Here are some questions I get asked a lot. In no particular order. Click the question to jump to the answer.

Why doesn’t horror bother you?
What is “sequel-phase”?
How do you get ARCs?
What the thing you have with “bad language” in books?
Why do you feel the need to have a “secret identity”?
How does your religion affect what you read and how you review things?
Are you a writer? Are you writing a book?
So… you’re a cosplayer? Does that mean you’re a weirdo?
Who designed your blog?

Why doesn't horror bother you?
  • I have a very poor visual memory. I can't remember people's faces only seconds after I've talked to them. It kind of sucks. But it also means that reading for me is like watching TV through lots of layers of wax paper. So when I read horror, very rarely do the "horrific" events actually effect me, because I can't picture them. As such, I essentially visualize anything horror as "something exciting is happening now." So I love it! But I still wont' read anything with lots of swearing or sexual stuff.
What is "sequel-phase"?
  • Sequel-phase is something I made up. It's full title is actually "the sequel-phase of a relationship." What that means is: while our two love interests spent the entire first novel trying to be together, and eventually succeeding, for some reason (usually a misunderstanding or some sense of selflessness) they drift apart in the sequel. Luckily they almost always drift back together. But the drifting apart gets a little old.
How do you get ARCs?
  • Oh boy. I asked this question a MILLION times when I first started blogging, and the sad fact is that it’s really vague. But I’m going to be as specific as I can here. I can’t tell you how EVERYONE gets ARCs, but I will tell you the various ways I get mine:
  • One way I used to get ARCs is from tours. Namely, Around the World Tours. You don’t get to keep them, but you do get to read them pretty far in advance. Any blogger who meets the requirements can join tours.
  • The most lucrative way for me is through Amazon Vine. This is Amazon.com’s reviewer program. Every month they send out a list of things and you can choose 4. They usually have some big-name books as well as smaller ones. Vine is invitation only. I found out about vine about 4 years ago and have just been DROOLING to get in ever since. People gave me tips, but nothing worked. I couldn’t get that stupid invite! Fast forward 3 years. Last summer I got an invite. Just out of the blue. It might be because I have Amazon Prime. It might be because I post reviews on Amazon. It might be because I buy a TON of books through Amazon. Or all of the above. I don’t know! I really don’t!
  • The next way I get books is directly from publishers. I’m currently on the mailing list for Bloomsbury, Macmillan, and Tor. By mailing list I mean THEY send ME lists of books sometimes and let me choose what I want. How did this happen? I’m not entirely sure… I know Bloomsbury heard of me because I always sent them requests for Shannon Hale’s books, and I’m kind of a Hale super-fan. I was part of Macmillan’s “In Group” back when it still existed, and when it went away I guess I stayed on their list. Tor just randomly sent me an e-mail one day and asked if I’d like to be on their mailing list.
  • #4 DUMB LUCK. In case it isn’t clear that most of this is dumb luck anyway, I’ll say it again. It’s DUMB LUCK. Some of my ARCs I get because I’m lucky enough to actually know the authors. Sometimes, though, they really do just show up. When A Million Suns showed up I TOTALLY wasn’t expecting it. Sometimes Candlewick just surprises me with books in the mail (which is awesome. I love everything from Candlewick). I’ve never gotten a Harper book for review from Harper. Never.
  • So what’s my advice? BE LOUD. Tweet your reviews and include the publisher’s tag. E-mail them your reviews (do this for at least a few MONTHS before you request books). And then cross your fingers. Do I tweet at publishers? Nope. Do I e-mail them? Nope. But remember that it’s taken me over FOUR YEARS to get where I am. If you want to speed up the process, BE LOUD.
  • But my even BETTER advice is to be happy with just blogging. If the only thing making you blog is getting ARCs, you should just stop now. You’re gonna end up being super-jealous of everybody all the time, and jealousy does not breed happiness. Just saying.
What's the thing you have with "bad language" in books?
  • The short answer is that it just bothers me. Plain and simple. Call it a pet peeve. I grew up being told that profanity is what people used when they weren't smart enough to fully express themselves. (I know that’s kind of extreme and not entirely true, but that’s what you get for growing up around a bunch of public schoolteachers). 
Why do you feel the need to have a "secret identity"?
  • I actually don’t feel a “need” anymore. The secret identity came about when I was a minor and was afraid of internet prowlers. I’m still afraid of prowlers, but mostly I think having a secret identity is just fun! And I don’t find it hard to connect because I am completely honest about who I am and what I do. The only thing I leave out is my name. I’m a college student studying to be a math teacher. I work as a snake handler (no joke). If you follow me on twitter then you probably know exactly where I live and go to school. I do sometimes wish I could do a vlog where I actually TALK to you guys, but at the same time I like having a type of IMM that no one else does. :) So I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on anything. In fact, I think my secret identity gets me more attention than if I didn’t have one!
How does your religion affect what you read and how you review things?
  • I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don’t mention this specifically very often because I don’t feel like it’s very important to my blog. It doesn’t matter what religion I am or you are if you read my blog. And does it play into what I will and will not read? Um… not directly. I’ve NEVER said “I won’t read this because my religion tells me not to.” That’s a silly thing to say. I also don’t read LDS fiction because it’s usually so cheesy I want to gag.
  • However, my religion has definitely affected my life and my life affects what I read. For example, I don’t hate swearing because Mormons don’t swear (and sometimes we do. Hey! We aren’t perfect!). I hate swearing because I was raised to believe that profanity is what people used when they weren’t smart enough to fully express themselves. I don’t like explicit sex in books because I think that intercourse is a very private act. Do I still read books with pre-martial sex? Absolutely! You can’t escape it. And I’m not naïve enough to think that grit doesn’t exist in the real world. I have no problem reading books with witchcraft or devils, BECAUSE IT’S FICTION. Silly goose. But I know some people do, and that’s fine!
  • I don’t believe in “blind faith.” I think that you should always find the truth for yourself. If my religion has an effect on what I read, it’s because I really believe in what it tells me. Not just because it tells it to me.
Are you a writer? Are you writing a book?
  • I am a "casual" writer. I'm more of an "idea maker." I get SO many story ideas, but I honestly don't have the discipline to put them down on paper. The longest work of fiction I've ever written is about 12,000 words, and I was purty darn proud of that. Being an author is a dream of mine, but I mean that almost literally. It's just a dream. There are plenty of other things that I'm striving for that make me feel fulfilled.
So... you're a cosplayer? Does that mean you're a weirdo?
  • Yes. Yes it does. But I was a weirdo before I was a cosplayer. So... moot point. I only started cosplaying in October of 2012, and only started competing in March 2013. I absolutely adore it. It lets me totally geek out over shows/games/books that I love while getting to craft things (I LOVE to make things!) and work out my acting skills.
Who designed your blog?
  • I did! I created the graphics and the HTML code. Well... most of it. Probably 92% of it. The other 8% came from sources I can't remember (because I found them YEARS ago). Which makes me sad, because I'd like to credit them.
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