Crazy Creatures of The blogging World with Clarissa from Books Equal Awesomeness

Crazy Creatures of The blogging World with Clarissa from Books Equal Awesomeness

My irregular and crazy blogger feature is back! This time I’m interviewing Clarissa from Books Equal Awesomeness!

If your new around here here is what’s happening, Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World is a feature that I use to spotlight bloggers and get to know them better, as well as let readers get to know them better. I do take nominations, you can email me the name of the nominee, a link to their blog, as well as why you think I should interview them and I’ll check it out. (I won’t judge if you nominate yourself. It’s perfectly acceptable!)

Tell us about you and your blog! How did you start? When? Why? Ect.

I was checking some blogs out and I really loved how some people created their blogs and the features that their blogs had, so I decided a blog of my own! I started my blog around May this year because I really wanted to review and discuss books with other people.

What are your favorite types of books/reads to review?

Most of the books I read and review are young adult, romance, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopian.

You’re blog is fairly new. What are your dreams and goals for the future and for your blog?

I hope to make my blog have more followers in the future, and I think having a co-blogger in the future might also be a fun experience!

What is your favorite part of being a blogger and the experience?

I LOVE to be able to discuss books with other people and see different opinions about books.

How would you describe your approach to reviews?

I guess that I would that I would describe my approach to reviews as honest and (hopefully) good and funny.

What draws you to a book and makes you want to read it?

The characters! If I love the characters in a book, I most likely will love the book too!

If you could live in one of your favorite books, what book would you want to live in and why?

 This is a hard one! I have a lot of favorites, but if I had to choose which book I’d live in, I’d be stuck between the Lux series, by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and the Covenant series, also by JLA. In the Lux series, I’d love to meet Daemon, Katy, and all of the other characters! And the idea of living in a world with aliens rally intrigues me! In the Covenant series, I would really like to meet Alex, Aiden, Seth, and all of the other characters! And it has Greek mythology (something I love!), so I think that I would really enjoy living there!

If you could make characters from books real, what characters would you bring to life to recruit as your best friends, family, date to prom, ect?

I would make most characters from my favorite books real! I would make Daemon from Lux, Aiden from the Covenant series, Adrian from Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, Patch from Hush Hush, Lucas from Shadow Falls, and Warner from Shatter Me real and recruit them as my boyfriends!!!! (I know it would be WAY too many boyfriends, but I love them ALL!! :D) I would also make Katy from Lux, Alex and Seth from the Covenant series, Sydney from Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, Vee from Hush Hush, Kylie, Miranda, and Della from Shadow Falls, and Juliette and Kenji from Shatter Me real and recruit them as my best friends!!

If you could have dinner with 12 of your favorite authors (alive or dead) who would you choose to dine and chat with? (why?)

One of the authors I would really like to dine with is J. K. Rowling. I LOVE Harry Potter, so it would be really awesome if I was able to meet her one day. Another author I would also like to dine with is Jennifer L. Armentrout. So far, I’ve read 2 book series and 1 standalone written by her and I’ve fallen in love with them, so it will be like my dream come true to meet her!!! The third author I would like to dine with is Richelle Mead. I LOVED Bloodlines, and I just love Sydney and Adrian, so if I met the person that created them, I would be incredibly happy. The fourth author I would like to dine with is C.C.Hunter. I’m in love with her Shadow Falls series and all the characters in the books, so I think it would be really cool if I could meet her in real life! The fifth author I would like to dine with is Becca Fitzpatrick. I really liked Hush, Hush, and I would really like to meet her one day! The sixth author I would like to dine with is Cassandra Clare. I really loved the Mortal Instruments and it would be a honor to meet her! The seventh author I would like to dine with is Rick Riordan. I really liked the Kane Chronicles, Percy Jackson, and the Heroes of Olympus series, so if I ever got to meet him, I think it would be really cool! The eighth author I would like to meet is Stephanie Meyers. I’m not that big of a fan of Twilight, but I thought the books were pretty good and The Host was awesome, so it might be fun to meet the author of it. The ninth author I would like to meet is Cynthia Hand. I recently finished the Unearthly series, and I LOVED them, so if I got to meet her, I would be SOOOO happy!!! The tenth author I would like to meet is Sarah J. Maas. So far, I’ve only read the Throne of Glass by her, but I really liked it, so if I got to meet her, I would be excited! The eleventh author I would like to meet is Jenny Han. I really like her books, and I thought her Burn for Burn series that she co-wrote with Siobhan Vivian was AMAZING, so if I got to meet her, I would be REALLY happy!!! The twelfth author I would like to meet is Siobhan Vivian. I want to meet her basically for the same reason as Jenny Han!!

