Book Blogger #LoveAThon Kick-Off

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Click on the banner to find out more about this event!

This is my kick off post. Yay. This is my first time joining this so I’ll be floundering a little. But according to the schedule provided to us, I think that this won’t be so hard to figure out. I just hope I don’t forget anything because there are a lot of activities and giveaways. If you weren’t able to join this one, you should definitely look forward to the next one. I think this is the second time they’re doing this or possibly they’ve done it more. I’m not really sure. I still consider myself a newbie. 😛

Anyway, we’re also supposed to post the interview at this time too. I got paired up with Jess @ Literary,etc. I’ve been pretty much following Jess for most of my book blogging stay. I started in late June 2013, and I’ve been following her since July, I think. I’m not really sure I remember correctly. So I was a little intimidated to know I had to interview her, but she’s a cool person so all’s well. Oh, and she interviewed me too. It should be up on her blog. I may have some stupid answers because I totally procrastinated and rushed it. Lol. Anyway, let’s go to the interview now.

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Interview with Jess from Literary, etc.

1. Tell us a little something about yourself.

Hi, I’m Jess and I live in Albuquerque, NM (yup where Breaking Bad was filmed). I’m a Medievalist in training with an interest in 14th century England with regards to the legality of war and the law of arms. I’m a closeted James Blunt fan who drools over men in three piece business suits and a costume drama aficionado. I also have more fictional boyfriends than I have room for in my bed.

2. Tell us more about your blog. Why did you choose your name? Why did you start it? How long have you had it? etc.

Picking a blog name is harder than anyone thinks.  I went through a series of names before settling on Literary, etc because I wanted the blog to be a little about everything associated with books.  Whether it is a recipe appearing in a book or a painting or even an adaptation of a book, I wanted a place that went a little further into a book.

I’d like to say I started it by accident, but truthfully it was more like I liked blogging. Before I started Lit, etc I was part of a multi-member book blog that I helped create and even gave them their name.  I left due to differences in direction, but I really liked blogging about books.  So 4 months after being a member of that blog, Lit, etc was created.  I’ve had it now for over a year and I’m just sad I didn’t do this on my own from the beginning.

3. How did you manage to build up your blog? Research? Mentor? Asking around? Or did you figure it all out by yourself?

I did a lot of research by looking at other blogs.  I just wanted to get an idea about how others posted and did things.  It was interesting, but otherwise it was all trial and error. I do believe there’s no right or wrong way to blog.

4. I just love your blog design! Did you make it yourself or did you have someone make it for you? What was the concept behind it? 😀

newballoonheader

abq_ballonAww thanks!  The header was designed by me but the actual layout is the TweakMe layout from Creative Whim.  The header itself was quite by accident.  I wanted to use an umbrella design, but the images I played with weren’t making me happy.  I got the idea of a hot air balloon by accident!  Albuquerque hosts an international balloon event in October and a friend mentioned how excited she was for the event to start.  I then stumbled across the graphic I do use and everything just fell into place.

A few people have asked why I used a hot air balloon and what it means.  For me, it’s all about possibilities.  Seeing balloons in the air is a magical feeling and I feel that books make us feel that way.  We can be transported into another place or era and experience a plethora of feelings.

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5. What do you love most about the book blogging community?

I have a love / hate relationship with the community.  I love the unity and how everyone is willing to stand up for one another when something happens that requires it.  I adore the friendships that are formed and having someone that enjoys reading to talk to.

6. What are you favorite bookish things – books, authors, merch, quotes, etc.?

Ah can I say everything?  Actually, it’s signed books!  I love them more than anything else, but I also like the quotes especially those that really grab your attention and mean something.  You can also find me drooling over book related items such as this Kate Spade clutch:

emma-clutch-from-kate-spade

7. How do you manage your time between blogging and the rest of your life?

That is an excellent question!  It’s one I keep asking myself since I started a job in December and am still trying to come up with a schedule that works.  For the most part I try to dedicate at least an hour to reading when I get home or before I head to bed (though I try not to do it before bed since I find myself not being able to stop!).  I write a majority of my reviews during the weekend while I go through my DVR. Sometimes I admit to working on reviews and features at work (our little secret).

Honestly, one of the perks of being unemployed is working on blog stuff whenever you want.  I miss that.  I use to work late at night on features and that’s where I find I’m most creative.

8. What are your favorite blogs to visit? What do you like most about them?

I’ll be truthful-I visit a lot of blogs regularly but might not comment.  I adore yours and reading your reviews.  Some of my other favorites include Pop Goes the Reader (I love Jen’s book cover feature http://www.popgoesthereader.com), Herding Cats and Burning Soup (I love the way Anna reviews in general plus the recipes she postshttp://www.herdingcats-burningsoup.com),  and A Bookish Heart (Asti’s Bookish Games feature is one of my favorites plus her weekly posts since she links other blogs and it’s a great way to find out what you might have missed or discover a new bloghttp://abookishheart.com).  This list could go on and on.  I need to do a blogs I love post!

