Sunday, 19 May 2013

Book Blogger Spotlight: alyshamichelle Rantings and Ravings

My name is Alysha. I grew up in Oklahoma and am currently doing a little stint in San Francisco. I have always inhaled books like they're oxygen and even at 23, I can't get enough.

When and why did you become a book blogger?

I started my blog in November, when I attempted my first National Novel Writing Month. If you're not familiar with it, it's basically a month of writing-- no edits, no excuses, and the goal is to write 50,000 words. I wanted to blog about my writing, but I also wanted to blog about my reading. I took on book blogging as a kind of New Year's resolution to track every book I read in 2013. Also, I get asked a lot for book recommendations, so I really wanted a way to remember exactly what I liked and disliked about the books I read, to better help with giving recommendations.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

Well, the Rantings part is when I talk about writing, or cafes, or tea, or being completely unable to resist buying a book when I'm in a bookstore. The Ravings part is the book reviews that I do. For the most part, I read what I know I'll like. This year I have goals of trying to authors and new genres, so not all the book reviews will be ravings!

I also intend to go by Alysha Michelle (which is my middle name) when I do write pieces that will be published. Hence, Alysha Michelle's Rantings and Ravings.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

I really do blog about the things I love. And I am in love with the blogging community. I feel connected when someone comments on a post. I like to here back from people, whether they have read the book and feel the same or differently. I like discussing pros and cons of every book. I also like read other book bloggers. I suppose it's really the discussion that I love. I know why I like a certain book, but maybe someone else feels differently and I just love understanding their take on things.

What do you find the hardest about blogging?

I feel like I don't do it often enough. For now I'm trying for at least one post a week. But I see others doing one a day. Or reading three books a week. I feel slow! But I know I'm still fairly new and eventually I'll find the perfect pace for my blog.

Does your blog participate in any weekly features and if so which is your favorite?

I've only done a few. I intend on doing some more often. I really like the Top Ten Tuesday (this one I need to remember to do each week!).  And I participate in #FridayReads (on Twitter) every Friday. Though I feel like a slow reader compared to other book bloggers, I do try to have a new book a week.

What has been your favorite moment since you became a book blogger? Which review, interview or giveaway have you been most proud of?

I've loved every review! And I'm about to announce my first giveaway! I haven't been able to an interview yet, but I'm hoping for sometime this summer. I have hoarded my books my whole life and I've decided to give some (the majority) of them away!

The giveaway will be in mid-April. I'm really excited to do it, not just because it'll be my first, but I'm also going to do a vlog with it!

What kind of genres do you enjoy reading and reviewing the most?

I am Young Adult, all the way! (Even my writing). Though I do dabble in Science Fiction/Fantasy. I'm currently looking for the first New Adult to read. (If you have any suggestions, hit me up!)

What is your favorite individual book or series? What makes you love it so much?

I absolutely love Maggie Stiefvater. The Raven Boys is my favorite currently, though I suspect that after the rest of the series is released that will change. I'm also a huge Sarah Dessen fan and will always always recommend The Truth About Forever.

Who is your favorite fictional male character, why and from what book or series are they from?

Ethan Wate from Beautiful Creatures. He's not a moppy guy or a full-of-himself guy. He's also the first male MC that I actually have connected with from the beginning of his story. He's strong and determined and a little sarcastic at times. Though there are some great male characters in a ton of books that I have read, he's the one that really stand out to me. He's the kind of guy that I'd want to be friends with, and not because he's dark and attractive.

Who is your favorite fictional female character, why and from what book or series are they from?

Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games. She didn't have super powers, but she was heroine. She's strong, flawed, and a great role model. The best thing about her is that her strength, the thing that fuels her, is also her greatest weakness. Love and compassion for other people.  She has a very strong sense of right and wrong in a world were that has been blurred and twisted completely.

Who are your favorite three authors and why?

Maggie Stiefavter because of her world building and beautifully real characters who happen to live in the not-so-real-world.

Sarah Dessen because she's one of the only author who has kept me captivated with realistic YA fiction. Forever and always. Every single book of hers has totally thrown me for a loop. She just gets it right, every single time.

Michael Crichton because of his use of research and knowledge in his books. I really feel like I learned some science after I read his books. Also, in every single one, I can see it playing out as a movie.  Moment to moment action in every scene. His books keep me on edge.

If you could turn one book or series into films, what would you pick and who would you cast as the main characters?

I'm really skeptical with the whole turning-books-into-movies. I whole heartedly agree that they have done an amazing job with Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, but they completely botched The Twilight Saga.  But if I could be guaranteed that the films would come out just as well as the books, I would say the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray.  I think the world she created would be awesome to see on the big screen.

As for casting, I'm all for keeping it as close as possible to the descriptions in the books, but honestly it all comes down to who can act and who can really portray a character. Like I said, they completed botched that with Twilight.

What books are you most looking forward to in 2013?

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (it's already out, just have to get to the bottom of my TBR!)
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Paper books or ebooks?

I just read my first ebook. I don't hate it, but Paper all the way!

Where is your favorite place to read?

My bed.

Milk chocolate, white chocolate or dark chocolate?

Milk chocolate

Coffee, hot tea or hot chocolate?

Coffee!! Though I have recently been dabbling in tea and have become obsessed with that as well.

Would you like to give any other details about yourself? How can others find you around the web? Such as Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc...

Twitter:  (That's my real last name if anyone is confused)

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I would love to hear what you have to say! I read and try to respond to every single comment I receive. Knowing there are people out there reading is what makes this all worth it... : )