What else should readers know about you and/or your blog?

Well…I really don’t know…so let me just tell you more about myself. I’m a teenage blogger! 😉 In my blog, I review YA and NA books. My favorite genres are contemporary, and paranormal romance! When you first meet me, I might seem a bit shy and quiet, but when you really get to know me…I’m a bit hyper and crazy… 😉

What are five of your favorite blogs/bloggers and why should other readers go check them out?

Olivia Hou @ Fictionally Obsessed
Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books
Carina @ My Addiction: Books
Aly @ Reading Shy with Aly
The Misses @ Fangirling Misses
I think readers should go check them out because they are all kind of new book bloggers, but they are all really good!! 🙂

You can find Clarissa on Goodreads, and visit her blog or follow her on Bloglovin’!  Thanks Clarissa it was fun!

Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World: Of Spectacles and Books

Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World: Of Spectacles and Books

As promised here is yet another Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World! If you haven’t read one of these posts before and have no idea what this is all about, this is a feature I created to spotlight other bloggers and let everyone get to know them a bit better through a simple interview. Today I’m talking to Amanda and Addison, the lovely ladies behind Of Spectacles and Books!

Purple: Both
Red: Amanda
Blue: Addison
Black: Briana 

Give us a crash history course on your blog and you guys! Why did you start? When? Ect.

My name is Amanda. I’m a native Texan who has been gorging on books since high school and suffers from Abibliophobia (the fear of not having enough reading material –which is why I hoard books more than squirrels hoard nuts).

I’m Addison! I am from Oklahoma and have roots all over the state. I have my Masters in Library Education and am returning for a second degree this fall. I am a flower hippie, corgi mom, glitter aficionado, and lover of the written word. 

Well, originally we started with Project Book Vlogger –it was more Tumblr than blog in which we would upload videos of us reviewing books. It began as just something fun to do over Christmas break when we were in college and needed to make sure to continue to read, and for the next year or two we intermittently uploaded video reviews on Youtube and our Tumblr. Then last Christmas (2013) we decided to become legitimate and actually make it a thing that we would devote a lot more time into, thus the creation of Of Spectacles and Books.

Why do you love being book blogger?

I love the community the most! I only have a few friends in real life that share my enthusiasm for YA lit and the written word, so entering into a community that is so welcoming and just as excited about books makes my heart flutter. Plus it melds two of my interests: writing and reading, so I get to write book reviews about stories and characters that I love!

I feel like book blogging is this living and breathing being that can change at the drop of a hat. It has feeling and emotion that you don’t see many places. (Harry/Hermione shipping wars last winter, anyone? I still have scars.) No two blogs are alike, so you come across some really diverse thoughts and opinions.

Where do you think your love of reading came from or how did it all start? Was there a specific book that started it all for you?

I actually used to hate reading. I had trouble reading when I was a child, and it came to the point that I didn’t pick up a book to read on my own until I was an 8th grader, even then I would pick up maybe one or two a year. It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school when I picked up The Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce that I began hoarding books and reading all the time.

My dad started reading to me at night when I was 8 months old. He continued for years until I was in my teens. We read so many diverse and exciting books that I couldn’t help but fall in love. It also made me consider the act of reading as this sacred and special thing, something I still carry with me today. 

Why did you guys choose to blog together rather than have individual blogs?

For me, it was never a question of do we blog together, it was why not? We both started Project Book Vlogger (which is now disbanded since we began Of Spectacles and Books), and it was just our little project to keep us accountable in reading, so there was really never any question, plus we are BFFs, so that only makes sense.

