Book Blogger Spotlight tour organized by Justine from The Closet Library and Jazmen from This Girl Reads A Lot!
I'm excited to be part of this event and today I'm hosting Shannon from These Are But Shadows here! Welcome, Shannon :) I'm very glad to have met you because we have a lot of favorite books in common.
Shannon started blogging to share her great love for disappearing into books in general, and because of her yearning for one book in particular - read the interview below to find out ;)
Some of her favorite authors are Patrick Rothfuss, Laini Taylor, A.G. Howard, Brandon Sanderson and George R. R. Martin.
You can also find Shannon on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.
Hi, Shannon! To give everyone reading this a chance to get to know you, how long have you been blogging and what made you want to start your own blog?
S: My first post was on May 10, 2013. You may laugh, but the reason I started my blog was because one of my favorite authors, A.G. Howard, had opened up a form where readers could sign up to be placed on a list to possibly receive an ARC of Book 2 of her Splintered series – Unhinged. Interested readers had to have a website or blog to be able to complete the form. Well, I LOVED Splintered, which is a dark and twisted retelling of Alice & Wonderland, and I was dying for a chance to get my hands on an ARC of Unhinged. So, I started These are but Shadows just so I could complete the form and be put on the list for a chance to get the ARC. A.G. Howard just posted on her blog that the ARCs have arrived and so – fingers crossed – hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to receive one!
Now, I’m a little addicted to it. I love posting reviews that are (hopefully) helpful to fellow readers. I’ve also met a lot of awesome readers and authors in the course of blogging! And THAT was an unexpected and pleasant surprise!
What are some of your favorite genres?
S: I’m a sucker for epic fantasy. My favorite series is the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I also love Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (& Brandon Sanderson), Daughter of Smoke & Bones by Laini Taylor, MindJack by Susan K. Quinn, Stonewiser by Dora Machado, . . . I could go on and on. Really, anything set in a world with magic – any kind of magic – and I’m game! Oh, I’m also a huge dragon fanatic, so I’ll read anything about dragons.
What is your favorite/least favorite thing about blogging?
S: My favorite thing about blogging is when I get a kind or funny comment on a review or anything else I’ve written. Next favorite would be when I meet a new blogger that I have a lot in common with – like the books we read, etc. One blogger even introduced me to cartoonizing myself – that was a really cool treat! I also love participating in blog tours, book blasts, and giveaways! Least favorite thing about blogging would be the whole formatting issue. There’s a lot I still want to put on the sidebars of my blog but I haven’t figured out how to do it yet – it’s so aggravating sometimes!
List some of the best books you’ve read in 2013 so far.
S: Thinking about ONLY the books I’ve read in 2013 – like I mentioned above, Splintered by A.G. Howard is right up there, along with The Curse Giver by Dora Machado. I’ve also finally gotten around to reading The Hobbit for the first time ever (LOVED the movie by the way). Another classic I read for the first time was Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand – SUCH a fantastic book! I really enjoyed Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth, Debt Collector by Susan Kaye Quinn, Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi, The Raven and the Plague by M.M. Mancey, The Secret Star by K.C. Finn, The Girls by Victor Banis, and The Emblazoned Red by Dawn McCullough White.
Least favorite book I’ve read (EVER) would be Fifty Shades of Gray – it was so terrible that I couldn’t finish it.
I loved Splintered and I can't believe I waited so long to read Divergent and Insurgent! What upcoming books are you most looking forward to?
S: The book I’m most looking forward to is Doors of Stone (book 3 of the Kingkiller Chronicles) by Patrick Rothfuss [expected publication 2014]. Have I already mentioned that Rothfuss is my favorite author? Because it’s worth mentioning again – he’s Brilliant!
I’m also very excited for Dreams of Gods & Monsters (book 3 of Daughter of Smoke & Bone) by Laini Taylor [expected publication April 2014]. And, like I said above, I’m also anticipating Unhinged (book 2 of Splintered) by A.G. Howard [expected publication January 2014].
What book/series would most like to see turned into a movie?
S: I’m sorry for being a little repetitive, but I have ALWAYS wanted to see Rothfuss’ books turned into a movie. I also would love to see Howard’s twisted take on Alice & Wonderland on the big screen. Lastly, and I know I’m not alone on this one, Wheel of Time adapted for the big screen would be freaking amazing – I just don’t think anyone in Hollywood would be able to do Robert Jordan’s works justice!
A book you heard about, waited a long time to read, and then wish you would have read sooner?
S: I have SO many books on my virtual to-read shelf (I think the number currently stands at 920 – and that’s not including the physical books I’ve actually bought that are sitting on my real-life bookshelf at home – yeah, I may have a slight problem). There’s simply not enough time to get to them all. I haven’t read Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series but they’re sitting on my real shelf. I’ve also heard really great things about Shine: The Knowing Ones by Amy Freeman, which is also staring at me from my bookshelf right now.
I'm also somewhere in the 900s. It's disheartening, really :/ Do you have a system for shelving your books?
S: I have NO system. They go wherever there’s space. I’ve thought about organizing my shelves, but I can’t decide which option to go with. Do I shelve them by author, genre, favorites to least favorites, size? Plus, I have two shelves that are in two different rooms because there’s no place in my house where the two will fit side by side. My next house (the 3 year plan is to move into a bigger house) will have a room that will become my own personal library! I think I’ll wait to develop my shelving system until then.
Do you have any book peeves or reading quirks?
S: Typos. I abhor typos; they distract me from the story. If a book is replete with typos, it give the impression that the author was in such a rush to put the book up for sale to make a quick buck, that they sully the waters for other authors who take the time to go through the revision process again and again to perfect their work. I’m also getting a little tired of the whole love triangle thing that’s in a lot of YA books. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED Twilight, but it seems like a lot of copy cats have tried to put their own spin on the same tale.
What advice would you give to new bloggers?
S: I would say, starting out, keep things simple. I found what helped me most was reading Wordpress’ tutorial (http://learn.wordpress.com/) because it was filled with helpful hints and steps to follow to develop my blog. Also, make sure you set up a blog that’s easy on the eyes. It’s important for anyone who looks at your blog to be able to easily navigate through it (I’m constantly trying to find ways to improve and streamline my blog).
Use tags and categories so search engines will pull your blog when people run searches. I also submitted a link to my site to Google, Yahoo and Bing so their search engines would pull keywords from my blog for this very reason. This link has a list of places you can submit your site to.
If you want to increase your followers, then you’ll need to find and follow other blogs you like, comment on their postings, and get to know other bloggers. Make friends and the followers will come! It also helps to sign up for book blitzes, blog tours, and giveaways (I put a link to my current Contests & Giveaways on my sidebar).
Most importantly: Blog about something you’re passionate about! And stick with it! The more you blog, the more chances people will find you.
I’ve recently become a moderator on the Goodreads – Making Connections & Making Connections – YA Edition groups. These are FABULOUS sites for getting free advanced read and review copies of books from authors, finding blog tours to sign up for, meeting other readers with your same interests, making friends, finding giveaways, and many other awesome things. I highly, highly recommend people check it out and join up! It’s free, so what’ve you got to lose? :)
I agree, passion is the most important thing or it's easy to get burnt out! And I will definitely check out those Goodreads groups :) It's great to have met you, Shannon! Thanks for writing such extensive and awesome answers to my questions! And also thanks again to Justine and Jazmen for hosting the whole tour!
So, dear readers, do you have anything to say to Shannon or anything you'd like to ask? Books in common? Advice to share? Let me know in the comments :)