Today I am talking with the Thunderer himself – James Schmidt of mightythorjrs Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Sci-Fi & Star Wars book reviews.
SCy-Fy: For you, James, taking up blogging was a response to some real-life problems, wasn’t it?
JS: Well, to be honest, I have had a lot of hard times recently. Which is why I started this blog, I think. My mom has been battling leukemia for a while now; my wife has been sick and had two major surgeries in the past 6 months; and I have had my own health scare recently. But, my son being great, reading great books, and running this blog keeps my mind on good things when life’s challenges have got me down. Reading and the blog help me escape for little bits of time when I need it. A great book can do wonders for your mind.
SCy-Fy: How did you find your way to blogging?
JS: I was writing reviews for books I read on Goodreads for a little while. I started seeing blogs online, followed them on social media and such, so I thought I would give it a try. I started my blog in January of this year; I have been having a great time. I guess I just want to keep having fun with it, and not let it get to be where it overwhelms me or I feel I have to do it. As long as I am enjoying myself and somebody still looks at the blog, I guess I will keep it up.
SCy-Fy: Have you found a blogging pattern that works for you?
JS: Well, I usually try to get blog posts set up a day or two ahead of time. After I have read a book, I think it over for a day or so, let it sink in and just write down my thoughts. I don’t do big long reviews; I just write my thoughts and whether I liked the book or not.
I have a couple of regular features that I try and write. Wednesday is Odin’s day – WIWW (What I Want Wednesday), where I spotlight some new release books that are coming out that I really want. Thursday is Thor’s day TBR, where I explore my ever growing To Be Read stack. So I try and get those thought out and done a day or two ahead of the post day.
Then I just sit down and write a little, get some info about the books online, and put it all together. Then I usually do some posts about books I may have bought that week or that awesome publishers may have sent. Pretty boring, I guess.
SCy-Fy: Not with One Eye and the Thunder God in there! Have any of your posts so far been controversial or especially popular?
JS: I really have not had any controversy on my blog. I try and avoid drama at all cost. My most popular posts have been about my favorite author, Mark Lawrence. I don’t think it has much to do with my blog posts as much as it has to do with Mr. Lawrence re-posting and sharing them. Thanks, Mark Lawrence!
A note to authors and publishers: if you notice a blogger doing some leg work getting the word out there on your books, throw them a bone once in a while and share their work. It helps you both! The Mark Lawrence posts remain at the top of my most-viewed list.
SCy-Fy: What do you see as the main challenge in genre blogging?
JS: The only real challenge I see is that there are so many blogs out there; so, trying to stand out in the crowd or to make your own little niche. There is so much diverse stuff to read. I guess there might be one other challenge: it would be nice not to be looked down on for my love of Fantasy/Sci-Fi by book snobs, but that is a whole other thing.
SCy-Fy: Based on your experience so far, do you have any advice for bloggers?
JS: As I said before, I just do this for fun. As in life, if you’re not enjoying yourself, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it, or you’re not doing it right. Life is too short not to do something you enjoy; it took me a while to figure this out, but I am glad I finally did. One other thing; always tag authors and publishers – you might get lucky and they will share and help you out.
SCy-Fy: Which resources do you find most useful?
JS: Not too much of a secret here. Goodreads and Amazon for book info. Publisher websites like Tor.com. Other bloggers I follow. Authors’ blogs and following blogs and authors I like on social media accounts.
SCy-Fy: What have you really loved reading recently?
JS: I have finally started to read Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series this year and it is amazing! I hope to finish it this year, but I am already falling behind, so we shall see. Then there are my favorites: Mark Lawrence and Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives series. Truly great works!
SCy-Fy: And what are most looking forward to reading?
JS: I am very excited about Mark Lawrence’s new book The Liar’s Key. I was not lucky enough to get an ARC copy, so I am – not very patiently – waiting for my pre-order to get here, so that I can immediately drop everything and start it!
I am also very excited about Half a War by Joe Abercrombie and The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan. Have not got ARCs for these books yet, either (HINT, HINT if anybody is reading), so I guess I will have to – again, not patiently – wait for pre-orders of those, also.
SCy-Fy: Maybe that hint will reach the right people! Well, I think we’re done.
JS: I would just like to thank you for this opportunity and for doing this series of interviews; I have been following and enjoy them very much. Thanks to everybody reading this, and if you liked my interview, please follow my blog or follow me on social media – I always enjoy finding new book friends! Thanks again.
SCy-Fy: Thank you, James – best of luck!
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