BBAW Interview Swap with another Stacy :)

I want to introduce you to Stacy Juba, blogger, author, Reiki enthusiast.  She was a journalist and has written books in a few different genres.  Stacy blogs over at One Stop Reading and after you say hi to her here you should click over and check her out.  You might even find an interview with me over there 🙂

1. Did you start your blog as a way to promote your books?  How has it evolved?
I started my website first and added the blog about six months later. Since websites are static, I felt that I needed to add a blog so that I could keep getting my name out there and to have my site be more search engine-friendly. I made sure that the blog and the website were integrated, so that one would draw traffic to the other.
I discovered that having a blog was like being the editor of my own magazine. I enjoyed putting out quality content and receiving comments from readers. It wasn’t just about promoting my books even though that’s how it started; it was also about expressing myself, and connecting with other writers and book lovers.

2. You wrote your first book at 18 (wow!), what’s the best writing advice you’ve ever given or received?
I actually wrote it at 16, during high school study halls, and it was published by Avon when I was 18 after I entered it in a contest for teen writers. This was my young adult family hockey novel Face-Off, back in the early 1990s. I recently brought it back into print and put out an e-book edition. The best advice I’ve received is to be determined and to treat writing like a business. There is a lot of rejection on the writing path, and then once you do have your books published, it is a lot of hard work to build readership. If you want it to be more than a hobby, you have to invest a great deal of time and believe in yourself, as well as learn a lot about writing, editing, marketing, social networking, the publishing industry, and even about website design and e-book formatting.

3. You’ve written in so many genres, but which genre do you read the most?
I used to read mystery novels the most, but recently I’ve been reading a lot of sweet romances and romantic comedies on my Kindle.
I’m also writing a romantic comedy. I still love mysteries, but lately I’ve just felt like reading some lighter and more upbeat books.

4. Who or what inspires you?
As a writer, I’m inspired by the world around me and by following my interests. A subplot in my novel Twenty-Five Years Ago Today was inspired by my interest in Greek mythology, and my book-in-progress was inspired by a family trip to a theme park. Reading great books also inspires me. Reading a book fuels my desire to express myself through my own stories.

5. I love quotes, do you have a favorite?
I have Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” on my Facebook page. I think it’s a good quote for writers, as you need to have a tough skin when your story is rejected or if you receive a negative review. I’ve always been very sensitive to criticism and I need to remind myself not to take it personally.

6. Blogging takes a lot of time.  How much time do you spend writing posts and reading other blogs?
I used to spend a couple hours per week writing and editing posts, but now it’s just a few hours per month. I’ve found that less is more when it comes to blogging. If I blog too much, then it takes away from my time to work on my novels.  I publish guest posts on my blog, but just a couple per month as those take time to set up. I don’t read any blogs on a regular basis, just due to time constraints, but I do follow links for blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Triberr if a title catches my interest. It is amazing how many talented bloggers are out there, providing informative and entertaining posts.

7. You are trained in Reiki, tell us about it.
Reiki is a form of hands-on energy healing. I’m very interested in holistic practices such as Reiki, acupuncture, hypnosis, massage, Tai Chi, etc. and I took a few classes to become trained in the different levels of Reiki. I don’t practice it professionally, but I use it on myself and on family members from time-to-time, and I’ve incorporated aspects of it into my books.

8. What’s your favorite read of the year so far?
I guess I would say the Hunger Games books. When I started the first one, it took me several chapters to get into it, but once I did, I found the characters compelling and the storyline fresh. I still have one more book left to read in the series, and I know I’ll devour it in a couple days.

Stacy Juba – One Stop Reading: Books for Adults, Teens & Children
* Web Site: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/
* Amazon page: http://ow.ly/99G2J
* Twitter: http://ow.ly/99G6J * Facebook: http://ow.ly/99G8i

BBAW-Reading & Blogging

BBAW 2011 - Graphic (200px wide)I have been too busy (and forgetful) to participate in BBAW week this year, but thought I’d do at least one post. I combined today’s topic with the meme.   Visit BBAW for other posts on these topics.

Book bloggers blog because we love reading. Has book blogging changed the way you read? Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging? Choose any one of these topics and share your thoughts today!

When I started blogging in January 2008, my intent was to talk about the books I read and anything bookish that tickled my fancy.  I had only read 40 books the year before and wanted to read more.  It took me a while to find the book blogging community.  I didn’t seek it out.  I did happen across Kathy (Bermudaonion) after a while and then started finding all the other great book blogs out there.  I was/am a lover of romances, mysteries, and classics, but other bloggers have encouraged me to read more mainstream fiction, chick lit.  It seems the blogging community has embraced the YA genre and I try to read one or two a year that appeal to me, but that is one genre I haven’t completely fallen in love with.

