Today I am very excited to introduce a new blog feature, Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World. Periodically, I will be posting interviews with fellow awesome bloggers! Today, I bring you my interview with my bestie, and fellow crazy creature, Catherine of A Stray Imagination!
Tell everyone a little bit about yourself and your blog.
Hello, Briana’s readers! My name is Catherine, and I blog at A Stray Imagination. I’m a book nerd, a lover of words, and an obsessive daydreamer. I’m still waiting for the day when I discover I’m some obscure paranormal creature, tribute, divergent, wizard, or revolutionary, and embark on a perilous journey with a hot boy. But for now, I read, I write, and I blog.
On A Stray Imagination, I write about reading and writing, and also occasionally post book reviews. I post on Saturdays, and my posting schedule is listed on the left-hand side of my blog.
When did you start blogging and why?
My blogging story involves a lot of time, learning, and failure. I started my first blog after hearing about Briana’s blogging endeavor last summer (around May, 2013,) but knew close to nothing about how to do it well. I struggled for an entire year with poor topics, unformulated thoughts, and intermittent posting. May of 2013, I got my act together. I fixed my design, made a schedule, and took the time to learn the secrets of successful blogging.
I blog because I love being able to share my thoughts and opinions to others who understand my love of books and writing.
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
My favorite part about blogging is allowing myself to get excited about things I can’t with my offline friends. I’m a total nerd when it comes to reading and writing, and sometimes that nerdy side of myself is one I’d rather keep hidden from my peers. I find I actually enjoy writing essays and analyzing texts, and it’s difficult to find other people who understand that. Through blogging, I can be more myself and interact with others who feel the same way.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your blogging endeavor, and if you have overcome it, how did you?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced is letting myself be heard. I’m extremely self-conscious, and always get anxious after I post something on my blog. I always think I said something wrong, or my writing wasn’t good enough. On several occasions, I deleted posts I spent hours working on because I was afraid of other people’s judgment. I’ve gotten better about this over the past few months by telling myself that no one actually reads that deeply into posts, and it shouldn’t bother me if they do get agitated with what I’ve written. I’m allowed to have opinions, and I shouldn’t be afraid to share them.
What advice do you have for beginning bloggers and aspiring authors?
I’m not sure I’m qualified to give that sort of advice seeing as I’m both of those things, but I’ll give it a go. (Also, was that intentional alliteration, or…)
One of the most important pieces of advice you need to learn, and the one I’m still trying to ingrain in my own skull, is this: Don’t censor yourself.
I wrote about this a few weeks ago, but here’s the gist: When you’re creating things, whether it’s blog posts or novels, people have varying opinions. Some of the scariest opinions are from your friends and family. In the early stages of your work, it’s easy to keep most of them in the dark about your creation, but if you want your creations to become widespread someday, there’s nothing you can do to stop them from getting their hands on it.
I thought the best way to handle this issue was to censor everything that could have been condemning. If there was a character who got caught in the gun fight, referenced kissing, or swore, I took it out because I didn’t want friends or family linking those kinds of things to my name. Even in blogging, I was afraid of what would happen if a friend or family member started reading my thoughts. I was afraid of everything I wrote making me seem like a bad person, but censoring myself ended up making my writing worse. I find that writing the story inside of me, and not the story I sculpted around other people’s opinions, produces a better story.
To you, what is the key to making a fabulous story?
I think the key to making a fabulous story is creating a well-paced, meaningful plot that helps the character on an emotional journey, while also providing something new, exciting, and entertaining. One of my worst pet peeves is books that promise some great new plot, but the book doesn’t live up to potential. It’s even worse when the poor plot is home to bland characters who do nothing except act out plot sequences, and don’t go through any meaningful development.
If you were a character in a novel, describe the storyline of the novel and what role you would play in it.
If I were the main character (and I would have to be the main character because everyone loves the main character and I could use a little bit of love,) the story would be about a protagonist who learns about how to accept and express herself in a world that’s constantly putting her down for “being yourself” through use of epic battle scenes, hot guy make-out sessions, and explosions (what can I say? I like explosions.)
Now have fun trying to rip that apart.
What are some of your favorite books and authors?
I don’t think this is a very fair question, and I’ve been reading so many great stories lately that I’m afraid my rankings won’t be accurate, but I’ll try.
My absolute favorite series is the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth. Its amazingness definitely shows in its popularity. Other favorites I love are the Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin and the Sweet Trilogy by Wendy Higgins. (Plus, like, so many others >_<)
Sadly, I don’t think I’ve read enough to be picking favorites, and there are so many books on my TBR list that I really want to get through so I can love them already!
Who are your favorite male and female characters and why?
Gah! Is saying Tris and Tobias too easy an answer? Or Mara and Noah? Or Anna and Kaidan? THIS ISN’T A FAIR QUESTION! I’d like to see you try and answer this, actually. See who’s laughing then (and I know you’re at least laughing in your head right now, if not out loud, because you’re the kind of person who laughs at other people’s troubles. Plus, I’m totally psychic.)
Prim or Rue?
Prim. I was expecting what happened to Rue, but Prim? Not allowed!
Fred or George?
I’m not sure I can answer this question the way you want me to. I’ve always felt they were equals, and that one could never function without the other. I mean, they’re Fred and George, not Fred or George. They play off of each other in a way that couldn’t have been replicated had there only been one twin and not the other. Of course, J.K. Rowling already made her decision of who to keep, so *sniffle*.
Kai or Kope?
Leave it to you to slip in a Sweet Evil question. You’re impossible. But, you know me, #ISighForKai.