I needed to amuse myself and the best way seemed to be writing about me! Yes I am a complete narcissist.
I have become completely enamoured with Reviewer X’s site and thought I would borrow the structure of her reviewer friends profile to explain better who I am.
Alias: The Sarah Dessen Diarist
Headquarters: Here aka https://sarahdessen.wordpress.com
Mission: To blog about something I love…books. To introduce other readers to Sarah Dessen and provide a place for other fans to drop by.
What’s your occupation by day?
Teacher and very proud of it (and my students).
What made you decide to tackle this whole blog reviewer biz?
I have been podcasting for awhile about TV and other pop culture elements but wanted to have a literature based project. I love reading and despite my adult status, I love YA books. Sarah Dessen was a writer that I’d read a little of and enjoyed. I thought if I read all of her books and shared my thoughts as I was delving into them that it might entertain people. The intent was to blog as I read so that people could experience a Sarah Dessen book through fresh eyes.
What are your blog’s strong points?
It’s not very like anything else out there. I based it on Caleb Union’s Twilight Guy format except I don’t have Photoshopping abilities and I write in more detail. I write from the heart, linking events in the book to my own life and speculate quite a bit. I guess the main aspect is that I have focussed the blog on one author and her characters.
How are you in terms of negative reviews? Are you afraid of posting them? How do you handle them?
I don’t believe I have written anything negative as yet. I chose Sarah as my focus author because the work I had read, I had really enjoyed. I would be honest if I didn’t like something. Knowing Sarah occasionally drops by might mean that I am extra diplomatic in my wording but I would never censor myself.
The biggest thing so far is that I didn’t enjoy This Lullaby as much as other readers have. I did like it and the characters but nowhere near the degree of others. Maybe the hype tainted it a little? Maybe a second reading is necessary?
What are the best aspects of being a reviewer?
Seeing the blog counter and knowing people have made the effort to drop by. Another great aspect for me has been the interaction I have had with Sarah. She’s so accessible with her readers and has been very generous linking to my site on her blog, emailing me and allowing me to interview her. More than anything, the delivery of signed novels was above and beyond what I ever expected and one day I would love to thank her in person.
An offshoot of the Sarah connection is that I have become acquainted with other authors, specifically Melissa Walker. She took the time to respond to one of my emails and to comment on the site. Her advice was great and she’s a genuinely awesome person, a great supporter of YA bloggers and a fantastic writer in her own right.
In your opinion, where lies the heart of a good book?
Truth…and some brilliant characterisation.
What books have blown your mind? Which authors?
I am going to be sentimental now with my choices as all helped influence me as a reader and as a person.
Louisa M. Alcott – I was convinced that I was Jo for awhile. Little Women was seminal in terms of YA for me as a child and I so badly wanted to be one of the March sisters.
L.M.Montgomery – The moment I read Anne smashing Gilbert over the head with the slate was the moment I saw myself in a book.
Looking for Alibrandi (Melina Marchetta) – this is one of my favourite books of all time. It was written by an enormously gifted Aussie school teacher and for the first time I saw my nationality represented. Not only that it’s a smashing book with amazing characters bit it’s true to the teenage experience. (Please check out Jellicoe Road, Marchetta’s third novel, it is sublime)
Now for a sneaky question: Which currently-released/forthcoming books are you dying to read?
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen of course. I am hoping I can convince Penguin Australia to send me a early copy.
The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta. She’s still writing it but I have loved every word of every book she’s written and I can’t see this one being any different.
What are some of your other passions and interests?
Podcasting is a huge love. Not just having other people hear my opinions in my own garbled voice but the editing is a part of it that I am really beginning to enjoy. Writing is something that’s come back to me. Blogging has been part of that but I am currently plotting out a novel that I hope to start writing asap.
Can you roll your tongue or do other nifty stuff?
Double jointed thumbs on both hands, I have grossed out many a middle schooler. I can also roll my tongue but unfortunately only once.
What music are you constantly tuning in to?
Schuyler Fisk, Ray LaMontagne, John Mayer, Zooey Deschanel, Coconut Records, Iron and Wine, Lenka, The Wreckers, Dixie Chicks and anything from a musical.
What are you favorite movies and TV shows?
Movies: Ten Things I Hate About You, Dazed and Confused, Mallrats, Empire Records, Serenity, Singin’ in the Rain and Scream.
TV: Friday Night Lights, Roswell, Fringe, One Tree Hill, Freaks and Geeks, Gilmore Girls, Big Bang Theory, HIMYM…I could go on forever.