Oooh, I’ve been tagged!
And it didn’t hurt a bit! Phil over at reviewsrevues has nominated me to take part in the Secret Life of a Book Blogger tag – thanks, Phil! 🙂 I was terribly worried at first that I might have to reveal what I do when I’m not blogging. But phew! It appears I don’t have to tell you about either the sumo-wrestling or the rehearsals for my famed role as back end of the cow in the Christmas panto! And of course if I revealed my true identity you’d never believe me anyway…
So here are the actual questions…
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1. How long have you been a blogger?
Since the dawn of time or March 2013, whichever came first. (576 posts! Good grief!)
2. At what point do you think you will stop?
To be perfectly honest, I fantasise about stopping constantly, every time I stare at the blank screen trying to think of something even remotely interesting to say. But then I read a great book – or a terrible one – and my enthusiasm for reviewing is restored!
3. What is the best thing?
Actually that’s not true at all – it might have been a major reason when I started but now it’s the bloggie chit-chat that keeps me going. So, you – yes, you there at the back – you’re the best thing!!!
4. What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it OK?
Somewhat problematically for a book blog, it’s writing the reviews that’s the worst thing! Especially the crime novels where I feel I repeat myself on an endless loop – can’t understand why anyone reads them myself (the reviews, I mean, not the books).
So… I pick books that I might not usually read but think will be fun or interesting to review. The Barsoom books for example, or the Great American Novel Quest books. Or I do a silly post about tennis, or eyebrow raising techniques. And I’ve enjoyed doing my little Tuesday short story series – detectives, horror, sci-fi…
5. How long does it take you to find/create pictures for your post?
Varies from 5 or 10 minutes for a crime novel to maybe half an hour or more for a fantasy novel, a classic or a factual book. Searching for images is one of my favourite parts – especially for fantasy and sci-fi. There’s so much great fan art out there! And then, of course, I have to spend hours and hours sometimes searching for just the right picture of Rafa… or George… such a hardship!
6. Who is your book crush?
Ha! Hands up anyone who doesn’t know the answer to that one! Welcome, stranger!
7. What author would you like to have on your blog?
Seriously – none. I don’t like to have too much contact with authors in truth. I might have raved about their most recent book but I might not feel so enthusiastic about their next one and, while I love getting a bit of feedback from an author I’ve raved about, in reality having any kind of personal contact with them makes me feel very uncomfortable about reviewing future books. Hence, I seldom review books of authors I chat to on the blogosphere or elsewhere (though I often buy and read them!) and I never do author interviews or blog tours or guest posts or such-like, or set out to make contact with favourite authors in any other way. It’s not a rule that’s set in stone, though – it just kind of works out that way. And I’d make an exception for Charles Dickens…
8. How long does it take to prepare?
Hmm… depends. Half an hour for a TBR Thursday post up to approximately 6 weeks for The Grapes of Wrath! Excluding reading time. I probably read for 2 or 3 hours a day, but it varies. And I don’t count that as preparation, since I’d be doing it whether I blogged or not.
9. What do you wear when you write your blog posts?
A pale green silken ballgown embroidered by the fairies at the bottom of my garden with a myriad of butterflies in threads of fine-spun gold and silver, and sprinkled liberally with the finest diamonds and emeralds. Matching shoes and handbag, of course, and for the more serious reviews, I also wear my crown.
10. How do you feel about the book/blogger community/culture?
I hate them all! Before I got to know them my TBR was a feasible 50 or so – now it’s close to 150 and rising! They should all be banned and have their chocolate taken away!
(OK – actually I love the community and they’re the reason I blog. But not just book bloggers – I adore the variety around the blogosphere and love all the talented and creative people out there spending their time entertaining others just because they can…)
11. What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?
Define success. Originally I thought I was blogging to a) get free books and b) inspire other people to read the books I love. I now get so many free books I can’t cope and I think Jilanne once read a book I recommended! But now I know that really I do it for the civilised discourse, intelligent debate and sparkling repartee – i.e., chit-chat, and if you want people to chit then you have to be willing to get out there and chat, and provide chat-inspiring content. I don’t care if my blog is ‘successful’ so long as being part of the bloggie community is fun! It amuses me endlessly that I always get more visitors and comments for silly posts than for serious book reviews – I might not be the most ‘successful’ book blogger in the blogosphere in terms of bookish influence, but I have met up with a lovely group of expert chit-chatters – for me, that’s success! (Wouldn’t it be totally embarrassing if nobody left a comment now…?? 😀 )
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Now I’m supposed to tag some of my favourite book bloggers, but I can’t possibly choose! So if you’d like to answer these questions, consider yourself tagged! It’s as much fun as eating chocolate cake, I promise!