This was never something I would have thought to do alone. Amanda is kind of like my other half when it comes to things like this, so doing it without her was never a question. Besides, she sometimes struggles with being fabulous on the internet, so I help boost that.

What’s it like writing with someone else on one blog? Pos? Cons?

I personally LOVE having a co-blogger. I don’t know how people run their own book blogs. I wouldn’t be able to read and churn out book reviews quickly enough to make it in the blogosphere. Having Addison makes it run smoothly. We also have different strong suits. She is an HTML wizard –I don’t know a thing about it practically, so she’s the designer. I’m the scheduler. I love schedules and I’m the one that organizes everything. Together, I think we make a pretty great team.

Amanda isn’t lying when she says she is good at schedules. For the first few months she made me this little calendar to keep track of posts and deadlines (because I am a hot mess when it comes to things like that). Eventually she cut me loose and now I have to make them myself. But it works. I pick up where she falls behind and the same goes for her. Now when I go on dates I brag to boys about how “organized” I am, and Amanda judges me silently when she hears about it later. We are a team.
How do you feel about the whole books v.s. kindles/nooks/other tech issue? Is it all nonsense? Are people taking it too far? Where do you stand?
Actually, I was very anti e-reader for a while. Up until I began running a blog, but that was just my personal preference. I understood other people liking e-readers and the convenience of it, but I would rather have the physical book in my hand. I’m a re-reader, so I like going back to books and seeing my little notes and tear stained pages; it’s like revisiting who I was when I read those pages for the first time. Now, I proudly say that I have a Kindle Fire. It’s quite convenient, and as a blogger it’s almost essential if you want eARCs, which I read quite often. I’ll take either, but if it’s a book that I really like, I will go out of my way to have a physical copy.

The issue is nonsense as long as people are still reading. Stories are what matters.
(I totally bought her that Kindle Fire for her birthday.)
Lately there has been a lot of chatter in the blogging world about the horrible phenomenon called “the blogger burnout.” Have you experienced it? How did you recover and what convinced you to get back on your blogger feet again?

Well, we are still a relatively new blog. We just began at Christmastime, so I wouldn’t say we are completely burnt out yet. Yes, sometimes we get tired of certain things or we run out of ideas to post about. I was getting there at the end of May, but I scheduled a lot of posts (almost enough for an entire month), and for the rest of that time, I stepped away. It was about two solid weeks that I didn’t write anything for my blog. Yes, sometimes I commented on other posts and interacted with other bloggers, but for the most part I focused on reading what I wanted to read not what I had to read, and I focused on my writing, which was a nice reprieve. After that, I was ready to go. From what I’ve seen bloggers are pretty anal when it comes to perfection (I’m one of them too!), but I think we need to step back and realize that we should be doing this for fun. As soon as the fun is sucked out of it, we are left with obligation, and that’s no good.

I wouldn’t say “burnout” but there have been times where life got so busy that it made me feel bad if/when I neglected the blog. I think that having a co-blogger helps with the stress and potential burnout.
Why do you guys love YA fiction? What makes you want to read a book?

I read YA because the characters speak to me, and as I read, I become the MC and I learn right alongside them. I guess I identify with teenagers more than adult novels, because I’m still not quite there yet. I still live in the land of first loves and fairytale dreams, so why not continue to read about them. I would say that a solid, strong character (female or male) is what draws me to a book. If they don’t have a spine, I’m not as interested, but if they have strength in character, I’m all over it!
I love reading YA because I remember so vividly what it was like to be 12, 15, 17, or 20. I remember the feeling of first love and the “all or nothing” emotions that come with being a teenager. People brush aside teens so often because of their age, but some of the most quintessential moments can happen in that period. I also think that there can be so much gained from reading YA. Anyone from any background can relate to something in a YA novel. It’s a platform for diversity and open mindedness.

What are five of your favorite blogs/bloggers and why?

