I met Olivia on Twitter (@OliviasOpinions) and we both bonded over our mutual love of the book, The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Olivia's a book blogger (Olivia's Opinions) and recently a writer!
1. You recently wrote a blog post about writing and becoming a writer. How do you feel about the response towards that post?
It took a lot of guts for me just to write the post. It seems like a trivial thing, but I have never been very comfortable with talking about my writing like that! Once I published it, though, I just sat back and relaxed. It felt like a huge load had been lifted from my chest! Almost instantly I began getting likes, but most of all, comments. There is little I love more than hearing someone's reaction to my writing, whether it be good or bad, a blog post or a novel. I got so many people telling me that they feel the same way, that they understand, and that they were glad that I wrote the post. It makes me consider the topic I which I wrote about (it was about the pressure NOT to be a writer on teens) on a much broader scale! I realize now that while I wrote the post about how it specifically pertains to myself and my life, it affects many other people in the same way!
2. Were you always a writer or did you recently discover your love for writing?
I am a very new writer. When I was younger, I hated writing. But I think I hated it because of the way we were forced to write! There was absolutely no room for creativity, it was all stiff and boring. When I got a 'good' idea for a novel (it was actually pretty terrible) and started writing it on a whim, I realized that I could create anything I wanted to. And somehow, people are liking the words that flow out of my teenage brain!
3. What's your earliest memory of reading?
I actually *wasn't* one of those kids who read at age 3. Up until about first grade, I wasn't that into reading. But then something clicked, and it was my life! Ever since then, I've read everything I could get my hands on. I've known the same kids since I was very young. I've been told that their mental picture of me always has a book in her hands. :)
4. What's your favorite book/ series? Why?
Man, this is a toughie. Each book series I love has a certain aspect that I enjoy- romance, adventure, action. But I'd say the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi is my favorite (even though there is only the first one out right now, there are plans for a novella and 2 others!). I love them because the heroine is broken (haha joke) yet the bravest one I've ever met. (yes, met) She also happens to be the most dynamic character I've ever met as well. It is the perfect combination of romance, adventure, and action. I could read it hundreds of times!
5. What's your guilty pleasure?
Big books. Part of the reason I love reading books so much is the connection I develop with the characters, the setting, and especially the romance. When a book is over, sometimes I'm happy with the ending, but I almost always wish it could go on forever! That's why I LOVE reading huge books that have plenty of time to satisfy my book hunger. When I'm reviewing books, shorter length is usually a bad thing. One of my favorite books ever is Gone With the Wind, which is notorious for it's hugeness!
6. What do you look for in a book?
My first priority is characters, setting, and plot that capture me. I also enjoy a heavy dose of adventure (though I enjoy contemporary YA, so it's not necessary), but more important is the romance. I love reading romance! Being a reader first has helped me become a better writer, so I look especially for books with realistic teen voices.
7. We recently argued over which was better, Northern U.S or Southern U.S. What are the pros and cons to living in Southern US?
Haha! I wouldn't call it arguing... we were having a friendly discussion! :) (alice-jane intervenes: Fine, friendly banter.) It was hilarious how many people chimed in on Twitter- people are very proud of where they are from! I have lived in North Carolina my whole life. I love it here! I especially enjoy the weather- beautifully temperate, lush vegetation, infamous Carolina blue skies. The overall populace here is incredibly friendly. And possibly my favorite part is the cooking- we have great diners around here with the best home cooking you'll find! (P.S.- NC has the best barbecue ever!)
As far as cons go, living in the same small-ish town your whole life gets a little predictable. Also, I never get to go to book signings, BEA, and other book events because they aren't within driving distance! For the same reason, I don't have any real writer friends at school. It gets kind of hard sometimes, but for me, the pro's outweigh the cons!
8.I've noticed that your blog is hosted by Wordpress. Why not Blogger or TypePad?
When I first created my blog, my mom suggested Wordpress because she had used it before and knew it was easy! That's basically the only reason. So far, I've enjoyed how simple and quick it is to use. Many of my most dedicated and lovely readers found me through the Wordpress community. It is well established, and I'm very happy with it!
9. You've passed the half-way mark for book blogging! Congrats! What are your thoughts towards that? The blogging world?
Yep! I've been blogging for about 7 months now! Blogging has changed me from a random reader- always reading, but a little sporadic with what books I read- to a purposeful one, with many more fantastic books to read! I've also met some AMAZING fellow readers, writers, and betas, and I wouldn't trade that for anything!
10. As a fellow blogger who's 5'8" (around 170 cm), how do you feel towards your height?
I've learned to love it! Although I have to say, I'd choose ballet flats over heels! :)
Thanks for having me, Alice!
It was fun interviewing you, Olivia!
Come back next Tuesday for another interview! For an archive of the interviews, you can go here.