Interview with Books Abound

I’m speaking with Shana of BooksAbound. Shana is an extreme bibliophile who spends every spare moment surrounding herself with books.

SCy-Fy: Shana, you have recently started something new, haven’t you?

BA: Yes, a monthly column at Luna Station Quarterly called Beyond the Front Tables where I highlight small and independent presses.

SCy-Fy: Congratulations! That fits well with what you are trying to do with your own blog, doesn’t it?

BA: That’s right. There are so many SFF bloggers out there already doing wonderful reviews, so my focus is less on book reviews and more about sharing my love of books and stories. What I want to see my blog become is a place where I can highlight SFF short stories and SFF works in translation. Short stories have led me to new authors time and again and I find them wonderful entry points into a particular author’s style or voice.

I also think there are so many stories we are missing out on by focusing so much time and energy on what was written in the U.S. I want to shine a spotlight on those works and help bring them to a broader audience.

SCy-Fy: It also fits well with your personal approach to reading, I think…

BA: For me the fun of books is the dialogue that comes with discussing a book and the possibility that someone might seek out a book they’ve never heard of because of something I shared or said. My love for stories is unending and finding those gems that suck me in is priceless. I split my time reading current, non-fiction, and older works and with variety being the spice of life (so I hear), I don’t get bored or irritated with publishing trends or reading the same story over and over.

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

BA: Ooh nelly, that is a list. To pick just a few though…

The Liminal People by Ayize Jama-Everett out from Small Beer Press – I loved the approach to mutant powers and the depth to the characters. The sequel is due this summer and I can’t wait to pick it up.

Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett out from Aqueduct Press. I will forever buy anything she writes. This book was a mind-bending ride I adored.

The Female Factory – a collection of short stories, all of which are co-written by Angela Slatter and Lisa L. Hannett out from Twelfth Planet Press. These stories packed a wallop. I found myself pausing after each one to really let it all sink in.

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

BA: This is just as hard as the above list. Let’s see… The Liminal War by Ayize Jama-Everett out June 16, 2015 from Small Beer Press, Gene Mapper by Taiyo Fujii also out June 16, 2015 from Haikasoru, and Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho out September 1, 2015 from Ace. Those are just a few of the books I have on pre-order.

SCy-Fy: What is a typical blogging day for you?

BA: Because I work full-time and started grad school, I no longer have a typical day other than being really busy. Sadly, blogging takes a backseat to school writing requirements right now, so I make a lot of notes for future post ideas. If I have some random musing I am burning to share I will go ahead and type that up and post away.

SCy-Fy: What do you think are the most critical elements for a blogger to have?

BA: Two things: Scheduling and passion. Right now I have the passion element in spades, but because of limited time it is harder for me to schedule dedicated time to just blogging. It is something I am working on, but it makes a huge difference. Also, if you are truly passionate about what you are trying to share it makes the whole process easier.

SCy-Fy: What will be the major future challenges for SFF blogging, in your opinion?

BA: I think the largest thing will be saturation coupled with going it alone. I see a lot of blogs that are run by multiple people with many contributors, so someone going it alone can easily get lost in the masses.

SCy-Fy: What do you see as the most common trap in SFF blogging?

BA: Thinking you have to cater to the market. You don’t have to review every book sent to you, nor do you have to write about what everyone else is talking about. You have to do and stay true to what you love and enjoy about SFF.

SCy-Fy: Which resources do you find most useful?

BA: Honestly, all these interviews you have been doing have been incredibly helpful to me. I love reading about the variety of ways other bloggers have approached their goals and it led me to shift how I plan on doing things moving forward.

SCy-Fy: Thanks, Shana!

BA: Thank you for chatting with me! I am honored to be here.

2 thoughts on “Interview with Books Abound

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