Sunday, February 19, 2012

1/2 Dozen for Jenny of Supernatural Snark

The NEW Feature: The Blogger's 1/2 Dozen

What's this now? Well, Baggott is turning the tables and here's the back story.

While on this mad blog tour, a simple realization hit me. I read interviews of novelists by bloggers all the time, but when have I ever read an interview of a blogger by a novelist? (Maybe I just don't get out in the blogosphere enough.) As soon as I had this thought, a bunch of questions for bloggers appeared in my head.

At the heart of it all, I wanted to know who the people are who've changed the way we hear about books, talk about books, and create online communities around literature. Bloggers surely have done that. It's nothing short of a revolution.

And so I've reached out to some prominent book bloggers with a list of questions from which they each will choose six to answer.


How does your persona as a blogger differ from your own personal identity?

Honestly, I’m not sure blogger-me and me-me are all that different. I really love the blogs (whether it’s an author’s blog or a book blog) where the blogger’s personality shows through and I get to feel like I know them as a person rather than simply an online identity, so I try to make sure to do that with my own blog. I’m a sarcastic person by nature and I often have to stretch my mouth to accommodate my foot, so I created the cover critique feature as a way to let my snark out and (hopefully) make people laugh. I like to think those people who read my blog regularly feel like they’re reading Jenny’s blog, not just a blog called Supernatural Snark.

If you don't post for a while, do you feel guilty? Does it sometimes feel like a complex relationship -- between you and the blog, as well as you and your readers?

YES! Even if I post one day but don’t make it around to return the comments everyone left I feel guilty. Logically I understand that the world will not cease to spin should the blog be down for a day, but it’s become such a huge part of my life and my daily routine that I can’t escape the guilt when I’m not able to attend to it for whatever reason.

Do your family and friends -- from the real world -- also read and comment on your blog? Does that ever get blurry -- in terms of boundaries?

My family reads the blog each week and every once in a while they leave a comment. My mom and my mother-in-law are really the ones who check it the most given they share my love of books and enjoy the recommendations I throw their way. For me, there’s no definitive boundary between my real life and my blogging life at the moment. Like I said in question one, I think I’m the same person online and off even if there a number of facets of my life I don’t share online, so if my family wants to share the blogging experience with me and join in the book-loving fun, I’m all for it! The more the merrier.

Current obsessions -- literary or otherwise.

Um. This could be a potentially embarrassing question. I would say right now my literary obsession is with fictional men in general. I tend to get obsessed with the sexy boys setting my book pages aflame, and I often carry my torch for weeks, months, and even years. I have a ridiculously lengthy list of delicious book boyfriends-I-would-run-away-with-despite-being-married, but luckily for me, my husband takes it all in stride. He understands he’s at least in the vicinity of the top of the list and therefore just shakes his head when I inform him of a new addition to the harem. Win.

Writing Tip #17 for Aspiring Bloggers – or #47 or #2. Your pick.

Be yourself. I know that probably sounds really cliché and you’re probably going “that’s quite possibly the least helpful advice ever, thanks Jenny” but I think it’s really true. The number of book blogs has exploded in the past couple years, and I think it’s incredibly easy to get swept up in measuring your blog against the other ones in your genre of choice – number of followers, number of comments, number of page views, ARCs received, etc– that it’s easy to lose track of yourself as an individual. I know I went through that particular phase when I started out, and if I’m being completely honest, the need to compare myself to others has only recently abated now that I’ve finally gotten comfortable with my blog and myself as a blogger.

My best advice is to find a way to make your blog your own. It’s perfectly okay to be inspired by other bloggers (the way they write their reviews or the layout of their blog) but I think readers can feel when a blogger is genuine and just being themselves rather than trying to emulate the things they love about someone else’s blog, and are probably more likely to continue reading that blog as a result.

What's your worst writerly habit?

I don’t know that I have a worst writerly habit, but I certainly have a worst readerly one, does that count? My worst readerly habit is flipping to the last page of the book and reading it first. I KNOW! It’s bad. I’m ruining the suspense and the tension and the mystery and all that, but it’s a compulsion I can’t ignore. In my defense, I usually only do this with books I know are going to be extremely intense or emotional, and in an act of self-preservation, I read the last page so I know what to expect. I tend to get very attached to the characters about whom I read, so if something terrible happens to that person, I need to know about it going in so I can prepare myself for the heartbreak ahead of time. Don’t judge me, it’s a sickness!