The Blogger Recognition Award

Hello there! It’s been a while since I posted here and I’ve really missed it. I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus over the last few weeks, Pitch Wars was a really worthwhile and valuable, but completely exhausting experience, and I’ve had a few personal things going on, but I’m back and excited to get back on track!

Thankfully, I was tagged by the fabulous Katie @ Read with Katie for the Blogger Recognition Award, which is the perfect way to ease me back into blogging!

If you haven’t checked out Katie’s awesome blog yet, pop over there immediately! Or, when you’re done here, that’s cool too.

Blogger recognition award Lyndsey's Book Blog

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

divider-grey

How I started my blog…

This isn’t my first blog, but it’s the one I’ve kept at the longest (recent hiatus excepted). I started it around a year ago when I first started writing my book, I wanted somewhere to share my progress and to hopefully meet other writers and readers.

In my writing research, I’d seen lots of posts about author platforms and the importance of having an online presence where readers and anyone searching for you could go to contact the author and just generally find out more.

I thought a blog might be more fun than an author website, somewhere I could post snippets of my writing, advice I’d come across and found useful, and other fun posts that people might enjoy. To be honest, I didn’t expect many followers or really anyone to stumble across my little corner of the internet, but so far there are over 300 of you! So thank you all for joining me on my journey to publication (fingers crossed!), for liking and commenting on my posts, and cheering me on. I couldn’t do it without you!

divider-grey

Advice for new bloggers…

#1 – Interact with your followers and fellow bloggers

The one thing that’s made the biggest difference to my blog stats, and also helped me build a community of fellow bloggers and writer friends, was interacting with other blogs. Basically, that means replying to comments on my posts, commenting back on my followers’ own blogs, and taking part in blog hops.

Joining in with weekly or monthly memes like Beautiful People by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In, or Top Ten Tuesdays by The Broke and the Bookish is also a great way to find similar blogs to follow and interact with.

One of the best blog hops for writers I take part in is the Author Toolbox Blog Hop by Raimey Gallant, which is a monthly hop where we share posts with advice, support and experiences. You can take a look back at past posts by visiting the hashtag on Twitter, if you’re a writer and blogger I definitely recommend getting involved, the quality of posts is absolutely fantastic and the community of writers taking part is inspiring to say the least!

I follow a lot of the bloggers I follow on their social media accounts too, mainly Twitter and Instagram, and I’m a member of several Facebook groups with other bloggers and writers I’ve met online too. Interacting with other bloggers who write about similar topics, or who you admire and would love to emulate, is the best piece of advice I can possibly give if you want to get the most out of blogging!

#2 – Find your niche

People are more likely to subscribe to your blog if they know what to expect from your posts. Is your blog about books? Reading them, or writing them? Which genres do you prefer? Do you write reviews? Are they in depth and detailed, or mini taster reviews? Do you include spoilers? Those are the kinds of things people like to know before subscribing.

There are millions of blogs on the internet, probably even billions, so you need to carve out a little corner of paradise for yourself where like-minded individuals can find you and your posts. There’s nothing completely original in this world, so don’t worry about coming up with something brand new that’s never been done before, but if you have a niche you’re more likely to attract the right kinds of readers, people like yourself who maybe didn’t think anyone else was into the exact same type of sci-fi, or little-known manga, as them.

You’ve probably heard the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”. Well, that applies to blogging too. If you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll wind up with a blog that has no identifiable category, that search engines struggle to place in results, and readers won’t subscribe to because they can’t guarantee that every post will be relevant or interesting to them.

You don’t have to be as specific as ‘a blog about 15th Century Italian poetry with religious imagery’, but you need to give your potential readers an idea of what to expect. For example, my blog is about writing and reading YA lit, that’s the general theme of this blog. I diverge a little, I read and review some adult lit, and I lean towards fantasy, but also feature contemporary and thrillers. But on the whole, the vast majority of my posts are either about reading or writing, and mostly YA fantasy.

divider-grey

I nominate…

I’m going to leave this one open, so if you fancy sharing your blogging story and some tips for newbie bloggers, feel free to pinch this tag!

divider-grey

Thanks for sticking with me through the impromptu hiatus, I’m hoping to be back to regularly scheduled programming from now on. I will be taking part in NaNoWriMo next month, but I’ll do my best to keep posting here as well.

In other news, I sent my first query for THE FAIR QUEEN yesterday, so I’m officially in the query trenches! Wish me luck, I’ll keep you all updated on any developments (that I can share 😉 ) and you can all commiserate with me as the rejections start to flood in.

 

Until next time!

Lyndsey

x

Blogger recognition award Lyndsey's Book Blog

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you to the lovely Katie @ Read with Katie for tagging me in the Sunshine Blogger Award! I can’t seem to find out who created this award, so if anyone knows, please leave a comment so I can credit them!