I have met so many wonderful people through this blog.  I wish I had more time to email or tweet to further those relationships, but I try my best to visit their blogs and comment often.  I’m terrible at responding to comments left on my posts but I  read andlove each one.  I just don’t have the time to respond and visit other blogs too.

My wish list, thanks to other book bloggers, is 20 pages long!

Today’s it’s all about the creativity.  We have this fabulous reading meme for you below and all you have to do?  Pick ONE or answer them all in as few words as possible!  Be creative, have fun, stand out!  That’s all! 

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?  Not really, unless wine counts 🙂
Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? Depends on the book.  Some books just beg to marked.
How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?  Laying the book flat open? Whatever is available, even dog-ears.
Fiction, Non-fiction, or both? Mostly fiction.  I usually read to escape reality.
Hard copy or audiobooks? Both.
Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?  At this point, I often read in minutes spurts here and there.  I don’t often have the luxury of reading to the end of the chapter!
If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?  No.
What are you currently reading? Skinny Legs & All, Mists of Avalon, Invitation (Deveraux), listening to Roots
What is the last book you bought? I picked up 7 a few days ago at Border’s.  They blend in with all of the other books I’ve brought home from Border’s in the past month!
Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?  See above.
Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read? Anytime I can catch a few minutes.  At the gym or when Gage sleeps.
Do you prefer series books or stand alone books? Both
Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over? Harlan Coben, Elizabeth Berg, A Confederacy of Dunces.
How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?) Currently, a series bookshelf, books read, books to read and signed books bookshelves all alphabetized.

BBAW Unexpected Treasure

imageWe invite you to share with us a book or genre you tried due to the influence of another blogger.  What made you cave in to try something new and what was the experience like?

I have a lot of books.  Many unread for the decade or more that I’ve owned them.  But since I’ve started blogging I have picked up books at sales based on bloggers recommendations and have won more from blog contests.  So, this past December I collected all of my books, took a picture, and asked my online and face to face friends to vote for 50 of the books I would read this year.  The post is here.  After 72 voters voted for up to 5 books each I had my 50 books.  The RYOB Challenge here is where I list the ones I’ve agreed to read and who voted for each one.  I also include their names and links with the review when I post it.

I’ve only read 29 out of 50 so far.  That’s not so good, but I’m still plugging along.  The two chosen that were most outside my usual reading comfort zone were War & Peace by Tolstoy and The Glass Castle by Wells and I ended up liking them both.  I’m sure that The Glass Castle will end up on my year end favorite list.  Having book lovers choose books for me from my overflowing shelves has been a great experience and I plan on doing it again.  Fifty may have been too many, but we’ll see what I can accomplish.

In case you missed these posts due to BBAW overload…

My Tuesday Quiz – first week of Round 4- please join us

My interview with Page Turners

My answers to Page Turners questions

BBAW Interview Swap – Page Turners

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This year I had the pleasure of swapping questions with a new to me blog, Page Turners.  Co-owners, Pixie & Stacey, both answered my questions. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to get to know these gals and to check out their very cool blog.  I am convinced that I have to read Hunger Games and I LOVE that they both chose an 80’s movie as their favorite.  You all know how I love my 80’s 🙂  And I might have to add the Dr. Seuss quote to my favorite list.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and why you started blogging.

I am a stay at home mom; life can get pretty boring (especially when the kids are at school).  A few years ago, I picked up Twilight and fell in love with the story.  I started reading more YA, thanks to Twilightmoms book of the month; and I was enjoying everything I read.  My preteen daughter and teenage sister-in-law were also into the books, it was fun to discuss the books with them.

Then at a book signing the Forrest of Hands and Teeth was mentioned.  I read it and LOVED IT- for the first time I needed to know what happened next.  I started researching how people get ARC’s and found that you can get them from blogging.  So I asked around and my friend from Twilightmoms (Stacey) was willing to co-run the site with me. Other Twilightmoms wanted to join in and review for us; so, we jumped in head first and started Page Tuners a little over a year ago. Didn’t get the arc I was originally wanting, but have had an amazing year.  The Dead Tossed Waves was worth the wait.

2. As a blog with multiple contributors, how are the posts divided up?  How often do you blog?

We blog at least once a day, if not more.  I do most of the weekly blog post and Stacey handles our twitter account.  We don’t really have a schedule; read a book, post a review is the basic set up.  Anything else (contest, promos, interviews) Stacey and I discuss on a daily basis.

3. You list The Hunger Games as your favorite book.  I’ve never read it (gasp!), tell me why I need to rush to the bookstore and buy it.