The Notebook Sisters –they are adorable and sooooo creative! I wish I could meet them IRL. Definitely one of my favorite blogs to follow!
The Paper Sea –Nikki is really cool! She’s a blogger based out of England, and her posts are unique and thought provoking. She expresses herself really well, and I find that I trust her opinions on a lot of things.
Adrift on Vulcan –She’s funny as hell! I LOVE reading her posts, and we have extremely similar tastes in lit.
Novel Sounds –Elena is so fun! She really loves chatting about books with anyone, and she has a bomb Instgram to boot:
So Obsessed With –Hannah is the kindest, sweetest girl ever! She has such a cutesy blog and is always willing to give advice.

Any profound (or not so profound) last words?

I just finished reading Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen, and I’m going through a depression because I have to wait for the next book, and I’m dying inside because I just love these characters so much… Then I began reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. So freaking good. I will hardly be getting any work done on the blog for the next month because I will only be reading these amazing books.
If you get drunk at a bar with your friends, don’t start talking about your book blog. No one is going to care how exciting your BlogLovin stats are. (I heard this from a friend….maybe.)

How can people find and follow you?
You can follow our blog through Bloglovin:
Or find me on Twitter @amandapate
And Addison @ofspecsandbooks (I am really bad at twitter, so come help a girl out)

Thanks so much! It’s been great having you ladies!

Another Addition of Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World

Another Addition of Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World

Today my interview is with Zoe from the Infinite To-Read Shelf ! Enjoy! Thanks Zoe!

Tell us about you and your blog! How did you start? When? Why? Ect. 
I think it was this way for the majority of book bloggers, but I actually started out on Goodreads in spring of 2012 as a way to catalog all the books I read. There, I noticed a few Goodreads reviewers who also had blogs; and I thought to myself: “Hey, why don’t I do that?” 

What is your favorite part of blogging? 
I think my favorite part of blogging is without a doubt the community. Never have I ever been part of a friendlier or more welcoming community than that of book bloggers, and it’s such an honor. Whether it’s discussing books or fangirling over a series, I know I can always count on my fellow bookish friends to be there for me.

What’s your favorite feature to participate in and why? 
Okay…don’t hate me everyone, but… *gulps* I don’t participate in any features at the moment – BUT I plan on starting possibly by the end of summer. However, as a reader of blogs, my favorite feature to read is Waiting on Wednesday because I love seeing what books everyone has on their wishlists, and maybe even adding a few to my own TBR.

What’s the most challenging part of blogging for you? 
Honestly, I think the hardest part of blogging is actually finding the time to sit down and actually read. There are some days when I just simply don’t have enough time to read, and this really makes having content for my blog difficult.

A little birdy told me that you are into web design and your blog is fabulous! Tell us a little bit about that! 
Oh my gosh! Thank you so much! That means a lot to me! 😀 And yes…as a matter of fact, that little birdy is correct! 😉 I love web design, and I actually figured out this passion while I was fiddling around with the idea of creating a book blog. I love how you’re able to transform an idea in your mind onto the Internet into a real site…it’s incredible! 

What is your fondest childhood bookish memory? 
I’d have to say probably having my parents read to me before bed. I definitely credit them for my love of books!

Why do you love reading or what is your favorite thing about it? 
There’s so much to love about reading! I’d have to say that my favorite thing is really being able to go to different places in my mind, meet characters who feel as real as actual people, and being able to shut reality out – at least for a moment. There’s something special about being able to go wherever you want, whenever you want, with only 26 letters and a piece of paper. 

What are five random things that readers might not know about you? 
1. Besides reading, one of my other favorite past-times is theatre. (I’m currently in a production of Shrek: The Musical!)
2. I’m a competitive gymnast.
3. I love photography, video editing, and web design.
4. My favorite books are The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Flipped by Wendelin van Draanen, Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson and the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.
5. I have a horrible sweet tooth. Really, it’s like a curse…

What are five of your favorite blogs/bloggers and why? 
I have SOOOO many bloggers that I admire for so many different reasons, so I don’t think it would be fair to only list five, because, in reality, I probably have dozens!

