I hope everyone is doing well, or at least better than last week. This week on Novel Newcomers, I’m featuring Melanie @ Books are My Children, Reg @ She Latitude, Cyra @ Rattle the Pages, and Dani @ Dani Reviews Things. It’s also about a week until Thanksgiving, so brace yourselves for food related questions! (This food business will not end and will most likely carry over to next month.)
Outside of blogging and reading, what other interests do you have?
Dani: I am a huuuge technogeek, so I love getting my hands on new gadgets and apps. I’m eyeing up the Amazon Echo Dot at the moment so I can talk to Alexa while I’m home and feeling lonely. And she can read my books to me. Fingers crossed I’ll get it for Christmas…
Cyra: I am kind of a couch potato. So I like to do things I can do from my couch. I like video games. Basically I stick to Legend of Zelda only, but occasionally play the other Nintendo game. I also like to binge watch tv shows and watch movies. And dress my cat up in silly costumes.
Reg: I enjoy writing, cooking and baking — right now in that order, though that order changes every few months or so.
Melanie: I’m huge TV watcher, especially when it comes to K-Dramas and shows on Netflix. I’m also a bit of a nerd, so I sometimes watch science shows or history documentaries.
What is your most unusual accomplishment?
Dani: I once took 20 minutes just to get a pot of water boiling. It was my second week at university and I was trying to cook spaghetti for the first time ever. It turned out that the stove in my flat had the numbers rubbed off the dial and I’d had it on the lowest setting. I thought I was doomed forever to eat microwave meals because the kitchen would never be my friend, but now I’m not too bad of a cook (even though I don’t enjoy the process).
Cyra: When I was in middle school, we always played this game we called ‘snowball fight’. Basically it’s like dodgeball with tons of little soft balls to throw at the other team. And if you catch a ball, all of your teammates who have been hit get to come back in the game. I have never ever ever been an athletic person. I can’t catch the ball, I can’t throw the ball well. But there was one day I was playing this game and I was the last person in. A loss was almost certain at this point. Things were bleak. But I somehow managed to catch a ball between my knees and carried my team to victory. Like a boss.
Reg: This question stumps me! I don’t think there’s anything particularly unusual about any of my accomplishments in general, but personally speaking, actually sticking with my blog has been a little bit of an accomplishment. I tend to get bored really easily and have no trouble dropping hobbies once that happens, but so far it’s going great with this blog!
Melanie: I don’t really have any unusual accomplishments, but I can roll my belly (I think that’s unusual).
What is your favorite food?
Dani: This completely depends on mood… I do love a really good beef fillet cooked on a braai (South African barbecue)! Also, chocolate mousse is the best thing in the world.
Cyra: I want to say something exciting, but I would have to go with pepperoni pizza. If I could eat pizza all day every day and not die of heart failure or something, I would do it.
Reg: It’s hard to pick just one, but I think I love pasta the most out of everything else. It tastes great for very little effort. 😉
Melanie: I absolutely love Red Velvet Cake! I would eat [it] every single day if my parents allowed me to.
Speaking of food, what cuisines have you never tried but would love to someday?
Dani: You know, you mention Thanksgiving below, and that’s one thing I really, really want to try. I want to have the full Thanksgiving experience, complete with family and feeling like I’m going to burst.
Cyra: Living in South Dakota, we really don’t have a lot of exciting cuisines here. At least nothing authentic. I would love to try REAL Italian food. That sounds amaaaazing.
Reg: I’ve tried so many things that it’s a bit hard to come up with one I want to try but haven’t yet! Right now I’m craving for Ethiopian cuisine though – there’s this local restaurant that serves the best injera bread, lentils and meat stews.
Melanie: I’ve always wanted to try sushi or any other types of Asian cuisine. The sushi thing might be out though since I’m a vegetarian, but if I ever went back to eating meat I would definitely want to try sushi.
Continuing on the food track, name three characters, three authors, OR three bloggers you wouldn’t mind having Thanksgiving dinner with (if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, then a dinner).
Dani: The three authors I’d love to sit down to dinner with are Elise Kova, Sarah J. Maas and Pierce Brown. Ahhh the beautiful people…who can also break my heart…
Cyra: I would love to have Thanksgiving dinner with Alexandra Bracken and Susan Dennard (I saw them together at the PassTruth Tour this year and they were so fun!). I would also love to include Lauren Oliver because her books really got me into YA.
