July 15th, 2009
Last week, I kicked off the Booklover of the Week series with the first of three YA book bloggers that I’ve been following since way back when. This week, I’m delighted to welcome the awesome…
Blog Name: Book Chic
Blog URL: bookchicclub.blogspot.com
Teen or Adult? Adult, but still very much a teen (I’m not that much older, lol)
Well, I’m 23 years old and my name is James. I’m currently at a temp job doing data entry, which then causes me to check email and Twitter a lot because it’s not a terribly exciting job. But you know, it pays. In my free time, I tend to be lazy and sit in bed reading or watching DVDs. Also, I hang out with my roommate and we play Mario Party 8 on the Wii and also play around with our cats. Cats are awesome.
The You 2.0 blog is about becoming everything you’re meant to be. It’s about pursuing your dreams, changing your world, showing gratitude, and paying it forward. Here’s a chance for our Booklovers to share what You 2.0 means to them.
1. PURSUING YOUR DREAMS: Everyone has the ability to be extraordinary, they just have to embrace what makes them unique and special and pursue their dreams with passion and confidence! Tell us a little about a dream you’ve achieved or are pursuing right now. If you’ve achieved it already, how does it feel to know you’ve made your dream a reality?
It’s an ongoing dream really, as I’ve achieved a little part of it so far a few years ago. Back in my junior year of high school, the drama club was hosting their annual One-Act Festival and they made the decision to include some student-written plays since the directing, stage managing, and all that would already be done by students anyway, so why not extend it further? They set up a one-act writing group that met up after school. I think there were about 8 of us, though 2 were collaborating on a project and I think another was just moderating the group. We met up and did our sessions like any creative writing class- talking about our ideas, fleshing them out, passing around our scripts and critiquing each other. It was a really fun time since most everyone there were friends of mine.
Anyway, we finished and submitted our stuff and the drama club teacher selected the best of the bunch, which consisted of myself and another writer. This was the first year they had done something like this and it had made me so happy to find out that my play got selected (mainly for its humor- all the other plays were downers or at least not AS funny, lol), that my play would be a part of its beginning history. So we went through auditions, rehearsals and opening and closing nights (both right next to each other- the One-Acts always only ran for two nights). And for like two weeks after it, everyone was stopping me in the hallways and congratulating me on my play, telling me how much they laughed during it, and how they enjoyed it. It was a short little play- just like 10 minutes, but it was awesome.
My friend Gaia (the director) and I did such a wonderful job with everything- I feel like we probably had the most fun putting our show on than any other one-act team. Anyway, my ultimate dream is to be a published author, so having this one experience really gave me confidence in my own writing.
2. CHANGING YOUR WORLD: Changing the world doesn’t have to mean finding a cure for cancer or creating lasting world peace (though it definitely can!). It just means finding a way that you can make the world a little better off for having lived here, whether it’s making a difference to one person or a million, to the earth, to animals… whatever is important to you. What is one way you would personally like to make the world a better place?
I would just love to help people with my humor. I think humor really helps when you’re feeling down about something or someone or with whatever is going on in your life. I love bringing my friends out of their funk by making a joke and seeing them smile. I hope to be able to do that through my writing later in life and reach more people aside from those immediate in my life.
3. GRATITUDE: Gratitude is a huge part of the You 2.0 life. Taking a moment to count our blessings is the best way to remember what’s truly important (especially when life is hectic and crazy!). What are you grateful for?
I’m grateful for a TON of things- my friends both in real life and here in the blogosphere, my job (yay getting paychecks and not being homeless and starving!), my family, my blog, and a myriad of other things I can’t think of right now due to it being early.
4. PAYING IT FORWARD: If everyone took a moment to pay it forward, even just once, the world would be changed in ways we can’t even imagine. What is one thing you’ve done (or plan to do) to “pay it forward” in some way?
I’m not sure if this really counts since I’m not sure exactly how to go about paying it forward, but when I become a published author, I would hope that my books would help people through their hard times, either through my humor or through relating to the characters or situations presented.
