It’s time for DAY TWO of my bloggy celebrations. (You can grab a piece of cake and see the shenanigans from day 1 here.) I’ve taken a low-key approach to the celebrations of 4 years of blogging, but scroll to the end of this (gargantuan) post to enter the giveaways!
Whilst brainstorming ideas for “what on earth can I do that is different and somewhat interesting for my blogversary” I hit on this ingenious idea.
WHY DON’T I ANSWER QUESTIONS?!
Maybe I’m just nosey, but I always squint at other bloggers whilst reading their fantastic blogs and wonder things about them. Plus I wanted to make sure everyone knows I’m not too scary to talk to and chat about the weird and random! WE ARE FRIENDS. Friends chat. So I asked for questions and you all obliged. The questions are quite fabulous, my friends.
So grab some tea (or hot chocolate since we’ve recently established it is the BEST drink) and let’s get chatting!
NOTE: All questions are answered totally deadpan and serious. OF COURSE. I have never been sarcastic. Never. Your overlord is nothing if not fabulously honest.
Q: Apart from being an amazing author, is there anything else you have considered doing for a career? ~ Rachel
I’ve often wanted to be a dragon, actually. A very fierce one with possible black scales. Like Toothless. Basically Toothless.
I want to be Toothless.
What’s your favourite thing about living in Australia? ~ Felicity
This isn’t a simple question! I’ve always lived in Australia. I don’t know what it’s like to not live in Australia. How can I compare it to anything?! HELP.
Q: Why do you always apologize for writing negative reviews? Be bold! Own your opinion! ~ Julie
This is true! I AGREE! I should be. YOU SPEAK GLORIOUSNESS, JULIE. And I don’t ever approve of unnecessary apologies all over the place…but as to why I do it. WELL. Basically I feel bad. Because a) a publisher has probably given me the book for free and I’m telling them it sucked?! #awkward, and b) I know how hard it is to write a book and how awful it’d be if the author found my review. Hence I say sorry. But you are right: I really don’t need to.
Q: What is the biggest struggle you’ve had trying to be published? (or is it not over yet?) ~ Shanti
Well I’m not published so I’d say THAT is the struggle! I think it’s waiting. Waiting to hear from my agent, waiting to hear from the publisher, waiting to hear from a beta reader. Then there’s the whole still-believing-in-oneself when the rejections start. GOSH, THAT’S HARD.
Q: How do you choose new books to read, and how do you decide which books to review? Do you review every book you’ve read, or only the ones that you’ve particularly enjoyed or dislike? I must know this. ~ Aine
Also an excellent question! (You guys rock so much, oh gosh.) I have very very boring methods, okay? I basically ONLY review books I’ve been given by publishers. So yes, I swallow the library regularly, but those reviews only appear on Goodreads. (Basically: stalk me on Goodreads.) And how do I pick? I read whichever book needs reviewing next (like upcoming release dates, or I’ve had it too long and ignored it) or whichever is smallest. BECAUSE BIG BOOKS SCARE ME.
Q: Self-publishing seems to be growing in popularity. Have you ever thought about self-publishing your books rather than going the traditional-publishing route? ~ La Coccinelle
I have. Then I hurriedly tossed the idea because: SCARY. Call me weird (actually don’t, I’m sensitive, I’ll cry) but I don’t want to self-publish because, a) I want to see my books in a bookshop, b) there’s a lot of money involved in self-publishing, c) there’s no one to help with publicity, and d) self-pubbed authors have to prove themselves so, so much, which isn’t necessarily fair but it is true. I also don’t want to be the SOLE person in charge of my book. I don’t trust me that much!
Q: What is one book you have LOVED that everyone seems to hate? What is one book you HATE that everyone seems to love? ~ Rachel
I really really love Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth. I LOVE IT. I had a controversial ending, a clashing romance, and a not-emotion-full heroine. But hey, I just loved it. I thought it stayed true to the characters! True to the story! True to breaking my heart! SAD ENDINGS EVERY TIME.
On the opposite side…I really hated 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I thought it was (gasp) despicable. I know. What am I even saying?! But it’s basically about a mentally ill girl who becomes an emotionally abusive bully — BUT WAIT. The mentally ill girl is the hero, the kids being abused are the villains. I smell something wrong here.
Q: What’s your favourite movie(s)? ~ Mahra
Oh, oh, this is a hard question. Any “favourite” questions are HARD. YOU TORTURER, YOU. Okay, but I’m a huge Marvel geek. I love all the Marvel movies, but particularly Iron Man. I also love Sherlock Holmes (1 & 2), The Prestige, The Help, The Fault in Our Stars, Catching Fire, Frozen (not ashamed), Master and Commander, and The A-Team. Basically movies were things get blown up, yes?
Q: Who made your blog? ~ Erica
ME! Okay, okay…I totally lie. My brother-in-law did the layout and I did the art. So basically he did everything and I just passed him a piece of paper and said, “Make this be the header”.
