BBAW Interview Swap: chasing bawa interviews Booking Mama

14 September, 2010

It’s the second day of BBAW which means Interview Swap! I swapped questions with lovely Julie from Booking Mama who has a wonderfully eclectic book blog and hosts Kid Konnection where bloggers can share posts about children’s literature every Saturday. As well as participating in a wide range of challenges, Julie also hosts a number of them which you can read about below.

I set some tough questions for Julie, but she answered them with aplomb. Enjoy!

1) You’ve been blogging for 2 1/2 years. How do you keep yourself motivated to blog regularly? Do you ever experience periods of self doubt and blog fatigue as happens to quite a few bloggers?

Great question! I don’t really have a problem keeping myself motivated to blog regularly — I just love it and I never seem to have a problem with running out of content. Plus, I love the feedback from fellow bloggers and followers. I admit that there are days when I don’t always feel like writing reviews, so when I’m in the mood, I try to write a few at a time. I’m pretty good at scheduling my posts a few days (and sometimes weeks) out so I’m not sure that my ‘daily’ posts accurately reflect my attention to my blog.

I tell myself that other bloggers also experience blog fatigue to make myself feel better! But all joking aside, I do experience lots of periods of self doubt. Often times, I feel like my reviews aren’t as fresh and original as I’d like them to be. And there are days when I definitely wonder what business I have writing book reviews. However, I’ve learned that my negative feelings almost always pass within a day or so!

2) You like to participate in challenges (as do I). Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Any particular challenges you would like to recommend?

Well…I used to get overwhelmed from my failure to complete challenges — not the challenges themselves. But then one day, I realized that all of the pressure is self-imposed. I mean….what’s the worst thing that is going to happen if I don’t complete a challenge? I finally decided that I will join challenges to have fun and I will do my best, but no worries if I totally fail!

As far as challenges go, I’m a little biased towards the ones that I host! I just finished the 2010 Entertainment Weekly Summer Books Challenge and I’m hoping to make this one an annual event. Another challenge that I host with Bermuda Onion is the Reagan Arthur Books Challenge. I also really enjoyed participating in the Debutante Ball Challenge. And within the next month or so, I will be bringing back the Shelf Discovery Challenge based on the book by Lizzie Skurnick.

3) Blogging with integrity. Like many bloggers, I struggle to write negative reviews if I don’t like a book as I know how much work has gone into its creation. How do you cope with writing negative reviews (if you do come across a book that you didn’t like)?

I love this question! One thing I’ve found through the years is that I’ve gotten better at picking books that I think I’m going to enjoy. When I decided to read more literary books, rather than just best-sellers, I found that I ended up not only more satisfied with my reading experiences, but that I also wrote more positive reviews. I also truly believe that every book has something of value or someone who would appreciate it. I might admit that I wasn’t the ideal audience for this book, but I always try to include in my review someone who might enjoy it.

4) What are your top 3 books you’ve read this year?

Ugh! I’m so not good at questions like this. I don’t know if I can list just three because I’ll be leaving out some good ones, but here goes nothing:

RUSSIAN WINTER by Daphne Kalotay

A FIERCE RADIANCE by Lauren Belfer

DIAMOND RUBY by Joe Wallace

While I definitely loved these books, I’m sure I could come up with an entirely different list depending on the day.

5) What are your reading plans for next year?

I don’t know that I have any specific plans. I have quite a few ARCs that I picked up at BEA that I’m looking forward to reading. I also tell myself that I’m going to read more for pleasure (and less because I agreed to specific review dates), but we’ll see how that goes. I always seem to start the year with that ‘resolution’ and it hasn’t worked yet!

Thanks so much for having me at Chasing Bawa! I had a great time answering your questions!

Thank you Julie for some great answers. I especially appreciate her thoughtful answer regarding negative reviews which I’m sure many of us bloggers struggle with. And if you’d like to see what questions she put to me, click here. So what are you doing? Go and check out her blog pronto!

21 Responses to “BBAW Interview Swap: chasing bawa interviews Booking Mama”

  1. Iris Says:

    That was such a well thought-out interview! I must be one of the few bloggers who hasn’t visited Booking Mama yet. I hope I am as enthousiastic about blogging as Booking Mama is in 2 years time..

  2. Julie P. Says:


    Thanks so much for this wonderful Q&A! It was so nice to “meet” you!

  3. Melody Says:

    Great interview, Sakura! I enjoy reading Julie’s blog and it’s great to learn a bit more of her through this interview swap! 🙂

  4. bermudaonion Says:

    Great questions! I know Julie really well and I learned a thing of two!

  5. Great questions and I agree with Julie on writing negative reviews.

  6. Beth F Says:

    Julie, your reviews are always great! I love how personal they are.

  7. Great questions and answers!

    Here is my BBAW: Interview post!

  8. S. Krishna Says:

    Great questions! I feel like I learned something about Julie, even though I know her pretty well.

  9. Charlie Says:

    That’s a good way to look at writer’s block, remembering there’s likely someone else in the same position. It’s important to be happy with what you’re reading if you want to write positive reviews, and not specifically happy with the story, but the overall way you read.

  10. Great questions! Like the others have said, I know Julie pretty well yet still learned something new!

  11. Joe Wallace Says:

    Love this interview with one of my favorite bloggers…and Julie, thank you SO much for including my Diamond Ruby in your list! (And even more for the generosity you’ve shown me and the novel since its publication.)

  12. Donna Says:

    Wonderful interview with a thoughtful blogger. I am adding the best books to my list of TBR! Thanks for the post.

  13. Valerie Says:

    Good interview — I’ll have to look up the books Julie recommends; I haven’t heard of any of them but the titles sound intriguing.

  14. chasing bawa Says:

    Thanks everyone for the lovely comments and thank you Julie for answering the questions!

  15. stacybuckeye Says:

    Glad to know Julie a bit better. The question about negative reviews was a great one. I think we all struggle with that.

  16. I love Julie’s blog. I love how she said blogging has made her more aware of which books she will like–I feel the same way!

  17. Jenners Says:

    I’m glad to hear the Challenge Police aren’t going to bust down my door if I don’t finish some of my challenges … I’m suffering under all this self-imposed pressure for nothing!! : )

    And I wish I could have a stockpile of posts to help get me through dry periods. Hmmm…something to think about.

    Fun interview!

  18. Heather J. Says:

    I’m already a fan of Julie’s but it’s lovely to “meet” you – I’ll definitely be reading more of your posts, and I’ve already added you to my Google Reader. 🙂

  19. I’ve been reading Julie’s blog for a long time and I absolutely love it. I agree that the more you read, the better you get at choosing books you probably will enjoy.

  20. amymckie Says:

    Great interview. I like the one about doubts, and about negative reviews.

  21. Serena Says:

    Julie is a fantastic and kind person. I love her blog. I’m so glad that you interviewed her.

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