Today Shalonda from http://shalondasblog.blogspot.com/ is here for a chat.
1. Did you start your blog on your own or were you urged by a site?
I was required to keep a blog for a college class a few years ago. It basically sat untouched for a long amount of time. One day, I stumbled upon The Page Flipper, and from there, followed the links to several other YA book blogs. I decided that since I was constantly reading YA novels and sharing my thoughts with people who had no interest in reading, revamping my blog would be a good outlet. And 10 months later, here I am!
2. Do any of your friends know you blog?
A few of my friends and family members know that I have a blog. My sister visits from time to time, and I just realized today that I have a friend who follows my blog! Recently, I was actually able to help a friend start a blog of her own (though her blog is for professional purposes).
3. Have you met any of the fellow bloggers? Was it fun?
Because we have a lot of awesome book related events in the Atlanta area, I have had the privilege to meet Vania of Reverie Media, Kelsey of Just Blinded Book Reviews, and Eli of The Tainted Poet. All three are really sweet, and because we like hanging out together, we now meet up with one another when there aren't any book events.
4. Do you have contacts within publishing companies? Do you find that easier then contacting authors separately?
It truly depends on the reason for contacting the author/publisher. If there is a book that I would like to review, I go through my contacts at the publishing houses. However, if I am requesting an interview or just being friendly, I go straight to the author. Authors have been very approachable and accommodating, and these days it is easy to have access to author contact information; however, there are certain circumstances in which it is more appropriate to contact the publisher.
5. Has a book ever really inspired you? How? What book?
I have been inspired by many books. Books like TWENTY BOY SUMMER and JUMPING OFF SWINGS have touched me. Books like WAKE/FADE and DEADLY LITTLE SECRET have inspired to me to step outside of my comfort zone. And because I am a romantic, A WALK TO REMEMBER inspired me to believe in everlasting and unconditional love.
6. Do you contact any of the bloggers regularly/ Are you close to them?
I speak with a couple bloggers on the phone or Skype. I also have interactions on Twitter. I love to communicate with people, so if anyone wants to contact me, please do!
7. What is unique about your blog?
I wouldn't really say there is anything unique about my blog. I have the usual reviews, memes, and author interviews. I have a full time job, so not a lot of time for blogging. I do it because I enjoy talking about books. If no one ever looked at my blog, I would still continue, but I am thankful for those people read and follow/subscribe to my blog!
8. Any advice for new bloggers?
Realize that blogging takes time. You are probably not going to be an overnight sensation. Those blogs that we all love and adore are so wonderful because the bloggers worked hard. With dedication, thoughtfulness, and hard work, you are bound for success! Also, don't be afraid to ask for help. When I first started, I contacted several bloggers for advice on layouts, review formats, and rating systems. They were all happy to help, and today I am lucky to call them friends!
Thanks Ashley for having me!