The Sunshine Blogger Award Lyndsey's Book Blog

THE RULES:

  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

pink divider

What made you start a book blog? Now that you’re a book blogger, is it different to what you thought it would be?

I’ve had a couple of blogs in the past, a personal one and another when I sold crafts on Etsy, so I’ve always loved blogging and the community, but the book blog community is like no other! I’m entering Pitch Wars next month with my first novel and I really wanted somewhere I could share my writing journey, as well as my love of books. Honestly, it’s completely different than I expected it to be! I didn’t think anyone would read my posts and I’d be sitting here in a lonely corner of the interwebs writing my posts and sending them into the void. But, I’ve made so many blogging friends in the last ten months, I’ve got over 250 followers (how did that happen??!) and my favourite posts are tags and memes, and reading everyone’s different answers. It’s been better than I ever imagined.

pink divider

Do you read eBooks and listen to audiobooks?

I’m obsessed with audiobooks, but I haven’t read any ebooks yet. I have downloaded a few from NetGalley, so I really need to get to those after I finish my library books.

pink divider

Are you participating in any other yearly reading challenges apart from the Goodreads challenge?

No, just the Goodreads challenge, mine’s set at 36 and I’m slightly ahead at the moment. I’m taking part in a few buddy reads with my Goodreads groups too, to keep me on track as life is really busy at the moment!

pink divider

Do you participate in readathons?

No, I wish I had the time for readathons! The only time I get chance to read several books in a week is on holiday.

pink divider

Where do you purchase the majority of your books?

Sadly, Amazon. We live in a rural area without any nearby bookshops, although I do occasionally also buy from the supermarket. Is that worse? Either way, I’ve started using the local library more to save money and it’s a brilliant resource. I’d rather borrow books I want to read but probably not reread or keep.

pink divider

Do you unhaul books?

I do! I’ve had a few major clear outs recently as we’ve moved house, and a couple of years ago I started a Book Exchange at work, so I take any books I don’t want anymore to work, and every six months I take the books no one wants to the charity shop.

pink divider

Do you have a book buying budget/rules for book buying?

Not really, I tend to buy a few at a time to save on postage, usually when I’m about to go on holiday. I only really buy paperbacks, unless I’m desperate for a new release, as they’re cheaper. I try to ban myself from buying any more books if I still have several unread books on my shelf, but I never can resist a new release by my favourite author or a long-awaited sequel.

pink divider

How long, on average, does it take for you to finish one book?

I am such a slow reader! It takes me a couple of weeks of reading for an hour a night to finish a book. I wish I had more time to read, but with work, writing and my dog and husband I’m kept pretty busy! When I’m on holiday I can read a book in a couple of days (I’ve never finished a book in one day). If I’m honest, I like to savour and enjoy books rather than rush through them, I try to put off finishing the really good ones.

pink divider

Do you underline and mark-up your books?

I don’t write or highlight or anything like that inside my books, but I am a page dog-earer. Bookmarks just slip out too easily…

pink divider

Do you create TBR’s? If you do, are you good at sticking with them?

I do, but I’m pretty terrible at sticking to them. I’ll borrow books I come across at the library and prioritise them because they need to go back, I’ll receive a new Illumicrate (check out my unboxings here and here) and immediately add those books to my pile. Basically, my TBR is a hot mess and I have so many unread books languishing on the bookcase waiting to be loved.

pink divider

What are your favourite blog posts to write?

These kinds of posts, awards, tags, memes etc. have become my absolute favourite to read and write. Book reviews are harder than I expected! And coming up with other types of content can be time consuming, but getting tagged feels like an enormous compliment and gives me a pre formatted post to share, as well as letting me discover other bloggers and make new friends.

pink divider

I nominate…

I’m just going to nominate a few people and anyone else is welcome to nab this award and tag me in your post!

pink divider

My questions for you are…

  1. Which book or series sums up your childhood?
  2. What song takes you back to a book you were reading at the time, or reminds you of a specific scene?
  3. Which ship reminds you of yourself and your partner or BFF?
  4. What’s your favourite book to movie/TV adaptation? (Even if you haven’t read the book)
  5. Which Hogwarts house are you in? (Hufflepuff fo life!)
  6. Do you consider yourself more of a leading man/lady, quirky best friend or villain? Why?
  7. Tell us a joke!
  8. Bookish candles or literary tote bags?
  9. If you have siblings, which fictional characters are they like? If not, which characters would you love to have family dinners with?
  10. Your favourite book is out of print and you have one of the only copies. Your crush wants to borrow it, do you let them?
  11.  If you were stranded on a desert island, which one book would you want to have with you and which one author would you want for company? (No e-readers, you cheats!)

Have fun, folks!

