Interview with Book Chic
Posted June 12, 2008on:
Book Chic is a fabulous book reviewer whose headquarters are hidden somewhere in myspace. I’d also like to point out that Book Chic is pronounced like “Book Sheek” rather than “Book Chick”, which I only recently learned. Now, without farther ado, an interview with Book Chic!
1) What made you decide to become a book reviewer?
There’s a huge story about it in one of the Ask Book Chic’s on the blog (the 1st one in February, if you wish to go find it), but I’ll keep this brief. Lauren Barnholdt wanted to promote her book Two-Way Street via blogs, and I had a livejournal, so I was going to post an interview and book review there, but after sending off the questions, I got excited about it all and how cool it was to do, and thus a book review/author interview blog was born!
2) You’re obviously pretty popular among authors now but what was it like when you were just starting out? How do you feel your blog has changed since then?
Starting out, I was actually REALLY surprised at how awesome authors were being when I’d ask them for interviews. They were always so willing to help and it was really amazing to actually hear back from Meg Cabot, one of the first authors I contacted when I was starting out. But they were so helpful with me and my site when I was starting out and so encouraging. It really helped me to continue with the site and keep it going for a year now.
In regards to how it’s changed, there’s been all the new features that I started up throughout the year, like author guest blogs, Fresh New Voice of YA, and Ask Book Chic. I also think that I’ve gotten better at writing reviews, and talking about certain aspects of a book that I like or didn’t like. Starting out, it was hard for me to write reviews in a professional(ish) manner. That was always what I had set out to do. I wanted to do more than just say “This book rocked my socks off!” or “This book sucked, and should be used in litterboxes!”. Over time, I got better at writing about what I liked about this character or that scene or this climax. But I do also let the fanboy in me show a lot because I don’t want the reviews to be boring. Haha. I don’t think my reviews are the best or anything, but I do feel like I’ve gotten better at writing them.
3) To you, what is the most important thing you’ve learned from reviewing?
To be honest, I don’t really know if I’ve really learned anything from reviewing. From doing the site, I’ve learned two things: 1) YA and chicklit authors absolutely ROCK! and 2) I love doing giveaways. I’m a very selfish person, and so I was always wary of doing giveaways because I like to keep things for myself, but I held my first one with some Meg Cabot stuff, I believe, and I absolutely loved doing it. Getting emails back from the winners and seeing their excitement over winning just makes me want to do it all the time. Although I think after the month of June (i.e. Giveaway Month on the blog), I won’t be doing giveaways for a while because this is just going to take so much out of my bank account, it’s not even funny. But it makes my heart swell with happiness to make other people happy.
4) What advice do you have for reviewers just starting out or for those who are thinking of starting a book review blog themselves?
I think my advice would be to look at other book review sites and see what they’re doing. Obviously, don’t copy exactly what they’re doing but look at how and what they post. Talk with them as well if they provide their email address; I’m friends with a lot of different reviewers and they are such fun, helpful people and I’m sure they’d be willing to help out new reviewers.
Don’t be afraid to approach authors, even ones that you’ve admired for so long, or think they’re so popular that they won’t reply back (although don’t try contacting Stephenie Meyer- I tried and it failed, as I knew it would). Just give it a shot and, while this may seem like common sense, remember to be polite. You never know what’ll happen. I didn’t think Meg Cabot would reply back to me so quickly when I first approached her last June, but I had a response back the next day. If it doesn’t work out, at least you tried and that’s really all that matters. But usually, YA authors are made of awesome and will reply back fairly quickly.
Also, do what you want to do with your book review site, but also keep in mind what your readers want and like to see. Be open to suggestions.
And read outside of what you would normally read because you never know, there could be a new favorite author waiting around the corner. I had put off reading Sarah Dessen and Ellen Hopkins because they tackled heavy subjects in their books, and I’m usually more of a fluffy, humorous guy myself, but then I gave in and read books by them. And guess what? I really enjoyed them, so go outside your comfort zone every so often if you don’t already.
All of that advice probably sucked, but hopefully there’s something in there that you can get out of it, lol.
5) What’s one book that rocked your world and changed your life? What author?
I honestly don’t think there’s only one book that rocked my world. I will tell you that I don’t necessarily think any book changed my life- I think that’s a really big statement to make, and I’ve yet to read a book that will change my life and I’m not sure I ever will.
But anyway, Meg Cabot has rocked my world on many an occasion with her wonderful books. And one book that rocked my world would probably have to be Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway.
6) Name five (or more) books that you’d recommend to anyone and everyone.
I couldn’t name just 5, haha.
1) Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
2) Airhead by Meg Cabot
3) Violet on the Runway by Melissa Walker
4) Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
5) Take Me There by Susane Colasanti
6) Burned by Ellen Hopkins
7) Devilish and 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
8) Wake by Lisa McMann
9) Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand by Louise Hawes
10) Girlwood by Claire Dean
7) What are three books that you really want to read but don’t have yet?
Unbelievable by Sara Shepard (but I may have read it by the time this goes up)
Violet in Private by Melissa Walker
Princess Diaries 10: Forever Princess and the Abandon trilogy by Meg Cabot
And since Unbelievable may be read by the time this is posted, I’ll add a fourth: Paper Towns by John Green
8) Last but not least what’s one thing that you think everyone should know about you or your blog?
That it rocks? lol. But seriously, one thing that I think everyone should know about me is that I’m actually a guy and not a girl as my default pic would show. You have no idea how many people think I’m a girl, lol.