’ separation, and mending her own broken heart.
It’s that time again, time for me to give you all a “guest post”! Today I am telling you all about different favourites that have happened to me over the time I’ve been blogging! So many things have happened to me in the past two years and these are, by no means, the only great things to happen, they’re just the things that are more prominent in my mind as being exceptionally amazing.
I also want to take this quick moment to thank you all for following this blog, to thank everyone I’ve met and everyone I’ve made friends with because of this blog. You all rock like words can’t describe.
This is a list of all the features I have seen since I started blogging. They may not be ones that I have participated in, but have just enjoyed seeing.
- Top Ten Tuesday; I love this feature. I don’t always participate as I’m not actually the best at making lists, but I love seeing the lists that others come up and getting some great recommendations along the way!
- Waiting on Wednesday; Sometimes I can never understand how people find out about the books that they do but I love looking at all the books that people are waiting on and adding some to my wishlist or even telling others that it’s a great book to be waiting on as it was a fabulous read!
- Letterbox Love; So this was inspired by the IMM before all of the drama surrounding it happened but I really like this feature of us UK bloggers showing each other what we’ve bought, borrowed, or stolen! It’s a great thing to see all the exciting pretty new books!
- Wishlist Wednesday; Another feature that allows you to really add some books to your very own wishlist! This isn’t about books that aren’t out yet but rather the ones that are that we really want to read. I think it’s a great way of discovering new books you can read straight away!
- Bookshelf Requirements; I really love the idea behind this one. I personally have a favourite’s shelf – though it currently needs to be transported onto two shelves but I have no space! – and so I completely understand about those books that you simply MUST have on your shelves. Another great way to get recommendations and just to see what others are reading!
Online Blogging Events
This is a list of the best online blogging events that I have been a part of!
- The LGBT Read-a-thon; So this was actually an event that I organised but I really enjoyed the event and I thought the twitter chat we had for it was incredible. – We even ended up trending!
- Bout-Of-Books; While I’ve participated in many of these now, I still think the very first one I participated in was my favourite! I managed all of my goals, met lots of new bloggers and had an epic time in the twitter chat. I can’t remember what version it was but it was brilliant and the main reason I join in time and time again!
- Bloggiesta; Another one that was brilliant the first time that I participated in it! It really helped me to schedule things, I learnt so much about blogging that I hadn’t known before and it was just a great time to get to know other bloggers as well!
- Random Acts of Kindness; I only participated in this for a few months but I absolutely loved it. I loved giving books to people and making them happy for a short while and I loved it when I recieved a gift as well. My favourite gift was a homemade bookmark. It was done with so much effort in mind and I just loved it so much!
- Magnificently Magic Read-a-Thon; Yet another event that I hosted! It was the first read-a-thon I hosted solo and I really enjoyed scheduling it all and organising it all. The twitter chat wasn’t very popular but I still really enjoyed the event overall!
- Random House Blogger Brunch; The very first one I went to will always stick out in my mind but I actually think my favourite one was when Amy McCullogh and Jonathan Stroud were there to talk to us. It was great hearing about Amy’s book and seeing the kit that the Ghosthunters in Lockwood & Co would wear – and it was even more amazing to talk to them so personally about it all as well. A great event indeed!
- Hot Key & Templar Book Blogger Brunch; This was another event where we found out all about the new titles on loan and then got to chat with a whole bundle of authors. I met so many great people there and it was nice to have full on conversations with them, including giving and getting advice about writing which is always so amazing!
- Malorie Blackman Signing; This may just be the highlight of my life forever – or well, maybe until I meet J. K. Rowling. I was so nervous about this. Malorie has been an inspiration and a role model for me for too many years to remember and to actually speak to her was pretty mind boggling. Add to that the fact I spoke to her about writing and you might as well force a girl to have a dream come true! I will never forget this event.
- Damian Dibben Author Tour; Way back in my first year of blogging I was invited by Lauren Bennett at Random House to go on a book tour day with Damian Dibben. I jumped at the opportunity and I am so glad I did. I witnessed Damian talking about his book in presentation style to a hall filled with children and then witnessed him talking to a smaller book group of young children who had read his book. It was surreal and it was amazing and another experience that I will treasure. Especially as it was one of the moments that made me realise I wanted to be a publicist.
- Geek Girl Blogger Party; Aside from being a fantastic party – where table tennis was being played even as alcohol flowed – it was also a party where I met so many wonderful bloggers, as well as the wonderful Holly Smale. An author I spoke to about bullying, blogging, modelling, and writing. It was a well-organised event and one that was just truly memorable.
While the entire world of YA literature opened up to me as soon as I started blogging, there are some authors that quickly forced themselves into my favourites – alongside the ones already there!
- Hannah Harrington
- Louisa Reid
- Brigid Kemmerer
- Veronica Roth
- Julie Kagawa
Online Blogging Moments
These are all the firsts that happened to me because of blogging. These things would probably have never happened if I stayed away from the PC.