 

Lyndsey

x

The Liebster Award

Hello lovely folks! I had the pleasure of being nominated for the Liebster Award twice, so massive thanks to both Louise @ Dragonspire UK and Julianna @ Blots of Ink and Words for the love! This is going to be another long one (22 questions!) so grab a cup of coffee and get comfy for a while.

Liebster award Lyndsey's Book Blog

The Rules

  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions they gave you.
  • Nominate 11 blogs and let them know they’ve been tagged.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.

pink divider

Julianna’s Questions:

Why did you start blogging? I’ve had a couple of blogs over the years, a personal one, a craft business one and now my book blog. I suppose the reason I’m drawn to blogging is to hopefully make some online friends and feel part of a community of people with similar interests. I’ve definitely found that with this blog! I’m also hoping to publish my novels and would love to have a little network of potential readers!

What’s your favourite thing about blogging? I love the support everyone gives each other in the book blog community! When I started I would never have imagined being tagged and nominated for awards by some of the amazing blogs I follow, I just thought I’d sit quietly in a corner of the blogosphere, like at school discos when no one asked me to dance. But you’ve all taken me into the fold and I love you for it 😀

What causes you the most pain (bookish related)? Having to DNF books I’m just not enjoying. I’m trying to struggle through The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine at the moment, forcing myself to read ten pages a day at least, but it’s just not gripping me and I feel like I’m wasting time I could spend reading something I love. I think I’m going to have to give in soon as I’ve got library books that need to be back soon and I know I could tear through them in days as it’s a series I love, whereas TSQ is taking weeks.

The Shadow Queen C. J. Redwine

What are the main reasons you’ll follow a blog? When someone follows my blog or likes/comments I always pop over and have a quick look at their most recent posts to see if I fancy following them. If it’s another book blog with reviews of books I’ve heard of or read, or are pegged as YA or fantasy, I’ll almost always follow as I love discovering new books through people’s reviews. I like blogs that are easy on the eyes, but to be honest I mostly follow via WordPress Reader so the format doesn’t actually matter. I also love following fellow writers, so posts on the craft of writing appeal to me too.

What type of book covers do you like the most? I love really simplistic covers, like Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater and The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Steifvater Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

I prefer them to not have people on, but if they do then something like Lauren Kate’s Fallen series, where you don’t see her face, or A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, and The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson are right up my street.

Fallen by Lauren Kate ACOTAR Kiss of Deception

What’s your favourite genre of books and why? Fantasy. I read more YA than anything else, but I do love MG fantasy too, Harry Potter was the series that got me hooked as a teen, Percy Jackson is a great series too, I haven’t read them all but I hope to. And my current Adult fantasy obsession is the Broken Empires series by Mark Lawrence. I just love the escapism of fantasy, the creativity of the world building, the magic and monsters, and the way that fantasy tackles the really big issues of morality, courage, love and justice without shoving it down your throat.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone J.K. Rowling Lyndsey's Book Blog Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan Prince of Thorns Mark Lawrence

Why did you start reading? My dad got me into reading as a kid, I don’t even remember when it started or what my first book was, but I read the entire Animal Ark series by Lucy Daniels, the Ms Wiz books, and anything else I could get my hands on. Book fairs at school were my absolute favourite, and visiting the mobile library when it came to my village. Harry Potter kept me reading throughout my teens, and then I dropped off a little during uni, but as soon as I finished with coursework and dissertations I was back on the bandwagon!

What happened if someone walked up to you and tried to fight you? Good question. Is it a physical fight? Do they have a weapon? I’d probably run away, I’m no athlete, I don’t think I could take someone in a physical fight. If it was just a war of words I might be able to hold my own briefly, but I absolutely hate confrontation so I’d definitely end up telling them where to go and walking away. Quickly.

What would your “happy place” include? A huge bed, lots of blankets, my dog Bailey, unlimited pizza and ice cream, and every book on my Goodreads TBR. Oh and my husband can visit, once a week.

Bailey the GSP

What would you do if you were stranded on an island? See above. Except, probably less blankets and more sun cream.

(Did I hit eleven questions yet?) What makes you bored? (Is it writing questions?) Watching my husband ten pin bowl (he plays competitively and is actually very good, but that doesn’t make it a good sport to watch, unfortunately).

pink divider

Louise’s Questions

Fanfiction: Do you approve or disapprove of it? If you write it, should you keep it separate from your original author writing or shout about it? I love fanfics, I used to write them when I was a teen (Harry Potter mostly) but I prefer to write original stuff now and just read other people’s fanfics. I’m not sure whether fanfiction should be kept separate, some big authors started as fanfic writers, like Stephanie Meyer and E. L. James, so it can definitely help you to get discovered. I suppose it depends if your official readers would enjoy the stuff you write for fun, otherwise I guess you could just use a pen name.