Oh man you are missing out.  The lead Katniss is a dream character for a female lead. She shows that she is feminine, strong, and doesn’t lay down a take what her government is doing to her. The story makes you think, it isn’t something you can just read and move on.  It makes you ask questions, to pay attention to what is going on around you.  This is something that could happen, and possibly is happening in other countries to some extent. Not the games, but how the area is set up, how the country is run.
 

4. Who are some of your favorite YA authors

Carrie Ryan, Kami Garcia & Margie Stohl, Cassandra Clare, JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Beth Fantaskey, Julie Kagawa,Kimberly Derting,Kody Kelpinger, Suzanne Collins, Kelly Armstrong

We could go on forever….

5. Aside from YA what other genres do you enjoy reading?

Pixie ~ Usually adult sci-fi or paranormal romance. Basically what I read in YA, only in the adult form. I have read a few Jodi Picoult’s books and have really enjoyed those. Classics like Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice ~ I also like to read the “spoof” rewrites of these books.

Stacey ~ Black Dagger Brotherhood, Sookie Stackhouse Series, Outlander Series, Tom Clancy & Historical Fiction.

6. What’s your favorite movie?

Pixie ~ GOONIES! I love cheesy 80’s flicks.

Stacey ~ Top Gun

7. What’s the last book you read and would you recommend it?

Pixie ~ The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) – Bianca, the lead is a very realistic teen voice; who is an easy character to relate to.

Stacey ~ the last book I “read” was Dead in the Family – and yes I would recommend it – I love getting back to the books after watching True Blood

8. I love quotes.  Do you have a favorite?

 Pixie ~ Umm. I have a few. I quote a lot of movies, or TV shows.

You’re killing me smalls.

I don’t think so Tim (my son likes to remind me that his name isn’t Tim)

I believe whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you…stranger

But some of my favorite “to live by” quotes are ~

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”  ~ Dr. Seuss

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Stacey ~ War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
John Stuart Mill

9. If you were trapped in the life of one fictional character who would you
choose?

Pixie~ Man this is a hard question. I think I would choose Wanda/Wander from The Host ~ she has a man who loves her for her. She is able to forgive and see past the bad; see humans for who they really are, loving, caring individuals.

Stacey ~ Claire Randall/Fraser from the Outlander Series

10. What’s your favorite non reading and writing hobby? 

Pixie ~ Photography, LOVE IT. I could spend the day driving around taking pictures, if I didn’t have kids to tend to & books to read.

Stacey ~ hanging with friends and a good road trip

Aren’t they great?  Head on over to Page Turners and check them out.

The State of my Blog

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For today’s BBAW assignment we are asked It’s time to show off!  Tell us and this is really important, in 50 words or less what you love best about your blog!  And then in 50 words or less where you want your blog to be by the next BBAW!  Okay, let’s give it a try…

Love my Commenters, Monday Quizzes, Author Interviews, and Movie Reviews.  Love the challenges I’ve joined and Teaser Tuesdays and Monday Movie Meme.

Want to work on the quality of my book reviews and my HTML knowledge.  Want to read more books! 

I really appreciate all of the bloggers I’ve met!

Exactly 50 words 🙂

BBAW Interview with Marjorie of PaperTigers

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I was paired with Marjorie of PaperTigers.  I’ll let her tell you a little about herself and her blog, but I think you’ll really enjoy stopping by the PaperTigers blog.  It is fun and easy to use for recommendations and fun features.  Here’s Marjorie…

1.  How did your blog get its start and focus?

PaperTigers is part of Pacific Rim Voices, which aims to promote tolerance and multi-cultural understanding through books.  PaperTigers focuses on children’s and YA books and we publish a web-based magazine, with regular issues on a given theme throughout the year.  The blog, which we started in May 2007, was and is a great way to complement the website by expanding on current features there, as well as providing space to go beyond it!  It also means we can draw together news and events from around the world and take an active part in the vibrant Kidlitosphere.

2.  Can you tell us a little about the contributors?

There are currently four of us: Aline in San Francisco, Corinne in Vancouver, Sally in Winnipeg and me in a rural corner of the UK.  We are all parents with, needless to say, a passion for books  We haven’t all met each other in person yet – so this November will be very special, as the whole PaperTigers team is meeting up for a few days in San Francisco… You can find out more about us here… http://www.papertigers.org/wordpress/about-us/

3. What is your favorite feature of the blog?

Yikes – that’s really hard to answer!  But I think what I love most is that our blog brings together so many different voices – not just in what we write ourselves but by focusing on the riches on offer from such a diverse range of writers and illustrators, and indeed those elsewhere who write about them.  I am forever having to add another book to my To Be Read list – and Corinne’s monthly ‘Calendar of Events’ http://www.papertigers.org/wordpress/category/calendar-of-events/  is a veritable mine of information!

