Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Developing Blogging Mojo AND Genre! (Armchair BEA, Day 2)

Image cred: Book blocks! via artist Daniel Speight
It's Day 2 of the wonderful-fantastic, Armchair BEA. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, it's a virtual conference held in conjunction with Book Expo America. Which is held in New York City. Which is why I'm virtual and not on the scene.

Today's topics are "development" -- as in, how we have developed, or choose to develop ourselves, as bloggers. And there's also a discussion of genre fiction today, which I'm tickled about.

On Development...

Have you branched out into your community?
Oh yeah. In the early days of my blogging...8 years ago...there were not the scads of us that there are now. I was fortunate enough to come up with a crop of bloggers who really valued community. Some of those bloggers are still with us, and sadly, some are not. Namely, Dewey of The Hidden Side of a Leaf, was one of the leaders in community building and went on to found a host of bloggy events like the ever-popular Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, which Heather and I have been fortunate enough to take over as hosts. Many others are still with us and still inspiring community. Many new(er) folks are coming up and driving community building, too. A few of my fave community leaders who come to mind: Florinda, Trish, Natalie, and so many more.

Heather and I also founded the Estella's Revenge E-zine back in '05 and subsequent incarnations, like The Estella Society, in the spirit of community. We currently hold regular read-a-longs, "challenges", projects, and the #Estellagram Bookish Photo a Day Challenge via Instagram.

Have you gone "pro" or begun supplementing your income through your blog? 
Ha! Nope. I make little to nothing on ads. I'm totally ok with that. I put them here to help pay for shipping costs and other little items that crop up from blogging if they could. And they probably do in a year's time. I also wrote a paid column for for a while but had to let it go because of time constraints. I've made a bit of money from being syndicated at But, truthfully, adding a professional glaze to blogging makes it less fun for me the majority of the time. If my life was different and I didn't have to work a full-time job, I might be more willing to put more energy into professional blogging activities.

Are you a long-term blogger, and how has your online personality developed over the years? 
I've always been quite honest in my reviews, opinion posts, and whatnot. I'm just being me in any and all  content here. I've also become quite outspoken about freedom in blogging. That is, blogging how you want to and not succumbing to the pressures of anyone. Read freely, blog freely. Do what makes you happy. That's all.

On Genre...

I've had interesting entanglements with genre through the years. When I was a teen, I read horror novels almost exclusively. From juvenile authors like L.J. Smith, R.L. Stine, and Christopher Pike, I graduated to Stephen King and the like.

As I branched out into my high school years I had some fantastic teachers who made me love the classics.

As a young adult in my 20s I fell in love with graphic novels.

As I've aged into my 30s I will read just about anything if the blurb is something I find attractive, but I would say that most of my reading -- even if it's marketed as generic literary or contemporary fiction -- usually tends to have a genre slant. That is, I love books with an element of the historical or the fantastic. Or both! Or others! From the last three years of blogging here are some of the most memorable books that incorporate genre...

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Wicked by Gregory Maguire

I'm looking forward to hopping around to your blogs today! 

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