Do you have any pets? If yes, what are they, and how do they help/hinder your writing? If no, what would be your ideal pet? Yes! My beautiful German shorthaired pointer Bailey, she’s my best friend, and I wrote two pointers into my WIP The Fair Queen as an ode to her. She does get in the way of me writing when she wants walking right when I’m in the middle of a big scene, but our walks are the times when I think about my story and come up with new scenes and plot twists, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Bailey sunbathing

What was the first story that inspired you to write? Why should we read/watch it? Well, I started thinking about the story for my novel The Fair Queen last summer when I was deep in a book hangover post A Court of Mist and Fury, so while my book is nothing like Maas’s I think it was probably that that pushed me to give writing a go – I wanted to create characters someone would love as much as I loved Sarah J. Maas’s. If you like YA fantasy (or adult fantasy, it’s a bit sexy and dark!) and you haven’t read A Court of Thorns and Roses you should definitely give it a read. Book one is OK, but book two is the best book I have ever read, hands down.

A Court of Mist and Fury Sarah J Maas Lyndsey's Book Blog

The thing that inspired me the most was my surroundings, I live right by Sherwood Forest and we got our dog last February so I was walking her every day in the woods by my house and a story just started to come to me.

If you could have or achieve any one thing this year, what would it be? (Writing or otherwise!) I really want to find an agent to sell my first novel this year, I’m taking part in Pitch Wars in August and really hope to get a mentor to help me perfect my pitch for the agent round in November. Fingers crossed I end up with an agent before the end of the year!

Do you have a day job in addition to writing, or is writing your day job? I do have a day job, I’m a marketing manager for a small accounting firm, and I really enjoy it.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Bonus points for pretty pictures 🙂 I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one place, but I  have a bucket list for each decade of my life, I’m almost done with my twenties (I turn 30 next year and only have one thing left to achieve!) and I’ve already picked my ten goals for my thirties. So, in the next twelve years I hope to go to Australia, Las Vegas, and Hawaii. Disneyland is one of my favourite places, I’ve been to Paris and Orlando, so I’d love to go to California. I’m going on a big family holiday in September to Singapore and Thailand which I’m really excited about, it’s a once in a lifetime kind of trip that I never expected to take, and there’s a Universal Studios there so I can’t wait to visit!

Who is your favourite heroic character? What makes them special? This is such a tough question, I tend to fall for secondary characters way more than protagonists. I’m going to go for Aelin Ashryver-Galathynius from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, even though she’s definitely more of an anti-heroine. She went through a really terrible experience, but she came out the other side so strong and is a really selfless and courageous person. Also, I love the sass.

Throne of Glass Sarah J Maas

Do you write every day, ad hoc, or have a different schedule? I write ad hoc mostly, but I’ve found that I do much better with structure, so NaNoWriMo is my best writing time. I couldn’t write every single day, I have too many other things going on, but I’m always thinking about my projects, fleshing out my outline or character profiles, so I might not write every day but I work on my stories every day.

What do you find most challenging about writing? Why? Definitely letting people read my writing, I’ve given a few trusted friends and family members my novel to beta read and I’ve had some great feedback but it’s absolutely terrifying!

Who is your favourite villain? Why are they so nefarious? Can I choose Maleficent? She’s technically a villain, even though I guess the movie makes her out to be more of an anti-heroine… I just think she’s wonderfully evil and clever. And my husband says I’m just like her… 😀

If you could have two fictional characters brought to life, who would you choose and why? Hmm, only two? Let’s go for Hermione Granger – perfect bookish best friend, I think we can agree. And Dorian Havillard, because he loves books and puppies. That’s it. That’s the only reason……….

pink divider

Phew, that was fun!! OK, now to choose from all you fabulous bloggers to nominate. If you’ve already done this one or don’t feel like it, no worries! Equally, if I haven’t tagged you but you want to give it a go, have at it.

OK, you lucky people, here are my eleven (seriously? eleven?) questions for you:

  1. If you could live in any fictional world (doesn’t have to be fantasy, just any book world) which would it be?
  2. Which fantasy creature would you love to have as a pet?
  3. If you could control one of the elements (earth, air, water, fire) which would you choose?
  4. Do you prefer tea or coffee? How do you take it?
  5. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?
  6. What’s your favourite colour?
  7. Team Edward or Team Jacob?
  8. Go to your Goodreads to read list, what’s the fifth book on your list?
  9. Ketchup or mayonnaise?
  10. Do you prefer paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks?
  11. Who would be your dream book boy/girlfriend?

pink divider

So that was definitely my longest blog ever! I hope you guys enjoy getting to know me a little better, congratulations for actually making it to the end! Best of luck with my questions, I can’t wait to see your answers, tag me in your blog so I can find your posts.

 

Lyndsey

x