The Secret Life of a book blogger | Book Tag

Everything you have ever wanted, is

Ahhh another day another book-tag for you all to enjoy *woops.* I really enjoy writing these because although reviews are a lot of fun to write they can be quite taxing and with these I can just waffle on contentedly. In terms of ‘le blog’ I’m really enjoying scheduling books and am tempted to write a post on it maybe? If that’s something you think would be good let me know in the comments below and without further waffling delay, onto the tag.

How long have you been a blogger?

My little book blog (or MLBB) was created two years ago back in May although was rarely used at the start. Although I liked the idea of blogging I never really put it first. This year feels like the first year I’ve really put everything into it, in terms of graphics, images, organisation and the like.

At what point do you think you will stop?

I don’t think there will ever be a point where I dislike reading or any point where I wouldn’t want to share my opinions on books. I do worry that as I get busier and life catches up with me, it might be placed on the back-burner but I hope to keep going for a long time into the future.

What is the best thing?

There are lots of things that make blogging brilliant; getting to interact with the blogging community, working with authors and publishers, finding new books to read and receiving free books is always a bonus *mini-fist-pump.* But it’s also given me my thing. I’m that friend with the blog, the one always talking about books; it’s just everything to me.

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What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?

Writing critical reviews is never a nice thing to do, but I know that authors find it helpful because we can all improve and as long as it’s written well and with explanation it can be a positive thing. Spam comments are always a nightmare, and also forgetting you’ve scheduled something and not quite finished the post is a horrible moment.

To make it okay, I just try and keep on top of everything and make sure I know exactly what is posting on each day and keep an eye on everything.

How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?

I try and make my own images and use free-image sites to gain them then use Canva to edit, add text and symbols. I tend to spend an evening every couple of weeks making all the images I’ll need and then all I need to do is upload a suitable one when and as I need it during that week.

Who is your book crush?

Bit of a crush on Henry from The Time Travellers Wife.

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What author would you like to have on your blog?

Any author if they’ve got something wonderful to share.

What do you wear when you write your blog posts?

PYJAMAS. It has to be doesn’t it? Whether it’s my shorts and utterly over-worn sailor jumper or my penguin onesie or my let it snow nightie (seasonal blogging pyjamas are essential) I adore jim-jams.

How long does it take you to prepare?

I’m going to take out reading said book because it can vary so wildly depending on what it is that I’m reading. In terms of the review, including getting it written, adding photographs and tagging/categorising/scheduling a couple of hours normally suffices.

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How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?

I’ve learnt a lot and met a lot of wonderful people who have shown me more about blogging .I think twitter is such a brilliant resource for finding like-minded bloggers and sharing books that we can’t get enough of. The support is brilliant too.  I recently had a bit of wobble with authors asking for reviews and the comments and backing in general from the community was so inspiring.

What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

I completely agree with Tasha from The Bookie Monster, where I found this tag, that I honestly don’t think I can answer the question. I thought my blog was successful when only my mother was reading it. Two years later and she’s still reading so that’s enough for me I think.

If I had to put something, I think as long as you love it then its successful enough. Blog and write with passion and it will shine through for all to see.

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I now tag, any-one who fancies completing this tag because I really would love to see all your book-blogger bookish answers!

Ask Lizzy at my little book blog

Ask Lizzy

Hello readers, it’s finally time to get round to answering your questions as to the Q+A I posted a little while back now. There have been so many posts to fit in and get written up for you so this one is a little overdue. I received a number of comments and emails with questions and I’ve picked seven to answer in this post.

So firstly: Are you a SuperWhoLockian? Or watch at least one of those three shows? Are you a Marvel (movie/TV) fan?

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned many a time I am a really big supernatural fan. I was introduced to it by my boyfriend at the time and it’s developed into a full-blown addiction. Before you ask Dean wins as to my favourite of the two. I am also a definite Sherlock Holmes fan both the books, films and the television show. Benedict Cumberbatch is just, sublime. Doctor Who, not so much. My aversion to Sci-fi has killed that interest unfortunately.

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Next, If you could travel to one place in America, where would you go?

I can only visit one place? I think if that was the case it would have to be New York. I could explore the bustling Times Square, peer up at the Empire State Building, gaze upon the Statue of Liberty and finally I could munch on a bagel whilst sunbathing in Central Park. Ugh, can I go now please?

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What are your thoughts about the book-to-movie trend that’s been going on much more so than usual recently?

For me, as long as I’ve read the book, if I want to then I think it’s great. For me I’m unlikely to go and read a book after seeing the film but many a friend has mentioned that they now ‘have to go read the book’ and I think anything that gets people reading more is just brilliant.

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When you were little, which literary character did you want to be friends with and why?

I think Matilda, because all she wanted to do was read and from such a young age she adored books and was just lost in them. I was often teased for how long I spent in the library and all I wanted was someone who just understood the magic and fantasy of reading.

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What is the most random thing you’ve ever watched all the way through on Netflix?

Well, this one is a little weird. I was watching Netflix with some friends and as a giggle they had picked lots of favourites that were the polar opposite of the shows the person would normally pick to watch. One of the suggested television shows was ‘Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse’ and we decided to watch an episode. As a mention it was me and four guys who were watching this; the episodes were really sarcastic and ironic and we were all looking at each other as in, what is going on? Needless to say we watched a number of episodes and the next time I was round I managed to convince them to watch it again. A random choice, but a rather wonderful one at that.

