Hello again to this Thursday's instalment of Meet The Blogger. This week's blogger is Sya from The Mountains of Instead. Please check out her blog at http://mountainsofinstead.blogspot.com/.
When did you start blogging?
I started in April of last year, which seems like a very long time ago now!
What made you start blogging?
At the time I’d started reading a bit of young adult and went online searching for recommendations as I didn’t know all that much about the genre. I discovered this whole online world of book bloggers and YA that I had had no idea even existed. I spent a long time lurking on various book blogs and the more I read reviews the more I wanted to share my views and review myself. Also, I live in a fairly small village with a small child, which doesn’t lend itself to much of a social life – blogging seemed like (and has proved to be) a link to an online community that I could relate to and become a part of.
What was the first book that you reviewed on your blog and what was your reaction to it?
It was Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I’d actually read it previously but it had a much greater effect on me second time round (something I often find with books). It was also a title that I knew I would be able to talk about and that I wanted to share my thoughts on. Although it looks a little rusty to me now that I have honed my reviewing style I’m still very proud of that review.
When was the first time you realised you were a book blogger?
I knew straight away. I styled my blog so that it focussed completely on books – I wouldn’t know how to blog any other way!
How much of your time a week do you spend blogging?
It depends on what’s happening. Recently I’ve spent lamentably little time either blogging or reviewing, mainly due to an inexplicable reading slump that I’m finally starting to come out of (woo hoo!) but in the past I’ve spent as long as an hour per night. It also depends on how busy/stressed I am in my day to day life – sometimes I just want to slob in front of the TV, or catch up on some sleep so the blog suffers on those days!
Has your taste in genres changed since you started blogging?
Yes, probably a little. When I started I was reading a lot of paranormal stuff but I now find that I really love contemporary YA – a genre that really didn’t interest me before. I’m also loving the current dystopian trend and amazingly find that I’ve been reading a bit of historical fiction, a genre I previously despised. What this really goes to show is that communicating with other bloggers and reading other book blogs can open your eyes to books that you would never previously have lifted of the shelf – it’s one of my favourite things about the whole process.
What book are you reading at the moment?
I’m currently reading three books, which is highly unusual. It’s an attempt to get out of my reading slump. They are Die For Me by Karen Rose (because crime fiction is my guilty pleasure), Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma (an extraordinary book that you must all invest in ASAP) and The Burial at Thebes by Seamus Heaney (for my university course).
What book has got you very excited or made you cry?
For anyone who reads my blog, this will not come as a huge surprise, but The Knife of Never Letting Go did both. In fact, the entire Chaos Walking trilogy did both several times. What can I say? Patrick Ness is a cruel genius and you should all pick up one of his books and revel in some extraordinary writing.
Have you read any book you disliked so much you threw it across the room?
Yep. Marked by PC and Kristen Cast. I thought it was bitchy, sanctimonious and has some really dubious messages. It's the only YA book that I've read (and I've read a LOT) that I wouldn't particularly want my daughter to pick up in her teens (not that I'd stop her, of course). Apart from all of the above I also just thought it was pretty poorly written with the teen dialogue being excrutiating. I reached a point where the protagonist muses on her make-the-world-a-better-place-by-not-procreating-with-losers ethos and did, literally, throw the book across the room.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to take part or set up a book blog?
If you want to take part then just do it! Comment on blogs you like, get yourself a Twitter account and chat to other book lovers and read like you've never read before! If you want to blog then do some research. Look at blogs you like and think about why you like them and put thought into what kind of style and tone you'd like for your own. How much time can you spend on it? Do you want to write only review posts or include some variety? How often do you want to post? These are all good things to think about before you start. I also approached a few seasoned bloggers for advice on how to get going – Carla from The Crooked Shelf was particularly helpful and gave me the confidence to just go for it, which is exactly what you should do too!
What song are you listening to right now?
The Bike Song by Mark Ronson and The Business International. It's making me smile.
MySpace, Facebook or Twitter?
Well, not My Space – so 2007, dahling... Probably Facebook, as that's where I stay in touch with my friends, although I do go through phases of Twitter-love.
Hardbacks, paperbacks or ebooks?
Paperbacks, every time. They just make life easier. Occasionally you get a really beautiful hardback (see A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness) but in general paperbacks are just friendlier books. I do have a Kindle and I find it incredibly useful and easy to use but it's a poor substitute for a much loved, often read paperback title.
Letters, phone, texting or emailing?
Texting – I love it! My significant others wouldn't agree, but pish posh – it's just so convenient. I used to be a huge letter writer before the advent of email and I do miss that but one must move with the times, mustn't one?...
Zombies or Unicorns?
Zombies! And anyone who says otherwise clearly has the soul of a three year old girl (and I know what I'm talking about there). Zombies forever!