Today is the first day of the Worlds of Wonder Author Hop, involving a wonderful group of fantasy authors and bloggers. For day one, I am proud to have Christina of the My Seryniti blog as my guest, for a special interview. Hope you enjoy this interview and the events!
I actually started as a gaming blogger. I really enjoy the idea of bringing people the ins and outs, normally secrets or puzzles that I found and thought others might be looking for. I LOVE to game or did before I renewed my love of reading! My first venture into blogging really helped me to feel secure about getting a different kind of blog going. I actually switched to My Seryniti in March of 2012 with my daughter's help. We introduced all of her poetry and added a few book reviews. Then I found the wonderful book review community! That's when I felt like I really started.
2. Have your reasons for doing your blog changed in any way, now that you have done book blogging for awhile?
My idea was the same from the beginning, bring everyone that reads my blog something! Whether it is a review or a cover reveal, something that makes their lives better or easier or just more fun! It's all about the customer service for me. I just love to help others and if my little corner of the internet touches someone, then I've done my job!
3. Since becoming a blog reviewer, has there been any changes in your reading preferences, as far as genres?
Funnily enough I've read a lot more YA than I normally would. Now having a daughter who is in that young adult age she would let me know if she found something fantastic, like The Hunger Games and Twilight. Both she introduced me to! But I've really tried to stay open. I just love to read! And I'll read anything even if the genre sounds a little off to me. You never know when you'll find something you love! I'm still not into Contemporary but I'm trying to keep my mind open and I found that I absolutely LOVE Dystopian! Who knew!!?
4. Has reviewing books generally been rewarding or has it been disappointing? Do you often find yourself discovering hidden gems?
Wonderfully I have found a ton of gems! I've gone so far out of my comfort zone that I've read wonders and met some great authors! Years ago I would stick only to my favorite few authors. I've tossed that idea right out of the window and I'm loving every minute of it! My hubby has this issue currently and I'm slowly introducing him to authors that I think he'll like.
5. I see where you and your daughter EJ are both involved on My Seryniti. Do the two of you like the same type of books in general, or are there some distinct differences in your preferences?
Ohhh... she reads Shakespeare! She is very much into Jane Austen also. Our genres are so totally different but it's great. She's in college so she also will let me know, like for Twilight and Hunger Games, what she's read that she's died over and I do the same for her. But my favorite genres stay around the paranormal and horror. When I need a break from reading horror I will delve into some chick lit and romance. I have yet to read Jane Austen or my daughter's current favorite, Wicked!
6. Has the blog become a fun mother/daughter activity? Any comments on this aspect?
When she's not completely involved in college, yes! Not only does she write but she is in theatre, so needless to say she's very busy but when we can get together, like for our upcoming Zombiepocalypse, I absolutely love every minute! That's one sub genre we just can't get enough of. Zombies!
7. Young adult books have become very popular with all types of adult readers. Why do you think they’ve had such an appeal?
Because a LOT of them are just so much fun to read! Sadly with some adult books you have wonderful plots but you may also have the heaviness of being an adult. My teenage years weren't all peachy but when you think back it's like wow, what if I could go back and do this again? These YA books do just that! And honestly that's what reading is all about, bringing you into another existence and letting you hang out for a while. I've read some seriously amazing YA this year and I honestly didn't really think that was my thing. Boy was I wrong.
8. Are there any particular kinds of characters that appeal to you?
Strong characters! People that fight for what they believe in, no matter what the belief. Characters that learn something! I really love seeing a character grow. It just makes me happy and when you see someone grow I feel like we grow with them.
9. Do you see any voids out there right now, in terms of a kind of character not often encountered in today’s releases that you would like to see more often?
What a great question! Honestly I'm all for the strong woman character! Go girls!! But it would be nice to read about some more men that are the lead characters. Where did all the guys go? I've read so few where the lead character was a male. Not that I don't love strong females but my favorite character right now is Rick on Walking Dead. Can we see more like this please!? ;) Of course I haven't read much romance lately...
10. As a blog reviewer, what do you see as the current trends in indie or traditional publishing, and using your crystal ball do you see any signs of what’s ahead in terms of popular sub-genres?
I really enjoy fairytales. I'm sort of hoping that this trend really picks up. A good fantasy is always lovely to read! Dark Fantasy is even better but I'm thinking the emphasis may continue with the Supernatural. I've read a few Angel stories lately. I'm hoping if the trend continues then these Angels and Gods can get out of their boxes!! I'd love to see more about demons too. I haven't seen very much out there lately with demons and they also need to come out of their proverbial boxes.
11. If you had to give advice to authors in regards to working with book bloggers, what would you tell them?
Hmmm advice... I've received a few perfunctory emails with hardly any information on the book and no information about the author. This is the first impression! My first impression is my website and I want it to look its best! Shouldn't those emails as well? Want I enjoy is when an author really tells me about themselves, why they think I may like the book and then of course about the book! Now I realize we're all too busy to get a ton of info into each email but something that says this is who I am, this is my fabulous book and this is why I think you'd like it! All that time on that book and I get an email that doesn't have anything in it! I want to be enticed!!
12. What have been some of your least favorite things about book blogging?
HA! I always bite off more than I can chew!! I went from reading two books a week, to about seven! It was dragging me down. So I backed off and remembered this is for me and for the fabulous authors I've met. If I push too much nobody is going to get a good review! That's certainly not what I'm here for! AND saying no. It's so hard for me to say no but I'm learning that I have to be honest with which genres I really like and when I can have a review done! I really hate saying no...
13. What have been some of your most rewarding aspects of book blogging?
Meeting fabulous people! I was very shy at first and didn't want to email an author! How presumptuous! They are busy people. But I realized having a blog is a way to get the word out about them and their books! Plus I'm kind of addicted to reading challenges! Another great way to get out of your comfy zone! The blogging world has such a great set of diverse people. I learn from everyone I meet and I love every minute of it!
14. And for a fun question: I see where you love spiders. (I think you would love the Sentinels (also called Aracha) in my Rising Dawn Saga, who are essentially heavenly guardians in various giant spider forms. I also was inspired by Native American lore, as well as some Germanic lore, in regards to my development of these creatures for my books.) Comment a little on the positives you find in spiders, whether from lore or real life observations.
Definitely sounds up my alley!! I started dreaming about spiders quite a few years ago. Some people may be a bit squeamish about that but I really like bugs so I looked them up. Although I'm not Native American that's the lore I found. The fact that they are the mothers, the creators of the universe, just struck a chord with me! I paint, write a little, scrapbook, play in paintshop, anything to keep my creative juices going and when I'm not doing something my little spiders let me know! I just feel better when I'm creating. When anyone finds a spider they come tell me. It is gently pushed outside, or if it's in its own cubby somewhere I normally leave them alone. The symbol of mystery, power and growth really resonates with me and I'm definitely not going to squash that under my shoes!!