Interview with Pornokitsch

This morning I’m trading cappuccinos with Jared, co-editor of Pornokitsch. Which, despite the name, is (disappointingly?) safe for work. Unless your workplace has an issue with book reviews.

SCy-Fy: Jared, Pornokitsch has already had quite a lot of success, including award wins and nominations. What plans do you and your co-editor have for the site?

PK: Over the past six months, Anne and I have added four new contributors – Jon, Molly, Jesse and Mahvesh – and there are more to come. Plus, a redesign from a hideously talented artist, which will also give us an excuse to do some house-cleaning.

We’ll be doing more with our weekly fiction as well – including an entire shared-world series that’ll kick off in a couple months.

At least, that’s the plan. Who knows what will actually happen?

SCy-Fy: What is your personal writing pattern for the site?

PK: My personal writing-of-stuff-for-Pornokitsch happens on the weekends, very early in the morning, and high off my face on very strong coffee. I can generally get a few posts’ worth of material out before I descend into caffeinated madness. (Or not. You be the judge).

SCy-Fy: What do you think will be the major challenges for SFF blogging 3-5 years from now?

PK: Without getting too hand-wavey and philosophical, that sort of depends on what we see as the objectives of blogging – everyone has their own reason for getting into it. If, for example, your goal is just to have fun talking about stuff you love, you’re set no matter what happens. And that’s one of the many reasons that ‘fun’ is the best reason to do anything.

If your objective is something a little more tangible – books, money, a book contract, a career in publishing – the next 3-5 years (and beyond) may be fairly stressful. Ask anyone trying to run a business online.

SCy-Fy: What advice would you give bloggers?

PK: If you’re not having fun – don’t do it. You probably have enough things in your life that cause you stress without deliberately adding one more. In the same vein – there are far better ways of getting free books/money/writing practice/ etc. So if you’re purely out for that, look elsewhere.

But… as a blogger, you’re not beholden to anyone – you can experiment with styles, you can set your own timelines, you can tinker and practice and say what you want. I’m not saying this in a ‘go forth and be an asshole’ kind of way – more ‘don’t take yourself too seriously, this is a chance to do what makes you happy’.

I’d like to note that all of the above only really applies to amateur bloggers, not to those using social media as part of their marketing plan (like, say, authors). If that’s the case, you’re beholden to a lot of people and ‘fun’ probably shouldn’t be the priority. Sorry.

SCy-Fy: Hard-to-spot pitfalls in SFF blogging that are difficult to avoid?

PK: It gets really, really easy to take blogging too seriously. (See: my pretentious responses above.) It doesn’t help that our only feedback comes in the form of numbers: hits, visitors, etc. That makes us equate traffic with ‘success’, when, again, is that really what’s important?

SCy-Fy: Yes, I’ve vaguely heard that some people become obsessed with blog stats…

PK: I’d suggest finding some other measurement of success: be it consistency (writing every day!), trying new ways of reviewing (new frameworks or styles or methods), finding new books or authors… set personal goals. That’s one of the reasons that so many blogs feature reading challenges, or series, or regular features – they’re a way of setting and achieving objectives. You don’t need to justify yourself to your analytics.

SCy-Fy: Which upcoming releases are you most looking forward to reading?

PK: Gail Carriger’s Prudence, Rebecca Levene’s The Hunter’s Kind, the new China Miéville collection, Sarah Lotz’s Day Four, Kirsty Logan’s The Gracekeepers – plus new books from S.L. Grey, James Smythe, Naomi Novik and Ed McBain (bless you, Hard Case Crime). AND two that I’ve already read and can highly recommend: Daniel Polansky’s Those Above and Saad Hossein’s Escape from Baghdad!

SCy-Fy: Any last words?

PK: Only – thanks for having me!

SCy-Fy: Thank you, Jared. Now let’s order some killer espresso!

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