Interview with Leona Henry (Grimdark Alliance)


Up here in Finland I have finally tracked down elusive blogger Leona Henry, founder and contributor of Grimdark Alliance.

SCy-Fy: Leona, Grimdark Alliance started just last month, didn’t it?

LH: Yes. I am contributing to Grimdark Alliance more than my personal blog these days, and my future goal is to make it the go-to site for Grimdark fantasy.

SCy-Fy: What is a typical blogging day on the new site?

LH: Sifting through books and lists and coming up with a clever, interesting list people would talk about. We discuss what books to review – there are 3 of us running the blog – and take the jobs to do. It’s quite awesome collaborating with the others.

SCy-Fy: What do you think will be the major future challenges for SFF blogging?

LH: It’s too scattered. There has to be some kind of centralized network. Sadly no one has done it yet. It’s difficult to interact with other bloggers, for example it’s very easy within WordPress or within Blogger but it’s nearly impossible to follow up with comment replies when you are on WordPress and write comments on Blogger blogs. You can’t get a notification when you get a reply. Doubly difficult when you run a self-hosted blog. Someone needs to find a solution to that.

SCy-Fy: Tips for bloggers? For reviewers? Writers?

LH: Bloggers/reviewers: Be real and sincere. Write helpful stuff. Don’t write spoilers without a warning.

Writers: Don’t forget to thank and give a shout-out to the bloggers who reviewed your book. Be nice to them, a small kindness goes a long way.

SCy-Fy: Do you have a list of useful resources?

LH: I’m a scattered and messy person. I use bloglovin.com to keep up with the non-Wordpress blogs I follow. I make lists on Twitter to keep up with the SFF bloggers and writers there. I add people on Facebook, that’s about it.

But my biggest resource is reddit/r/Fantasy for staying on top of things. It rocks. Loads of great stuff there; I highly recommend it to all fantasy bloggers.

SCy-Fy: What keeps you going?

LH: Writing and the friendship of the great people I’ve met through the blogosphere.

SCy-Fy: Posts of yours that have had the most impact or controversy?

LH: My post titled ‘The Ugly Truth About Book Sales’ showing the rather bleak picture about the publishing industry got a huge amount of traffic, reblogs, retweets. I’m still getting traffic and likes on it, even after months.

SCy-Fy: What have been the best books you have read recently?

LH: The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence hands down. I’m reading The third book titled Emperor of Thorns. And Those Above by Dan Polansky, that’s pretty good too.

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

LH: Winds of Winter by George R. R. Martin, The Unholy Consult by R. Scott Bakker, Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss and Those Below by Dan Polansky.

SCy-Fy: Best of luck to you and your colleagues for the new blog, Leona.

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