Friday 16 July 2010

Blogger Inquest - Rhiannon Hart

Rhiannon is the first YA blogger that I have met in the flesh...actually she's the only one. We met at the Reading Matters conference last year for a panel discussion on YA. I'd only been blogging for five months, she had been for maybe a month. We sat near some people from the publishing biz and I remember distinctly that I came across as a tool. I don't think Rhiannon would ever say this but I distinctly remember saying something that was very tool-like due to sheer nervousness. No wonder everyone thought I was a snob in high school!

Anyway....Rhiannon is a blogger who's managed the impossible. She's pulled me into the world of YA fantasy opening it up to me with her wonderful reviews. She's also made me seek out authors I might not have read RA Nelson (so glad I did). Rhiannon has a distinct voice, thoughtful and compelling reviews and a yen for dystopian YA. That being said, I would fight her for George (Alanna: The First Adventure - Tamora Pierce) if she claimed him.

She's also a writer. She has an agent and everything. Intimidated much?

The purpose of the Blogger Inquest is to delve into a specific blogger's mind and experiences online. To be up front, I presented each of the interview subjects with 21 questions to choose from and they took it from there. This is a month long series of interviews on Persnickety Snark and I've got a whole host of bloggers (new and old) lined up.

How has your approach and attitude (specifically reviewing) altered from the early stages of your blog?
In the beginning I was quite unfocused about what I would review as I didn't know what was out there. But soon I was seeing all these gorgeous books on other blogs and thinking "Wow! I want THAT one." I reviewed a lot of older books, and I still do that because there are so many fantastic titles from earlier decades. I loved, and I still do love, rereading favourites from when I was a teenager, like the LJ Smith Nightworld books.

Characterise yourself as a blog reader – monogamous, flirty or slutty? Lurker or commenter?
I have been so very sporadic of late, and doing quite a bit of lurking. I also play favourites, making an effort to comment on a handful of blogs that I truly adore even when I'm strapped for time. I told myself that the blog wouldn't interfere with my writing and things have been quite hectic this year. Once or twice a week I'll flick through my Google Reader to check on the new releases and what people are excited about.

I am currently in a situation where debut authors I have befriended are coming out with their second titles. How do you choose to deal with the apprehension and pressure (of my own making) with reviewing work of those you are closer to?
I am an avoider! If it's an author I am close to then I will read their book, WoW it, IMM it, generally blab about it in any way I can, but I don't really want to review it. I just want to enjoy the book.

How aware (and/or supportive) are people in your everyday life of your blogging?
My family reads my blog, especially my dad and brother, because they are always online. We seem to pretend that we're not related when they make comments and I reply, which is quite funny, and my dad often likes to play devil's advocate when he thinks people are agreeing with me too much! Some friends stop by every now and then and comment, which is lovely, but I'm the only proper YA nut in my circle. My dad actually sent the link to his (very proper) family in England and one of my aunts stopped by on the very day I posted about masturbation in YA lit. She sent me a very sweet email saying it "probably wasn't for her". I fell over myself explaining that I didn't always talk about that sort of thing on my blog, but I don't think she ever came back. Oops.

How long do foresee yourself blogging for?
FOR ALL ETERNITY. Seriously, I can't see myself stopping, only evolving. I bought a domain name the other day which is just so exciting!

What word is most overused on your blog?
"Awesome" and "can't wait". I may squee a bit too, but only if I'm VERY excited. I'm far too old to squee.

If your blog was a meal what would we find on the plate?
Canned food. I'm in the middle of a dystopia challenge right now and the fresh stuff is covered in a thin layer of volcanic ash and trampled underfoot by hordes of undead.

Blogging can be unbelievably supportive and sometimes catty environment – what three guidelines do you find to be good rules to live by in the blogging world?
1. Find your angle, and your niche. Work out what you really love to read and only review those books. You'll enjoy yourself far more that way.
2. Followers aren't everything, though it's vital to know that people are reading what you put out there. Concentrate on your writing and post quality and the followers will...follow.
3. Connect with your fellow bloggers. They're awesome. (See? Awesome. I can't stop saying it this year!)

You can find Rhiannon at the following places:
Rhiannon's blog


Tammy said...

"Awesome" blogger inquest Adele. I had the pleasure of interviewing Rhiannon about a year ago and quickly found that she has the best book recommendations-especially if dystopian is up your alley!

Rhiannon Hart said...

Haha you did not say anything tooly at all Adele! That was such a great talk we met at :D

I shall relinquish George to you because my heart belongs to Numair! I don't think you've read the Immortals Quartet yet. When you do, your heart will be stole.

And you are TOO kind. Thanks so much for interviewing me!!

Nomes said...

such a funny interview. LOL @ the aunt :) And, I love her too = if her posts lately are the canned food what does that make mine ;)

Chachic said...

I'm really loving this feature, Adele. I've been adding the bloggers that you've featured in my Google Reader. Rhiannon seems like a great person, that story about her aunt is pretty hilarious. I also agree with the guidelines that she mentioned. It's good to figure out what you really love to read and stick with that and as we all know, connecting with fellow bloggers is indeed awesome.

Wings said...

lool Rhiannon I <3 you! You brought me into some pretty good books recently too.

Good advice about finding your niche aswell because I think that's one of the hardest things to do especially when starting out.

LOL your family reads...mine doesn't or I wouldn't even admit to reading half the stuff on my blog lol.

CeeCee said...

the inquest is amazing- loved the story about the aunt. Very funny and interesting.