BBAW – Book Blogger Interview,


BBAW 2011

I’m participating in the Book Blogger Appreciation Week. There are Book Blog nominations, giveaways and blog posts as part of the BBAW celebrations.

The blog post for today is about : Interviewing a fellow book blogger
BBAW Central
 has assigned each of us an interview partner. My partner is Shelleyrae of Book’d Out. She’ll be interviewing me today, too. So hop over and check out her blog.


I’m so pleased that I was teamed up with Shelleyrae! We’ve known each other and each other’s blogs for quite a while now and this is my chance to ask some questions – things I always wanted to know but never asked…

BookdOut Blog badge

Please tell us a bit about yourself…

Hi my name is Shelleyrae, I’m a 30 something married mother of four aged 5 to 15, living in a small coastal town in New South Wales, Australia. I do some freelance design work and I teach digital photography and editing part time, I have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education but haven’t taught children for a while. I have always been a voracious reader and I started Book’d Out a year ago to share my obsession with other people and because I wanted to become involved in this wonderful book blogging community.

What is the focus of you blog?

I’m pretty unfocused really, LOL. My blog simply reflects what I read which is a mix of genres including contemporary fiction, urban fantasy, mysteries, thrillers, the odd romance or horror and some non fiction too. I rarely read books of the same genre back to back unless they are part of a series, otherwise they have a tendency to blur.

Do you post everyday?
I try to post most days but I never really seem to get ahead – I read faster than I can write reviews (which usually takes me two to four hours) so I am always at least 3 or 4 reviews behind and since I read a book a day most days, I rarely catch up. I thought when my youngest son started school this year I would have more time but that didn’t seem to happen. The six hours my children are in school seem to disappear in moments between work and the blog and I try to keep my afternoons and weekends for my family otherwise both the children and my (non reading) husband start making heavy sighing sounds.

Do you post anything else than reviews?
Primarily I post reviews because I find it difficult to find the time to do much else and my schedule is such that I have a review I’m commited to posting almost every day. I generally reserve Tuesdays for guest posts/author interviews and I participate in the Book Blog hop and Follow Friday meme every other week. I started ‘Stuff on Sunday’ a few months ago where I share book related things I come across – anything from fun bookish objects to sites of interest. I would like to include more discussion type posts and have a list of ideas ready to write about, some half written but I just don’t have enough time to flesh them out. I plan to though – soon!

What is your favorite book published this year so far?
You have made it easier for me by specifying it has to be published this year! There are two books that that I have to mention. They have nothing in common except that I loved both of them. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a contemporary fiction novel that I found very touching, it’s a compelling story of tragedy, redemption and the power of love.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa DiffenbaughHounded by Kevin Hearne

Hounded by Kevin Hearne is the first in the urban fantasy series, The Iron Druid Chronicles. This book captured my imagination and before I had even finished it I had ordered books 2 and 3, Hammered and Hexed, which were also released this year.

What are the challenges and charms of book blogging from Australia?
I love living in Australia for a lot of reasons but there are a couple of things that make book blogging a challenge. The time zone difference restricts real time interaction with the large majority of book bloggers who are in the US/Canada. I don’t have the same opportunity to enter blogger or publisher giveaways since they don’t post overseas (petty of me I know) and Australian publishers have yet to recognise the value of book bloggers so access to review copies is very limited though that is starting to improve a little.

The biggest issue is the pricing of books here – a trade paperback is usually around $32-$35 as a new release, hardcovers are in excess of $50, mass paperbacks are between $15 and $22, as are ebooks, so reading is an expensive habit. It’s difficult to not feel bitter at the pricing and variety available in the US and UK. Australian bookstores tend to stock bestsellers, popular commercial titles and little else so my love of cosy mysteries and urban fantasy was often frustrated by unavailablity. Book blogging is really all about what’s new so until bookdepository.com, netgalley and e-books at Amazon, I relied soley on my library and thrift stores for reading material, and even my local thrift store charges $5 for secondhand, donated paperbacks!

Do you find that blogging takes away time from your reading or that reading takes time away from your blogging?
I read mostly at night so one doesn’t really affect the other, though too often I’m working on reviews, or surfing through other book blogs when really I should be doing the work I actually I get paid for LOL. It is hard work to balance eveything sometimes.

Do you ever feel stressed about not reading as much as you would like?
I’d love to do nothing but read, but since I actually do have a life filled with family and friends and work I am resigned to reading when I can. For me that often means sacrificing sleep – I rarely get more than four hours a night, as well as stolen minutes as I wait to pick up my kids at school or while I am cooking dinner. I sometimes look at my review commitments for the month http://bookdout.wordpress.com/would-you-like-a-review/reviewed-by-request/ and wonder if I am going to get through it, but so far I have!


Shelleyrae, thanks for answering all these questions. Have a fun time at BBAW!

Go to the BBAW hosting site to find links to other blogs taking part in the BBAW. These will also have book blogger interviews today!

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

36 Responses to BBAW – Book Blogger Interview,

  1. Tony says:

    Nice to meet other Oz-based bloggers🙂

  2. carol says:

    Great to find out more about Shelleyrae.
    Thanks Leeswammes

    carol

    Ps I cannot understand why I have an angry avatar when I comment on wordpress blogs.
    I would prefer to be smiley 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Sorry, Carol! You get an avatar assigned to you automatically! Now, if you use gravatar.com then you can make up your own and use that (I’m not sure if that’s separate, or part of wordpress).