Q: What’s your absolute favourite food EVER? ~ Aimee
This is a cruel question, Aimee. And I thought we were friends. THAT’S IT. WE’RE THROUGH. How can you make me pick?! You could’ve at least narrowed ti to “favourite dessert” or “favourite meal involving lamb mince”. Sheesh. Okay, but I really really love lasagna. Like, I don’t share lasagna.
Q: How long have you been blogging? And what made you start a blog? ~ Felicity
This is 4th bloversary! YAY. I’m finished being a toddler and I’m practically grown up and ready to go destroy things. ‘Scuse me. I’m getting emotional.
But I started blogging because I went to China for a month and my oldest sister said, “You should start a blog!” To which I said, “A say what?” So my blog went from a travel-blog, to a writing-blog, to a book-blog. Because I’m indecisive like that.
Q: Favourite Avenger? ~ Felicity
Iron Man. There is no competition at all.
Q: How do you cope with the utter adorableness of your nieces and nephew? They are SOO CUTE! ~ Elly
They are rather sickeningly adorable, aren’t they? It helps to call them both “Frank” instead of their individual names. (That stops one getting too attached too.) And now and again, if you drop one on its head, it develops a healthy distrust between both of you which is entirely helpful.
Q: How do you respond to all the comments AND read ALL the books AND write reviews for them all AND write your own books AND create Etsy stuff AND take gorgeous pictures? Are you secretly a whole army of cloned Caits? ~ Shannon
YOU GOT ME. There are actually 9 of me. Right now you’re talking to Clone Cait 7. Clone Cait 7 is prone to bouts of sarcasm and is extraordinarily untrustworthy. Like, please, don’t believe anything she says. (Unless she says she loves lasagna and in that case, she’s telling the truth.)
Q: How do you read so fast? Is it magic? ~ Emma
No, see above. I have clones.
Q: How do you DO so much ~ Gemma
I HAVE CLONES. Clone Cait 7 is the ambitious one. You don’t even want to talk to Clone Cait 4. She doesn’t do anything she’s supposed to.
Q: Are you secretly stealing all of my cake ~ Emma
I AM INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.
Q: Favourite book series? Mwahaha I bet this will be hard for you. ~ Felicity
This is hard, you cruel, cruel thing. I CAN’T.
Okay. Fine. Everything by Maggie Stiefvater. She is queen.
Q: Do you read and/or finish all of your ARC reviews? If not, did you when you first started getting them? A couple of the ones I’ve been lucky enough to receive turned out to be not-so-great, or it wasn’t my type of book. One of them I was given to by the author, and one of them I heard about and then requested. I feel bad about them, and I’m nervous that it will affect my chances of getting other ARC’s. Should I contact the author/publisher to let them know? (I’ve only used NetGalley so far.) ~ Emily
Emily, this is a fabulous question. And firstly: I FEEL YOUR PAIN. My first ARC was, luckily, awesome (it was Hate Is Such a Strong Word) and I happily gave it a rave review and felt like The Most Awesome Blogger Ever. Then…I think the next five I got where awful. Nuuuugh.
I always turn my reviews back into publishers. Basically I say “This one didn’t work so well for me, but thanks for the opportunity to review for you”, which makes me feel like a marginally better human.
Oh, but…um, maybe I’m a cheater? But I NEVER take review-requests directly from authors. This is purely because I never want to say to an author’s face, “HEY YOU SUCK” even if they do. It’s too awkward.
You have to figure out what you’re comfortable with and then go from there. (I kind of love Netgalley because sending negative reviews back is painless.
Q: Dresses, skirts or shorts? ~ Shanti
Shorts or jeans. I wear practical clothes so when the zombie apocalypse happens, I’ll be ready. This is completely legit.
If you steal my laptop you will find ALL my books. But I don’t recommend this because a) I have a horribly vicious puppy that will attach your ankles, and b) we won’t be friends anymore. ALTERNATELY: you can kidnap me and bribe me with cake so I’ll give my books to you. We might still be friends.
So far, I have no books published. I KNOW. It sucks. Trust me, I cry about it more than you. But one day?! Hopefully?
Q: HOW DO YOU READ SO MUCH? I don’t understand speed reading – do you skim or are you just a lot faster? Do you still retain all the information? ~ Vlora
I have a lot of time to read and yes! I read fast. If a book is sucky then I’ll skim. And pfft, with my brain? Nope. I don’t retain everything. But, dude, I don’t even remember what I blogged about last week. I have a notoriously swiss cheese memory. (This is a big part of the reason I review absolutely everything I read. It helps me remember!)
Q: How did you find the courage to start talking about your writing in public? To put up blurbs and covers and descriptions of your (unfinished) novels? ~ Kaja
It’s not an easy thing to do at first. Can I cheat and say “it takes time”?! OKAY! OKAY! I’ll give you a real answer. I’ve been writing for 6 years and in the beginning I sucked so bad…but I had a lot of really encouraging friends. People read my books. They said nice stuff. I got confident! I kept writing and I got better! Criticism always hurts, but it gets better. But seriously?! I don’t blog a lot about my writing because I’m nervous about it. It definitely takes time.
