Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Blogger Spotlight: Shannon from These Are But Shadows

Hey guys and welcome to the first 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 ( 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 :)


  1. Hiya Carmen! I forgot to tell you earlier, that after looking at YOUR blog, my to-read shelf added another book - The Falconer! What a COOL cover! Anyway, I had a lot of fun answering your questions! Thanks for hosting my blog today!!!

    1. You're welcome, as I said I'm glad we met :) And the Falconer does sound fantastic! Also, its release totally crept up on me o.O

  2. OMG! I just saw this!
    Rothfuss' series has been opted by FOX for a tv series!!!

    1. Awesome!! I always think TV serieses work out so much better for big books than movies do :D Very curious to see what becomes of this!

  3. Thank you for being a fantastic contributor to this tour! I am so happy to see that you made a blogger friend in Shannon!

    1. Thanks for organizing it :) I'm having a lot of fun discovering new blogs!

    2. I agree with Carmen - Thank YOU Justine (& Jazmen) for organizing this Spotlight Tour! It was SO MUCH FUN!!!

  4. Hi Carmen! Nice interview haha!:)
    I agree with Shannon on the whole
    thing of getting tired of reading
    about love triangles they're not
    fun anymore it makes me feel like
    I'm reading the whole story over
    and over again!:(

    Anyways New Follower!

    -Marii @The Words Written

    1. Thanks for commenting! I agree, most love triangles are redundant. There are stories where it works but most of the time it feels like they're just added to heighten the drama, and I'm not really a fan of pointless drama...

    2. Maribel - couldn't have said it better myself. I know there's times when we read a book and we're like, "OMG, That was SO GOOD, I wanna read another book Just Like That!" But we don't really want to read the exact same book, or even a book that's so similar that the only thing that's different is the character names and setting. Still, I can't tell you how many stories I read with love triangles before I finally had enough :)

  5. Yay! Stopping by from

    1. Thanks for checking out my post!

    2. Hi Amber! When is your blog being Spotlighted? I haven't even begun to look at everyone's posts yet, but I finally have a weekend with NO plans (YAY!) so I'm going to treat myself to reading everyone's posts on Saturday! It gives me something awesome to look forward to :)

  6. Loved the interview! I'm alreay following you but I'll stop by These Are But Shadows to give her a follow too! My interview just went up as well. You can check it out on my blog!
    Laura @ Music Plus Books

    1. Thanks so much :) I just went and checked out your blog as well!

    2. Thanks Laura! I'm slowly making my way through the list of blogs featured on the Spotlight Tour. It might have to wait til the weekend. This week's been crazy busy already! But I am definitely going to be following EVERYONE who participated in this tour! I can't wait til next year!

  7. Visiting your blog as part of the blogger spotlight tour ... and I love what you've put together! I was in Zurich in January of 2002 and absolutely loved your city!

    Your interview with Shannon was great, and I'm heading over to check out her blog now. It seems like we both have similar bookish pet peeves: typos and love triangles ;P

    1. Cool that you've been to Zurich! :D I didn't grow up here and moving here was kind of a triumph for me :) Give me a shout if you ever come back!

      Love triangles... sometimes I feel like they're everyone's pet peeve these days ;)

    2. Hi Melissa! It was a blast talking with Carmen! I'm SO GLAD I signed up for the Blogger Spotlight Tour! So far, everyone I've "met" through it have been so friendly and their blogs ROCK! Can't wait to see your blog soon!

  8. Sorry it took me so long to reply. BUT, Thank you so so much for being apart of the tour. We couldn't have done it without you all. I hope to do this again with you next year *fingers crossed*

    Great spotlight btw :)

    1. It's been so much fun so far! I'm glad I signed up :) It's a great way to get to know other bloggers!