- First review copy; This was a book called Red Rock. It was a book by an indie author and I was so amazed that someone wanted me to read their book that I quickly accepted the request! But it was an amazing moment in my life.
- First Twitter Chat; This has been mentioned above. It was the Bout of Books twitter chat! It was crazy and it was hectic but it was also SO MUCH FUN. It opened my eyes to the true capacities that twitter holds.
- First Blogger Meet; Again, this is mentioned a little bit above. It was the first Random House event but it was only because I was meeting Lucy for the first time that I managed to really enjoy this event. She took my hand and guided me through and I was very appreciative of it!
- First Commenter; And well, supporter of the blog really. Brodie was the reason I even started blogging in the first place and as soon as I told her about it, she stalked me for weeks on end and commented on every single post I made live. It was the best welcome into the community anyone could ever have asked for!
- First Buddy Read; And, in my opinion, the best too! It was Divergent by Veronica Roth and I read it alongside Sarah! We both read it in just over a day, we were tweeting the whole time and it was just so utterly amazing to share that experience with someone else!
Today I am the tour stop for the Boxcar Baby by J. L. Mulvihill blog tour! She is here today for an interview about herself and the book. Hope you enjoy the interview!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, anything you would like your readers to know.
Hi I’m Jen and I write books. Sorry, just a little humour there. I’m not sure what else I can tell that is not already in the bio except maybe that I enjoy writing because like reading it helps me escape into another world that I guess I created in my head. I use dot read a lot as a child but I never imagined that I would be the creator of the world where others could escape too.
How long have you wanted to be a writer?
Maybe forever, maybe only recently, I’m not sure. The thing is I have always been writing I just never knew I was a writer. My mother told me I made up my first poem when I was three-years-old. When I learned to write I guess I started writing them down. I distinctly remember writing a lot of poetry around the age of 12 and in 7th grade I wrote a short story about a pirate. All my friends told me it was very good. My locker got broken into a few days later and the only thing missing was that story, crazy right? I really did not know I wanted to be a writer until I finished my first novel and I figured since I did all that work I was darn well going to get it published one way or the other. Now I can’t stop writing.
When you’re not typing away at the keyboard coming up with new ideas, what do you do?
Like a lot of other writers I have a day job and a family. We enjoy watching movies or keeping up with Doctor Who together. Weather permitting fishing is one of my favourite pass times and watching football, I used to be a big Chargers fan being from San Diego, they have kind of let me down though.
The concept of this novel seems really interesting, is there a story behind the inspiration for it?
Not really, the idea just popped into my head one day that I would like to read about an adventure of a girl train hopping around America. I mulled it around for a while until Stephen Zimmer of Seventh Star Press approached me and asked me if I had anything in works along the lines of young adult. I told him I had an idea of a steampunk story, so he told me to send a proposal to Amanda, who apparently liked the idea and here we are.
Can you tell us a little something about the protagonist?
AB`Gale is your average teenage girl who has a peaceful life. Well I guess she is a little smarter than average since she has helped her papa tinker with inventions. However, Abby is happy despite the fact that she was orphaned as baby; this doesn’t really bother her much because the people who have adopted her have given her so much love as she grew up that it does not really matter to her where she comes from. She can at times be a little wilful but what teenage girl isn’t. Her papa has taught her to be true to what is right and to question what she does not understand or what seems wrong. Up to now Abby has been content with her life, until her world is upheaved by the disappearance of her papa.
And, does the antagonist have any pet peeves?
There are several antagonists but one in particular, Ms. Marcs who hates being made to look like a fool, or being told she is wrong about something. She hates it when it appears that she is not in control of the situation.
Were there any moments in the book that you loved writing? Could you tell us about them?
There are a couple places that made me cry while I wrote the scene and they were parts that I felt were touching moments. Unfortunately I can’t tell you about them without spoiling the story but I can tell you one of those moments is at the end.
When your creativity is running low, what do you do to find inspiration again?
I put on my Pop’s old shirt. It’s an old flannel shirt that used to belong to my grandpa and he used to tell me stories when he was alive. I feel like maybe there is magic or something it helps me to think of him and remember him telling me his stories. I also like to listen to music. For steampunk a usually like to listen to old folk music.
And finally, do you have any advice for any aspiring writers out there?
For anyone out there who wants to be a writer, if it is your passion then do it. Be fierce about it and let flow. If you truly want to get published then learn the business, don’t just think you can write a novel and be done; you have to beat feet on the pavement and earn your stickers first. You also have to be a good writer. Learn all you can about your skill by reading and talking to other writers.
and a quick fire round;
ebooks or hard copies?
day or night?
reading or writing?
paper or computer?
tea or coffee?
favourite book of the moment?
Tick Tock of Oz
most memorable book?
The Fellowship of the Ring
Thank you for answering all of those questions Jen! It was lovely to get to know you better! Are you excited about this book now? Just keep on reading to find out more information about the book and Jen!
