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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Blogger on Blogger Interview: Rachel at Beauty and the Bookshelf

I interview a lot of authors, we all do.  And it is really a lot of fun, right?  But who is it behind those interviews?  You!!!  So now I want to interview you! This post will run every Thursday (give or take a day due to scheduling) as long as I have people who want to be interviewed!  Check out the tab up there in my tab index for this feature.  That's where you can check out past interviews, upcoming bloggers, and sign up for your own interview! :)

Today I have Rachel from Beauty and the Bookshelf along with a $5 gift card prize!  Prize is international as long as you can accept a gift card from your choice of Amazon or B&N!


Hi Rachel! Thanks for coming by today! Can you tell us a little bit about your site, Beauty and the Bookshelf?
Hi, Liz! Thanks for having me! I started Beauty and the Bookshelf a couple of years ago, during my senior year of high school. Then it was called For the Love of Reading, and I was going to use it to talk about my senior project, which was a book signing going by the same name. The blog became abandoned until I decided—I don’t know when or why—that I’d use it to review books and interview authors. I love books (duh) and Beauty and the Beast, so Beauty and the Bookshelf was born!

And when I checked your site, it had (has!) a wonderful Christmas theme going on!  I loved it!  Do you design your own blog, or do you have someone else do it? (And if so, who?)
Thanks! I’m really liking the Christmas theme! I’d like to say that I come up with my designs, but I totally don’t. I tried doing HTML once and it was like reading another language; it was complete gibberish and I was so lost. Since I can’t make my own (not yet, anyway) I use premade templates. My Christmas theme comes from Leelou blogs, and my normal template comes from The Cutest Blog on the Block.

I see on your site that you only review print copies, and not ebooks.  So how come print won out in the war with eBooks with you?
I’m just not a fan of ebooks. (Although I have two Kindles; long story.) I like my books to be real and physical. I like being able to turn pages, feeling the paper between my fingers. I like that I have three bookshelves full of books and will soon need a fourth. I like—no, love—it all. I don’t want to put my books on an ereader that can easily be damaged or stolen, and something that could be not-so-popular in ten, twenty, thirty years.  I want my books to last, and I want to have them forever. I hate that there are novellas that I want to read that are ebook only; it’s just so frustrating. I’ve tried reading books on my Kindles, and it’s just not the same. In the end, I’m just a print person.

And you also state that you only review YA books.  What is it about YA that attracts you?
YA is just my genre. Most books below it are too immature, and most above it are too mature. I like that YA pushes the boundaries but doesn’t (usually) go over the line. The characters are around my age, making them more relatable. And the stories are just…right. I usually avoid books that aren’t YA because I don’t think I’ll like them; they have elements that aren’t YA, elements that I’m not used to. I don’t really know how to explain it; I just prefer YA. Oh, and the boys—I love the YA boys.

Is there any genre that you definitely won’t read or review?
I’m horrible at classifying what genre a book is. I just like to read books that I think I’ll like; I also like to stay in my comfort zone. I don’t usually read a book without reading its synopsis and/or reviews; if I think it contains something I won’t like, I probably won’t read it. I can be quite picky.

So what’s life like for you outside of Beauty and the Bookshelf?
Oh, you know—it’s life. Fall Quarter just ended (thank gosh!) and I have two finals left.  (I’m planning on earning my degree in something that has to do with writing, and possibly zoology.) Then I’m off for about a month, which gives me time to do a ton of things. I can read more, sleep more, get caught up on everything, celebrate the holidays, and sleep some more. Although the catching up never really happens. (My middle name is procrastination.) And I hope to start writing soon;  I have some characters and ideas brewing in my head that would like to be written down. And I’ll probably hang with my pets: a cat named Big Kitty, a cat named O’hara, a hedgehog named Odair (yes, after Finnick, my love), and my siblings’ sheep and pigs!

And since you love Disney, I just have to ask – which Disney princess would you be if you could pick only one?
Belle! Easiest question ever!

But then, if you had to be a Disney villain, which one would you be then?
This is not the easiest question ever. I think I’d be Maleficent; she’s pretty evil. And she turns into a dragon. (I triple dog dare you to try and slay me.)

Rachel, what kind of things do you have planned for Beauty and the Bookshelf in the future?
This is an interesting question, because I don’t really know. I hope to just continue blogging and doing what I do.

What book are you reading now, and can you share a teaser about it?  Maybe the blurb or a favorite quote?
I just finished Matched by Ally Condie and am moving on to Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. I haven’t started it yet, so I’m just going to open it to a random page (154, where the library receipt was) and share. . . *looks at page*. . . the last paragraph. It’s more interesting.

I stand in front of the grave, staring at the name on the stone. A queasy sensation of vertigo rises through my legs, as if a vast pit is opening up in front of me, drawing me toward its edge with some dark, inexorable force. My stomach lurches again, I feel a sharp tug on my brainstem. . . I fall in.

Note: I was just looking at the chapter markings/headers/whatever-you-call-thems, and they’re all different parts of the body, skeletal, muscular, etc. SO COOL.

Is there any particular book you would absolutely recommend to someone?
I’m going to cheat and recommend a book and a book series.

Book: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I keep thinking about this book, which I like to say simultaneously ripped my heart out (and smashes it to pieces) and kept it beating in place. I feel like this book is underrated, when really everyone should read it. It’s so, so good. I need to change my review of it—my thoughts on the book have blossomed into something more over time. READ IT.

Series: The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine. This is one of my absolute favorite series, and I just love everything about it. There are currently thirteen books, and if things go as planned, book fifteen will be the last. That is also when I need the world’s largest supply of tissue.

You mentioned the Mayan end of the calendar during our emails, and mentioned being a bit nervous about it.  I’m sure many of us are! This interview will be published the day before, so what are your plans for the day after – December 21, 2012?
I will be following my mother around like a duck follow its mother. I will probably get no sleep, and I’ll cuddle up in a corner somewhere. I’m not saying I believe it; I’m just a very, very paranoid person.

We will end today with a favorites list:

Drink? Water! (I don’t drink pop, and I rarely have coffee.)
Food? ALL OF IT. (Except for what I don’t like. I can’t think of a favorite! Although I do like Tobasco sauce. And cheese.)
Movie? Beauty and the Beast.
Social Media Outlet? Probably Twitter.
Candy? When I’m being gifted: Reeses. When I buy it at the store: Snickers. (Reeses are just so small!)
Thanks so much, Rachel, for meeting with me today! 
Thanks again for having me!

Now you can follow Rachel online!

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