Guess what everyone?! Creativity’s Corner turns 2 this week! In celebration, I’m devoting a week to some “favorites” from the past 2 years. Today, I’m interviewing one of my favorite bloggers, Amanda from On a Book Bender! She has been a huge role model for me – I hope someday when I “grow up” as a blogger I can be like her. Seriously, she is THAT COOL. So, without further ado:
1) One of the things I really admired about you and your blog from the time I first met you is the way you make everything about encouraging the community. Why do you feel the community is so important and what made you decide to focus on that?
As a teacher, establishing a community in the classroom is essential to having a class that is enjoyable to be a part of both as a teacher and a student, and that functions smoothly. I’ve really taken all of that into blogging. When I started book blogging, I wanted a place where people could have discussions about books and just connect and develop relationships with one another. We aren’t book blog islands. We’re interconnected, and I think focusing on the community aspect allows us to celebrate those connections, and unite ourselves rather than divide. I want to have real relationships with my readers, not just surface “You comment on my blog, so I comment on yours” relationships.
2) You seem to have lots of projects going on – between posting regularly on the blog, hosting Bout of Books, spending time on Twitter, plus your IRL work, how on earth do you find time to read?
Honestly, when I’m in the middle of a semester of teaching, I don’t read much. It’s not that I don’t have the time (I can still manage to squeeze a couple books into weekends if I try, and I listen to audiobooks during my 10 hour/week commute), it’s that I am generally so mentally exhausted that all I really have the capacity for at the end of the day is causing shenanigans on Twitter or filling out my Clock Rewinders post. But I am extremely organized, so I’m always ahead with posting, and this allows me the freedom to do what I can for the blog when I can. Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal also acts as my associate reviewer and tosses two or three reviews my way every month, which takes a ton of pressure off me when I don’t have a lot to time to read. And Bout of Books is generally planned around my teaching schedule so that it runs during a week when I’m not teaching. I couldn’t manage otherwise.
3) If you could choose one author to meet (that you haven’t already) who would it be and what is the first thing you’d ask them?
I’d ask Thea Harrison, “Can I live in your head?” I have so much love for the Elder Races world that I have to admit that Thea Harrison’s imagination would be a pretty cool place to be.
4) Do you or have you ever considered quitting blogging? If so how did you handle it?
Blogging fulfills a certain social need in my life, and if I weren’t book blogging, I would be blogging in another capacity. I think book blogging is about the only blogging community I have consistently stayed in and have actually gained momentum as time passes, so I plan on sticking around for a long time.
5) In real life you’re an English as a Second Language teacher and you provide copy-editing services. Do you think that affects your reading and reviewing process? If so, how?
It most certainly does affect my reading and reviewing process! As a teacher and copy-editor, my job is to catch mistakes and find ways to phrase or word something so that it is clearer or flows better. I assure you that am very good at this. While I can tune out that side of my brain, it is impossible to turn it off completely. I have found myself stopping while reading and debating the merits of how the sentence is phrased. Sometimes it’s even as simple as catching a typo and I get pulled out of the story to exclaim, “TYPO!” And any time that I get pulled out of the story means that I am probably going to view the book as less favorable. Really good books help me tune out my inner teacher and editor.
Since this is a celebration of favorites, a set of faves to round out the questions:
1) Favorite book to
bully people into promote?
Depends on the person, really, but I do recommend Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison a lot.
2) Favorite non-blog/non-reading activity?
Does Twitter count? Because definitely that. If I can’t count Twitter, then I choose spending time with my boyfriend.
3) Favorite advice to give other bloggers?
Be yourself. Do what is right for you. Interact. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
4) Favorite post on your blog?
That’s like asking me to choose a favorite child! I think I’d have to go with my open letter to the book blogging community. I got such a great response and it ended up being a lot more popular than I anticipated.
5) Favorite part of the book blogging community?
Thank you so much for joining me today Amanda! I really appreciate all you do for the community, and I hope all you readers out there will go check out her awesome blog, On a Book Bender (if you haven’t already, of course). Stick around for more blogiversary shenanigans the rest of the week!