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Who is a character from a TV show or a book that you’ve always resonated with?

Good question, I think honestly Amber from The Chocolate Run, she’s one of my favourite bookish characters of all time. We agree on ambition, following your dreams, love of chocolate and never being quite okay to open up and let people see everything about you. I think she is an adorable character and I see a lot of the qualms she’s dealing with currently in my own life. We could watch films together, eat chocolate and hide from the world for a little while.

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Gin, vodka, or tequila?

Tequila, tequila, tequila.

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So seven brilliant questions and seven hopefully interesting answers; thank you to everyone who commented and emailed.

Interview with Miranda Uyeh and her debut book ‘To Die Once!’

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I recently reviewed Miranda’s new book ‘To Die Once, which you can find in my reviews section. ‘ Here is my brilliant interview with her about that brilliant book ! ENJOY!

How were you personally inspired to become a writer and what inspired you to write your most recent creation ‘To Die Once?’ I first took notice when I came across a Christian fiction book (which I can’t remember the title) for the first time by author, Norma Jean Lutz. After she replied to a letter I wrote to her, it only increased my excitement and planted a seed in my heart. As time passed, I forgot about that book because I’d delved more into mainstream titles. God, however, lovingly reminded of who I’m supposed to be. I wrote all about it in a blog post I titled, ‘Why I Believe In Christian Fiction.’

Which writers inspire you? Love this question! I simply can’t get enough of Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, MaryLu Tyndall and Julie Lessman! I, also, recently discovered K. Victoria Chase.

Give us an insight into your main character; what makes her so special to you? Jennifer is a beautiful sweet, tender, and adventurous dreamer, but not on the wild side, and somewhat naïve too. When I picture her, I see a rose. She’s also a Christian. She’s special to me because she wasn’t afraid to break out of the norm for what she wanted and believed in, although, her decisions cost her a lot.

‘What was the hardest thing about writing your debut book ‘To Die Once?’ At first when I starting writing I constantly wrestled with how honest I should make the thoughts/monologue of the characters. I wanted to write a book that exposed the raw feelings of people in the circumstances created in the story, but of course doing so without crossing the boundaries set for a clean/Christian romance read. Eventually, I decided to put the truth out there, as I felt it was important if the message of grace would be understood to the depths that I hoped it would be. When you read “To Die Once,” you’ll get my meaning. Making the decision was one thing, but crafting it so it turned out exactly how I hoped was another feat of its own.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it? This book is part of the Child of Grace Series. There will be four books in all. I’m presently working on book #2, “To Lie Once”, a story centered on Jennifer’s sister, Joyce. It has a “good girl gone bad” feel to it. I’m truly excited writing it! The Child of Grace Series center on God’s redeeming power of grace, told through the stories of these four siblings—Jennifer, Joyce, Matthew, and Charity, in that order.

What book/s are you reading at the present? On my desk I have “Called To Suffer” and “To Be Called A Friend”, both by Patricia Stuart; “The Movement of Crown Series” by Nadine C. Keels, “Love’s Promises” by Sandra Leesmith, and some others.

Explain a little about the Christian element of your book as it features quite heavily throughout, is it a main feature or is to make the reader think about their own faith? Both actually. My writing centers on my beliefs and faith. They can’t be taken out of it. So, yes, it is a main feature. But I also hope my readers will walk away with something valuable. I, myself, have benefited much from the works of other Christian authors. I’d like my books to have as much impact as well. You can find out about my story in this piece, “Why I Believe In Christian Fiction.”

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character/s from your most recent ‘To Die Once’ book if it were made into a film? Hmm, still scanning my brain for an actor that would do Rodrigo justice. But I think Paula Patton would play Jennifer well.

And finally, any tips to get through the dreaded writer’s block? Ah! That. Well, it’s VERY important to have the general idea of your story sorted out so it’s a foundation you can build on. Make it clear to yourself what you want the expected end to be. That way when you’re stuck you can brainstorm for ideas that will develop the story towards that end. You don’t have to have all the details pinned down at first, just something you can work with. Eventually, as you develop the story, everything will be fleshed out—dialogue by dialogue, monologue by monologue, scene by scene, and so on. Understand, though, that the first draft of a manuscript merely lets you put together your scattered ideas so that the story has a direction. You know what you want and the general idea is clear to you at this point. Subsequent drafts let you flesh out your characters, clean up their dialogue/monologue, tidy the settings and other descriptions, and put your theme into better/sharper focus. When your brain is tired, let it rest for as long as it needs. If you’re sure of what you want but you’re having trouble putting it into words, use resources instead. The internet is great for this as it is a mega database for anything you want to find. I’ve used videos, pictures, scenery around me to help describe what I want when my mind was too foggy to do so itself. I’ve written several simple posts about it on my blog: How To Keep The Creative Juices Flowing.

How can you get involved?

  • You can follow the series right here: https://www.facebook.com/ToBeAPerson
  • Or if you are a tweeter you can follow the #ToDieOnce hashtag on twitter to follow the author and the influencer bloggers to keep up to date with the reviews!
  • Or if you are an avid pinner on Pinterest, readers can view the board set up for To Die Once here!

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