Today I’m talking to Lynn from Lynn’s Book Blog, a blog that focuses mostly on book discussions.
SCy-Fy: Lynn, your reading interests take in science fiction and fantasy, but also go much wider than that.
LBB: My book loves are speculative fiction but I also read history, thriller and horror.
SCy-Fy: What is a typical blogging day for you?
LBB: Well, I work full time so a typical day actually involves going out in the morning and returning home in the evening! I really only have one or two hours free time during the evening and this is pretty quickly consumed answering emails, comments and checking out other blogger’s most recent posts. I usually aim to read a couple of books a week and I write my reviews fairly promptly after completing a book, so two evenings are usually taken posting those reviews.
Tuesdays and Thursdays I take part in scheduled events and I might have a think about those in advance and put together some ideas. I usually wind up the day by reading before I go to sleep – I usually squeeze in a good hour at that time and it’s my favourite time for reading because it’s quiet and I can sink into the book – the biggest problem is that sometimes I can sink a little too deeply and forget that I need sleep.
SCy-Fy: That’s a danger for most of us! What are your future plans?
LBB: My blog is pretty much a seat of the pants type of affair. I try and include a discussion piece every now and again. I take part in a few readalongs and also sign up to events such as the Once Upon a Time event over at Stainless Steel Droppings. This is a great event because it pretty much includes all the books that I already enjoy reading so it’s fairly low maintenance and all about having fun. It’s a good way to connect with other like minded bloggers too.
Most recently I’ve signed myself up to take part in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog- Off – this is Mark Lawrence’s brainchild. It involves ten bloggers taking on board a number (26/27) of self-published books and reading and reviewing them. The aim is to put forward one book from your selection; the other bloggers will then read this and using a scoring basis an overall favourite will be chosen. It’s an interesting initiative.
SCy-Fy: It certainly is – I am following the progress. What do you think will be the major future challenges for blogging?
LBB: Well, this probably applies further afield than SFF, but I suppose one of the main challenges will be blogging saturation. Lets face it, we live in a different era now and everyone is a critic. The main challenge is cutting through all of the blogs to the ones that really speak to you. There’s a lot of good blogs out there but that doesn’t mean they’re all for you.
SCy-Fy: Do you have any advice for bloggers?
LBB: Find your own style. Concentrate on the things that you really like. And be honest.
For example, I rarely write negative reviews. This is primarily because I don’t finish books these days if I’m not enjoying them and I don’t review those that I don’t finish. This isn’t everyone’s style of course and it certainly isn’t a criticism of others’ style because I actually enjoy reading a well structured review that gives constructive criticism.
I think the biggest tip is to engage with other bloggers. For me, the discussion and banter with other people about books is actually why I blog. It gives me a much needed route to just geek out about all things bookish. I think before I started blogging I was one of those people who others would avoid if spotted across a room – quite justified as well, because if anybody so much as mentioned they enjoyed reading I would practically pounce on them greedily like a duck on a June bug! It could become boring for others to say the least. Now I’m much calmer because I can rant or rave online.
SCy-Fy: Just between us – your secret list of useful resources?
LBB: Well, keep it between us, but other bloggers really. Predictable but true. It’s my main route to discovering books I haven’t read but will probably love. It’s pretty much how I fill my shelves.
And the obvious: Goodreads, Twitter, Netgalley, publishers’/authors’ sites.
SCy-Fy: Traps in SFF blogging?
LBB: Wanting all the books. It’s something we all suffer from, I think. I basically do want all the books and I definitely covet the books that I see others are reading. What if I miss something!! And because of this it’s tempting to accept things willy nilly – whether you’ll have the time to complete them or not. This in turn does lead to unnecessary pressure! So beware, know your own limitations and be realistic. Don’t forget to breathe – oh, and have fun.
The other trap I think is the love/hate relationship between bloggers and authors. It’s a difficult line to tread. There’s this great excitement that you feel if one of your favourite authors interacts with you, but this is then offset by the need to give honest reviews – it’s a trap of sorts, so tread carefully.
SCy-Fy: Things that have kept you going in hard times?
LBB: This is easy. Books. Really, I am incredibly sad and predictable, but nothing gives me a boost like reading a good book.
SCy-Fy: Posts of yours that have had the most impact or controversy?
LBB: I find that the discussion pieces usually generate the most traffic, to be honest. Items that look at blogging techniques such as ‘to rate or not to rate’. I wouldn’t say I have any really controversial items – maybe I should consider something…
SCy-Fy: What have been the best books you have read recently?
LBB: Oh my, I’ve read such a lot of good books so far this year. Jo Walton’s Just City was a real treat and incredibly thought provoking. I have to give a special mention to The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams which was just so good. More recently Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz and The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis gave me a real buzz and then I went and discovered Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier which I enjoyed so much that I went into a little slump once I’d finished.
SCy-Fy: Which upcoming releases are you most looking forward to?
LBB: I’m really looking forward to Clash of Iron by Angus Watson, Liar’s Key by Mark Lawrence, The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch. I really like the look of Time Salvager by Wesley Chu and if anybody, anybody at all, has any clues about when Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss is going to put in an appearance then let me know – pretty please.
SCy-Fy: If I hear anything, I will pass it on. Thank you, Lynn.
LBB: Thanks for thinking of me to take part. Enjoy your blog and your reading.