9. What do you think about the activities that other bloggers open up for others to join? Memes, Read-a-thons, Readalong, Surveys, etc. Which ones are you most likely to join and why?

I think they are a great way to interact with other bloggers.  I only participate in a few memes and not very often because it can overwhelm a blogger with trying to think of books, etc.  I like read-a-thons because of the diversity they offer.  There’s something for everyone and you can easily connect with readers of different genres whereas memes make it difficult to connect with another reader unless it’s a genre they enjoy or a book they’ve read.  Surveys are difficult because you have to fill them out.  I believe they’re useful to the person conducting them and the results are always interesting, but I’m lazy when filling them out!

10. Do you have advice for new bloggers or those who want to make one?

First of all, ask yourself why you want to blog.  If your primary reason is to get free books, etc. then perhaps blogging isn’t right for you.  Starting and maintaining a blog is a lot of work and most people don’t realize how much time you need to dedicate. Between reading, writing reviews, and working on features (as well as interviews) it can cut into your social time.  Secondly, keep a calendar!  Write down tentative blog tour / cover reveal dates as soon as you sign up that way you won’t forget!  I check my calendar at least 3 times a week to see what’s coming up, etc.  Third, real life comes first and blogging can wait.

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I hope you all enjoyed that one. And I’m excited to see the other participants in this event! I was supposed to read books the whole weekend. I hope I can resist enough to actually see all the posts. Or hopefully I’d have the time to do both!

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14 thoughts on “Book Blogger #LoveAThon Kick-Off

  1. I’ve never seen a hot air balloon in person but I really want to ride it. I didn’t know Breaking Bad was filmed in Albuquerque, I have a friend who’s really into Breaking Bad, now I have a tidbit of information to share with her.
    Great interview, and I agree that real life comes first and blogging can wait. 🙂

    My #Love-a-Thon Post

  2. This is such a great interview, Francine! Your questions are so thoughtful, and so are Jess’ answers. I definitely agree with her tips, especially keeping a calendar (which I only started doing last year). But I agree even more with this quote: “I do believe there’s no right or wrong way to blog.”

  3. We have a hot air balloon festival in my hometown, every year in September. Even though they were a fairly regular occurrence in my childhood, I’ve still always found them magical. And the world looks so different from in one of their baskets!
    I’m pretty much drooling over that clutch. Where’s the purchase link!? Haha
    And I love Jess’ advice for new bloggers – I think she hit the nail on the head!

  4. I LOVE this interview, especially the balloons! Growing up, my grandmother would drive me down to the bay area for a day of fun and sometimes while we came through the mountains, we’d see hot air balloons so they always make me think of her.

  5. I love how you describe what the hot air balloons means to you and now I think about it, it does really compare to being transported into the world of a book. And the header is gorgeous! I need that clutch!! Although I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to afford it haha.

  6. OMG!! ” I’m a Medievalist in training with an interest in 14th century England…” LET’S BE BEST FRIENDS. Your blog design is so pretty! I also desperately need that Kate Spade clutch. Wow.

  7. My blog name was pretty easy to come up with, but that’s obviously because it’s so simple! I wish I had put more effort into my name, but at the same time I love the simplicity of it. It makes it difficult when it comes to my co-blogger though. I love your blog design as well! So pretty.
    I love your advice for new bloggers. My blogging calendar is so important to me. Without it, I don’t think I would get half as much done, and I would be a complete mess. I always keep it open in another tab.

  8. Signed books are the best, especially if they are personalized I really like your design and love the idea behind the hot air balloon. First thinking about what you want with your blog is definitely a good advice. I agree that there is no wrong/right way to blog, but it takes more than ‘free books’ to maintain a blog Great answers!
    Mel@thedailyprophecy

  9. I need that Kate Spade clutch – it’s so adorable! Your personal introduction was my favorite of this post. 🙂 Your blog is gorgeous & I’m looking forward to catching up with your posts 🙂

  10. “I also have more fictional boyfriends than I have room for in my bed.” – BAHAHAHHA Love this.
    Your blog is GORGEOUS! I love that you used a hot air balloon… I think they are beautiful. Thanks for including those pictures from your festival! I’ve only seen balloons like that on tv/movies/pictures, I haven’t ever seen one in person… someday hopefully!
    I LOVEEEE that Kate Spade clutch… gorgeous.
    Loved your interview Happy Love-a-thon!!!

  11. I’ve always loved Jess’ blog header so it was great to hear the story behind it. It’s lovely & I love the ideas associated with the hot air balloon.
    I totally understand playing around with a schedule that works. I do something similarly, I think–trying to devote one hour to blogging OR reading after work. It can be tough to figure out a good schedule.

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