Q: I would love to know your favourite flavour of icecream, and I would love to know how you manage to be so fabulous. ~ Liz
Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, please and thank you. I’m fabulous because I told you I’m fabulous and you believe me. Also I throw glitter at you and somehow that makes me fabulouser.
Q: Which countries have you been to? Which countries do you wish to go to? ~ Shanti
I’ve been to China! FOR A WHOLE MONTH. It was incredible and amazing and too noisy and I never want to go back. I would like to go to Paris. (All the great writers do, right?!) Like, I’m quite obsessed with the idea of going to Paris. Someone take me? PLEASE?
Q: Are you talkative in real life? ~ Shanti
That was me, in real life. If I need to say 10 words, I say 2. If I need to say 2 words, I say none. Logic.
Q: Would you survive a unicorn apocalypse? How or how not? ~ Aimee
I would totally survive. I’ve been training for the zombie apocalypse, so I figure unicorns would be less notorious. I mean, sure they can gouge you, but zombies want to snack on your flesh. That sounds sufficiently more scary.
Q: If you could only be part of one fandom (bookish or otherwise), which one would you choose? ~ Kate
This is the meanest question yet. HORRENDOUSLY MEAN. What is it with you people and being unfair to me? I will pout.
Okay, but I’ll cheat (just a little). Supernatural for anything on screen. And Maggie Steifvater for anything on page.
Q: What make and model camera you use for your photographs? ~ La La in the Library
I finally bought myself a camera! So it’s a Nikon D3200. (But I used to use my parents Nikon D60.) I only use automatic because I’m a deluded pineapple frond. But one day I will learn.
I edit on picmonkey.com, but I wish I could do more professional editing.
Q: Why do you think people like your blog (because obviously they do, because you get loads of comments)? Oh, and how do you manage to read so much? ~ Annika
Because I a) talk about cake a lot and people like cake so therefore they like me, b) I have actual wizardry powers so you’re all under my spell and have to keep coming back, c) I’m nice, ignore anyone who says differently, d) I talk to a lot of people and assume we’re gonna be best buddies because why not? and e) I try to make people laugh because people always like to laugh.
I have a lot of time to read and I read fast. Sometimes my dog reads for me and then summarises for me so I don’t have to read it.
ALSO! Peoples! My blog didn’t get big over night! It’s taken four years and lots of networking. Gah. It’s been exhausting. Hard work, peoples, hard work.
Q: How many siblings do you have? Are you the oldest or the youngest or whatever? ~ Naomi
I have 5 siblings, they’re all crazy and I’m the best one of the bunch. (Trust me.) I’m the second-to-last baby.
Q: How do you come up with so many awesome blog ideas and any tips for slow readers? ~ Kitty
I DON’T EVEN KNOW. I just do. Some weeks, I got nothing. But any tiny idea I have, I go for it — ridiculous or weird or odd, I just write it. And I find the more I blog, the more ideas I get. I aim for 2 reviews a week, so (if you’re like this) you don’t need to read a lot to have a lot of posts! I get a lot of topics out of what I read. For instance, I just read a book with a ridiculous setting, so I’m going to write a post about what-I-like-to-read-in-book-settings. Or I could write a list of settings-I-don’t-care-about. Look for tiny things and then expand them. You get unique discussions and it’s totally fun.
Q: You’ve just been given a hundred free copies of your any book of your choosing to give to all your friends. Which book do you choose? ~ Kate
This is a deliciously hard question. I had to really consider it. Because while I want to shout THE RAVEN BOYS! it’s not actually a very easy book to read, because it’s slow and sometimes confusing. (I love it, though.) So…let me say, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Because I think if more people understood what it’s like to be an introvert and socially inept, they might be more understanding, and the world would be a better place.
Q: How much time do you spend writing every day? (I’m a writer myself, so I love to know.) ~ Naomi
Okay, this is embarrassing…I DON’T. I a binge-writer. I know the adage is “write every day!” and I do…I blog nearly every day. But writing books? Nope. I will write several books a year and it’ll be in intense bouts: like a week of 8,000-words per day. Then I won’t write anything for 2 months. Don’t try this at home, kids. It’s a bit crazy.
Q: What is your first order of business as supreme ruler of the world? ~ Kate
Well, that’s easy. I’m glad you asked that question. Very good.
I will be impossibly evil, and impossibly fabulous, and very nefarious. I will be fair but firmly cruel. I will make WiFi free and beautiful book covers mandatory and the people will eat cake.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaways! (All INT!) Find more details about them here.
firstly, thank you for asking me great and interesting questions!! and if you have anymore? shout ’em in the comments!! NOW IS YOUR CHANCE. okay, but there’s one small condition…if you want to ask me a question, you have to tell me something about yourself first. I HAVE CAKE! TEA! CHOCOLATE! let’s chat.