Of our own regular features, I love our Around the World in 100 Bookshelves, (http://www.papertigers.org/wordpress/category/reading-the-world/around-the-world-in-100-bookshelves/ )where parents send in photographs of their children’s bookshelves.  We’re at Number 13 so far and they’ve come from Canada, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, Sweden, and the UK… Our second bimonthly draw takes place TODAY! (ie Sept. 15th!)

4. With the focus on children and young adult books, what are a few of your favorites so far this year?

Sticking to books that were actually published this year, three of my favorite picture-books have been Allen Say’s Erika-San (Houghton Mifflin, 2009), Etsuko Watanabe’s My Japan (Kane/Miller, 2009) and Ambellin Kwaymullina’s Caterpillar and Butterfly (Fremantle Press, 2009).  Then there’s Grace Lin’s beautifully illustrated middle-reader, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Little, Brown and Company, 2009); and I was bowled over by the YA-adult The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans: A Feast of Short Fictionby Carmen Tafolla (Wings Press, 2009).

5. What is the best part of the book blogging community?

There are just so many fabulous book blogs out there – and it really is a community, sharing ideas, pooling resources.  I love the way we come together for regular features like Poetry Friday.  There are some very generous people putting a lot of energy into initiatives like Carnivals, Literacy Roundups, the Cybils – and indeed BBAW.  It is so easy to get drawn into following link after link, from blog to blog – and that To Be Read list is constantly being replenished!

6.  Have you always loved reading?  Have a favorite book growing up?

Yes, I was a total bookworm and read everywhere.  My bedroom was in our attic and I had a great system of juuuuustholding down my light switch without it clicking so that my Mum would think I was asleep when she turned off the stair nightlight to check on me – then I’d carry on reading until 2 or 3 in the morning… I can’t do that anymore!

Hmmm, favorites… I swallowed Enid Blyton whole then went on to the Anne books – and once I start Anne of Green Gables I still just have to carry on until I’ve read them all; the same with Little Women and the Little House… books.  As I got older, I started going back in time so that by the time I was 14, I was revelling in Walter Scott.  My friends thought I was very strange!  But my Mum gave me a key piece of advice, which was to skip the first couple of chapters and go back to them later… I recommend it!

7. Are you a book buyer, downloader, or borrower?

A buyer and a borrower – we’re lucky in our very small town that we have a library and a bookshop!  And I love second-hand bookshops – I never know what I’m going to find and I can’t help it, I always come out with something…

8.  I love quotes.  Do you have a favorite?

 My current favorite, which I came across when researching my article (http://www.papertigers.org/personalViews/archiveViews/MCoughlan3.html)for our current issue of PaperTigers, was said by a six-year-old child in Hong Kong: “When I hear some lovely music, I feel that I can fly”.

And one I have above my desk:  “Things are getting bad – please send chocolate!”

9.  If you were trapped in the life of one fictional character who would you choose?

Elizabeth Bennet…

I’m so glad that I was paired with such a wonderful blogger.  Thanks, Marjorie!

MY BBAW Shortlist

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For the first day BBAW we are asked to highlight a few blogs that did not make a shortlist for the big awards.  It is hard because I have close to 100 blogs in my Google Reader and they are all there because I like reading them!  But, it’s always nice to give a shout out to other bloggers who are extra special to me.  I have a 9 in ’09 feature and my interview partner for tomorrow answered 9 questions, so I think I’ll pick 9 blogs. 

Margot at Joyfully Retired – Her blog makes me feel right at home.  If you haven’t stopped by, you are missing out on a great blog and a great lady 🙂

Molly and Andy at The Bumbles – Fun and fresh these two always have something interesting going on.

Trupti at Violet Crush – Creative and a good mix of books.

Heather at Book Addiction – Her reviews are top notch.

Staci at Life in the Thumb– She’s a fellow midwesterner with a cool name 🙂  and her blog is a must read.

Wendy at Musings of a Bookish Kitty – She’s got a little of everything and it’s all good.

Debbie at Wrighty Reads – For some reason I am obsessed with her hammock, oh, and her other posts 🙂

Jenny at Jenny Loves to Read – I feel right at home at Jenny’s and you will too.

Michael at A Few Minutes with Michael – Wonderful new blogger who jumped right to the crazy blogging community.

Don’t see your blog on here?  You might have been next.  I started typing  and then I realized I had 9, but I’ve still got lots of very cool and awesome blogs I want to include.  But I can’t.  When I get some time I need to update my blogroll which I haven’t done for ages.  I guess the blogroll has my nominations, these 9 are the shortlist, and the winner is me because I get to interact with these great bloggers everyday.