Today I’m hanging with Geekritique, or more formally Dakota Lopez. The blog’s title says it all. He’s a big geek and has a lot to say about popular culture, be that books, movies, shows, etc. As such, most of the content on Geekritique is reviews, but he’s not afraid to highlight movie trailers, editorials, or try and drum up conversation with his followers.
SCy-Fy: Tell me one surprising thing about your blog, Dakota.
DL: Well, one thing most people don’t realize about my blog is that 100% of the content is produced on my personal iPad. I don’t have a computer at my disposal, currently. The reason being that I’ve found my way around the iPad well enough that I never find I need one. So all images I edit are done on my iPad. All typing is done on the iPad. And so on. After work I like to spill what’s on my mind, whether that be reviewing the book I just finished listening to at work, or ranting about how base the latest episode of a television series was.
SCy-Fy: What are your future initiatives for the blog?
DL: I can’t say about future initiatives for Geekritique. I’m doing exactly what I want to do. And that’s the best thing about the blog. It’s a hobby and it’s one I hope to make better and better. One thing I hope to do more of in the future is reading and reviewing ARCs (Advanced Review Copies). I also hope to really help fledgling authors get their novels in some spotlight, holding a featured interview every now and then.
SCy-Fy: What about writing and blogging in general?
DL: I’ve begun writing short stories that take place in a fantasy world I’ve been bottling up for years. And you can find those at http://TalesFromAtelinor.wordpress.com
SCy-Fy: Good luck with the stories. What do you think is the biggest current problem in SFF blogging?
DL: There are too many blogs rehashing the same thing. And this isn’t so much an issue with review blogs, as for the most part reviews are your own. However, whenever there’s a news article about which actor is going to be playing which superhero in an upcoming comic to movie adaption, thousands of blogs will rehash the same thing. I’m not exempt from that criticism, and it’s something I could truly see getting out of control in the future.
SCy-Fy: Any advice for bloggers and reviewers?
DL: You’ve got to work at your craft. It takes time. Do not expect money or advertising to sustain or keep your blog afloat. Do this because it’s what you want to do. Blog because you want to share something wonderful with others. Review because not everyone’s experience is similar. I may hate a book that you love. Tell me why. Express your thoughts. And this expression of self in blogs or reviews will help you if you ever wish to write fiction of your own.
SCy-Fy: On that point, any advice for writers?
DL: Your work is never finished. There’s always room for improvement. But getting honest opinions, having others help edit sentence structure, grammar choice, or story direction, and humbly accepting said opinions will insure your writing will succeed.
SCy-Fy: Do you have a list of useful resources to share?
DL: Oh, let’s see. I follow a plethora of larger blogs for news on happenings in the geek world, and ideas on what books I’d like to read next. To name a handful, I follow ComicBookMovie, IGN, io9, Crunchyroll, Tor.com, and DoctorWhoTV.
SCy-Fy: Pitfalls in blogging that are difficult to avoid?
DL: I have an issue of using specific words multiple times during reviews. This isn’t so much a pitfall with the genre, as it is with the way I think. I’ll say “plethora” early on in a review, and then I’ll repeat it unconsciously throughout the rest of my piece.
SCy-Fy: A plethora of plethoras! Just as well I’m not too drunk at the moment. Meanwhile, back at the interview…
DL: This usually happens when I choose to stray from using words I would normally use in everyday speech. If I say a book is eloquent three times, in less than 500 words, I’m doing something wrong. To avoid this, I generally have to reread what I’ve written before I go ahead and post it, changing sentences or words around.
SCy-Fy: Things that have kept you going in hard times?
DL: In many ways Geekritique keeps my mind off of the hard times. Writing reviews or editorials helps me come to grips with whatever it is I’m dealing with. Therapeutic in a way. I think because it’s something I love to do, something I can be proud of doing, it urges me onward.
SCy-Fy: Posts of yours that have had the most impact or controversy?
DL: Two come to mind. About six months ago I posted a blog on the 20 most anticipated anime of Summer 2014. Little did I know it’d get so much traffic. It’s actually really annoying that a post I created six months ago pulls so much weight on my blog. On slow days, I can count on that post to be my most viewed.
SCy-Fy: And the other one?
DL: My chronological viewing order of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes, it is a post I love, but I wish some of my more recent articles or reviews would amass more page views. I don’t think I’ve ever had any controversy on a review. Maybe for my scathing review of Noah.
SCy-Fy: Daring. The best books of 2014?
DL: I’m a fantasy guy, through and through, with science fiction coming in a close second. But without a doubt my second favorite book of the year was Cibola Burn, a space opera by James S. A. Corey, and the fourth novel in his Expanse series (which will make its TV debut this year).
SCy-Fy: And I think the fifth book in the series will be out later this year?
DL: Yes. But I can’t stress how good Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance was, the second fantasy novel in the Stormlight Archive that has such extremely epic proportions it’s almost not worth trying to explain. If you’ve not read either of these series, your time will not be wasted.
SCy-Fy: Which upcoming releases are you most looking forward to reading?
DL: The first thing that comes to mind is Victor Milán’s Dinosaur Lords. Because dinosaurs. And lords.
SCy-Fy: What more do you need? It’s been a plethora talking to you, Dakota.