Born in Hollywood and raised in San Diego, CA, J.L. Mulvihill has made Mississippi her home for the past fifteen years. Her debut novel was the young adult title The Lost Daughter of Easa, an engaing fantasy novel bordering on science-fiction with a dash of steampunk, published through Kerlak Publishing. The Boxcar Baby, the first novel of her Steel Roots Series, was released by Seventh Star Press in the summer of 2013.
J.L. also has several short fiction pieces in publication, among them “Chilled Meat”, a steampunk thriller found in the Dreams of Steam II-Of Bolts and Brass, anthology (Kerlak Publishing) and “The Leprechaun’s Story”, a steampunk urban Fantasy found in the anthology, Clockwork, Spells, & Magical Bells (Kerlak Publishing)
J.L. is very active with the writing community, and is the events coordinator for the Mississippi Chapter of Imagicopter known as the Magnolia-Tower. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), The Mississippi Writers Guild (MWG), as well as the Arts Council of Clinton, and the Clinton Ink-Slingers Writing Group.
Born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia. At least that is what Papa Steel always told AB’Gale. But now, fifteen years later, the man who adopted and raised her as his own is missing and it’s up to AB’Gale to find him. Aided only by a motley gang of friends, AB’Gale train hops her way across the United States in a desperate attempt to find her papa and put her life and family back the way it was. Her only guide is a map given to her by a mysterious hobo, with hand written clues she found hidden in her papa’s spyglass. Here is the Great American Adventure in an alternate steampunk dystopian world, where fifteen-year-old AB’Gale Steel learns that nothing is as it seems, but instead is shrouded in secrets and mysteries … and that monsters come in all shapes and forms.
The Boxcar Baby is the first book of the Steel Roots series.
So today I am really excited to introduce you all to the wonderful Daphne from Winged Reviews. I met Daphne over a year ago – I think – and it was one of the best things that’s happened to me in a while. Daphne is someone I’m incredibly glad to call a friend. She’s really supportive, friendly, and just someone I can always chat with and am just always happy to have around. So I’m really glad she agreed to be interviewed by me for all of you! Hope you enjoy her answers!
Let’s start with some basics. What is your name and the name of your blog?
Hi, I’m Daphne and my blog is called Winged Reviews.
How long have you been blogging?
Almost two years!
Do you remember the very first post that you wrote for your blog?
Yes, it was a review of the very first book I got accepted for on NetGalley, called Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett. I really enjoyed it!
Does your blog have a set schedule?
No, not really. I try to post something every week day, or at least 4 times a week. I will usually do Top Ten Tuesday or Waiting on Wednesday but I’m fairly flexible as I like to accommodate blog tours and other things that may come up.
Do you know, roughly, how much time you spend blogging?
Too much? I read probably two hours a day on average while commuting, and probably take 2-3 hours or so to write/schedule posts every week.
If you receive them, or even if you don’t, what are your views on ARCs?
I like receiving ARCs. There’s something so special about getting the rare opportunity to read a book before everyone else does. It’s a wonderful perk and I’m grateful to publishers for them. I’m also a pretty slow blogger, i.e. it takes me months sometimes before I’ll write a review of something I’ve read, so reading the books well in advance of the release date helps me get the reviews out at the right time!
How would you say blogging has changed your interaction with authors?
I feel a lot more comfortable around authors, as generally they are a wonderful, friendly bunch. When I first started going to book signings and book events (I still remember meeting George R.R. Martin about 7 years ago in Nottingham), I was a nervous wreck! Authors really are like superstars to me, and being a blogger and getting to speak and interact with them on a daily basis is something I’m really thankful for.
What about publishers?
I’ve loved meeting the people who work for publishers (editors, people in marketing and PR) about as much as meeting authors. It’s made me realise what a cool industry it is to work or be involved in, as people are lovely and genuine and all have a true passion for books!
Do you think you’d still read blogs if you didn’t blog yourself?
Absolutely. I read them before I blogged and would still read them if I ever decided to stop blogging. Where else am I going to find all my cool book recs?
And finally, do you have anything to say about vlogs? Do you vlog? Do you watch vlogs?
I don’t vlog, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. I do watch them (not many, but a few friends), and I think they are great for short summaries and wrap-ups as you don’t have to write a full blown review. Unfortunately, I’m quite clumsy at stringing words together (I tend to uhm and ahh a lot), so I think writing works better for me than talking. I will probably give it a try soon though.
Quick Fire Round
Reviews or Features?
Features, because everyone’s are so unique and it’s lovely to see the different ways people highlight and talk about books.
Comments or pageviews?
Comments, because it’s a more active form of supporting the blog. That and I love to know what people think!
E-mail subscription or RSS Feed (i.e. Bloglovin, Networked Blogs)?
RSS for me. I absolutely love Bloglovin, it’s made keeping track of all my favourite blogs really simple.
Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter, no question. I only have a Facebook page because it’s what you do, but I’m hardly ever on there.
Blogs or Vlogs?
Blogs for me. I love to read, whether it’s a book or a post.
Thanks for having me and happy blogoversary Faye!
Thank you so much for answering all of my questions Daphne! What did you think about Daphne’s answers? Do you agree or do you blog differently? Let us know!