5. Why did you decide to start blogging about books?
When Lauren Barnholdt was promoting her then-upcoming release Two Way Street back in May 2007, she offered herself up to do interviews with her LJ friends who would be helping to spread the word about her book. I wanted to do an interview. While I was coming up with questions, I found that I really enjoyed making up interview questions and wanted to do more. I’d never heard of a book blog being done before, but I knew that I couldn’t be the first person to do one, lol. But I just spent a few weeks in June talking with my friend Lauren about it and then in late June 2007, Book Chic was launched and it’s become so much more than I ever intended it to be and it just makes me so happy. I love my readers, my fellow bloggers, and the authors who send me review copies, let me interview them, and are just all-around awesome. I could not have continued doing this without all you guys.
6. What do you love most (and least) about being a YA book blogger?
What I love the most has to be the community that’s built up in the past couple years. The kidlitosphere is just such a joy to be a part of- everyone is so nice (ok, yeah, there’s drama sometimes, but there’s always bound to be that) and helpful. I’m glad that I can be a part of it. And of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I also enjoy receiving the free books.
My least favorite thing probably has to be the reviewing itself, lol. I really enjoyed doing them back in summer 2007, but as time has gone on, I dread it more and more. I’m a lazy person at heart, so I wish that I could just be like “This book is awesome! Go buy it!” and have that be it, but unfortunately, people wanna know about characterization, how well it’s written, and all those other details.
7. What do you love most about the YA and middle grades genres right now?
I love the variety that’s in these genres. In adult fiction, everything is divided up- sci-fi/fantasy, regular fiction, mystery, suspense, horror, etc. but in YA/MG, authors are combining so many of these elements into one novel that, if it were adult fiction, no one would know where to put it! I just love that there’s such a variety in the section and, heck, even just on one particular shelf. I think that’s a great quality to have because it means there’s always something new to try out every time you look at the YA/MG sections in the bookstores.
8. What makes you fall in love with a book?
Honestly, I don’t even know. I find that, in reading the amount of books that I do, it’s really a lot of things- a certain character, how a setting is described, humor, a particular plot twist, the suspense, etc. But maybe if I had to pinpoint something, it’d be humor. I really value humor- I love to make people laugh and I love to laugh myself, so reading a book with lots of humor (or even in little patches) is something that endears me to the novel.
9. Which books have inspired you most?
Books generally don’t inspire me, but if I had to pick something, it’d probably be the Princess Diaries series, as they were the first YA books that I read and Meg got me started on branching out to other YA and finding this amazing and wonderful section of the bookstore.
10. Are you also a writer yourself? If so, what do you like to write?
I am a writer, and of course, I love to write YA! Don’t ask me what particular genre because it’s just whatever comes to my mind. I have ideas for a contemporary series, a fantasy series, a contemporary historical (think Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard, but not exactly the same), and who knows what else is in store for the future, lol. Although actually, one of the things I’d love to write is gay romances; I think we need more of those in the YA market.
11. What advice would you give to other avid readers who want to launch their own book blog?
My advice would be to know right off the bat that it is a LOT of hard work. It can look easy, like “Oh, I read and review all the time on Amazon. This won’t be hard.” But you have to take into account the social networking that goes on, how long it takes to come up with interview questions and guest blog topics, emailing authors, reading the ever-expanding TBR pile, and so many other things. It takes up a lot of time, so be willing to devote to it if you want it to be noticed. Also, don’t get into it just for the free books- it really gives bloggers a bad name if you’re doing it just for that and that can really ruin it for all the good bloggers out there. That’s all the advice I have for now, but I’m doing this before 8am, so my brain isn’t working as well, lol.
12. I love the game Three Truths and a Lie because there are so many unexpected and interesting things about people that we never get a chance to learn about them. What are three truths and a lie that our blog readers can guess about you?
– I visited London with my family while I was in high school.
(Readers: Your guess gets you an entry into the You 2.0 monthly contest for an ARC of The Cinderella Society or a prize dive in the awesome You 2.0 Prize Basket. Guess correctly and you get a bonus entry! I’ll update the post tomorrow to spill the big lie, so get guessing and have fun!)
Thanks to James for a fabulous interview!
18 Responses | Comments RSS