Reg: Just this idea is making me nervous! I get all tongue-tied around authors I like, but some of my favourite authors are Sarah Dessen, Victoria/V. E. Schwab and Brandon Sanderson, preferably on three separate dinners so I have all the time I need to pick their wonderful brains.
Melanie: I would love to have dinner with Courtney Summers, we could rant about Supernatural together. I would also like to have dinner with Mira Grant and Patrick Ness (so I could ask them why they killed off my fave characters).
Thanksgiving is usually spent with family. What fictional family would you love to be adopted to and why?
Dani: I just realised that a lot of my favourite books don’t have families that are together. They’re more like characters that come from icky homes that have banded together to make their own family. But if I’m going for a traditional family, I’d have to say the Weasleys. Firstly, because I have an unnatural thing for gingers. Secondly, because they are so fiercely loyal and supportive. Thirdly, then I could be Hermione’s sister-in-law.
Cyra: Easily the Weasleys. My parents got divorced when I was little and now that I’m grown up, I have to decide which side of the family to have Thanksgiving with. I would love to spend Thanksgiving with a WHOLE family and not have to choose.
Reg: I’d love to be adopted by the Garretts in My Life Next Door or The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick! Just a very supportive, heartwarming family. 💗
Melanie: I would love to hang out with the Dregs from Six of Crows. While they may not be the ideal family to spend Thanksgiving with they sound like they would be really fun to hang out with and they kind of remind me of my own family.
It’s the second to last month before 2017! What books publishing next year are you excited for?
Dani: TOO MANY. But here are my top five: THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM by Elise Kova, WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones, ROSEBLOOD by A.G. Howard, IRON GOLD by Pierce Brown and THE SONG RISING by Samantha Shannon.
Cyra: Oh goodness. There are SO many! 2017 is going to be an amazing year for books! A few that I’m looking forward to are WAYFARER by Alexandra Bracken, CARVE THE MARK by Veronica Roth (the main character has my name, the need is strong), THE CONTINENT by Keira Drake, HUNTED by Meagan Spooner, and GIVEN TO THE SEA by Mindy McGinnis.
Reg: So many! We’ve gotten a lot of great releases in 2016 and I think the trend will continue. My top most anticipated releases are:
- A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab
- Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
- Now I Rise by Kiersten White
Melanie: There are so many books I’m looking forward to! Could I just direct you to my Goodreads account (just kidding)? I’m really looking forward to reading The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, Warcross by Marie Lu, The End of Oz by Danielle Paige. I would go on, but I’m afraid this blog post would be three pages long.
What advice would you give to book bloggers who started this year, or even future bloggers? Any you wish you knew about before you started blogging?
Dani: Don’t go crazy on Netgalley. Request only what you really want to read because you’ll get more approvals than you expect and forever mess up your score.
Cyra: I 100% agree with Dani. Take a breath before you go nuts on Netgalley!! Also just have fun! That’s really the best I can do. And trust me, as fun as it may sound, it’s actually NOT fun to be drowning in Netgalley books you don’t know if you’ll ever get to!
Reg: I think my biggest blogging takeaway or advice is this: there’s really no right or wrong way to blog, so be sure to try out a couple of different things and see what works for you! What works for someone else might not be what works for you – for example, some people might post everyday, but you can’t (or don’t want to), and that’s fine.
As for what I wish I knew before I started blogging… I guess I wish I was better prepared for how many things to do there would be. I’ve cut down a little because I’m pursuing other goals in my life, but I almost never have downtime now because there’s always something to do, be it reading, reviewing, commenting, blog-hopping, graphics-making or sourcing, social media, and others. The list just goes on! 😊
Melanie: Blog for yourself! Too many times this year I compared myself to other bloggers and I was afraid no one would look at my blog if it wasn’t like theirs and that is definitely a road you don’t want to go down. Just be yourself while blogging, don’t try to be like other bloggers. Don’t feel pressured to post all the time, your followers will still be there if you take a break.
Reg blogs at She Latitude and can be found on Twitter (@shelatitude).
Cyra is a blogger at Rattle the Pages and can be found on Twitter (@cyrashaefer).
Dani can be found on her blog, Dani Reviews Things and can be found on Twitter (@Dani_Reviews).
Note: At the moment this post was edited, Melanie is no longer blogging, but is the founder of Rich in Variety where she hosts blog tours