I started blogging 3 years ago and my blog was very different then! I first started as Post Apocalyptic Playground and it mainly focused on my love of Dystopian fiction. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but then everything is a learning curve and things have slowly evolved over time. I moved from being mainly facebook based to a blogger site and then I moved to self hosting with this site. I changed to Paperbacks and Pinot in March of this year as I felt that my original name didn’t really reflect my changing reading tastes and perhaps gave a wrong impression of what to expect from the blog. I’ve never felt more comfortable in my blogging skin since making that change!
At what point do you think you will stop?
I can’t really see a time that I will stop but then I don’t think it’s the kind of thing that I can maintain forever, I’m a small voice in a big pond! I think though that as long as I’m still loving reading I will always write reviews, so even if I stop the conversational posts and end up purely as a review platform, that’s still blogging!
What is the best part?
The friendships! I have met some amazing people who really brighten my day through the blogging community! Some of my best friends are authors who I started off reviewing for, and I’m in some amazing group chats with companies who I rep for on Instagram. I’m pretty reclusive so to have these friendships is amazing, there is always someone in every time zone for me to chat to to help me pick up my day! I’m also still always amazed that in a world where people have less time than ever, that there are those who take the time to visit my blog and read my words and comment, those comments are rare but make me so so happy!!
What is the worst part?
With the smooth comes the rough. Some people are just mean and I have to say that there have been times where I’ve had people contact me and say things that are just so unnecessary, which have left me upset for days (one for much longer.) I’m firmly in the camp of if you have nothing good to say then say nothing at all. I’m not going to apologise (even though I did, I’m just too British) for reading YA because a random person tells me they’re annoyed I’ve not reviewed an adult book recently, I’m not a fan of Contemporary Romance so don’t message me to tell me that I’m a bad blogger because I don’t read every genre and I’m also fine that people seem to find it offensive that I don’t post reviews of books I didn’t like!
How long does it take you to find/create pictures to use?
Bookstagram is amazing and I love it, I don’t however, love taking the photographs. Sometimes everything goes to plan and I feel creative and wonderful! Most times I’ve had a rubbish day at work, the light has gone, the kids are fighting and I have 0 creativity. I think I can spend up to half an hour trying to get a single photo right! I know I’m not the best photographer but I do like the little Bookstagram corner I’m in, I’m never going to have the kind of follower count I would love, but then my photos aren’t to that level – again any likes and comments on my posts makes my day so yay!
Who’s your book crush?
I read mostly YA so this question makes me feel like some kind of second rate cougar lol But I have to join the end of a very very long queue and say Rhysand from ACOTAR, I know that feels like a stock answer for most, but the way he helped Feyre recover from such an abusive relationship was just beautiful. If I was the age that YA is written for then I would say Luvian Fen from State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury, because he’s just every kind of awesome 🙂
What author would you like to have on your blog?
I’ve been really lucky to have had a few authors take the time to say some lovely words on this blog, It’s always such fun to go beneath the surface to find out more about them and their books! At the moment though I would love to have Lauren James, because I just find every thing she writes so fascinating and based in some amazing fact, also, Bex Hogan because I met her at YALC and she is just fantastic and would love the opportunity to speak to her more about her and her books!
What do you wear when you write your blog?
It depends on when I get the time to write blog posts, at the moment it’s Sunday afternoon and i’m in some comfy leggings and a dress, usually though I blog of an evening when the children are in bed so Harry Potter PJ’s all the way.
How long does it take you to prepare a post?
Honestly how long is a piece of string lol. It’s usually a minimum of half an hour, though book reviews can take days as I mull points over, tags aren’t always quick either as I have to think of books to match the prompt and then sort out photos and format the text. I don’t have any set times really.
How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?
Apart from the few who always have to spoil things, I genuinely love the book community. I mean we’re all here because we love books so there’s not a lot of room for anger. I usually find that we are all really supportive of one another and I have never known such an amazing bunch of readers as those over on Instagram. I struggle a lot with YA book twitter, I just can’t really seem to find a voice on that platform and I don’t really tend to agree with a lot of what I see on there which also leads to me being quiet (because why rain on someones parade) I’ve had some great opportunities come my way through Twitter though, so It’s not all bad.
What do you think one should do to have a successful blog?
I suppose it depends on how you define success and honestly I don’t even feel that I’m qualified to answer this question. What I would say is that you have to still love what you are blogging about, because if you don’t then that will be show in your posts and then people won’t want to engage and it becomes a vicious cycle. But I think giving back also plays a huge part, it’s a community after all and the more you engage with others the more you will get back in return
So there you go! I’ve actually really enjoyed doing this tag today and I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading it!