What tips do you have for fellow bloggers? 
I can’t really pretend I’m an expert, but if I’ve learned one thing from blogging, it’s totake initiative and comment on other people’s blogs. It may be a bit intimidating to comment on blogs at first, but it’s such a rewarding experience, and, without a doubt, you’ll most likely meet some friends along the way. 🙂

How can people find and follow you? 
• Visit My Blog
• Follow Me On Bloglovin
• Friend Me on Goodreads
• Twitter – @act_flip_read

Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World

Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World

I am bringing this feature back for realzies this time! I have a bunch of interviews planed so that I can start doing them more often and you guys can meet and get to know more awesome bloggers! So keep checking back for more!

Quick news updates before we start:
1. I didn’t get any books this week because I still have enough books that need reading from last week that you could bury a body (but please don’t try that at home folks). So no Saturday Stacking the Shelves.


Yes, yes I really was impaled. I think I will survive. I think. If you don’t hear from me for a while don’t worry I’m just crying in the corner and slowly bleeding out/ dying to death. Yes I just said dying to death. You want to argue with a dying person? Yeah I thought not. 
(It appears pain and trauma make me sassy and combative. I apologize. I love you guys don’t worry.)
Ok, I’m done let’s get this party started! Today Skylar Finn/ Selena from Life of A Random is here with us!
Tell us about you and your blog! How did you start? When? Ect.
Um…How do I start? Hi, I’m Skylar aka Selena in the real world. 😉 I just recently graduated from high school after being homeschooled the whole way through. There are three things I love: chocolate, books, and sleep. Since a blog about chocolate or sleep probably would bore anyone who visited to tears…I have a book blog called Life of a Random. I’m short. I don’t scream (seriously, I don’t).
I started my blog in the spring of 2013 (I think). At that time, Life of a Random wasn’t a book blog. It didn’t really have any type of focus at all, but I started it just to have a place to write down my feelings and things I was interested in. Slowly the blog began to gravitate towards books. I LOVE books. I ship fictional couples all. the. time. And I love using Life of a Random to talk to other people like me in a way I wouldn’t be able to right off in real life because of my personality. It’s funny because even though I’m an introvert and a pretty shy one, I am SO sarcastic and funny (or at least I like to think so) on my blog. It’s great!
What is your favorite part of blogging? 
I think there are many reasons that make blogging one of my favorite things to do! Buuut, the top two would probably be interacting with everyone in the book blogging community and keeping up with book news like books getting all the hype or books that aren’t even out yet.
It’s the greatest feeling to have people around the world, whom you haven’t even seen, support you and like your blog enough to follow and comment. I still mentally scream when I see another person has followed my blog. I don’t think that will ever get old. J
What’s your favorite feature to participate in and why?
Hm, yikes. This is hard. This isn’t a particular feature but I really like doing tags. For features, I’m torn between Waiting on Wednesday or Top Ten Tuesdays. The first one, because it’s so simple, and the second one because it’s really fun. And simple.
What is the hardest part of blogging for you? 
Finding ideas for discussion posts. It’s really hard to find something original to talk about, so while I love writing discussion posts…the ideas don’t come easily.
Or stuff like scheduling and pre-writing posts *blushes*. I’m getting better but it’s still one of the harder parts of blogging for me.
How do you keep up with everything? How do you keep from being overwhelmed or deal with being overwhelmed?
That is a very good question. Typically, I’m not the most organized blogger, but more recently I’ve been trying to keep things orderly by using Google Calendar. I also keep a folder in each of my emails. One of them is called ‘Book Reviewing’ and another is called ‘Bloggy Friends’. I know, I’m so original. Be jealous.
If I get too overwhelmed, I take a short break from blogging and only publish posts that I have an obligation to publish like book blitzes or tours. 
