The Secret Life of a Book Blogger – Janet Edition

You’ve met Yash, Nafiza, and Jane, so I’d better introduce myself. Hi! I’m Janet.


How long have you been a blogger?

Oh, I’m a toddler when it comes to blogging. I’d never written a blog post before we launched The Book Wars three years ago.

At what point do you think you will stop?

Blogging isn’t something I ever imagined myself doing, and who knows what the future holds? What I can say for sure is that I love hearing what my friends are reading and I love being part of this team. As long as the other Book Warriors want to continue, I imagine that is what I’ll keep doing, and enjoying it, too!

What is the best part?

Hearing what people I trust have to say about books. My friends write beautifully and there is always something they point out that I wouldn’t have noticed, or wouldn’t have framed so coherently. And, as our Cover Wars feature makes obvious, although we share concerns (we need more diversity and representation!), we have very different tastes. Sometimes, okay, a lot of the time, I’ll be talked into reading a book I might have passed by – and sometimes these books become my new favourites.

Also, as Yash pointed out, it is SO STRANGE and SO COOL that authors are actually willing to be interviewed by us. The authors I’ve spoken with have been amazingly gracious and friendly, and very willing to speak to bloggers/young writers/editors instead of being aloof as you might expect from these elevated and extraordinary beings. (Yes, there is a fair amount of hero-worship here. There are still authors I can’t even think about interviewing, much as I would love to,)

What is the worst part?

Blogging eats up vast amounts of time, time I would otherwise use to read. Ironic, isn’t it? I also prefer to read whatever book is in my path, so following a blogging theme is sometimes frustrating, even though I agree with the principle .

The actual worst part, though, is when I borrow a stack of books from the library and three of them (read consecutively!) disappoint. How could my spidey senses fail me that badly?

How long does it take you to find/create pictures to use?

A few minutes, usually, just a basic image search for the cover I want. I *did* just learn to make gifs, so brace yourselves for more of those in my posts 🙂

Who’s your book crush?

Eugenides has my heart. (Mind you, so do ALL the good characters in that series – and almost innumerable characters from other series, so – book love is like a magic penny?)

Oh! You mean author? *sheepish laughter* I admire a lot of authors immensely (and for this reason shall never speak to them like a normal human being; imagine robot!Darcy from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, nervous and stammering out “I love your stories” in a semi-coherent mumble while blushing profusely) and the more I think about this question, the more names come to mind, so shall we move on?

What author would you like to have on your blog?

Megan Whalen Turner, Elizabeth Wein, Zen Cho, Ngozi Ukazu, Noelle Stevenson, Rachel Hartman, Garth Nix, Jacqueline Woodson, Rupi Kaur, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Ari North…

What do you wear when you write your blog?

Whatever I’m wearing that day. Probably plus a sweater.

How long does it take you to prepare a post?

It depends on what I’m writing about. Some posts unfold themselves as I read; others require a lot of bullet points and staring at the screen. Usually two hours, I think? I’ve never timed the process.

How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?

I don’t feel qualified to answer this question. I’m not part of a book blogger community, outside of The Book Wars – there are very few blogs that I follow regularly, because there simply aren’t enough hours in a day, and I’d rather devote my (rare! treasured!) free time to reading books or to music.

What do you think one should do to have a successful blog?

Write well and post regularly. Easier said than done! Writing well comes with regular and attentive practice, so get out there and post; as for regularity, better once a week every week than every day for a week and nothing for a month. But that’s just my opinion, and what works for you will vary according to your measure of success.