  3. Marg says:

    Yay, nice to find out more about Shelleyrae! I read her blog that I read regularly so it is good to see the person behind the blog too.

    I wouldn’t worry about sounding petty Shellyrae! It’s can be pretty disheartening especially if it is a book that you really want to read and you can’t get it here yet!

  4. Amy says:

    This is a wonderful interview! I don’t know Shellyrae’s blog but I plan to become a reader of Book’d Out after this interview. I am amazed that Shellyrae manages to blog at all having 4 children but she can read a book a day? Oh the envy! I have become such a slow reader! And she does everything on 4 hours of sleep a night?!

    I am so excited that she chose The Langauage of Flowers as one of her favorite books this year. I haven’t read it yet but I plan too because it partly focuses on the foster system.

    I cannot believe the cost of books in Australia, holy cow, that’s awful!

    Thank you Judith and Shellyrae. I really enjoyed reading this interview post!

    • Leeswammes says:

      I’m so intrigued too, Amy. How does Shelleyrae read so many books? She must read in those 4 extra hours that I need for my sleep (I need 8 hours). I guess she’d be able to finish a book in that time, more or less.

    • shelleyrae@ Book'd Out says:

      Hi Amy,
      Thank you – I look forward to your visit! I do read fast, I always have though and with four children it’s a good thing because uninterrupted time is rare LOL

      Shelleyrae

  5. I loved this interview! Great questions. Wonderful answers!

    Reading the interviews is so much fun! I am learning so much about the book bloggers..

    Here is my post:

    BBAW 2011: Interview Swap

  6. Great interview, I’m enjoying visting blogs this morning to meet new people and learn a bit.

    How long does it take you to write a review? I know someone who hand writes reviews, it takes her days to get it just right. Shellyrae mentions it taking 2-4 hours… this is an interesting topic for bloggers.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Certainly is an interesting topic, Mari. If Shelleyrae is a fast reader, she should be able to finish a book in 4 hours or less. If she then takes 4 hours to write the review… Well, Shelleyrae, do tell! Is it really true?

      I write my reviews in under an hour, normally, but sometimes a bit longer. I don’t aim for perfection. That is, I want the text that I have to be logical, without errors and useful to the reader, but I don’t mind if I leave out certain bits that don’t fit in (but would be worth a mention). I don’t work a review around until it’s all just right. Do you, Mari?

      • shelleyrae@ Book'd Out says:

        It is sadly true – often it can take me longer to write the review for a book that it took me to read it! Part of the reason for that is that for last 15 years I have mainly written lesson plans and tutorials and I am badly out of practice at writing coherent paragraphs. I also agonise over phrasing things just right – probably much more than I should!

  7. parrish says:

    So Tony’s not the only Blogger operating in there then. great interview thanks.

  8. Erin says:

    A book a day with four kids!! Wow! I don’t read that fast OR have any kids, and I’m still behind on my reviews! Nice interview — I enjoyed meeting Shelleyrae!

  9. Nise' says:

    I can relate to reading faster than writing reviews. Wow, I am sorry about those book prices.

  10. Rikki says:

    Wow, the book prices there are outrageous. In Germany we have a fixed book price, but at least they are not that bad, though I don’t know what the Australian dollar is worth compared to the Euro. It sounds a lot though. Very good questions and answers. It is nice to know more about you.

    • shelleyrae@ Book'd Out says:

      In a straight comparison Rikki, a trade paperback here ($32) would be 25 Euro according to a currency converter. Practically, I spend about $180 a week on groceries to feed the six of us so the cost of a new book is a significant chunk of the budget

  11. Marce says:

    My favourite interview so far, well done ladies. There seems to be a higher number of Australian bloggers, it is so large there that it will still be hard to meet though.

    I am glad to have recently found Shellyrae’s blog. I will be adding Language of Flowers to my Wishlist, sounds good.

  12. Trisha says:

    Wow. And I thought reading was an expensive activity up here in the US! That’s crazy!

    • shelleyrae@ Book'd Out says:

      It is Trisha – and right now the Australian dollar is worth slightly more than the US dollar so it’s no wonder most of us buy online from overseas!

  13. sugarpeach says:

    Another fan of The Language of Flowers! It’s always nice meeting other reviewers who read and enjoyed this book.🙂

    I live in Malaysia and face a similar “dilemma” as Shellyrae. I cannot count the number of times I’ve been told “sorry, we don’t ship our books to international bloggers”, the book prices here are ridiculously expensive and book blogging isn’t really recognized by publishers here. All this makes me wonder why there aren’t more book bloggers and avid readers in US and Canada. I mean, the wealth of opportunity over there!

    • shelleyrae@ Book'd Out says:

      Hi Sugarpeach
      I will be stopping by your blog to take a look at your thoughts about The Language of Flowers.
      I can imagine that there are many non US/UK bloggers that face the same issues in accessing books in general as well as ARCs – without netgalley I would probably have never seen a single one!

      • sugarpeach says:

        Thanks for replying! I did not post my review of The Language of Flowers in my blog because I wrote the review for Pan Macmillan and Lovereading and it belongs to them.
        I have received a few ARCs from authors and publicity companies. They do send ARCs to international bloggers, but it’s rare.

  14. Leslie says:

    Great interview. I read Shelleyrae’s blog regularly and it’s nice to get to know her better. Nice choice of questions and well answered. I can sympathize with the lack of sleep. I do a lot of my writing at night and then get up early for work the next morning.

    I also loved The Language of Flowers. In fact, I’m giving away my ARC for BBAW, US/Can readers. (Shameless promotion, I know).

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