How do you conduct your interviews?
I usually ask interview questions by email. I try to make them interesting and ask questions that will get informative answers, but also make it fun and easy-going at the same time. I don’t like things to be too stiff on my blog.
How do you expand your following?
With social media and commenting. Social media mainly being Twitter. I tweet all my post links, usually more than once, and also keep my Twitter up to date with personal tidbits. Commenting is also something that will get a lot of people coming back to your blog, especially for features like Waiting on Wednesday. My advice—link-up with your post and then go comment on A LOT of other bloggers’ WoW posts with a link back to your post. It’s exhausting but worth it.
A giveaway *wiggles eyebrows* can also be a good way to gain more followers, especially if you’re only a little ways from a particular goal.
What are your blogging and reading pet peeves?
I really don’t like it when I take the time to type out a long comment and it only gets a one sentence reply. Not a fan. And I definitely don’t like it when the blogger doesn’t reply at all.
Oh, and if a blog has fuzzy graphics or designs you can tell aren’t good quality then I tend to not be as attracted to it. I know that you can’t tell quality of the blog by the look of the blog so I try to not be biased as much.
Reading pet peeves…
1) I hate insta-love. HATE it. According to me, it’s way too common and unrealistic.
2) I don’t like it when the main character is selfish. Like, infuriatingly selfish not realistically selfish. There’s a difference 😉
3) Some inner dialogues of girl main characters I read are creepy. Because they’re admiring a guy and they go, “Oh what nice, muscular thighs you have.” And I’m like *shakes head really fast* What. Why are you admiring his thighs. If you can see a guy’s thigh muscles through his jeans, by the way, those aren’t regular jeans.
4) Making out. Okay, let me clarify. Making out when the world around you is threatening to explode and lots of people are dying and mutants have escaped from a top secret science lab, but, oh, we’re going to make out. NO. THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. Go save the world.
What has been your favorite blogging experience?
Being nominated for the Liebster Blog Award! It’s so fun and I mentally screeched when I got my first one. It’s a great way to discover small blogs or to help other people find some of your own favorite small blogs.
What are five of your favorite blogs/bloggers and why?
Cait & Mime @Notebook Sisters(because they’re hilarious, well-written/spoken, and just awesome girls), Ella @Once Upon a Bookish Time (she’s just so enthusiastic about books and leaves the BEST comments), Tansie @Totally Tansie (two words: dry humor), Aneta Augustine @The Graffiti on the Wall (you want someone to tell you exactly whether or not a book is good based on literary points? Aneta doesn’t let feels get in the way of saying it like it is), and Amber @The Mile-Long Bookshelf(Her booktube channel and discussion posts are the best. And she loves pizza. Guys, this is important).
What tips do you have for fellow bloggers?
COMMENT. You’ve probably heard this before, but comment, comment, and then comment some more. It’s the best way to gain more followers and friends. Also, you may just be starting out. And maybe you’re getting discouraged because you only have two followers and you’ve been blogging for ages compared to other blogs who already have a few hundred followers (um, yeah, how do they do that again?). Don’t give up. Keep going. Join features. Make friends. You willget followers and more importantly you’ll find people you can gush over books with.
Most importantly—don’t forget that you’re doing this because you want to. If it starts feeling a bit too much like work and when you have to force yourself to write posts, you need to take a deep breath, a small break, and re-discover why you started blogging in the first place. J
How can people find and follow you?
Thanks again Skylar it was great getting to know you better! 
Check out Life of a Random and the other fabulous blogs she mentioned! Let me know if you have any suggestions/ nominations/ recommendations for other blogs and bloggers to interview and spotlight! 
Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World!

Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World!

I am so psyched to post this (no really, you don’t even know. I can barely contain myself right now)!  when I got a reply to my e-mail this was pretty much my reaction:

Then I actually got Cait’s answers back and I read them and realized that she is like my blogger soul mate (don’t ask what that means exactly because I honestly don’t even know) and I basically became like their number one fangirl in like 5-10 min and now I am going about this post and just life something like all the fallowing combined (I work in stages and phases people, plus I am just so awesome that one gif wouldn’t even come close to scratching the surface of me in life):

Anyways! As I was saying, Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World is back and today Cait from The Notebook Sisters is here being all crazy and creature-y and blogger-y and stuff! Enjoy the interview! I know you will love her and the interview!

First off, tell us all a little bit about yourself and your blog!
My name is Cait and I’m one of the Notebook Sisters! (We’re collectively known as Cait and Mime. The myths are true! We are, in fact…sisters.) I’m rather obsessed with books, superheroes, and the glorious invention of mint milkshakes. I’m 19 and Mime is 15.
How did you get started blogging and why?
We started blogging (2 years ago) after our trip to China. We wanted to share our photos (who doesn’t want to pictures of cow-stomach-soup and Beijing?) with our friends. After we exhausted all things China, we started blogging about our favourite thing in this galactic universe: books.
How did you decide what your blog was going to be like? (What things you were going to post about, the name, the design ect.)
Like I said above, it was originally a travel blog! (I know, hilarious.) Mime came up with “Notebook Sisters” because we were sisters (wait, we still are sisters) and we were writers. Now we post a lot of book reviews, participate in bookly linkups, and write about our views on life in general. The design? I tweak it every year or so. This time, I’ve made it from scratch (!) with an owlish theme, because owls are cute.
What is your favorite thing about being a blogger?
Comparing thoughts with other bookworms! I love the support (and humour) of the blogosphere too.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your blogging, and how did you overcome it, or how are you currently working to overcome it?
Dang HTML. I don’t think I’ll ever figure out how to design layouts the way I want them to. Usually I pout and Google and follow tutorials, buuuut, let’s face it. HTML is another language.
What has been your favorite/craziest/most awesomesauce experience since you started blogging?
When real live authors have visited/commented on our blog! That is the best. Mime had an author comment on her writing and say it was awesome (eek!). I’ve chatted to authors and interviewed them (double eeek!).
What is your favorite type of post to write or feature to participate in?
Okay! I admit it! Writing about superheroes is ridiculously fun. (Fangirling, who doesn’t like it occasionally?)
What have been some of your favorite reads this year?
There are way too many to count. I’ll just throw a few at you. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (sci-fi with snarky dialogue…so awesome). Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (apocalyptic stuff, lots of guns and bristly narrators). This Song Could Save Your Life by Leila Sales (contemporary with a smoosh of music).
In your opinion, what is key to making a book great?
Characters! If the characters are awesome, realistic, and relatable, the book is half way to being awesome.
What are you reading right now?
I’m rereading Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I wanted to reread the series before I gobbled Allegiant…which has a feels-crushing ending I’ve heard. I desperately need to find out.
Who are your favorite characters male and female?
Ha! Impossible question! Buuut, I’ll go Peeta and Katniss from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Not only is the series my all-time favourite, those two are ridiculously awesome. Real or not real? I ask YOU.
If you were to make your favorite book into a movie, what book would it be and who would you cast yourself as?
I would never ever no way cast myself into a movie! Gosh, I’m extremely shy! I don’t talk to the postman if I can help it. But if I could pick any book to be made into the movie? At the moment, I’d go Red Rising by Pierce Brown. It has awesome potential to be an action-packed-thriller. It has the feels, the scenery, and snarky characters. What more could you want?
Any last wise words for other bloggers, readers and authors out there?
Don’t eat pasta while you’re reading. The tomato-sauce red fingerprints on the book pages look kind of like…blood. It’s awkward.
Is there anything else you want to share about yourself? How can others find you and your blog online?
I’m everywhere! (Just kidding.) But, no really, catch me on Twitter, I’d love to say hi! And, of course, stop by my blog Notebook Sisters and talk books with me. (You definitely want to meet Mime, anyway, so come read some of her posts!)
Thank you so much for doing this it has been SO much fun having you!
It’s been awesome, Briana! Thanks for asking.

Isn’t she just fabulous?! I mean really, how can you not love that epic personality?! And like she said Mime is a jar of awesomesauce too so be sure to go to their blog, stalk them on twitter or whatever and “meet” her too! (Don’t actually stalk them on twitter that is just creepy. Not a good way to make friends.) Also, below are the links to buy all the different books she mentioned through Liberty Bay Books and to find them on Goodreads simply click the hyperlinked titles in the interview! And, another big huge thank you SO much Cait!

Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World

Crazy Creatures of The Blogging World

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.

Well, I do believe that’s all the questions. Thank you for reading, and thank you Briana for asking me to do this. I’m so glad to have someone like you who will blog and fangirl over books with me.