Welcome to the second day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week! If you hadn't already guessed it, today is the day with the bloggers interviewing each other. This year I have the pleasure of helping you get to know the lovely Shanyn of Chick Loves Lit, a blogger whose Twitter feed I discovered before I'd ever laid eyes on her blog, a blog which just so happens to be chock full of excellent YA reviews. I hope you'll enjoy getting to know Shanyn better as much as I have!
Now...on with the show!
First, tell me about you. What are you up to when you're not reading/blogging?
My name is Shanyn, and I'm married to a soon-to-be optometrist. Right now we are moving around the state of Michigan completing his last year of school, so I've spent my time trying out new libraries :) I love to watch TV shows when they're out on DVD (or, all in a row), and I'm also a fan of different kinds of crafts. My big goal this fall is to get to a Red Wings, Lions, and Pistons game (since we're near Detroit), but if I only got to choose one it would definitely be the Red Wings (they are the only one of the three I'm actually a fan of).
How did you get started blogging about books?
I had a website where I reviewed movies in 2004-2005, but it was one I coded myself (not through a blog), so it was a little harder to upkeep. And I also realized I don't like movies much. Then in 2005 my best friend started a music blog, where we would post new music finds - that was a lot of fun, but only lasted about a year, also. In early 2009 I was starting to look for another hobby, and decided to try book blogging to keep track of all of the books I was reading - I think this blog has a pretty good chance of staying around for a few more years :)
How has being a part of the book blogosphere changed what or even how you read?
The biggest change I have noticed is that I recognize 75% of the YA books on the shelves when I'm at a bookstore. This also causes me to pay attention to the general consensus about a book, because if we're out and I recognize a book, I like to also think about what other individuals have said about it. So I guess I'm more aware of everything out there!
If you could give a new book blogger one piece of advice, what would it be?
My piece of advice is to blog what you want to, not what everyone else thinks you should. You don't need to burn out on memes if you started blogging to share your thoughts on books - yes, many book blogs have similar posting schedules, but if you don't do what's right for YOU, you won't keep up your blog.
I've really started loving young adult books even though I'm a "grown-up," and Chick Loves Lit is all about YA. What made you decide to focus your blog on YA?
I originally started my blog focused on women's literature - (aka "chick lit") - but I found that reading them one right after another kind of wore me out, because many of the themes were similar. I picked up a YA book last summer and loved how fast paced it was, as well as reading about a character during a time in their life that they learn so much about themselves - so it just kind of stuck.
Tell me about one (or a few) of your favorite reads this year thus far.
I just finished Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - I haven't written the review yet, but it is by far one of my favorite books, ever. I also loved The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney.
I love the randomness of your Fun Five feature. How'd you get inspired to ask authors (and bloggers!) questions that *aren't* all about books and writing?
After seeing so many interviews across different blogs, I realized I was mostly skipping over them - because the questions were all the same. "How do you come up with your ideas" "What is your inspiration" "What advice do you have for new writers" - while those questions can have some great answers associated with them, I found myself more interested in the personality of the author - many authors can answer the writing questions very similarly, but it's unlikely that all of them will have the same answer for their favorite gas station snack or row at the movie theater. It gives them an opportunity to tell us a story and learn more about them as an individual rather than just their writer side.
This has all been pretty heavy on the reading, writing, blogging end of things. So, I was wondering, can I borrow your Fun Five for a minute here and turn the spotlight on you?
* What's your favorite kind of ice cream?
Cotton Candy Confetti is my all time favorite. It's vanilla ice cream flavored a little like cotton candy, with bits of candies mixed in - my description doesn't do it justice, I promise! If you can manage to find it, you must try it.
* What's your weirdest habit?
Hmmmm this is an interesting question! The one that immediately comes to mind is that I always eat a piece of dry cereal out of my bowl before I pour milk on, but that makes me sound rather boring :p Oh! How about, at night when I'm trying to go to sleep, if I start thinking about something negative about my day (or something that could be turned into a nightmare), I open and shut my eyes, to kind of give myself a clean slate. I guess that one kind of makes me sound weird... I'm going to move on to the next question now...
* What's one unusual thing you have sitting on your desk?
Right now my desk is a small table that holds my computer and that's all, since I'm moving around so much. The desk in this room (that I'm not using) has a pencil sharpener (old fashioned kind) screwed right to the desktop - that's kind of unusual nowadays, I think.
* What was the last thing you bought totally on impulse?
An issue of TV Guide! I have had a TiVo for years, but when we moved, we moved to a place with AT&T U-Verse, which isn't compatible with TiVo, so I've had to watch live TV a lot. I figured I'd see what's coming in the fall season :)
* What's your favorite song right now?
The Man Who Can't Be Moved by The Script. It has been my favorite song for over a year now (maybe even two) :)