Saturday, 10 July 2010

Blogger Inquest - Amy (My Friend Amy)

When deciding who I should approach for this interview series one name popped up almost immediately. Amy of My Friend Amy has been instrumental in creating community and celebrating quality throughout the book bloggerdom. The formation of Book Blog Appreciation Week is now in its third year and is responsible for myself and many others discovering blogs that speak to us, inform and entertain. In recognising the great work by others, fostering community and having her own classy book taste Amy has made an indelible mark in the blogging community.

The purpose of the Blogger Inquest is to delve into their minds 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. Soon to come is the always articulate Steph of Steph Su Reads.

It is an honour to have Amy grace PSnark with her presence.

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?
Humility--I don't know everything. I shouldn't act like I do
Listen and learn--Even in the ugliest of complaints there is often something to be learned and improved upon. If I can remember guideline number one, I can usually learn from even the uglier things that happen in the blogosphere.
Disengaging is okay--It's okay to take a break from the blog or stop talking in a Twitter conversation if I feel it's no longer productive or helpful to me and others.

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 reviewing work of those you are closer to?
This is the hardest thing. The amazing opportunity to befriend authors is one of the best benefits of blogging, but I think it does alter the reading experience. And this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. A bad book will still be a bad book, though. And it's hard if love the author to say on your blog, in a very public way, "I didn't actually love your book." Most of the time, however, if I loved the first book, I love the second. I have had an author tell me it's okay to be completely honest, because often they do really want to know the truth of how their book is resonating with readers. So my advice is to relax and remember you love this author for a reason. If you don't love the book, it's your choice whether or not you want to bring that to your blog. But I do think we should always be honest with our readers.

How aware (and/or supportive) are people in your everyday life of your blogging?
I think everyone knows, but they are supportive to varying degrees. They don't understand how I can spend so much time on something that doesn't pay, and they don't understand the compulsion to tend to it like I would a other words, constantly. When big things happen, like my Baby-sitters Club Week being mentioned in the New York Times, they are a bit more excited and supportive. :)

What recent review convinced you to buy a book?
Well your review of Grace made me practically attack Elizabeth Scott to beg for an ARC! But as far as plunking down cash, this happens on a fairly regular basis. I was really excited to see all the good reviews for Sea by Heidi Kling, and can't wait to have a break in my review schedule so I can read it!

How has attending conferences (BEA, ALA, etc) affected your blog?
In the very practical way that meeting people in real life deepens friendships. They also have given me the chance to meet some great authors and publicists. Attending BEA for three years has really expanded my contacts and therefore the books available to me to review. It also helps me understand publishing a little bit more, and feel like my little blog is a part of that.

What are you most proud of achieving on your blog?
I'm really proud of BBAW (Book Blogger Appreciation Week), and of the book drive for Beth Kephart's Nothing but Ghosts. If people have discovered each other and great authors like Beth Kephart because of my blog, then I will feel it's been a success.

How long do foresee yourself blogging for?
I once read that real bloggers know blogging is not a hobby, it's a way of life. I completely agree with that. Circumstances in my life will probably not always permit me to spend so much time on blogging as I do now, but I can't imagine a life where I don't blog. It's been the perfect writing outlet for me and I've made true and lasting friendships because of it.

Blogger envy - do you get it and what over?
Yes. I am waiting for the day that Disney realizes book bloggers are just as valuable as mom bloggers and sends us all on an all expense paid trip during Book Blogger Appreciation Week.

You can find Amy at the following places:
My Friend Amy blog


Nomes said...

Love this series your doing Adele :) I just found Amy's blog (new to the blogging world - so glad to join her site) - and I've spent a bit of time there and it's fab, really my kind of thing.

I dont think I've realised just how huge the blogging community is. Kinda blows my mind :0


Megan Burke said...

I'm really enjoying this series Adele - you ask such good questions!

The1stdaughter said...

I just adore Amy! She's one of those people online and in person that you feel immediately comfortable with. I think that resonates throughout her answers. She's definitely so much more than just a "book-blogger" and her site name is absolutely fitting. I'd highly recommend her to anyone new to the book blogging "scene" or just on the lookout for their next read. She's fabulous!

Wonderful series! I can't wait to read more about the other fantastic bloggers you have lined up.

bermudaonion said...

I love this interview! I've had the privilege of meeting Amy and she is an amazing person and blogger, so I was glad to see her perspective on things.

Serena said...

Amy, wonderful answers. I think humility is very important.